River of Teeth (Novella Review)

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Ever heard of “Lake Bacon”? No? Thankfully, neither had I, but if some eccentric 20th century Americans had gotten their way, lake bacon (aka: hippo meat) would be just another part of the American cuisine. (Seriously, there’s some pretty bizarre/weird history to read up about regarding this if it strikes your fancy.) This story, written by Sarah Gailey, takes a look at just how introducing hippos to the American frontier could have gone oh-so-very wrong and led to a very different version of our old wild west.

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The job is dangerous, the reward is high, and if you ask Winslow Houndstooth, he’ll be more than happy to remind you that it is not a caper, but rather an “operation” that brings him and his motley crew together. Most of them are willing to take on the risk of going up against feral hippos to seek their fortune, but Houndstooth is driven by something more than just money, and although the cash would be great, it’s revenge that really fuels him.

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This novella was interesting and fun from beginning to end. I loved the characters. They’re all so distinct from one another, and I adored the fact that the author gives each of the characters’ hippo companions loads of personality as well. Also, the interactions between the humans and their hippo steeds feels so real to any of us who have our own animal companions we love and care for. It’s all the little moments of the characters singing funny little songs to their hippos involving their names, feeding them their favorite treats, or just showing them affection that I really enjoyed. It’s how any of us with pets are, even if most of us simply have cats or dogs rather than giant animals with jaws so powerful they can bite a man in half with ease. Even the hippos have their own distinct personalities and it just shows me that Sarah Gailey knows how to write interesting and believable characters. I definitely can’t wait to check out this story’s sequel Taste of Marrow.

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If you’re looking for a shorter read that really packs in the fun, look no further. River of Teeth is not likely to disappoint! I easily would give it 5 out of 5 stars! This was yet another solid recommendation from Cupcakes and Machetes. Have any of you guys read this yet? What is the best book you’ve read recently that was non-stop fun and/or excitement from beginning to end? πŸ˜€ Let’s talk books!

 

 

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Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles (Review)

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First things first, I really like the cover for this sort of mini-anthology. Secondly, I’m finding myself in the middle of a sudden Urban Fantasy kick at the moment. Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles, as the title would imply, features (you guessed it!) two short stories from Kevin Hearne’s series of UF novels, The Iron Druid Chronicles. Imagine that, huh? πŸ˜›

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The first of the two tales, Kaibab Unbound, takes place shortly before the events of the first novel in the series, Hounded. Phew, there’s gonna be links galore in this post, so consider ye self warned. πŸ˜‰ It’s been nearly five years (half a decade!) since I finished reading the first book in the series, but it was only after recently finishing the third, Hammered, that I decided to start reading Mr. Hearne’s short stories that are woven in a certain order between his various IDC novels.

Kaibab Unbound centers in on our protagonist druid, Atticus, enjoying a day off with his trusted Irish Wolfhound Oberon. Their plans for a relaxing, nature-filled day are sent astray when a befriended elemental is in dire need. Squirrels, shapeshifting druids, nature elementals and witches might sound like a lot to squeeze into a mere 17 page story, but Kevin Hearne manages to make it look easy, all while throwing in the humor and action his tales are known for.

The second short story, A Test of Mettle, takes place during the events of the third IDC novel, Hammered. While Atticus is off taking care of official druid business, Granuaile, a hopeful druid-in-training, is assisting an elemental of her own in a different way, trying to help level out the local ecosystem that is all out of balance thanks to an invasive species. Things do not go as planned though, and Granuaile is suddenly faced with an unnatural attack of sorts.

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I promise this gif makes sense if you read the story. πŸ˜›

I enjoyed these quick little stories and plan to continue on with both the novels and the shorter companion tales. Probably not one right after the other, but it is definitely a series I will be continuing to read. πŸ™‚

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I also started reading another UF story last night, Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1). Like I said, I’m definitely on an urban fantasy kick at the moment. Is it a genre you enjoy reading? Any suggestions of other books/series? Let’s talk books! πŸ˜€

Books + Winter = BLISS.

As much as I grumble about the bitter cold and snow and ice of winter, even I can admit that there is a special kind of coziness to winter reading. Being all bundled up with plenty of blankets and something warm to drink while you read makes for a pretty cozy bit of relaxation.

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I’m juggling a few different books/comics at the moment. One I’ve slowly been chiseling away at is Strange the Dreamer, and it is utterly amazing. I tend to read it before work every day (as long as I haven’t wasted too much time rebelling against adulting that particular morning by refusing to get out of bed.) It’s the kind of book that could easily be devoured quickly, but I’ve been enjoying picking at it here and there and savoring the experience. I love Laini Taylor’s writing and indulging in this beautifully imaginative story each day before work helps start my morning off on the right foot. ❀

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Another thing I’ve been reading as of late is the comic series Low. It’s one I had been really excited to get into, and since my boyfriend is a fan of Rick Remender’s writing, he went ahead and bought the first 4 volumes for us to read. I’ll admit, I wasn’t really feeling this series upon finishing volume 1. In fact, if my boyfriend hadn’t already purchased volumes 2, 3, and 4, I probably would have stopped reading it. However, I decided to continue on and it is slowly getting better. Some of my major complaints have been resolved mostly (for now at least). We’ll see how it goes as I continue reading these first 4 volumes. Because of my conflicted feelings regarding the series so far, I’ve decided to wait and do a review of the first four volumes rather than doing them 1 at a time. I hope it continues to improve the further I get into the story because there are several elements to it that I do really enjoy.

The other story I’m currently reading is Gerald Brom’s book,Β The Plucker. First off, this book is a pretty one, so we have to talk about that. It’s a big lovely hardcover book filled to the brim with Brom’s dark and twisted artwork with a story to match. At first glance, one may take it for a “children’s book” since it is full of illustrations, but with the swearing, crass humor, and elements of horror throughout, it is certainly not intended for children. Unless the children involved are literal demons. Then maybe. The story is centered around a young boy and his toys and the dangerous predatory spirit now plaguing them. It’s sort of like if you mixed Toy Story or The Nutcracker with Evil Dead 2 and The Exorcist. πŸ˜› It’s a fun read so far.

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Other recent reads of the new year include Saga, volume 8 (which I just recently reviewed), and Lewis Carroll’s Phantasmagoria and Other Poems. This weekend I intend to start reading Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, which I am really excited about.

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So, what recent books have you been enjoying? Have you read any of these stories yet? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!

R&R Book Tours’ Launch Party Mega Blitz!!

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I’ve enjoyed reading so many awesome book/film reviews (and other fun posts) over at Reads & Reels, so I’m very excited about today’s big launch party forΒ R&R Book Tours!! Get your party hat on and bust out the confetti, because it’s a blog party, folks! Everyone’s invited to join in on the fun to help R&R Book Tours kick off their official launch. With the festivities starting at 9am (EST), there will be plenty of fun to be had throughout the day. And plenty of great giveaways, too! πŸ˜€

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This bash is all about the indie authors, so expect six different indie authors, six different books, and (you guessed it!) SIX different giveaways! πŸ˜‰

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So be sure to check it all out. I hope you guys all have fun over there at their launch party, and best of luck to those of you who enter those exciting giveaways. πŸ˜€ Cheers to R&R Book Tours on their big day!! ❀

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I Dare You Book Tag

Big thanks to the lovely Raven & Beez who tagged me to do the I Dare You Book Tag. πŸ™‚ These bibliophiles run a snazzy blog together, so if you’re a book-lover as well be sure to check them out! πŸ˜‰

I’m shaking it up a wee bit and doing books AND comics for this because I love to read both. Basically, if it has pages, it counts in my eyes! πŸ˜› So, without further adieu, let’s start this tag! πŸ˜€

1.) What book has been on your shelves the longest?

Ooh, interesting question. I’ve still got a few books floating around from when I was but a wee moth. Pretty sure I have a couple of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques floating around. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is another I’ve hung onto for as long as I can remember. (It was actually my mom’s book that she gave to me when I was little.)

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2.) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Let’s see . . .Β  for novels: Last read was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, my current read is Soulless by Gail Carriger, and my next read is gonna have to be The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer. Planning on plucking it up from my boyfriend’s library this weekend.

And for comics/graphic novels: Last read was DC Bombshells, vol. 2. Current read is Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt, vol. 1. Not sure yet what one I’ll read after that.

3.) What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Oh, jeez. This is a tricky one. I can’t think of any I’ve read and loathed that everyone else was really into off the top of my head. Lame answer, I know, but it’s all I got for now.

4.) What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I have a mountain of a TBR list and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger thanks to all you wonderful book bloggers. I’m sure there’s plenty I’ll never get to unfortunately.

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5.) Which book are you saving for retirement?

I’m assuming they’re getting at which book has the heftiest word count and thus will take up a lot of free time. Hmm . . . I doubt I’ll wait til retirement to read this one in its entirety, but I have this old encyclopedia of witchcraft and demonology that had belonged to my grandma and I’ve picked at it here and there because it’s so interesting, but that thing is a tome, and the font is very small so it will definitely take me a while to get through it once I finally set out to read it from start to finish.

6.) Last Page: Do you read it first or wait til the end?

Last page is called LAST PAGE for a reason. lol Why would I want to ruin the ending? It would take all the fun out of guessing what was going to happen.

7.) Acknowledgements: Are they a waste of paper and ink or interesting?

I think they’re great. They’re often pretty interesting to read.

8.) Which book character would you switch places with?

lol Bad things tend to happen to the characters in books I like, so I’m a little hesitant with answering this question.

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9.) Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Sort of. It’s kind of like how you might associate a certain time with the point in your life when it came out. I mostly remember what stage of my life I was in when I read a certain book. I feel like that is such an utterly boring answer. lol

10.) Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

When I went through a really difficult time emotionally just over 2 years ago, a friend secretly purchased a couple books I had been wanting to read and mailed them to me with a sweet little note. She intended for it to be so secretive but it had her name on one of the papers in there so I figured it out. lol It still makes me smile to think about it because it was such a thoughtful and kind thing to do. The books were Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues and The Lies of Locke Lamora.

11.) Have you ever given away a certain book for a special reason to a special person?

I try to pick books I think people will enjoy (or that I know they’ve been wanting to read). I’ll never just go buy a book I hear is popular in the *hopes* that they might like it. Sometimes I do themes for gifts too, so you might get a couple books with some hidden theme around them because I’m a dork like that. lol

12.) Which book has been with you the most places?

Hmmm . . . I guess any of the books I have on my kindle. I’ve taken that thing with me so many places.

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13.) Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Nope! Chances are if I hated it then, I wouldn’t be too keen on picking it back up again. πŸ˜‰

14.) Used or brand new?

Either way! I’m just happy to get the book. Especially if it’s a great deal.

15.) Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope.

16.) Have you ever seen a movie that you liked better than the book?

I don’t know if I actually have. I feel like there was one time I told my boyfriend about before, but now it’s not ringing any bells.

17.) A book that’s made you hungry?

None, really. But Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes to mind when I think of scrumptious food in books. The Queen of Heart’s tarts and all the tea time goodies and whatnot. πŸ˜›

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18.) Who is the person whose book advise you’ll always take?

Cupcakes and Machetes. She has yet to lead me astray! πŸ™‚

19.) Most read authors?

Well, I’ve read several trilogies by various authors over the years, so authors I’ve read more than just three books by would be: George RR Martin, Leigh Bardugo, and J.K. Rowling.

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20.) Ship from two different books?

Ah, I don’t really have one as far as novels go, but if we’re talking comics I’m gonna do a Marvel/DC mashup here and say Deadpool and Harley Quinn. πŸ˜›

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Harleypool anyone?

As for tagging people, you guys know the drill: If it sounds like fun to you, have at it! πŸ˜€ If not, no worries. Anyone is more than welcome to join in on the fun!