Written Among The Stars

I love to read, I love to write, and I love to talk about all things that are the written word.

Reading progress update: I've read 182 out of 448 pages.

— feeling grin
Jurassic Park: A Novel - Michael Crichton

I have long loved the movie and also love Crichton. But never actually read the book, shocking. So far, the movie does not do it justice. So many moments I would have loved to see on film....except crappy Spielberg does his typical happy happy movie and that sucks.

Review: Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots - Deborah Feldman

I’ve been a bad bad reviewer. I haven’t managed to read more than a single book this entire year. Okay, one and a half if I’m being honest…I am halfway through another. But, in my defense I did give birth and now have a 5 month old daughter. So I’ve been a teensy bit busy. But I found time to read! While I’m at work pumping milk for my baby, that’s a whole half hour that could be spent reading instead of browsing Facebook or playing Candy Crush.

 

This was a quick read but a good one. Feldman paints a vivid picture with her words and transports you directly to her world. I was engrossed in the story. One would like to think that things like this don’t happen in a free country, but alas it does. I lived through a similar religious experience (with a different religion of course) and was interested to see how much these experiences overlap. Not surprisingly, the answer is quite a lot. Religious abuse is a real thing.

 

While I am aware of the accusations of exaggeration and lying by the author, I personally choose to give the benefit of the doubt. People do behave this way. People in such strict religions do these kinds of things. And when someone dares to leave the flock, their former community throws mud all day long to try and discredit them. I can’t say for sure that is what is happening in this case, but it seems logical.

 

As a woman and a mother, I found the book infuriating. I can sympathize with how utterly out of the place the author felt in the world that she had been born into. Her yearnings for more were palpable. I found myself rooting for her to succeed and break free from what felt like such a confining life. I can’t say much more about this book except that I found it very compelling.

 

And now I hear someone yelling at daddy for a nursing, so I will wrap up. Hopefully I can make at least one more review this year…we’ll see lol.

Reading progress update: I've read 99 out of 272 pages.

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots - Deborah Feldman

I've been much too negligent about blogging and reading lately....but then having a three month old will do that to you.

 

So far this book is really interesting. I was raised in a veeery strict religious household and I can identify with a lot of the author's feelings of being suppressed and smothered by what was expected of her as a good Jewish girl.

Review: Crushed by Eliza Crewe

Crushed - Eliza Crewe

**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for a review. No promise of a good review or other compensation was provided.**

 

Alright folks, give me a moment here, I need to wipe my nose and then get a new tissue. Then it’s time to put on my big girl panties and write this review without needing more tissue. First, let me tell you a sad story. The first book in this series, Cracked, was one of my favorite books last year. I got the ARC and I loved it. I bought a copy, I bought a copy to lend out, I recommended it to anyone who would listen, I anxiously waited for the next book. Then I asked for an ARC, didn’t get it and was…crushed, pun fully intended. But, no worries, I pre-ordered the book, I’d just have to be patient. Then I got an email, there was going to be no publication of Crushed. I was distraught! How could this be? Well, it’s because the publisher, Strange Chemistry, was closing down. I was so upset that I immediately rushed over to the author’s website, surely she would have answers for me! And, she did. She was going to self publish it and was doing a blog tour, well you better beleive I was alllllll on board with that idea. And that’s why I’m here now. To tell you how awesome this book is (because it is) and to encourage you to go out and read it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

So let’s catch up on what we learned from book one. Meda kicks ass….and eats souls. The two are not mutually exclusive. But she’s also, apparently a “Beacon”, someone who is capable of worl changing good. This is news to Meda, she mostly just wants to be left alone to kill and eat the souls of bad bad people who deserve it. The Crusaders have other ideas, she needs to be protected ad trained as a Crusader…well sort of trained.

 

And that’s where we come into Cracked. Meda is, essentially, being help captive. The Crusaders don’t like her, they don’t trust her, and they aren’t giving her any souls to eat which is really just torture. So, Meda does what she does best, she sneaks out to get herself some souls and reunites with Armand. We remember Armand right? She met him in Hell’s dungeon. And he has some bad intentions, which Meda knows but can’t seem to pull herself away from him anyway. Besides the Crusaders are torturing her anyway, why not have a little fun?

 

This book was a blast. It starts off hard and doesn’t let up for the whole book. I always get worried when we reach book two, because it often suffers from “middle book syndrome”. This one doesn’t though. Meda spends most of the book struggling with her choices. Can she really be a goody goody Crusader? As hard as she tries, it doesn’t seem like it. Can she just turn her back on it all and join the demons? Not really because of those pesky human emotions. She finds solace in Armand, who is also half-demon half-human, because he can understand her struggles of walking the line between good and evil. I loved this dynamic for Meda. It provided a lot of depth to her character that we had only began to see in Cracked. Honestly, by the end, I was rooting for Meda to join the demons, I can admit it. I was ready to flip the bird to the Crusaders for their treatment of her. But, of course, there are two sides to every pancake and this book was no different.

 

The ending rocked me. I was not ready for what happened to….the person….at the place….during that….thing. I can’t talk about it. I already cried my way through it once, I don’t want to relive it. As Meda is fond of saying, some bad things just shouldn’t be said. This is one. Then we got to the actual actual end and it both good and bad. Which I like. I can’t stand Steven Spielberg endings where everyone is okay and walks off into the sunset together holding hands and singing Kumbaya. I like things to be real. And in reality, even a happy ending is often tinged with despair, anger, loss, and grief. This was one of those endings.

 

I, for one, will be anxiously anticipating the next book to see where this path takes Meda next. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get another tissue and text my mom to go buy this book…she’s been waiting since Cracked.

Confession time!

So, I have been almost completely MIA lately, bad bad me! But in my defense, I have a good excuse. So, it's time for me to confess what has kept me away for so long.......

 

 

 

 

I'm having a baby!! 

(show spoiler)

 

 

 

 

read more

I've read 300 out of 362 pages.

Robogenesis - Daniel H. Wilson

Wait, so now there’s ANOTHER AI out there? So there was Archos in the last book, now in this book we have Arayt and whatever this thing is in the ocean….Ryujin they’re calling it. I am so confused. And the individual goals of these two AIs is a mystery to me. Arayt seems to want to take over the world and kill all freeborn and humans. Ryujin seems to not care about any of it and is just making new creatures to populate the earth after Arayt destroys everything…but humans are still asking for its help to save them?

I can honestly say I have no idea what’s going on.

Review: Destruction by Sharon Bayliss

Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Curiosity Quills!

 

This will probably be a short review because the book just wasn’t that good. My first annoyance with it was actually the blurb. It gives away so many big plot points. I mean, who writes these things? It tells me the entire arc of the story almost, guess I didn’t need to read the book after all.

 

I was highly annoyed with the magic in this book too. I hate it when books don’t give magic any consequences, it’s jut there to fix all your problems. The book claims that doing magic can make you deranged and evil, but the main characters seem to have no problem whipping out complex magic when it suits them…and seem to suffer no ill effects or other consequences. For example, fiddling around in someone’s brain? Well it was for their own good, so no consequences. The only possible consequence is that the person doing the meddling now had to remember all those bad memories they were erasing, oh the horror! End snark.

 

David was a fairly likeable character until he started excusing a rape (he’s a dark wizard, can’t help it) and then perving on a 17 year old (but she’s a fertility witch, he couldn’t help it!). Notice a pattern here? It is always the magic’s fault, not the character’s.

 

In the end, I didn’t care for this book. It was a fairly good idea but not executed very well. The characters were marginal but not unlikeable. The magic was poorly executed and seemed completely secondary to the story. I won’t be continuing with this series.

I've read 250 out of 362 pages.

Robogenesis - Daniel H. Wilson

I have no idea how it took me this long to question this but....where did the "neural implants" come from? That is how the new big bad is spying on people...but where did they come from? Was this something that everyone already had from before and the big bad is just tapping into it? Were these implanted somehow, and for some reason, during the first war? Was this addressed before now or in the last book and I just missed it?

 

It's kind of bugging me now, I suspect convenient plot device.

I am so happy we got that second opinion!

I can't remember if I posted about this when it happened but I'll recap anyway! So hubby and I went to a dentist a few months ago. We were not happy. The place was outdated, the staff was not friendly, and we just didn't feel comfortable there. Then they hit us with the work that needed to be done, according to them. Me: 4 new crowns, replace 1 existing crown, wisdom teeth need to be pulled. Hubby: 3 new crowns, wisdom teeth need to be pulled, an "in depth" cleaning that will cost $100. In total, they quoted us $5000 worth of work!

 

Yeah, we didn't go back. So today we went to a new dentist for a second opinion. Their office was modern and equipped. Every member of the staff shook my hand and introduced themselves to me. They answered all of my questions and explained everything in detail. And then we talk about work that needs to be done. Me: 3 fillings, wisdom teeth are just fine. Hubby: 1 crown, 2 wisdom teeth need to come out the other two are okay for now, an intense cleaning but certainly won't cost us $100. Total estimate: $700.

 

I mean, holy crap! How do dentists like that exist? What complete scam artists! I was stunned. We are definitely staying with this new dentist for sure.

I've read 226 out of 362 pages.

Robogenesis - Daniel H. Wilson

I don't care anymore. I want it to be over. This is boring. I feel like this should have been a stand alone book with Robopocalypse but the author got caught up in popularity and wanted to capitalize. There was no reason for another book, none at all.

I've read 175 out of 362 pages.

Robogenesis - Daniel H. Wilson

I am so booooooooored!!!! This book, apart from a brief moment of awesome, has been vastly inferior to the first book.

I've read 129 out of 362 pages.

Robogenesis - Daniel H. Wilson

"After all this time, we still don't know whether I'm "seeing" radar or radio or infrared or some combination of everything."

 

Okay, it may have taken you guys two years but I've got this down for you.

 

1. You can see heat signatures or living organisms. That's infrared, congrats you can see it.

 

2. You can see the communications that the robots and machines make with each other. Since they communicate on radio waves, congrats you can see radio waves.

 

3. You can also see people speaking. This is sound waves, congrats you can see those too.

 

I think I figured that out in 30 seconds, what exactly is taking them so long?

I need to stop being lazy!

I am so behind on reviews, I have to review my Nature Box thing. I need to get back to my freelance writing, I have no excuse because I got the laptop back last Thursday lol. I am just so tired.....

 

I want a nap. And I want peanut butter. I've been on a peanut butter kick lately. But mostly I just want a naaaaapppp....

Yaaaaaayyy!!

We have the laptop back! It came in the mail today. Thank God I was starting to lose my mind after the boss cracked down on using the internet for personal use at work this week. Man, I have a lot of reviews to write lol

Crap! Bad timing!

Robogenesis - Daniel H. Wilson

I was just getting really into this, I turn on my Nook and I see 'The lending period for this title has expired."

 

NOOOOOOOO! Damnit! I could redownload it, because I don't think it will be archived for another few weeks, but I have no laptop still. So I can't do anything. And my laptop will probably not be back until next week. Ugh. This sucks. It just better get back before the title is archived, or I'm gonna have to just buy it and finish it that way.

 

And it doesn't help my mood that I feel horrendously sick

I've read 89 out of 338 pages.

Robogenesis - Daniel H. Wilson

I am really confused. Is Archos the bad guy or this other AI? Am I supposed to be confused, because I am. Although I do like that the AI is using religion to get people to help it, very interesting. Humans are a religious bunch, it's a very good way to deceive.

Currently reading

Jurassic Park: A Novel
Michael Crichton
Progress: 182/448 pages
Robogenesis
Daniel H. Wilson
Progress: 300/362 pages
The Reporter
Mur Lafferty, Scott Sigler
Robopocalypse: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
Daniel H. Wilson
Progress: 396/396 pages
Demons: Encounters with the Devil and His Minions, Fallen Angels, and the Possessed
Underwood and Flinch
Mike Bennett
The Zombie Chronicles: Vol. 1 - Escape
James Melzer