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Musekicker

the reading spot

Just a lover of geekery and reading all balled up into one place.

Currently reading

The Accidental Sorcerer
K.E. Mills
Red Hood's Revenge
Jim C. Hines
The Dark Wife
Sarah Diemer
NOS4A2
Joe Hill
Blood Oranges
Kathleen Tierney, Caitlín R. Kiernan

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online - Kari Chapin I admire crafters. Many of them are so good at making wonderful things out of clay, fabric, metal, or just found objects. Right now my own attempts at crafting are not exactly what I call good. And their certainly not sell worthy. But I'm hoping I get good enough to sell my crafts. And when that day comes this book would be a good guide.

For the rest of the review and the rating please visit me at Musekicker's Reading Place.

Queen of Hearts

The Crown - Colleen Oakes There are many takes on Alice in Wonderland. Not just books but movies as well. Some of them are pretty good and some are of questionable quality. I'm thankful that “Queen of Hearts, volume one: The Crown” fell into the pretty good camp.

The main character of the book is a girl named Dinah who is a princess of Wonderland. She is next in line for the throne after her father as her brother sadly is not up to the task. Speaking of which, I thought this version of the Mad Hatter was an interesting change. Dinah's father has always been unkind and seemed to dislike Dinah. But things get worse when her father brings home a supposed illegitimate daughter.

For the rest of the review and rating, please visit me at Musekicker's Reading Place.

Serpent's Storm (A Calliope Reaper-Jones Novel)

Serpent's Storm - Amber Benson Having read and enjoyed the first two books in this series I was looking forward to reading this book. I enjoy Callie's sense of humor and her magical family. And while I knew the book had been out for awhile I didn't get the chance to grab it until recently. Now I'm finished with the book I still enjoyed the series. Though something did throw me for a bit of a loop.

I'll admit the sudden direction change with the more mature rated scenes surprised me. Not that I think there's anything wrong with it. It's just the last two books didn't quite have that level of raunchiness in the whole of them that this book had. That isn't to say of course every scene has to do with sex. Only a couple of scenes and their fairly short. This isn't a Laurell K. Hamilton book (Not that there's anything wrong with those books if you enjoy what their about.).

For the rest of the review and rating, please visit me at Musekicker's Reading Place.

Tangled Tides (The Sea Monster Memoirs, #1)

Tangled Tides (The Sea Monster Memoirs, #1) - Karen Amanda Hooper

The main character of this book is a girl named Yara who finds out that she's actually a mermaid. Not new ground there of course but what is interesting in new is the world building behind the mermaids and other races in the story. The history and culture are equally fascinating for the other species in this book.

Seriously the story does well when including other magical species besides mermaids. I don't see many books having gorgons as characters, much less likeable ones. Besides awesome world building I love the overall story and the characters.

I highly recommend this book and am looking into reading more by the author.

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Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids: Bizarre Bites of Incredible Information

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids: Bizarre Bites of Incredible Information - Bathroom Readers' Institute Trivia is fun. Random small bits of information that can tell us more about our world. Or at the very least liven up a gathering. The other wonderful thing about trivia is it makes for light, fun reading. Which the Uncle John's Bathroom Readers seem to be the epitome of when it comes to trivia.

I really don't have much to say on this book to be honest. Mainly because it's exactly what it says on the cover. A huge collection of trivia facts. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a good source to get your trivia. Just don't expect much difference from any of the previous Bathroom Reader books.

For the rest of the review and rating, please visit me at Musekicker's Reading Place.

Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale (Fantasy Romance Novelette)

Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale - Cate Rowan I think everyone has heard the story of the frog prince. Or at least have heard about kissing frogs and them turning into a prince. While I don't recommend kissing a real life frog (nothing against frogs by the way. I think they can be adorable. I'm speaking from a health concerned point of view.) in stories it can be an interesting practice.

Sofia, our main character, learns this the hard way. She is pulled into pet sitting her nieces pet frog and though joking around when kissing the frog the inevitable happens. The frog turns out to be a prince.

The story isn't bad. I did love the main character, Sofia for one thing. I found her love for her family and her snarky nature endearing. Other then that and the cute plot line I really didn't find much to get into. That could be because it's so short. I realize of course it's more of a novella then anything. But for this particular story it doesn't work.

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The Screaming Divas

The Screaming Divas - Suzanne Kamata Admittedly I'm not a huge rock fan. But after reading this book I'll admit I was inspired to listen to some female musicians like Joan Jett for awhile. Seemed appropriate after reading a book about a female rock band.

“Screaming Divas” follows four girls from different backgrounds as they come together to form a rock band. Some of them come from darker backgrounds (such as Trudy) then others. And of course with the introduction of rock into their lives, comes the sex and drugs.

Though the sex and drugs show up time to time in the book I prefer to focus on the rock portion. Not because the sex and drugs part of the books are bad. Rather I feel more for the characters when it comes to their music.

For the rest of the review and the rating please visit me at Musekicker's Reading Place.

Celebromancy (Ree Reyes #2)

Celebromancy (Ree Reyes #2) - Michael R. Underwood I am one of those people who is proud to call myself geek. If it falls in the realm of media geekery I've probably had my fingers in it or at the very least know something of it. I wouldn't call myself the ultimate geek of course. Though I if geekomancy actually existed like in this book series I would like to think I'd be a pretty good Geekomancer.

Now when I got this book I was unaware that this was the second book in the “Ree Reyes” series. I'll be remedying missing the first book soon. In any case, despite diving in mid series I caught up to speed fairly quick. And one of the things I loved instantly for this book and series is the magic system. This is a world where if one is a Geekomancer their love of geeky media fuels magic abilities (watch the Matrix and gain bullet time abilities for a short while.) and a simple show prop (sonic screwdriver anyone?) can become an actually weapon.

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Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World

Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World - Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, Christina Lauren, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R Even if you write it or not, fan fiction has a large presence online and with the advent of books such as “Fifty Shades of Grey” (less said about that book the better to be honest), is becoming a presence in the publishing world. I could write my own essay on that subject but “Fic” has essays that cover the subject better then I could.

“Fic” is composed of essays on the subject of fan fiction. A topic close to my own heart being a reader and writer of such things. When I found out there was a book on the topic of fan fiction I was more then interested. The text of the essays thankfully are not dry or boring. Each essay had an interesting view or information to share with it's reader. My only real complaint is some of the essays seem too short to me.

For the rest of the review and rating, please visit me at Musekicker's Reading Place.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman I'll make it not a secret that I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan. From the Sandman comics to one of my favorite books ever, American Gods, I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed a great bulk of his imaginative works. With that in mind I will try not to let my admiration of this author get in the way of my review.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is about a boy (though a man at the very beginning of the book the book deals with his childhood. So I will refer to him as a boy.) who is never named in the story. I personally think the fact the boy is never named works well for the story given the style which I’ll touch upon later in this review.

The boy in the story becomes involved with an odd and mysterious family comprised of three women. Considering that the women were loosely were an old woman, a middle age woman, and a child, I wonder if Gaiman was trying to evoke the imaginary of the triple goddess archetype. It would certainly be fitting.

In a fairytale like quality the boy finds himself dealing with forces beyond his knowledge yet in a way is so familiar to any child who has had nightmares or complained of something living under his bed. And the only way to rid him of this dark intrusion is to get help from the Hempstock family.

This story reminds me slightly of a preview books of Gaiman's called Coraline. Not so much in plot but in style. Like Coraline, this book has a fairy tale style. It feels like something that you would read to a small child. And like in a fairy tale, more so in their original, grim form, there is that seed of warning and darkness within the story.

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I Am Pusheen the Cat

I Am Pusheen the Cat - Claire Belton As a Tumblr user I am familiar with the adorable styling of Pusheen. Normally a Pusheen post means an instant reblog. So learning there was a Pusheen book did make me smile. The point of this review though will ask if buying this book is a good purchase for you.

First I should talk about Pusheen herself for those unfamiliar with it. Pusheen is a series of mini comics that are comprised mostly of minimal text but funny or adorable illustrations of the character Pusheen or friends. Pusheen is a gray cat that in the tradition of Garfield loves to eat and sleep. Though Pusheen does have her evil moments (I personally love Pusheens evil expression.) she nicer then Garfield.

I love Pusheen. But I also must be honest in my review and mention that there is really no new content in the book. That did lower my rating a little. Now the question remains if you should buy it. I think it depends.

If you are the type who likes having cute, illustrated books in your home you may want to buy the physical version for your coffee table. There is also the fact you would be supporting a budding artist if you do buy either version. Please consider those points before purchasing or not.
For the rest of this review and the rating, please check out Musekicker's Reading Place.

The Legend of Korra: Book 1 – Air, The Art of the Animated Series

The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series, Book One: Air - Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, Dave Marshall Art books are wonderful things. Not only is the art wonderful but it's great to see into the process of creation for a movie or series. The art book in particular I'm talking about here is for the series “The Legend of Korra.” which in itself is the sequel for the excellent Avatar: the Last Airbender series.

Owning the art book for the previous series I had a fairly good expectation for what this particular book would be like. And the book met my expectations. Like the book for the previous series this book is filled with early unused character designs, and information on the plot. Including plot points that could have been.

The art itself is nice and colorful. Something expected from the series style. Even the unused design sketches are nice to look at. The final design drawings are also good for reference for fan artists.

For the rest of the review and rating please check ou Musekickers Reading Place.

It's a Catastrophe

It's a Catastrophe - Sibel Hodge, Leos Ng Okita In the tradition of other books with an animal cast “It’s a Catastrophe” is told from the view of animals. Mostly cats as the titles suggest. And there are plenty of great books told from a cat’s view. Sadly, this isn't one of them.

To start with characters are introduced too quickly and their descriptions are too bland. Generally for the younger set this wouldn't be a huge problem. But considering this book has on my reader 369 pages I feel there is more than a little room for longer and slightly more developed introductions.

Often I was taken out of the story slightly by the comparison of smoky to Captain Jack Sparrow and other pop culture references. It would be okay in some cases but in a storyline where you’re trying to look at the world from animals view it doesn't quite fit in. It’s just jarring.

I could nitpick from here to forever on every little thing that bugged me but that would be unkind. In the end I feel this book is trying to fit for the older audiences but also is trying to reach out to the younger readers as well. It does not balance well however and it just doesn't work.

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The How-To Handbook: Shortcuts and Solutions for the Problems of Everyday Life

The How-To Handbook: A Guide to Mastering Essential Skills for Life - Martin Oliver, Alexandra Johnson Being an adult is hard. I know because supposedly I am. Key word being supposedly. My immaturity isn’t what this review is about. Today I am covering what is pretty much a how to book for daily living skills that will come in useful for your adult life. Not the guidebook for the tough stuff in life but every little bit helps.
The book is divided into sections such as about cooking or cleaning. Each section has a few topics (Ironing pants, setting a table.) with the instructions with how to do it well. They also add any needed warnings or tips.

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The Woken Gods

The Woken Gods - Gwenda Bond If there is one thing I am a sucker for its mythology. Greek, Norse, Egyptian, Celtic. I’m just a mythology nut so when a book comes along that involves mythology in a modern setting and has a ton of world building I’m pretty happy. This is that kind of book.

This book is set in a world where the gods of all the pantheons have been woken and exist in modern times. In such a world there are obviously big changes which the author does describe. Changes such as the lack of cars in some areas because of the deities are an interesting and thoughtful touch too.

For the plot, the main character Kyra is not having the easiest time. Her father stole something from society he works with. This society patrols and tries to control the gods as best they can with relics. It’s ongoing battle and Kyra has no idea why her father would do this. So with her friends and a couple of younger society members, Kyra start in on a search for answers. But the answers are not pleasant.

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Live to Write Another Day, A Survival Guide for Screenwriters and Creative Storytellers

Live to Write Another Day, A Survival Guide for Screenwriters and Creative Storytellers - Dean Orion As a bit of a writer myself I can say that I've read a lot of books on writing. I have a lot to learn still but I read such books to help me hone my craft. The one thing about reading so many of those books is it becomes hard to find a book that gives me new information. Or at least old information in a way that works.

This book manages to do both things well for me. While not the most comprehensive guide to writing it still has useful information geared not just to creative writers but writers of other media. Another thing it does that I think it is in its favor is the summery notes at the end of the chapter.

There is also a whole collection of the summary notes near the end of the book. At first I thought that slightly foolish given that people could just go right to that part and read all the notes. Then I remembered that an actually invested writer wouldn't do that and that to do that would only hurt the reader besides that.

To see the whole review and rating please check me out at Musekicker's Reading Place.