Happily drowning in books

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” -Logan Pearsall Smith

Review: Star Wars Jedi Apprentice: The Uncertain Path

Title: Star Wars Jedi Apprentice: The Uncertain Path

Author: Jude Watson

Rating: twostars

uncertainpath

Part of being a Jedi was recognizing that one’s own wisdom had limits.

In this direct follow up to the previous book, The Defenders of the Dead, Obi-Wan has broken free of Qui-Gon’s tutelage and is living his new life with the rest of the Young trying to reinforce their newly won peace. Meanwhile, back on Coruscant, Qui-Gon is devastated over the loss of his padawan but soon gets caught up in the mystery of thievery in the Jedi Temple and along with the other Masters, works hard to try and determine the culprit.

Since the issue between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan spilled over into this book as well, my aggravation unfortunately continued. *laughs* Especially since multiple characters (including Yoda!) gave Qui-Gon a bunch of crap for leaving Obi-Wan behind, as if it were Qui-Gon’s fault that Obi-Wan was being a prat. Um, hello? The master can only do so much for the padawan. If he makes the decision and decides to break away from being a Jedi, aside from talking it out, there isn’t too much more that can be done. And I’m sorry, I recently got done reading books about Jedi training and conduct within the Jedi lifestyle and I feel the other masters (yes, Yoda too) were being way too lenient with Obi-Wan in this book. Well, boys will be boys and all that, was basically their stance on this. Um, no. Not when you’re a Jedi. They are held to higher standards and need to behave in that manner too. I mean I’m all for breaking the rules once in a while (Everyone loves a rebel, right?) but Obi-Wan literally QUIT being a Jedi. Turned in his lightsaber and everything. *huffs* I feel like poor Qui-Gon is the only one with any sense in this book! Sheesh. Other than this issue I really have been enjoying this series, which is why I am going to keep going forward with it. I just hope this crap is resolved soon. :/

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Review: Panic

Title: Panic

Author: Lauren Oliver

Rating: fivestars

panic

Bravery was in moving forward, no matter what. She knew, now, that there was always light-beyond the dark, and the fear, out of the depths; there was sun to reach for, and air and space and freedom.

The game of Panic has taken place in the town of Cade, NY for as long as anyone could remember. Any and every senior could participate, the events starting out exhilarating yet benign and increasing in adrenaline and danger as the summer wears on. Heather isn’t sure exactly why she decided to play. It may have partially been because of the huge pot of money that the winner gets. It may have even partially been because her best friend Nat joined as well. It may have even partially been to get back at her boyfriend for dumping her. But most likely is was because Heather realized there was a strength in herself that she never realized was there. A strength that is starting to shine through…especially when the game reaches the most dangerous level possible.

This book has been receiving varying degrees of feelings towards it, which surprised me at first because usually everything written by Lauren Oliver is a smash hit. But after completing the book…I can understand how some people could feel a little underwhelmed about it. I am a huge fan of Lauren Oliver, and love every single book she’s written, but this book was completely unlike anything I have read from her before. It was a bit darker and grittier in terms of the characters. There were quite a few moments while reading that I did not like any of the main protagonists. At times they were mean, shallow, vindictive…but for some reason I found myself completely engrossed in the story and couldn’t put it down. I realized when I reached the end and I was crying because I didn’t want it to end, I didn’t want to part ways with these characters who, even though they weren’t always likable, they were very believable and felt so real to me. And the writing was, of course, amazing and intense and just all around wonderful. I loved this book so damn much.

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Review: Star Wars Jedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead

Title: Star Wars Jedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead

Author: Jude Watson

Rating: twostars

defendersofthedead

“Our mission here hasn’t even begun, and already I have seen enough suffering to last a lifetime.” Qui-Gon’s gaze was sad. “There are some worlds that manage to hold onto peace for centuries, Padawan. But I am afraid that many have seen terrible wars that scar the memories of each generation. It has always been.”

 

Following the format of the previous books, this one begins right where the last one left off, after the Gala incident. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are now ordered to the planet of Melida/Daan, where they are to rescue the Jedi Knight Tahl, who is being held hostage by one of the warring factions of the planet. Peace is a non-existent concept to the people of Melida/Daan, who have been fighting each other for centuries. But now a third party has surfaced, the children of all the warriors, who want both sides to stop the fighting and to focus on peace. Despite the fact that the Jedi are not supposed to get involved in the actual conflict, Obi-Wan feels the overwhelming need to join the teenagers in their quest for peace.

What is this horseshit that I just read?!?! This book….*sighs* I can’t lie, this book absolutely pissed me off to no end. The storyline was good, very emotional and intense, but the way the two main characters were depicted was really just awful. This may or not be biased on my part, because I happen to love Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and can sometimes be a bit sensitive regarding the way they are portrayed. :/ I don’t want to divulge too much, because if you are interested in reading this book I would hate to spoil it. But to put it very vaguely, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon vehemently disagree about an issue, and Obi-Wan basically breaks away from the Jedi Order. Seriously? I know this series is supposed to highlight Obi-Wan’s character and illuminate how he was when he was younger compared to the Jedi we know him as from The Clone Wars and later, but this is such a huge difference in personalities that it doesn’t even feel like the same character. The Obi-Wan I know and love would never act as if he didn’t give a fig for the Jedi Order, or absolutely break Qui-Gon’s heart the way he did. And watching Qui-Gon’s pain and feelings of guilt over this change in his padawan made me want to throw things. It was just too sad for me to handle. Ridiculous. I understand that people change over time, especially from when they are young, but come on. This is just too much for me to swallow and made the entire thing seem very unbelievable. If you know me, you know that I very rarely rate a book with one or two stars unless it was just horrendous. Yep. Horrendous. Sums this one up pretty well.

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Review: Star Wars Jedi Apprentice: Mark of the Crown

Title: Star Wars Jedi Apprentice: Mark of the Crown

Author: Jude Watson

Rating: fourstars

markofthecorwn

With every mission, he was more convinced that his Padawan would become extraordinary, even among the Jedi. What he taught would live on. That was legacy enough for him. One corner of Qui-Gon’s mouth shifted in a half smile. “You are sometimes a bit too fond of the rules, Obi-Wan. Things change. A mission is not always clear cut. And sometimes the direct road is not the one to take.”

This book takes place immediately where its predecessor leaves off, with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan heading to Gala to help with the upcoming election. This is the first time a ruler is being elected, rather than being naturally selected by royal descent, and there is much unrest throughout the major cities. It is up to the Jedi to bring about a peaceful election, prevent civil war, and navigate through the royal world of treachery and deceit.

This book was great for a variety of reasons. First of all, it was nice to see this arc which began in the last book, finally wrapped up. As the last one ended, I was very curious as to how the election would go and if the Jedi would in fact be able to make the negotiations peaceful despite all the animosity that was snaking its tendrils around the government and its people. I think that being a diplomat and peacekeeper is such a fascinating aspect of being a Jedi, even more so than being a guardian and fighting in battles, in my opinion. Which is probably why I would be a Consular Jedi. But, I digress. 😛 Another aspect of this story that I really liked was how we got to see the bond between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan grow even stronger. They had to learn to work together, adapt to each others ways of thinking, and ultimately grow more comfortable with each other. It’s fun to watch this develop! And not only that, but there were moments in this book where Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon split up and were acting independently of each other. Despite being separated from his master, Obi-Wan handled the situation superbly and with all the intelligence and integrity that you would expect from a Jedi. You can really see him growing as a character, which is great to see.

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Review: The Runes of the Earth

Title: The Runes of the Earth

Author: Stephen Donaldson

Rating: fourstars

runesoftheearth

“No one makes you what you are. You have to choose.”

“Good cannot be accomplished by evil means.”

It has been ten years since Linden Avery was last in the Land. Ten years since her beloved Thomas Covenant died defending the Land from Lord Foul. Linden has picked up the pieces of her heart and carried on with her life, content with her job as a doctor at a mental hospital and with her adopted son, Jeremiah. But the Land is not quite done with Linden. And when unspeakable evil reaches out its hand and tries to take what she loves, she must find the strength in herself to go back and set things right.

This is the first book in the Thomas Covenant series that doesn’t actually feature Covenant at all. Linden takes center stage as she is transported back to the Land in search for her son. Danger and various perils assault her, as well as the burden of Covenant’s white gold ring and the quest to find the Staff of Law. I liked this book quite a lot, especially when compared to the previous books in the series. This is definitely one fantasy series which seems to get better and better as the story progresses. Linden has come such a long way in terms of her growth as a character, and love her or hate her, you still have to admire her strength of character and everything she has to go through. The beginning hundred pages and the last hundred pages were filled with action and intense emotion, but there were some places in the middle of the book which seemed to drag on and on, unfortunately. The book could have honestly been edited down another 50-100 pages and not lost anything really important. But other than that I don’t have any complaints and thought this book was very enjoyable!

My heart has rooms that sigh with dust
And ashes in the hearth.
They must be cleaned and blown away
By daylights breath.

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Review: Tonight and Always

Title: Tonight and Always

Author: Nora Roberts

Rating: fivestars

tonightandalways

“It’s always interesting to watch a strong person lose control. You’re a very strong woman, and very soft. It’s an arousing combination.”

She felt no regrets. She loved. She knew only that she had found the man she had waited for her whole life. Tomorrows could be dealt with as they came. Tonight she had everything she wanted.

Jordan Taylor is a renowned author who needs help with his latest novel. Hiring anthropologist Kasey to help him on the background of Native American tribes seemed like the perfect solution. Until she became more than just a woman helping him with his book. She worked her way into his life and his heart with sunshine and laughter until there was room for nothing else save their growing love and passion.

Loved this! It is one of her older books, and shorter than most of the others by her that I have read, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of this at all. I loved the character development, and I especially loved Kasey. She was just so full of life and burned so brightly, almost like a star, that you couldn’t help but see why Jordan fell for her so hard. The scenes between them were engrossing and so very steamy!

A very enjoyable read if you enjoy sexy romance stories!

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Review: Star Wars Jedi Apprentice: The Hidden Past

Title: Star Wars Jedi Apprentice: The Hidden Past

Author: Jude Watson

Rating: fourstars

hiddenpast

“If routine you count on, disappointed your hopes will bet. It is better to expect nothing, and let each moment surprise you.”

Nothing is lost where the Force dwells, and the Force is everywhere.

When Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi are hijacked to the planet Phindar during a mission they find themselves caught in the middle of a civil war between the planets inhabitants and the greedy syndicate that controls them they find that not only are their lives at stake, but something far more potent…their memories.

It’s Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s first official mission together since they became Master and padawan! Huzzah! Despite this book being intended for a younger audience I enjoyed it immensely. It was a pretty short read however it was not at all lacking in story or character development. I was really intrigued by the political unrest in Phindar and how the Jedi solved the issues plaguing the natives. And I also really enjoyed watching Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon interact as they learned to trust one another and form a stronger bond.

Love this series so far!

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Review: Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force

Title: Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force

Author: Ryder Windham

Rating: fivestars

jedivssith

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no death, there is the Force.

In this book we travel to the far reaches of the past and learn of the beginnings of two opposing groups of people; the Jedi and the Sith. How they began and why, the key people who made it all happen, their core values and beliefs, these are all things that you will learn should you choose to read this book. It is not an easy or a quick read however. It is laid out almost like a textbook, with a plethora of knowledge and peppered with gorgeous illustrations. Everything you could ever possibly want to know about the Jedi (and Sith) is documented here in this book in great detail. I’ve read in other books about lightsabers and the various forms and styles, and marks of contact, but this book really highlights all this information and much more in so much descriptive detail that you can’t help but be impressed. Yet despite the informative nature of this book, it never once was boring or failed to hold my attention utterly. It really is a perfect blend of knowledge and fun.

I highly recommend this to any fan of Star Wars who wants to increase their understanding of the world in which the story takes place.

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Review: Red Rising

Title: Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown

Rating: fivestars

redrising

“Death isn’t empty like you say it is. Emptiness is life without freedom. Emptiness is living chained by fear, fear of loss, of death. Break the chains of fear and you break the chains that bind us.”

 

I am not going to summarize this book because I just finished it and I am so busy rejoicing in its perfect awesomeness that I would rather talk about THAT than write up a summary. I picked up this book for two reasons. The first one is the plethora of goodreads reviews that rave about its greatness. The second is the stark and simple beauty of the cover that just screams for your attention. Sometimes I am shallow enough to pick up a book because of how gorgeous the cover is, and many times I am rewarded by getting a treasure of a book. This was definitely one of these occasions, because this was without a doubt one of the best books that I have ever read in my entire life.

On the little cover blurb thing, Scott Sigler compares the main character Darrow to Ender and Katniss from Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games, respectively. When I first picked up the book I didn’t really put much stock into that, because I feel like so many books nowadays try to compare everything to The Hunger Games because of its popularity. But after completing it I can definitely see how the characters are similar, and that might contribute to why I enjoyed it so much. See, Darrow is like Ender because Enders Game is about a bunch of mentally unstable young people, and so it this book (albeit the characters in this book are a little older). But Darrow and Katniss are very similar in my opinion due to one simple factor…they are both survivors. No matter what the odds, no matter what it takes, Darrow will survive and come out on top. No matter how bad the situation gets, (and BELIEVE me does it get bad in a lot of moments) he does everything in his power to survive. I can’t even begin to describe how much I admire him for this aspect of his personality. I find this quality to be indescribably amazing. Maybe this is just me, but I am a big believer in justice being obtained no matter how you go about it. Darrow does some things in this book that are very questionable. Things get gritty. Things get bloody. But in the end, he is the type of person that you just can’t take down. Not completely. Because no matter what you do to him, or what you take from him-he’s just going to keep coming.

“You are a good man who will have to do bad things. It is the hottest fire that forms the sternest steel.”

The writing style is absolutely fantastic. Even though this is a dystopian setting on a planet other than Earth it is very easy to picture everything that is occurring because of how well it was written. This type of story is the type that has the potential to get bogged down or confusing very easily, but it never did for me. There is so much constantly happening that I didn’t want to put it down. I was about five chapters away from the ending during lunch today and was practically bouncing around in my seat for the rest of the day because all I could think about was going home and finishing it.

I can’t speak highly enough of this book. If you like dystopian stories and/or characters who are completely badass and amazing, please read this book. And then message me so we can fangirl over it together! 😛

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Review: Three Fates

Title: Three Fates

Author: Nora Roberts

Rating: fivestars

threefates

“I spin the thread, but you make it what you will.
I mark the length, but you use the time.
I cut the thread, for nothing should last forever.
Don’t waste what you’re given…”

“We can’t escape fate, but we can do a great deal to carve our own mark in it, to turn it to our advantage, or disadvantage.”

In this mythological romance by Nora Roberts we follow the journey of three small priceless statues as they haphazardly pass through history and certain families lives and shows us that everything is connected, and more importantly, everything happens for a reason. The story begins on the tragic journey of the Lusitania, where a young thief steals one of the statues from a wealthy businessman right before the ship sinks, setting off a chain reaction much like ripples in a pond, that resound throughout future generations.

Usually in the majority of Nora Robert’s books that I have read there is only one romance that takes place within the span of the story. In this one however, there were three! What a great change of pace! I loved getting to know each of the characters and watch them fall in love. And their plans to get all three statues was nothing short of genius! Watching that unfold and seeing justice being done was so awesome and there were a few moments that made me want to stand up and cheer! Everything is connected and the things you do, good or bad, always come back to you no matter what. This is a philosophy that I have always followed and it was really cool to see it being played out in one of my favorite authors books.

“That’s the wonder of living, isn’t it? Never knowing when something or someone’s going to turn you down a different road.”

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