• Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    I’ll be honest, I started out not really feeling this book. I picked it up on a whim after one too many times seeing it in the bookstore and reading one too many internet reviews just raving about how good it was, but I wasn’t super excited about it. The description on the back cover of the main character, Celaena, sounded just a bit too… ugh. As described in the blurb, she sounded just a bit too much like some of the cringy Mary Sues that had dominated my middle school attempts at writing fantasy. Always blonde, always perfect, always a super-duper badass warrior and super tough, but still absolutely…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Magpie Reviews: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

    This book… Well… I guess I don’t know precisely how to start this? Because this book is controversial. I read it specifically because I’ve been seeing controversy pop up all over the place and I’m a sucker for a good debate like that. And I don’t really know how to approach this review, because to be honest? After reading it, I don’t really have much to say. There’s no denying that it deals with some super important things, and there’s no denying that these things are things that we as a society NEED to have open, honest conversations about. But in the end I felt kind of meh about the…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Lirael by Garth Nix

    I’ve got to be honest here – this one was a bit of a slog. After how much I enjoyed Sabriel, how compelled I was to keep reading and finish to see what happened, Lirael was a bit of a let down. It’s almost as if Nix sort of saw the failings of Sabriel (lack of solid character development before the plot goes racing off) and then overcorrected in the next book, because in Lirael there’s almost too much. We spend sooooo much time just kind of sitting with the characters before any serious motion begins to kick in with the plot that it gets tedious at points. And that…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

    So I finally got around to starting Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. Sure took me long enough. I’ve been pushed and prodded by so many people on these over the years, and after seeing them come up once again a few months ago after the publication of his latest book Clariel, I’ve finally gotten off my ass and started with Sabriel. Overall, I’ve enjoyed the ride thus far. I must admit that at first it was a little slow going. It took me a little longer than usual to get the hang of the world – the Old Kingdom, the Wall, the Charter, charter symbols, charter magic vs. free magic… I…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

    Before we left for Disney, I went into a little bit of a book panic. I was looking to figure out what I’d bring with me for the trip and realized I had absolutely nothing that wasn’t heavy and/or (mostly and) depressing. I have a VERY large book collection that is TBR, but it’s full of topics like the Holocaust, Japanese WWII POWs, Death and the Civil War, and various other horrible, heavy, awful things. Because that’s the kind of history I’m drawn to. Take that for what you will. Anyway, the point is – none of it is kid-friendly, nor does it seem like appropriate reading for a week…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Dragon Age: Last Flight by Laine Merciel

    Dragon Age: Last Flight is yet another book set in the world of the Dragon Age video games. Using a nested narrative, it provides an engaging look into the history of Thedas without becoming too much like reading a giant codex. I will start right off the bat by saying that this is, hands down, the best of the Dragon Age novels that I’ve read so far. I’ve read both The Calling and Asunder, and Last Flight comes in as most entertaining and engaging, by far. It is also, strangely enough, the only one that was not written by a member of the Dragon Age writing team. Now it’s hard…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Dragon Age: Asunder by David Gaider

    So I finished this book earlier last year, but never got around to posting about it. Asunder is a book from the Dragon Age universe – a video game world which, if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ve probably learned that I have have an unhealthy love for. I love the setting, I love the characters, I love the stories (mostly) and I even love the flaws because of the discourse it creates. And Asunder, like The Calling before it, is a nice little romp through a world I love. It serves as an origin story for the character of Cole from Dragon Age: Inquisition, and…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Attack on Titan: Lost Girls

    Attack on Titan: Lost Girls is an English Language translation of the Japanese Light Novel of the same title. Those of you who have been around for a while know that I really enjoyed AoT as an anime series, and since watching I’ve been keeping up with the Manga pretty consistently. The story is just so well crafted and suspense laden! But anyway, Jim picked this up for me as part of my Christmas present, and I sped through it pretty quickly over the course of Christmas eve and Christmas day. Being a light novel, it’s a rather quick read – I think it took me maybe two and a…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

    Can I just tell you how much I love Mary Roach? Because I love Mary Roach. I bought her newest book Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War a few months back as a father’s day present for my dad. My dad an I share a common interest in military history, and this seemed like it would be right up his alley as well – seeing as how he is also a scientist. I’ve read a few of Roach’s books in the past (Stiff was particularly fascinating), and I knew I too would love this book. My original intent was to wait until it came out in paperback to…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

    You know, it’s about time I read this. I have seen the series a bunch of times (I’ve rewatched it more than once since my last big rewatch as a historian, which you can read about here), I’ve at this point read several of the guys’ autobiographies, with more of them on my TBR list – but I never actually bothered reading the source material. I went in kind of expecting the worst to be honest. I’ve read a number of online reviews of the book that hammer hard on the fact that Ambrose didn’t really seem to use much reference material beyond the company memory books, newsletters, and interviews,…