July 26, 2022

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Do You Prefer Movies or TV Series?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings in order to discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging (and some slightly more personal matters throw in for good measure). After Heidi stopped blogging (apparently for good), five of us took over as hosts while providing new questions. The current team is composed of Berls at Because Reading Is Better Than Real LifeJen at That's What I'm Talking AboutKaren at For What It's WorthLinda at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell and Roberta at Offbeat YA. This week's question is...

DO YOU PREFER MOVIES OR TV SERIES?

I don't like movies. I've seen a very small number of them in 55 years, most of which only because someone asked me to accompany them to the cinema and I obliged. As a rule, they leave me cold. I can't commit to a story that starts and ends in the space of a couple of hours at best (then again, if forced to watch something without a break for that length of time, I would fidget...unless it's a Law & Order marathon 😂) And though I'm very much a sci-fi gal, so that one might think I would be willing to make an exception for movies in that genre, that's not the case - I don't even like the over-the-top special effects that come with some of them.

Now, TV series are my jam. I love to be able to explore a world and get attached to its characters. I love to be able to return to them and follow them for years. I love that the single episodes are short, but I can commit to them as a unit. I'd rather rewatch an installment in a series that I know by heart than watch a movie that I've never seen...🤷‍♀️

July 21, 2022

Seanan McGuire: "Seasonal Fears"

Title: Seasonal Fears [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: Alchemical Journeys (2nd of 4 books)
Author: Seanan McGuire [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Supernatural
Year: 2022
Age: 16+ (the characters are in the teen age range, but the series as a whole is geared to mature teens/adults for content and complexity)
Stars: 3.5/5
Pros: Fascinating concept (with a twist). Rich mythology. Characters you can root for.
Cons: Far too much exposition (counterintuitively though, the magic system takes a while to sink in). Some anticlimactic moments. A continuity error.
WARNING! Blood and gore. Violence. Suicide idealisation.
Will appeal to: Those who love a (bloody) twist on the soul-mates trope. 

Blurb: The king of winter and the queen of summer are dead. The fight for their crowns begins!
Melanie has a destiny, though it isn’t the one everyone assumes it to be. She’s delicate; she’s fragile; she’s dying. Now, truly, is the winter of her soul.
Harry doesn’t want to believe in destiny, because that means accepting the loss of the one person who gives his life meaning, who brings summer to his world. So, when a new road is laid out in front of them - a road that will lead through untold dangers toward a possible lifetime together - walking down it seems to be the only option.
But others are following behind, with violence in their hearts.
It looks like Destiny has a plan for them, after all… (Amazon)

Review: As much as I loved Middlegame, this sidequel (not a real sequel, just a story set in the same universe, though it follows the events recounted in the first book and brings us up to speed with its protagonists) missed the mark for me somehow. I would still have rated it 4 stars, if not for a continuity error - more of that below. Brace for the long-ass review...
(P.S.: don't you love it when a book cover finally matches your blog aesthetic? 😅 OK, it's my second McGuire that does that, the first being Dying with Her Cheer Pants On...).

MELTING POT

Seasonal Fears apparently leaves the alchemical world of Middlegame behind in order to embrace a classic supernatural/urban fantasy premise: while in the first book entities like Language and Math got alchemically embodied in artificially assembled hosts (in order for the alchemist to attain world domination...but it turned out that the hosts had different plans), in this case the seasons - namely, Winter and Summer, the most powerful ones - become manifest as well, but naturally, and by inhabiting human vessels. The trick is, every time the Winter and Summer crowns get to change hands, there are multiple viable candidates, who have to engage in a deadly competition (to be precise, they're already dead at that point - only animated by the tendril of their season that lives inside every one of them - and if they fail to secure the crown, their connection to it is severed, causing them to wither and die for good). Now, you might ask, how does this book belong in a series called Alchemical Journeys? THAT I won't tell you, because it's one of the reveals (though it comes pretty early in the story), but rest assured, it does. Leave it to McGuire to build a world where (pseudo)science and magic meet and thrive, providing a twist on familiar tropes and ultimately spinning a (mainly) original tale. [...]

July 15, 2022

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #33 Alan White, S.A. Barnes, Nova Ren Suma


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL (though for anthologies, shorter books or books that I didn't enjoy/I don't have enough to say about, I decided to stick to minis). But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, I might as well give you the short version 😉. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

July 10, 2022

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #32 James Aquilone et al., Joshua Palmatier et al., Steven L. Peck


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL (though for anthologies, shorter books or books that I didn't enjoy/I don't have enough to say about, I decided to stick to minis). But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, I might as well give you the short version 😉. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

July 03, 2022

Offbeat Offline: June 2022 (Baby, I'm Back)


Welcome to Offbeat Offline, where I bring you up-to-date with what went on in my life during the month just gone, give you a sneak peek of my next shenanigans, and share my favourite posts of late!

What happened last month to yours truly (either than a blog hiatus)? Intolerable heat, laser therapy conundrums, job search despair, hairdresser hunting. On the plus side, I rested...or tried to - you know I'm a caregiver and the house is on me, but at least I didn't scramble to produce posts (though I wrote a few mini reviews and drafted a full one) or comments (though I made notes of your posts for my Tooting Your Trumpet series and kept abreast of your tweets), and I read a lot...10 books to be precise (plus I started one but DNF it). Here's the rundown of my past month...