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Life, Law & Libros

5 Sci-fi Shows Invictus is Like and Why I Loved It

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Invictus has gotten a lot of hype, which usually doesn't end well for me. This time, I am thrilled to report the hype did not lie. Ryan Graudin has done an amazing job, and this is one of my new favorite time-travel adventures.


This eARC was provided through NetGalley for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Series: n/a
Genres: YA, Sci-fi
Published on September 26, 2017
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Final Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis:
Time flies when you're plundering history.


Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

5 SCI-FI SHOWS INVICTUS IS LIKE

Burn Notice - The Adventures that Await When the Government Kicks You Out

Farway is all set to follow in his mom's footsteps and begin an illustrious career as a glorified camcorder. Burn Notice technically isn't sci-fi, but like burned spy Michael Weston, Far has to make some new plans when the government gives him the boot. The good news for readers: his new game plan is much more exciting than the old.

Firefly - The Team

Far and his crew reminded me a lot of the Firefly team. You have these super different personalities and approaches all operating together in one small ship. But even though the crew's vibe reminded me of Firefly, it's a completely different crew, not Firefly knockoffs. The characters are all pretty well fleshed out. I wish I had gotten a better sense of one crew member sooner, but I was ultimately satisfied with her portrayal. Also, there is an awesome red panda. I want one.

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August 2017 Wrap-Up: Fire, Dating Fails and Time Travel

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A monthly recap of books I've read, posts I've written, things of interest 
from the blogosphere, and life.

August went by really fast. It feels like it shouldn't be September yet, but it is. :P

August Reads:


The Piper's Price - This is the second book in a Peter Pan inspired series. Unfortunately, it had all the problems of the first and then some. The author very kindly sent me a copy for review, so I'm sad I didn't enjoy it more.

Breath of Fire - This was disappointing. Despite several issues, I enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Promise of Fire. This time around . . . I was super bored. There's no plot (except a really stupid miscommunication) for the first quarter of the book. For the rest, where the first book had tension and mystery and danger on all sides all the time, it feels like all of that is gone now--even when there is danger. Just, bluh.

The Last Single Girl - I grabbed this novella for free, but I'm majorly tempted to continue the series. It was short and all kinds of silly. Sarah is the last single girl in her friend group and desperate to ditch the title. What follows is a journey into the online dating world and one disastrous blind date after another. I've been craving more humor lately, and this was full of it.

Invictus - Full review to come soon, but it's awesome. Like, 4 stars from me awesome.

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My Favorite Hidden Gems

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This week's Top 10 Tuesday topic is all about the "hidden gems" we've read. I'm never sure whether my gems are really "hidden," or just not at the front of a mega hype machine, but whatever. These books could always use more love. :)

My Favorite Hidden Gems



Everyone's heard of these authors, but these two gems seem to get lost in the shuffle, hidden behind the more well-known titles like Redwall and Howl's Moving Castle. Castaways is brilliant and has a talking dog, and Enchanted Glass has a family just as crazy, zany and magical as Howl's.

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Why I Love My OTSP Secret Sister Already

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It's my first round of #OTSPsecretsister, and I'm having so much fun already! It's also kind of funny/ironic to think that I'm in my twenties and doing something as old school as pen pals and having a blast. Granted, my handwriting is really out of practice and I've considered typing everything to save us all a few headaches/hand aches, but the illegibility is part of the charm, right? ;)

For those who don't know, the "On the Same Page Secret Sister" project is a 6-month cheer club with monthly letters and gifts sent by a "secret sister." The emphasis is on the cheer and letters, but the gifts are a nice bonus. So, long-term Secret Santa. It's hosted and run by the amazing Alyssa (@withthebanned), Amy(@trippingbooks), and Brittany (@bookaddictguide)! Words are not enough thanks for all the hard work they do running this project and assigning sisters.

I LOVED my first letter and cheer package! My secret sister is super sweet and thoughtful, and we've already chatted about everything from Jane Austen movies to Disney to Marvel to our lacking Spanish skills, lol.


Can I just say, isn't this a perfect start-of-semester cheer box? A fun middle grade book, coloring sheets, chocolate, protein, relaxation, and Disney villains!

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July 2017 Wrap-Up: Detectives, Healers and Spies

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A monthly recap of books I've read, posts I've written, things of interest
from the blogosphere, and life.


I'm a little late on this one, but the start of August has been a whirlwind of buying textbooks (complete with wrong orders), finishing the internship, law journal work, etc., etc. Finally catching a little breather, so let's catch up!

July Reads:


Lock & Mori - A young, modern day Moriarty and Sherlock team up to catch a killer. The mystery element was decent, but I didn't love these detectives as much as I'd hoped. I'm not entirely sure why except that the story left me feeling a bit...depressed? I'm not sure whether I'll continue this series.

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Beauty & the Beast Retellings for Fairy Tale Lovers

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I wanted to give my bookshelves and backlist a little attention, and I love fairy tale retellings, so why not combine the two to form the MEGAZORD? Or, when that doesn't work, a blog post about Beauty and the Beast retellings I've read. ;)



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Book Tag from Down Under

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Thanks to Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight for letting me steal this tag! I've never been to Australia (someday!), but I thought this looked like a blast. I mean, the first category is "Koala." How can you resist that?



I don't really do cuddles.
image source
Maybe if it were a baby dragon or something?


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How to Make a DIY Book Subscription Box

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How many of us stare and drool at all the beautiful photos of the latest subscription box? Between Fairy Loot, OwlCrate, Uppercase, Once Upon a Book Club, BookLoot, LitJoy Crate, Whimsify, SpearCraft, Book Boyfriend Box, Unicorn Crate, Shelflove Crate, My YA Reading Club, LitCube, HootLoot, and more, they're everywhere. It's all the excitement of opening your Happy Meal toy, but, you know, for teens/adults. ;) And they're so pretty!

But, they're pricey. Most of these boxes are around $30 plus shipping. Yikes! Between those numbers and my general pickiness with books, I probably won't be getting one of these preciouses unless I win a giveaway or something.

BUT, that doesn't mean I can't hack the anatomy of these boxes and make cheaper versions for myself and others. I just signed up for #OTSPsecretsister for the first time and, while my budget won't afford big productions, I'm looking forward to being creative and putting together some cheer-filled packages and letters! :)

Without further ado . . .

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June 2017 Wrap-Up

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A monthly recap of books I've read, posts I've written, things of interest from the blogosphere, and life.

June Reads:


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Cinderella Retellings for Fairy Tale Lovers

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I wanted to give my bookshelves and backlist a little attention, and I love fairy tale retellings, so why not combine the two to form Captain Planet? Or, when that doesn't work, a blog post about Cinderella retellings I've read. ;)



Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Cinderella meets cyberpunk, aliens (kind of), plagues, and a quest to save the world.

What Is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore - Cinderella in a fantasy Venice where everyone (literally) wears a mask and a killer is on the loose.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine - This Cinderella has a good excuse for being so obedient: she's cursed! But that doesn't stop her from taking matters into her own hands.

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Series I'm Loving in 2017

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This week's Top 10 Tuesday topic is "best books you've read in 2017 so far." I've read 24 books this year. About half of those were not great. A number of the good ones are from series, so today we'll talk about . . .

Series I'm Loving in 2017



The Others by Anne Bishop - I didn't realize I was reading the last book until the very end, but it closed out nicely. I'm really sad to leave these guys behind. I could totally read another five books just about daily life in the Courtyard. It's been a great series (which I'll likely reread many times), and even though this story is done, the author has a new book set in this world out next spring. I don't know if it'll be an auto-buy like these were, but I'm definitely checking it out.

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Series I've Been Meaning to Start

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

We all have a TBR list a mile long. I don't stick with a ton of series, but I'm always adding new ones to my list. Here are a few I added . . . uh, "recently." ;)



Ashes trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick - Honestly, this has been on the list so long I've forgotten what it's about. I read another book by this author and wasn't thrilled, but apparently I liked the idea enough to keep this title in the running.

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty - I have high hopes of reading this soon. I forget why I didn't before. The library didn't have it? Anyway, it's "Summer of Deception" on Riveted right now, and I think/hope this will make an appearance.

Silver Blackthorn trilogy by Kerry Wilkinson - I have a vague memory of this being something British? Yeah, that'll do.



Glass Sentence trilogy by S.E. Grove - Something about continents locked in different time periods? I picked up the second book at a bargain outlet and now need to get hold of the first.

Serafina series by Robert Beatty - I just picked this up at the library and hope to start it this week!

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The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber (2 stars)

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More like 2.5 stars. There are some really strong points and great ideas, but other things didn't work as well for me personally.

This eARC was provided through NetGalley for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber
Series: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1
Genres: YA, Sci-fi
Published on June 6, 2017
Published by Thomas Nelson
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

Review:
I love a lot of the ideas woven throughout The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, and I'm a sci-fi movie geek, so yay for aliens and space and strange tech! The plot structure and pacing weren't my favorite, but some of that is due to personal preference.

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