Saturday, October 29, 2016

Binary Storm | Christopher Hinz

*Image and book provided via NetGalley for an honest review.


100 years prior to the events in this book, Nick submitted himself for cryogenic freezing in the hopes of at least helping science learn from its mistakes if not actually being woken up in a more hopeful future. It turns out, the future isn't as bright as he'd hoped. There are constant bio-terrorist attacks wiping out hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives. There are also creatures called Binaries, entities that exist in two bodies and have superhuman speed, strength and intelligence. They consider themselves above the human race and are working towards destroying or enslaving the lesser creatures.


I was nervous about picking up this book as it is the prequel to an entire series. I was assured, however, that the book stands on it own and does not require you to have read any of the other books. For the most part, this is true.

Hinz does an incredible job of building the world and quickly establishing its problems through action rather than exposition. Yes, some of the disasters were news reports, but Annabel directly interacted with Doomers and Nick had to be saved from gangs in the sec region. The character development was also evidenced through actions and conversations, though could, at times, seem to jump with the time skips in the chapters. This is, genuinely, a good book that appeals to my love of sci-fi, intelligent characters and puns. Hinz was even able to give me a couple moments of genuine I-did-not-see-that-coming moments, that were not caused by plot holes but, rather, good writing. 

The one downside to this book is that I haven't read the rest of the series. There were several moments in this book where I thought "if I'd read the series, this [moment/name] would be more profound." There were a number of names, especially towards the end, that I felt would have impacted me more if I'd read even one of Hinz' previous books. Instead, I ended up finishing the book feeling like I was missing out on something. 

If you're a fan of the series, this is a great book for you. If you're interested in the series, I recommend you start with one of the original books. This was a good read, with a good story, but it's best if you know the series' history.3.5 hoots!


                Hoot! Hoo

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dewey Read-A-Thon | 5 AM Update

Okay, I only gotta stay up reading for 3 more hours. I'm getting a lot of support from other readers on Twitter (seriously gotta love the reading community). I'm not sure what to say for an update so I'm going to give you my page counts. 

Keep in mind, I don't count one comic strip as one page so I will give you the number of strips read and then the converted page count for the three web comics I've been reading.

Romantically Apocalyptic - 268 strips (134 pages)
Yosh! - 777 strips (259 pages)
The Devil's Panties - 3,332 strips (833 pages)

I'll admit, part of me is tempted to cut back the count on The Devil's Panties because the majority of the strips are one line or less so maybe I should divide by 8 instead of 4, but I'll make that call AFTER I've gotten a fair amount of sleep. Let me know what you think.

In the meantime:

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Dewey Readathon Mini-Challenge: All-You-Can-Eat!


Hello everyone! Happy Readathon!!!!! It's 3 AM and if I know my stomach, it's time to eat! I try to be careful of what I eat during the Readathon because I don't want my stomach to get sick nor do I want to risk a sugar crash. Plus, not all foods mix with books, as many of us know. Still, we need to read and we need to eat so it got me thinking: if I had a bookish restaurant, specifically an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, what foods would I use?

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For me, personally, I'd want to make sure I included a Hobbit style feast, drink selections from Pern, the pure sugar sculpture desserts from Elvenbane. I'd also want a "garden" section for the food trees from Xanth that can grow whole pies, cakes, and dragons steaks! Of course, you gotta have something for the picky eaters: Gorgers from School of Deaths (Gorgers take the flavor and texture of whatever food you think about right before you bite into it).

Of course, that's just me. What kind of food would you offer at your All-You-Can-Eat Buffet? The most diverse and creative assortment of food will win a $15 Amazon or B&N gift card! Please be sure to leave me a way to get a hold of you, though. Even a Twitter handle will work.

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I'm gonna let this mini-challenge run for the next 3 hours. And remember, if you're somewhere that allows you 24-hour delivery, don't take it for granted. Some of us have to walk to the 7-11 if we want 3 AM food!

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Dewey Read-A-Thopn | 2 AM Update

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Only 6 hours left to go and I'm still feeling pretty strong! I'm actually kinda surprised at how awake I still feel. I'm going to be taking some pre-emptive measures and take a shower to wake up and maybe do some more reading while on the exercise bike. I gotta make sure I keep moving and I keep hydrated. 

I'm still plugging away at Yosh! and The Devil's Panties. Dang if they ain't worth spending 20 hours reading them. ^_^

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dewey Read-A-Thon | 11 PM Update

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Holy Wah! 11 PM! I'm kinda coming down from the hyperactive period I had earlier. Many thanks to Memory Scarlet for a fun, all caps conversation ^_^ 

I gotta admit, I'm starting to get a touch tired, but nothing that I can't survive. I'm still working on Yosh! and The Devil's Panties. I don't think I'll be able to read any other comics I had hoped to get to today. But, such is the nature of the Read-A-Thon. You don't know what you'll actually be able to get through until it's all done.

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Dewey Read-A-Thon | 8 PM Update

Had a nice little food break. Cuddled up with Fluxxdog on the couch and "watched" Deadpool while reading more of The Devil's Panties archive. I've got less than 10 years of comic strips left to go for it!!! This archive seems to go on forever but it's so much fun! I have so much love for this comic and not just because I can relate to her on so many levels! 

I'm getting back to the Yosh! Saga archive as well. I've been a TwoKinds fan for a few years now so it's kinda fun to see the "guest posts" Tom's done for Yosh! and comics Philp's done for TwoKinds.

I'm gonna do a little bit of cheering and possibly some moving around. I've got a "second wind" going because we've reached the point where we have to stay awake fewer hours than we've been awake!

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Dewey Read-A-Thon | 5 PM Update

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Okay, I've reached the point where I need to start wearing my reading glasses whenever I read from my phone. I've been using my phone for reading because I can use that while using the exercise bike in my living room. I've spent more time on that bike today than I have in the past year or so. Who knew the Read-A-Thon could help with your health?

I'm still working my way through both Yosh! Saga and The Devil's Panties. I'll probably be working on the latter throughout the rest of the night, if not longer. But I wanted to read through more than one archive tonight. 

Hubby should be ordering pizza soon. If not, I'll make him order it soon. ^_^

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Dewey Read-A-Thon | 2 PM Update

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Hello again, everyone! Hope you're having a fun time! I just finished up the Romantically Apocalyptic archive. I'm tempted to subscribe to it for future comics because it is so very beautiful. The use of color is magnificent. But, at the same time, it's kinda difficult to keep up with everything in the story because there's so much going on and it's so insane. 

Anyways, I'm going to walk around for a little bit, do some more cheering. I haven't participated in many of the mini-challenges this time around, but that's okay. I'm genuinely enjoying the reading. I've gotten the hang (kinda) of reading web comics while doing other things. Thankfully I know I won't run out of reading material because The Devil's Panties has so much content. 

After I get back from my break, I'll be starting on Yosh! Saga, which also has a fair amount of content. Wish me luck! 

Dewey's Read-A-Thon | 11 AM Update

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Hello and Happy Read-A-Thon!!!!!

Just starting hour 3 here and taking a break. I've read the first 800 or so strips from the web comic The Devil's Panties and am still only in the early 2000's section of the archive! It's a lot of fun to read but, I may need to switch to another web comic soon if I want to read any others in the next 20 hours. 

If I do switch to another web comic it'll probably be Romantically Apocalyptic. The one I had intended to start today off with. But, like all Read-A-Thons my morning did not go as planned. I woke up a couple hours early. I ended up having to cook breakfast at the last minute. Things like that. But I am reading and that is all that matters. 

Hope you're having a fun Read-A-Thon!!!!

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Dewey's Readathon Opening Meme

FYI (1)

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Same place as always, lovely Michigan. Seriously, Michigan in the fall is so beautiful. ^_^

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

The Devil's Panties. I'm reading web comics this time around and my husband's already shared several of these comic strips with me. 

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Belvita snack bars mixed into yogurt. 

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I've worn the same shirt for the past 3-4 Read-A-Thons. 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Today, instead of reading books, I'm reading web comics. All day at the computer screen. I'll have to remember to take breaks. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Dewey Read-A-Thon Plan

It's that time again!!!!! Time to start prepping for October Read-A-Thon! I've already requested time off from work the following Monday to make sure I recover my sleep because I am planning on staying up the FULL 24 hours. I still regret not being able to stay awake last time, even if I was recovering from serious health issues. Stupid fragile body. 

Anyways, I need a plan of attack. True to form, I still intend on waking up at 7 AM to give myself an hour to prepare. Technically I'll be preparing the day before, baking snacks and shopping for energy drinks to stock up on for the day. However, first thing in the morning, I'm planning on eating a good breakfast and prepping my blog for the Opening Questions. 

Breakfast Buffet Sugar Rush! by PixelKitties

This Read-A-Thon, I'm not going to read books. Shocking, I know. The thing is, my husband reads a lot of web comics that I've wanted to get into, and I've had several others recommended to me. But I know I'd have to start from the very beginning of each of them in order to understand what's going on. Problem is, many of these comics have been running for years! If I were to get started on them, I'd need to dedicate huge chunks of time to reading them. So, why not during the Read-A-Thon?

Futurama Posters by Barry Doyon, via Behance:

Of course, there is also the problem of page counting. I keep track of the number of pages I read and I'm not counting one quick, four-panel comic strip as a page. At the same time, however, there are some comics whose content is dense enough, I'd feel comfortable counting one page as a page. So, what I'm going to do is count my pages, based on the comic. I've listed my reading list below and, in parentheses, is how I'm going to count them. If you think a comic deserves different treatment, please let me know. I'm open to discussion on this.

Reading List:
Yosh Saga (3 = 1 page)
Grrl Power (1 = 1 page provided I read the footnotes as well)
Girl Genius (1 = 1 page)
The Devil's Panties (4 = 1 page)
Dr. McNinja (2 = 1 page) - I understand this one will be ending soon, so may as well read it all.

Now, I know that there's no guarantee I'll get through all of these. There's also no guarantee that it'll take me 24 hours to read all of them. I will be at least trying to do a fair amount of cheering each hour, plus I've got a couple of favorite web comics that I've been meaning to re-read for a while and my husband always has more comics to recommend if I need more to read. If I run out of time to read what's on my list, hopefully I'll at least have made some good progress. 

So, what are your plans for the Read-A-Thon? Do you agree with my page count scheme? Do you have any web comic recommendations? Please let me know in the comments! 

In the meantime, Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Shackled Scribes | Lars Teeney

*This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Author's Summary:

"The Broxanians have been enslaved by the Olgoikhorkian Masters to exploit the Broxanian talent for rune-scribing. In exchange, the rune-scribes are compensated with the sweet, golden liquid, Ichor, that the giant worm-like Olgoikhorkians secrete from their glands. The Ichor also happens to be highly addictive and psychoactive. The system has worked for millennia. However, the Great Fern Jungle that surrounds Futharkia is dying, being bleached white by some unseen force."


This ain't a book for everyone. The description doesn't quite do justice to the scenes where the Ichor is harvested or given, nor the Broxanian reaction to said Ichor. It's not quite graphic, but the imagery is there. If you were grossed out by the episode of Futurama with the Slurm factory, you won't like this.

That being said, this was an, overall, entertaining read. It was certainly fast paced and the world piqued my interest enough that I wish there had been more information. I'd love to actually see some of the rune designs that the main characters, Tialina and Cyesko,  come up with. For all the "ick" factor that parts of the book contains, there are also some pretty scenes. The natural beauty of the Fern Lice village, Tialina's feathers and the runes. That cover image does not do the descriptions justice.

Because the story is so fast-paced, I'm glad it only focuses on three characters, Tialina, Cyesko and Chingus; the good, the bad and the ugly. Despite their differences, each of their stories is about their personal quest to rise among the ranks. Of course, this doesn't mean that you'll like them or be willing to justify their actions, but it's an interesting parallel, nonetheless.

I do recommend that Teeney go through the book again with a proofreader's eye. There were some notable errors that kept pushing me out of the story.

Other than that, this was an enjoyable read. Not entirely my cup of tea, but definitely entertaining. 3.5 hoots!


                Hoot! Hoo

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals | Animal Planet & Charles Gingha

*Image and book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Animal Planet explores a plethora of animals that we humans would consider strange, unusual, gross or cool. There are snippets of information about various species and full pictures of some of the stranger ones.


Yes, this is a kids' book. No, I don't care. The format reminded me of the magazines I used to read in waiting rooms, but with much better pictures. This book would be a delight to read with your kids or to give to a kid who wonders what's so great about science. Gross animals are so interesting and easily capture the imagination. The funniest part, for me, was looking at some animals and thinking "so that's where Pokemon got the idea" and I've never been a Pokemon fan. 

If you're looking for a book to entertain your kids and you're okay with kinda large pictures of kinda large arachnids, bugs, creatures from the depths of the oceans, etc. I think you'll enjoy this book. It's a great way to introduce young readers to creatures than excite imaginations. To show them that strangeness, grossness, and coolness and be completely natural occurrences, and completely subjective to human standards. It's also a good book to introduce kids to the concepts of conservation. Many animals in this book are on, or close to being on, the endangered species list. 

Overall, I give this book 3.5 hoots. Not a book really for me, but definitely one I'd give to some young readers that I know or that I would pick up for my kids. 


                Hoot! Hoo