Monthly Archives: July 2014

‘The Fiery Heart’ by Richelle Mead

‘The Fiery Heart’ by Richelle Mead

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Can I just say, I had a bitch of a time trying to hunt this book down. I finished the Indigo Spell at midnight and experienced the most stressful 5 hours of my life not having the next book in the the fiery heartseries (as you can tell by my blog title, I am a slight insomniac). Bookstores just aren’t open in the middle of the night. So at the crack of afternoon when I got up the next day I went on a West End hunt for the Fiery Heart.  Now the only non-second hand bookstore in West End sort of shuns anything non hipster. It may be the only bookstore I’ve ever entered that showcases all the classic and literature at the front and in the windows. In the back corner, crowded and tiny, lies the ‘childrens’ section. They also store the young adult here. I think this is designed to shame as YA readers. I stretched myself into a space a child couldn’t fit through to get to the bottom shelf where a solitary Mead book lay. Of course it was a Vampire Academy book.  So I took my YA ass out of the Indy-only bookstore and made the terrifying journey across the windiest bridge in the world to get to the city where fair Dymocks lay.

tumblr_mjtmt7NM551rjatglo1_500Thankyou Dymocks for not being judgy tosspots and for complimenting my shirt as well as my book choices. Also as fate would have it, they also had Silver Shadows. I totally forgot it was out! What a great day that was for me. Now let me tell you what I thought of the Fiery Heart.

It has been a long time since I’ve held such tumblr_mjtmt7NM551rjatglo2_500a reaction from a book. Those last few chapters took me twice as long to read because I kept having to put it down and collect myself. Collect myself into the foetal position and rock on my living room floor until I felt I could face the difficulties again. If you haven’t read The Fiery Heart, I suggest you stop reading right now before I ruin everything for you.

SPOILER: Zoe is a stupid little brat and I want to punch her in the throat sit her ass down and scream all the profanities in the world at her – known and unknown until she understands what she has done. I could forgive Zoe’s naivety, and her Alchemist obsession, even her desire to get her Dads attention. But turning on your own sister for your success… Oh the betrayal. Oh the stupidity. I don’t care how much this WHORE redeems herself in any future collection – I will not forgive her that.

You may be able to tell I only put this book down five minutes ago. My fingers are just about on angerfire from the speed in which I type out my anger and frustration. I can’t even. Guys. I can’t even. I was making notes on this book throughout the series which I remember thinking, I really want to discuss this, but honestly I’m in such a state that it may take another five minutes for me to calm the fuckery down and list them for you.

I feared that I wouldn’t find a favourite quote in this book to share with you. It was nearly the end when I stumbled on this one. It didn’t make me stop my breath, it made me gasp out loud. I almost shouted to the Boyfriend who was neck deep in important work to come console me. By almost, I mean, I did.

“You have no idea how lucky you are that we’re doing this for you. The darkness has corrupted you so much that I don’t know how long it’ll take to fix. But we will. No matter how long or how difficult, we will undo whatever that Moroi boy has done to you.”

I managed a wavering smile, tasting blood in my mouth.

“You sure about that, Dad? Because he’s done everything to me.”

(p. 397, Jared and Sydney Sage)

Oh god it was such an intense moment. I have been waiting four books long to hear Sydney stand up to her Dad and she pulls this doozy. Hit him where it hurts. Just, so good.

Despite my obvious five star approval I did notice those awkward grammatical flaws that often appear when an author gets this far into the series. Editors are more willing to let things slide once they have a tried and tested author, so they aren’t as meticulous in they’re checking. P. 101 repeated a sentence that had been in the Indigo Spell: “I could probably skip the rest of the semester”, p. 291 confused ‘to’ and ‘too’. It was so ugly and in my face. Much bother. Anyway. Its past time to start the next installation.

 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

images sourced: Tumblr

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Authors who take up more than the allocated space on my bookshelf. So Greedy.

The Top Ten Tuesday from the Broke and the Bookish – top ten authors you own the most books from is more like – once did own. I have a short list of important things in my life that constantly go missing. You must understand, it’s not because I don’t love them. I do. Maybe too much.

With my socks, I love them too much. I wear them too much, and wear them out too much. My sister has a theory that the fluff that builds up in the drier is actually decomposed socks. Likely. I also lose books. Maybe I sleep walk and set them on fire. More likely I give them out, demanding that other people love them like I love them. Maybe they love them too much and never give them back. Anyway. Once upon a time, in a land where I still have all of my books, this is who I own the most from.

1. Emily Rodda

This list is going to be kindof swayed from my childhood. When I only read two to three authors. Ever. When I was knee high to a grasshopper I had an almighty obsession with Deltora Quest – and subsequent Deltora series… And the Rowan of Rin series. When I moved out of home I discovered they made it into an anime series.

2. J.K Rowling

I assume every single other person has this on their list as well. What kind of psychopath doesn’t hpown all the Harry Potter books? What kind of psychopath doesn’t reread them all once every two or three years? Or at least the last one… Oh the feels are all coming back. Fred… nooooo!

3. Christopher Paolini

When I was younger (read: when I was exactly the same age as I am now) I loved dragons. I was a weirdo little twelve year old who collected skulls and dragons and crystal balls. I had a belief I wasn’t meant for this world. I was meant for Alagaesia.  I was meant to ride dragons – despite my crippling fear of falling.

4. Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments was my last obsession. If you look to your right (on a computer), you mayjace even see a picture of myself and two other girls dressing up as shadow hunters. Fun fact – you will not get into night clubs if you have runes on your neck. It scares the bouncers. Fair enough, we looked bad ass.

5. Richelle Mead

This is my most current obsession, So… I’m about to own a lot more of Mead I have a strong feeling. I went all wanky and read Bloodlines before I had read the first series: Vampire Academy. Silly girl. No matter – there was no turning back. I read The Golden Lily and The Indigo Spell in quick succession. I cant quite finish the series because it hasn’t exactly been written yet. But there is something very reassuring knowing I still have Vampire Academy to go (Literally in the post on it’s way to me now).

6. George R.R. Martin

This was one of those – not sleeping for a week and a bit series. I struggled my face off with the fist few chapters and the bazillion (not overestimating) characters and info-dumping. But I got the hang of my new kingdom, and I became Jaime, Sansa, and Tyrion for the next two weeks of my life. Amy was no more.

7. J.R.R. Tolkien

Tell me, do you have to have two middle names both starting with R to become an epic fantasymordor writer? Though I’ll just say it now – the movies were better. Cringe. I know. But it is crazy true. There are just too many songs and poems throughout the novels and I stated noticing weird things. Like this Tom charater who spoke in third person was exactly the same as another Tom character in the Deltora Quest series who also spoke in third person. Eugh. It was just unsettling.

8. Scott Westerfeld

I went through an ‘Uglies’ phase in highschool. There is something about getting a complete beautification surgery at the age of 16 that really appealed to 13 year old me. I read them over and over wanting to just step into that world and be one of those docile Pretties, hoverboarding and drinking champagne. I also owned ‘Midnighters’. Everytime I think of ‘Midnighters’ I feel like de-constructed tacos…

9. Philip Pullman

Fair enough I only have three of his books. But you know what, even some of my favourite authors only have two books! And I am yet to get on this Rainbow’s (is that seriously her name?) band wagon. That is an August job. Actually nooo. No. I have August reading plans… Anyway Phillip Pullman is one such Author.  He didn’t need to prove it to me a million times over.

10. John Marsden

Tomorrow When the War Began may just well be my favourite dystopian series ever. It’s homerAustralian – which for a start is odd. It isn’t fantasy – which for me is odd. And there is 7 + 3 books to the first and second series. So that alone pumps up my authorial ownership. At the present time on my bookshelf, I can only see two of his books…. I should really hunt this shit down.

For the benefit of understanding this gif to it’s full perfection:

Situation: Snake in sleeping bag.

Ellie: shake it!

Homer shakes what his mama gave him.

Ellie: The bag, Beyonce

 

Confession: I actually have about seventy thousand Percy Jackson books on my bookshelf also. But I haven’t read them… and they’re my sisters. I promise I’ll get to them Cassie! One day.

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‘The Indigo Spell’ by Richelle Mead

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I arranged to have the Indigo Spell a foot away from me when I finished reading the Golden Lily. There were no pauses, no snack breaks, no breathing in between books. They have almost merged together in my brain. Luckily the last two books I read start with a travelling scene. So I The Indigo Spellthink that’s how I’ll differentiate. I hope the rest of the books follow suit so I can keep them all separate in my brain… It will never happen.

Anyway the Indigo Spell did not disappoint. I was much concerned that this plot-stopping kiss in the last book would sortof be brushed over, or ignored awkwardly by all the characters but no! It was only 30 pages in where I found my quote. The one that stops my breath for a moment. I almost squealed girlishly, but I maintained my dignity. On the outside. Inside I squealed and screamed and shed happiness tears.

“Well, you can think what you want, so long as you remember – no matter how ordinary things seem between us – I’m still here, still in love with you, and care about you more than any other guy, evil or otherwise, ever will.”

p. 30, Adrian Ivashkov

You can breath again now. The entire book followed suit – Adrian refusing to stop loving her and even had the audacity to tease Sydney that she loved him back. Despite the seriousness of the situation it was so cute! Agh. Teenage Amy is just freaking out right now. I’m basically an adult now and I still fangirl out over a first kiss of fictional characters. Not to spoil anything, but now that this romantic chase is over I’m worried about the rest of the book will be dull. I’ll let you know in the next review. Maybe they will have other romantic dramas.

too muchThere was just sooo many plot lines happening in the book. I know Sydney Sage seemed to have it all prioritised and organised but I was sitting on my living room floor – having progressed from the couch, starting to put all she had to do into an excel spreadsheet so I could keep it all straight.  Vampire Storyline, Witch storyline, Love storyline, Bogan Vampire Hunter storyline. Just so much. Then there were all these little side storylines going on that you, as a reader, could see what was going on, but Sydney, AKA the smartest lady in all the land seemed totally oblivious to.

In the Golden Lily review, I questioned where they were going to go with Sydney’s obvious betrayal to the Alchemists. They revealed a loop hole in the Indigo Spell when they introduced a third Alchemist group whom she calls the ‘Merry Men’. I don’t even know their real name right now. They don’t even seem that Merry. Anyhow, the Merry Men are shunned from all other Alchemist groups. I mean – they also seem against human and vampire relationships, but they appear more lenient than the extremes of the Alchemists and the Warriors of the Sun. Or Light. I really don’t know that anymore either. God was I even reading this book?

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

‘The Golden Lily’ by Richelle Mead

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I was a fool to think I could read a book in between my finishing of Bloodlines and waiting for thegolden lily Golden Lily to rock up at my door. I tried. But 1984 is no book you can read with your mind on Sydney Sage. I’m only a tiny bit sad for George. Though I think you can understand, no one ever fan-girled George Orwell. No one breathlessly waited his next instalment.  Probably due to his preachy preachy, coated in morality and let to sit for fifty years novella’s. Not that I got that far in, I’ll probably end up liking it.

In stark contrast to 1984 sits the Bloodlines series. The Golden Lily follows Alchemist Sydney Sage, while she babysits a bunch of vampire and part vampires, and that one witch. While I love our protagonist, she is deeply flawed by her meticulous upbringing. I guess it’s really weird to see some themes of anorexia and religion in (what I like to call) pop-literature. Anyway, these themes became a lot clearer in the Golden Lily. As she begins to realise (either forcefully or not) that her reasoning might be a little flawed on these two accounts – which is a big leap for Sage.

Through the course of these two novels you see all her current life lessons start to unravel as she attempts to balance the rules of her bigoted father and the Alchemist organisation, as well as a burgeoning friendship with Vampires. In most books, I usually go about advising the character on how best to handle a situation. But she is pretty well boxed in. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

sydneyPerhaps the most exciting thing is a (if one sided) blossoming relationship with one of the vampires. A completely taboo endeavour. I am torn between telling her to make for the hills or telling her to burn the Alchemists to the ground and run away with this fellow. Bloodthirsty I know. Pun not intended, but appreciated all the same. In an earlier post I had the phenomenal idea to start posting my favourite quotes of the book. I mentioned in my Bloodline review that these aren’t the sort of books for those moments of truth. But there are moments that make me stop all the time. So the theme of all Bloodlines reviews is when I consider Sydney Sage to be acting particularly bad ass, or slightly out of character for that book.  I’m sorry but this won’t be a quote – more like a passage (read page) of complete bad-assery.

“You know what else isn’t appropriate? A thirty-year-old guy – because that’s how old he was, no matter how young and cool they were trying to be – grabbing a fifteen-year-old girl. It was bad enough that he did so when she clearly didn’t want to go with him. The point is he should never have touched her in the first place. She’s a minor. If a teacher did that, he’d be fired. I’ve read the book teachers are given from your HR department – Medical emergencies and breaking up a fight are the only times teachers can lay their hands on students. Now you might argue that that guy wasn’t a teacher or employed by the school, but his group was invited here by the school – which is obligated to keep it’s students safe.”

(p. 169, Sydney Sage)

Bam! Knowledge bomb! She had this little spiel  perfectly constructed for convincing the principal out of expelling her ‘cousin’, when she sortof got a little vampire-guardiany on some dick head singing group ‘educating’ students on STI’s. I know I’m going overboard with the ‘bunny ears’ but sarcasm cannot be contained right now.   Anyway – great scene.  I’ve already started the next book I the series. I’m not even sure I took a breath between closing one and opening the next. The only probably now is. I know I’ll finish the next one tonight and there won’t be any bookstores open to buy the next one! First world problems. If life-or-death is a first world problem…

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

What not to do in case of a Plague

Guys. Guys. Guys. The Bubonic Plague is back. Tangent for small spiel of possible Hollywood Movie titles:

  • Return of the Black Death.
  • Great Pestilence Strikes Again
  • Plague II.
  • Planet of the Rats.
  • China fucks us all.

That last one may start a war – so make sure it doesn’t leave the drawing board.

Now back to reality (oh there goes gravity). A rather large town in China, 30,000 strong has been quarantined after a man has died of bubonic plague (Just me or did I sound like I belong in Game of Thrones with my ‘30,000 strong’?). My well informed brain (thanks wiki) tells me that .3333 – recurring, of us will die within four days of catching such a disease. Oh there’s another title: ‘four days’.  Yumen (the Chinese town) has about a month’s supply of food left. This has been included in just about every news article I’ve read today. It seems sort of practical to send a fellow in, in a biohazard suit, with some rice and Mc nuggets don’t you think?

On the plus side, if half the world’s population die, our minimum wage might increase.

Let’s reflect on the old plague to see what not to do during this one.

Scary Masked Doctorstumblr_n3mb71VDiK1rdredko1_500

As if it isn’t scary enough that you’re going to die within 2-5 days, you have to get a visit from this villain who tells you, you are going to die within 2-5 days. I think I’d rather die thanks. Historical fact: these fools thought if they smelled the plague they would get it, so they wore these dead-body-eating-vulture-beaks (actual name, probably) to put some straw and scented materials in it. My guess is, they didn’t save a single person.

Questionable Treatments

Not only are you dying of a flea bite, we are going to drain you of all your blood, like the wasteful vampires we look like. I wonder how many people dies from blood loss and it was just blamed on the plague? Before it was realised that the pestilence was to blame, some doctors recommended “fresh air”. Sounds just like my mother actually. “You have a headache Amy? Go play outside.” “I can’t Mother, there’s too much air out there, I’m training to breath practically nothing for when I climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.” I came close to climbing a mountain once when I accidentally took the wrong way home and had to walk up a steep incline. Never again. ENOUGH TANGENTS!

So this fresh air thing actually did the trick for some people, not because of the fresh air mother, but because they got out of their flea and rat infested homes. If you happen to get the plague you will probably not die if you go to the doctors within the first 24 hours. A round of antibiotics ought to work.

masks

Blame it on the Boogie

Demon, I meant demon. (It’s a life-is-a-musical day soz). In the first plague outbreak they went ahead and blamed Justinian. He was an average merchant who may have accidentally transported this plague and caused widespread devastation and death. But no he is a demon who did it on purpose/was be punished for his sins.

Give it to the Convicts

By that I mean dear Australia. I was wrong with my ‘Plague II’ Hollywood Movie title up there, as there have actually been four outbreaks in our written history. Nope. Australia has had 12 major outbreaks. By god. We are an island with killer Quarantine laws. It should be easy… Besides I will definitely die. I’ve been mown down by your average street cold three times this year.ghost busters

In the meantime. Maybe send a pest guy to Yumen. Maybe a round of antibiotics for all.  Give them a month and we are sweet.  Just don’t go on a buying spree on the eBay. Their whole situation sounds like it would make for an excellent dystopian novel…brain click…shot gun. YOU HERE ME, EVERY WRITER IN THE WORLD! I, Amy Wallin, called shotgun. I bet someone has been there though… But, have they done it with vampires?

images sourced: Tumblr

God forbid I get stuck on an island with book characters

It’s time for another Broke and Bookish escapade. This week: the top ten characters you would bring with you on a desert island. As soon as it came time to write this post, I immediately forgot everything I had ever read and had to look to my bookshelf to remember the best. So this list is perhaps a little swayed by the books I managed to keep around.

1.Iorek Byrnison (His Dark Materials)

Iorek the armoured bear is made for war.  I know it was specified that this island was deserted,
but we don’t know how long this will last. He’s also super handy with metal work, lifting heavy things, fencing, seal disembowelment, and philosophical discussions on the purpose of life.

2.Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

I know we already have a hunter on the list, but Iorek is also prone to spats of solitary journeys. We might just starve if he wants some ‘space’. So we obviously need a backup. Also she is a forager.  And I just have this feeling that I will feel like some vegetables to go with my seal.

3.Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

hermiooneHermione with her magical wand of Vinewood and Dragon heartstring can multiply all the food the Iorek catches or Katniss forages. Other uses of magical wand – practically limitless. Can create fire, animate driftwood to tap dance, turn random stones into puppies that I could play with. Also it would be safe to assume she would be carrying a small library with her, even during our wreckage. So there’s another problem sorted.

4. Cap’n Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)

I realise that he isn’t literature based…But he’s coming. With his natural affinity for rum, surely he could rustle me up a glass of red from somewhere? Also, with his so-crazy-it-just-might-work attitude we will always have a purpose – be it an escape plan, or saving him from his last escape plan. There will never be a dull moment.

5. Jace Herondale (The Mortal Instruments)

I’ve been told he’s rather pretty. So very necessary for such isolation.  Besides – you don’t see jaceClary on this island list do you! That is if I didn’t bring too much competition with me…

6. Will Herondale (Infernal Devices)

Just in case Jace ends up going for those other femme fatales that I brought….oops. Truth be told, he’s the slightly better Herondale. It’s just. I have this feeling, with him being all 18th century or whatever – that he wouldn’t have much of an idea how to send me a text. It’s a bit of a bridge. He might freak out at my language choices, my preference for jeans and boots, or how often I exclaim “Oh my god!” Then again. We are on a desert island…. What choice will he have?

6. Marillion (Game of Thrones) – some spoilers

He fills so many holes in any successful community, artistic genius, entertainment, campfire bard. Also. Super funny. We are going to need some fun times to get us through the days. In the books he is not so funny. He is Lysa Arryn’s little bitch dog and a bit rapey.  He gets his eyes and fingers plucked right off by order of Little Finger until he ‘confesses’ to her murder. So the TV show version please.

7. Gandalf

I think it’s in the ‘Stranded on a Desert Island for Dummies’ that you must have a 1000 year old story teller. One doesn’t live that long without collecting a few stories.  We definitely need someone old and wise to keep the rest of the looney tunes (myself included) in some kind of moral order.

9. Robbie Turner (Atonement)james mcavoy

Besides the fact that I also happen to be in love with this one as well (the third one on the list) I feel like when the puppies grow up I’ll need more assistance with boredom. Enter Robbie Turner. He has studied a literature degree already so we can talk book. He is planning on becoming a doctor so we know he is smart. He is also a bona-fide groundskeeper so he is plant savvy. Does this man not ooze necessity? Still not convinced? How about you stare at this gif for the next hour until you are.

And lastly

10. Any Melina Marchetta protagonist

So I’m never the most useless person on the island.

 

Images sourced: Tumblr

Am I suddenly an idiot?

The last three days I have experienced an unsettling realisation that I’m actually an idiot.   Every now and then we (as individuals of the human race) do something stupid. We commit it, hide it, forget it. This time, my idiocy quota needed to be filled before the end of the month – in quick succession.

Epiphany

You know the song ‘Hey Ya’ by Outkast? I was listening to some acoustic version of this (not as tumblr_n741b5Mkn01swxih3o1_500good) and I realised something about the lyric: “shake it like a Polaroid picture”. It hit me like a third tequila shot. You shake Polaroid pictures to develop them. Oh my god. It only took a terrible choice of acoustic cover and 11 years to realise. What else have I been singing mindlessly! In my defence – I have never seen the film clip where they apparently shake Polaroid pictures.

Refrigeration Mishaps

I drank off milk in my coffee.  I drank the entire cup. Felt a little ill. THEN. Looked at the date of the milk. I’m ashamed to say I just put the milk back in the fridge because the rubbish bin was full. We’ve all been there. And I don’t live with my mum so I have no one to make sure I keep on top of that stuff. Sometimes I have ice cream for dinner and no one tells me off.

Scrabble

I pride myself on being pretty word savvy. I’m no Oxford dictionary but I can manipulate myself scrabblethrough a conversation well.  So please would someone explain to me why I have never won a game of Scrabble?  For the past week or so I have battled my boyfriend (one who never reads) through a game, at least once a night. There is only so many times I can claim a hand of vowels – or three ‘q’s and not a ‘u’ in sight. Simply put – he is just better than me. I am Castle so hard in this gif.

images sourced: Tumblr