The Moonlight Library (Nemo)

My name is Nemo. This is me on Goodreads

By day I work in IT, by night I turn into a vigilante kitten snuggler.

Is there anything better than a lap filled with kittens and shelves filled with books? I think not.


"A good book resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper." - David Quammen

Change of plans

So I'm totally into subscription boxes. Hubs gets LootCrate and I've been playing with the very few beauty boxes us Aussies get, but a few months ago I thought I'd like to receive Book Riot's new YA subscription box.


The problem is that it's about $50 for the subscription and another $30 for delivery to Australia.


And that's in US dollars, not Australian.


So after conversion it would be more like $100 AUS spent on a box containing two YA novels, one new and one popular (which I might already own or otherwise not want to read ie anything by John Green) and some goodies.


Look, if I lived in the US I would totally get it.


Having thought about it long and hard, and with the sad state of the Aussie dollar versus the US dollar, I've decided to cancel my subscription.


Instead, I'm going to spend my $100 directly on books and goodies I pick out myself.


Although I'm still pretty keen to watch the unboxing.


Epic Australian dystopian

Unwanted - Amanda Holohan

I received this book for free from Penguin Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Once upon a time there was a badass warrior who had been trained her whole life to protect her walled city from outside invaders.




She passed her test and was about to graduate when she did something really really stupid that caught the attention of the rebels. Or course, this made her super special, and now she was the rebels' only hope to spy on the bad guys.


star wars only hope



Despite being a badass warrior, we never really get to see her in action.





Instead, she spends the entire novel running around after her pregnant sister, and trying to cover up her crimes against humanity.




She is captured by the rebels who blackmail her into helping them. They need her to spy on the evil overlords so they can blow up a communications tower, because that'll free everyone, somehow.





Unfortunately, there are a few plot holes in the book.


Imagine if, in Star Wars, the rebel alliance was led by Princess Leia who knew she was Darth Vader's daughter, and was already a Sith Lord.


star wars no idea

Sure, you don't.


What the hell would the rebellion be for? Why would there even be a rebellion? The world works as it is, and if Leia fought against it, she'd be worse off.


I have no idea why the rebels are fighting for human freedom. It doesn't make any sense.



I don't know, anime dude. I just don't know.


For some reason, when Bea is finally exposed, the bad guys bring her to their most vulnerable location for no fucking reason:


star wars goes to rebel base


But instead of realising like any normal person that it was a trap, or instead of the bad guy realising he's just brought a bomb into the most vulnerable position, he monologues at her, giving her the perfect moment to complete her task.


star wars its a trap


A few more inconsistencies/logical fails:


  • What the hell is 'dead ink'? Is the erebii inside dead, too?
  • If ink dies when the evil overlord no longer trusts that person, why not simply murder that person rather than let them walk around with dead ink?
  • Why wait until the humans are fully trained warriors? Why not fully ink them as babies?
  • Why are mothers so casually discarded? Healthy mothers can produce more babies. Babies take time to grow up and produce their own babies. You can produce ten+ babies in the time it takes one to grow up and produce their own.


Plot holes and inconsistencies litter this book. I feel like it's such a great, original story, but all the wrinkles haven't been ironed out. It's a big concept and I feel like the author doesn't quite have a grasp on everything.


Also, there was no romance. Don't be fooled by other reviewers saying there is, or that there's even a love triangle. The truth is that Bea and Red have the beginning of something, and Bea loves Gus like a brother, even if he maybe wants more from her but sleeps with some other girl instead. When Bea says "I love you" she clearly means it platonically. That's why a lot of reviewers think it's strange. She doesn't mean it romantically.



No need dude, no need.


The reason for this is that we are stuck outside Bea's head and absolutely never get how she feels about any situation. She's an emotionless robot. Sure, she cares for her sisters, and she has a bright, loyal, brave personality, but she doesn't have any emotions. She feels nothing.


Also, we never see her being a badass warrior. We're told she's wonderful, other characters tell her she's the best of the lot, and we never see what we're told.




10+ points for originality. And extra 5 points for clear writing. Negative 5 for clumsy worldbuilding, another negative 5 for massive plot holes and inconsistencies, and another 5 for writing a heroine we can't connect to because her emotions are never explored.


I enjoyed reading most of the book until the plot holes reared their head. Ultimately I was disappointed.

Turning the Tables

I'm proposing the start of a Movement.


What is this movement, you ask?


Well, it seems, at least to me, that book blogging and reviewing are becoming more about defending ourselves against charges of bullying than about actual reviewing and blogging about books.


The Movement is very simple. I'm suggesting to all book bloggers and reviewers that they dedicate a blog to how book bloggers and reviewers are not bullies. We are simply folks with opinions about books who write down those opinions, good or bad. UN World Book Day is on April 23rd, a perfect date for the Movement. 


In blogging or reviewing, we (in the US) are exercising the concept of protected speech (this is not the same as the First Amendment right to free speech). This allows us to express our opinions in pretty much any manner in which we choose to within the law.


The United Nations has declared the Right to Freedom of Expression to be a Universal Human Right. Part of that covenant reads, "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression."


Now, it seems that there are people who don't want book bloggers and reviewers to be able to freely exercise our rights. They want to censor us. They want to marginalize and diminish us with labels such as 'bully,' or 'thug.' Why? Because exercising our right to freely express our thoughts and opinions enrages them. They desperately want to control what book bloggers and reviewers write. Why, again? Because they are afraid of other people's opinions. They want to be Emperors with a glorious new wardrobe followed by sycophants whispering praises in their ears while at the same time shuttering out those who are pointing out their nakedness.


Many of us live in free countries. We hold our freedoms and liberties dear. Just think of the millions upon millions of people who have died, or have been wounded or maimed defending the ideas of freedom and liberty from oppressive tyrants. Now, I'm certainly not saying that those who wish to shout us down are oppressive tyrants. I'm pointing out that the right to the freedom of expression has been a hard fought battle. No other citizen has the right or authority to tell book bloggers and reviewers, or anyone else for that matter, what and how they may express themselves. 


(Editorial pause. The number of people who have died directly or indirectly in the fight against oppressive tyrants throughout our history is more likely in the hundreds of millions, but stating that might seem like hyperbole.)


To me, the most startling thing about our critics is that many of them are authors. Authors have born the brunt of tyrannical displeasure over the millennia for writing things which embarrass or criticize those in positions of power. Throughout history, philosophers and authors have been murdered, exiled, tortured and imprisoned for speaking their minds or writing their opinions.


It simply boggles my mind when an author supports censorship or pushes to ban anonymous speech. These authors are working against exactly what their predecessors and countless other people have fought and died for.


Citizens of our societies have earned their right to stand on the soap box in the public square and speak their mind. No one has the right to tell us we can't do so.


Remember, UN World Book Day, April 23rd. Book reviewers are not bullies.


If you liked this blog, please feel free to re-blog it. Spread the word.

Reblogged from Old Rocker's Mad Mumblings

Stop the literary vampires from sucking the lifeblood out of readers

This is such a great article by author Jason Sanford. He is concerned how 'Stop The GR Bullies' and Anne Rice are hurting the relationships between authors and readers. 


Full Article: Stop the literary vampires from sucking the lifeblood out of readers


Also, a great related blog on Goodreads: When good authors go to the dark side




ETA: Thanks 'Anon' for posting the link on the STGRB web site. Appreciate the help. :-)



Sorry JBG, it's not all about fear. That is your game, and what you try to spread to your cult following.  Your site feeds on hate, fear, and attacking others. Simply put, a good person wouldn't want to associate with that. 


(Edited to fix link to Jason's article. He re-launched his new website and the link path changed)

Reblogged from Karlynp & The Doggone World

Jenny Trout releases novella that Anne Rice & STGRB got cancelled

If you have been following the latest drama of Anne Rice, STGRB and their menacing pet troll Kevin Weinberg, you know that Jenny Trout was recently targeted by Kevin for a) expressing her opinion of a book's content,  and b) expressing her wish that it be pulled from circulation.


The story posted on STGRB (where opposing comments are most often not allowed) used selective screen shots provided by Kevin, and which painted Jenny Trout as an 'author attacker'. (Irony, right?) The article was immediately then heralded on Anne Rice's Facebook page for her 1 million+ followers to peruse and persecute, and where many opposing comments were also not welcomed and therefor deleted. (more deleted & deleted)


If you followed along like I did, you too felt a game was at play. A sick game where players behind the curtain were manipulating facts for the purpose of targeting a person Anne Rice has had issues with in the past. Yes, it felt VERY personal and completely dubious. And given Kevin Weinberg's proven history of manipulating tween-age kids into creating fake accounts to troll along side with him, including his recent attack of people on an Amazon thread who were simply opposed to Anne Rice's support of STGRB, one will see he very likely has ulterior motives.


Proof Kevin Weinberg is manipulating troll influencing young tweens


Sadly, as a result of this calculated attack, several people complained to Jenny's publisher. The publisher heard one side of the story and felt they needed to pull Jenny's story from an upcoming anthology of 12 authors. In support of solidarity, the other 11 others also pulled their stories.  So not only was Jenny hurt in the mix, but so were 11 other authors.


Today Jenny released her novella as a stand alone, so if you would like to support her you can find the new book on Amazon or Smashwords.


Reblogged from Karlynp & The Doggone World

A Book About Really Really Ridiculously Good Looking People

Halfway Perfect - Julie Cross, Mark Perini



Halfway Perfect is a sweet love story between an ex-upcoming-superstar-model-turned-photography student and a Calvin Klein underwear model who is more than he appears, and the conflicts that arise when the underwear model has to fake date a fourteen year old future superstar.


I don’t know much about modelling. The extent of my modelling knowledge comes from Zoolander and the time I binged watched half a season of America’s Next Top Model. I also don’t know how much of the worldbuilding was Cross’ and how much was Perini’s, but together they make a formidable duo. I was completely sucked into this world of agents and casting calls and photos shoots and meetings and travel. I really felt like I was seeing something most people don’t get to see, and I am completely convinced it was an honest representation of the modelling world.


Eve is our ex-model dealing with more emotional baggage than most eighteen year olds should have to deal with. She was strong, and brave, but she was still eighteen, and therefore very young and inexperienced. It wasn’t that she was naïve, but she was making her way through the world without any guidance (her parents stole all her modelling money) and she could only rely on herself.

Alex is the underwear model who genuinely cares for Eve but has to pretend to be in a relationship with fourteen year old Elana for the good of his career. He’s a really good guy who was completely genuine, even with Elana, and he was just a nice little beta boy, never seemed to lose his temper or get violent. He waited for consent and basically he was a huge sweetheart. We need more heroes like Alex, especially in NA fiction, because he’s such a change from the turbo-charged libido-driven violent psychopaths that most NA readers seem to find sexy.


Eva and Alex’s relationship was so damn genuine. They moved very easily into respect, to liking each other, to a genuine friendship, to a flirty kind of thing, before both of them realised they wanted to spend more time with each other and then they realised they were in love. It was so well-written I could follow each moment and go, yes, that’s building on from the last interaction. I just loved reading it, there was no pressure from either of them and both were enthusiastic, willing participants. There was no drama in a ‘chasing’ kind of way – all the issues came from the outside forces trying to keep them apart - gossip columns, agents, work itself. I found this natural, organically built relationship very refreshing.

I also liked the relationship between Eve and Elana because there was no slut-shaming or girl hate, and I really really liked the relationship between Alex and his older brothers. I have always loved the idea of protective older brothers because out of the two I had one died and the other never really cared about protecting his little sister from bullies, so I've always loved the idea of lots of big brothers around to protect their little sister or younger brother and his girlfriend.


I didn’t request to read Halfway Perfect and I wasn’t sure I wanted to based on the blurb, however Cross and Perini drew me in very early on with a clear, beautiful story of love between two great characters in a difficult industry that also showed me snapshots of life behind-the-scenes. I was previously put off reading Cross because of a misandrist rant disguised as feminism found in Tempest, but I am glad I read Halfway Perfect because it shows you can always give an author a second chance. Also, the blurb refers to this novel as ‘gritty’ – maybe because there’s statutory rape and domestic abuse in the backstory, which I did not find triggering at all – but I found it much more sweet and fluffy than gritty. I really enjoyed it and I would happily look at any of Cross’ future books.

Princess Rap battle - Cinderella vs Belle



Anne Rice finally, truly, jumps the shark

When you choose the hill you are going to die on, don't let it be this:


You would have to be living under a rock to not be aware that Anne Rice is in a pitched battle with a few people in the amazon forums, as well as all reviewers who don't hand out 5-star reviews like they are candy, and, not coincidentally, Jenny Trout, who got on her bad side (again) by pointing out how offensive this book is.


Let's just take it apart for a small moment. Some self-published author with a stupid pseudonym (in this case, Fionna Free Men) slaps together a bunch of crappy erotica and equally crappy covers, and then puts them on amazon for sale. So far, nothing to see here, right?


Except one of those pieces of erotica is a "master-slave BDSM fic" about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Sally Hemings is a real historical personage. She was the half-sister of Jefferson's dead wife and Jefferson's slave, and, while there is dispute amongst historians, there is significant historical evidence to demonstrate that Jefferson raped her for the first time when she was between 14 and 15 years old, and continued raping her indefinitely, fathering six children with her. 


Let me not mince words. I use the word "rape" intentionally because Sally Hemings was an enslaved person and was unable to consent to a relationship with Jefferson. One can only consent if one can refuse consent. A slave is not an owner of her body, she has no agency. She cannot say no, and therefore, she cannot say yes. So the idea that Hemings "consented" to a relationship with Jefferson in any fashion whatsoever is bullshit.


But that isn't the point of this post. The point of this post is that Anne Rice - and honestly, I still expected better of her, which I guess makes me nuts - has chosen to defend that book because she hates Jenny Trout more than she hates racist rape apologia. Which even I didn't expect of her. 


Here is her original facebook post, screenshotted:



And here's her response to another person who is going to go buy the book to "support free speech":


For completeness, let's get the original offending post linked as well:


Now, let's get a couple things straight. 


First off, this has nothing to do with free speech. Fionna Free Men, wherever the fuck she is, has a right to write all of the racist, disgusting and despicable rape apologia that she wants. She is free to speak. What she doesn't have a right to, actually, is a platform. The government is prohibited from interfering with her free speech. Neither amazon nor Jenny Trout are the government. So the next person who mentions "free speech" in the discussion should be sent back to high school and forced to attend civics class until they can pass the section on the Bill of Rights.


Second, Jenny Trout did not tell people to pirate the book. She told them neither to buy nor to read it. But if they, for whatever reason, couldn't stand the thought of not firsthand experiencing 19 pages of glorified racism and rape, then by all means, they should pirate it rather than giving the author one thin dime off of the pile of shit that is this book.


And that, my friends, is the hill that Anne Rice has chosen to die on. She hates Jenny Trout so much that she will support that crap over Jenny. And she hates the "bullies" so much than anything that they think is bad, she must go on record as calling good. Even if that thing that is "good" is a disgusting rape fic about a 14-year-old black enslaved person who was raped by her 44 year old white owner for decades.


When this fight started, did she imagine that it would end with her defending the glorification of child abuse and racism? Somehow, I think not.

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader

So I discovered Book Outlet

Dragonswood - Janet Lee Carey Premeditated - Josin L. McQuein Dangerous Girls - Abigail Haas, Abby McDonald Populazzi - Elise Allen Perfected - Kate Jarvik Birch

It's this amazing website where you can buy super cheap books, heaps of them hardcovers and lots of them YA, so of course HELL YES SIGN ME UP.


"Our books are marked down because most of the titles are marked with a small line or dot on the edge of the book by publishers who sell us their returns and excess inventory. This mark ensures that the books will not be returned to the publisher for a second credit. The books we sell are not used, they are unread and in excellent condition. "


Except that I'm international, so instead of paying minimal postage I have to pay postage of around $8 per book.


Which would be OK except that Australia's dollar is performing quite poorly at the moment.

1 Australian Dollar equals 0.76 US Dollars. Sucks to be me.


However, even with Australia's poor dollar and the excessive shipping compared to the $4 shipping to the US and Canada, my order still comes in at what I calculate roughly to be $16 per book.


$16 for a hardcover? YES PLEASE.


And at the moment that's even better than local bookstores, and even The Book Depository.

Book designer comes across criticism for a recent book cover he designed. Decides to respond. Unprofessional.
Book designer comes across criticism for a recent book cover he designed. Decides to respond. Unprofessional.

The first designer has since deleted his comment and apologised. The second one deleted their comment and profile with no apology.

Reblogged from TezMillerOz

Project Tomorrow: The Dead of Night

The Dead of Night - John Marsden

Our poor heroes aren’t so plucky and full of bravado anymore, not since Corrie was shot in the back and Kevin took her to the hospital. But the gang decide they can’t sit around forever: they need more supplies for living in Hell, and they want to see if Corrie’s OK, and they need to take some action against the army that invaded their land, took over their homes, and took their families prisoner.


This book is much slower than Tomorrow, When the War Began. Our teen heroes are despondent, depressed and dejected. They crave adult company so they can go back to being kids. They want the stupid war to be over. There’s a lot of sitting around being bored and then trying to plan the next operation because really, what else are you supposed to do? They end up going for a look on the other side of Hell, leaving Chris behind because he’s in an alcohol-fuelled depression and they don’t have the wisdom, patience, or fortitude to look after him when there are bigger issues like how are they going to help Australia win the war?


When they do come across a group of adults and are thrown back into the roles of untrusted delinquent children, they realise they are much braver and smarter than their so-called ‘grown-ups’ and decide to take matters into their own hands. They’re still a smart bunch of kids, and their domestic terrorism if fuelled by the basic boyish knowledge of how to destroy things.


Character progression is not so much the focus of this filler book as character studies – each character has their own view on murder and killing in wartime. While the character don’t so much change over the course of the novel, their individual characteristics are solidified. Ellie, Lee and Homer become murderers while Fi is targeted for rape and Robyn holds on to her religious belief to guide her. Eventually they all come around and manage to decide that they need to do whatever it takes to cause trouble for the invaders-turned-colonisers because the war’s not over and the tide may be turning.


Ellie and Lee take their relationship further, and there’s a lot of angsting about that, too. Homer and Fi seemed to have cooled right off. As for Robyn, well, she wouldn’t do anything if it were the end of the world, would she? And as for Chris… I mean, it’s excellent being inside Ellie’s head, she’s such a realistic character and her narration really sucks you in and makes you believe you’re living and breathing what she’s experiencing. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that she’s ‘writing’ all this down as her own story, especially when she manages to quote page and page of perfect dialogue, but that’s a suspension of disbelief that has to be employed under the circumstances.


Like I said above, this is really more of a filler novel. Sure, in the end our heroes get a move on and cause the destruction suitable for the climax, but it’s after a lot of running for their lives and debating murder in wartime. It’s still a good book, just a bit of a surprise after the nearly non-stop action of the first book.


Ordered a big batch of Bloomsbury books last week when they had 40% off.


Big box of 7 books arrived today. Missing one. 'Temporarily unavailable.'


I didn't get a confirmation email when I placed my order and there's been no mention of a refund or if they'll send it when it IS available.


Also strangely enough, none of my details are on the website even though I signed up.


To top it all off, the person I've been emailing to get a confirmation of payment received and order shipped is now on leave -.-


So yeah. I got books but I'm still bummed.

A fantastic start to a new series and continuation of an old one

Shadow Study - Maria V. Snyder

I received this book for free from HarlequinTeen Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Yelena, Valek, Janco and the gang return in this fast-paced, action-oriented fantasy novel as Yelena struggles to find out what caused her magic to disappear and who is attempting to murder her, Valek deals with a cocky new assassin after his job, and Janco must find out who is smuggling illegal goods into and out of Ixia.

The worldbuilding is given even more oomph in this novel as we travel in flashback to Valek’s youth where he trained as an assassin, and the rules of magic are defined even further as more anti-magician technology evolves and magicians themselves learn their limits or overcome their loss of power in other ways.

The powerhouse trio of Yelena, Valek and Janco all serve as great characters to read about this adventure. While Yelena’s lost her magic, she has to rely on other methods to continue kicking ass, and Valek’s point of view is heavy on the flashbacks as we view his training as an assassin, meeting the Commander, and eventual murder of the tyrannical king of Ixia. I’m still surprised we get Janco’s POV: sure, he’s a great character, and interesting, and funny, and as annoying as ever, but I feel like he’s being favourited over Ari who is in fact my own favourite of the pair. I understand why we don’t get Ari’s point of view: he’s too similar to Valek.

The newest character addition makes me wonder why almost every named female character in this series suffers from some kind of traumatic sexual history. I understand that the men in the series hold a lot of power and although Ixia is a pretty fair country, it’s far from a feminist ideal, but I am beginning to tire of sexual violence and wonder if there is some other kind of trauma for these female characters to suffer from rather than immediately going to rape.

Yelena and Valek have been together for years by this point, and while Lief’s gotten married and it appears Opal has some kind of commitment (not quite sure if married or not), our favourite couple haven’t committed to each other. For some reason I really enjoyed the romance aspect of this novel though, and I think it’s because Yelena and Valek were forced to spend so much time apart, and all they wanted to do was get back together, which showed in their thoughts and actions. Although I’m kind of lukewarm about Yelena and Valek, in this book I suddenly became a shipper.

An absolutely fantastic start to a new spin-off series and a continuation of an old one, Shadow Study is an absolute must to anyone who’s enjoyed Snyder’s work in the past or who enjoys character-driven action fantasies with strong, competent women and sexy, brooding assassins.


The Dead of Night - John Marsden

I feel so sorry for Chris. Being a depressive druggie in a war zone must be tough. He just doesn't see the point in doing anything. I want to shake it out of him, but I know that wouldn't work

Ice Study (Study #3.6) EXPANDED short story by Maria Snyder

Ice Study - Maria V. Snyder

Ice Study is a recently expanded re-write of the previous Ice Study and serves as a prequel of sorts to Shadow Study. In it, Yelena and Valek must overcome a powerful magician set on reclaiming an artefact known as the Ice Moon, which has the ability to destroy all magic in the world, and even Janco pops up with a point of view.

Ice Study was the longest of the short stories and honestly, it probably could have been expanded into a full-length novel. There was a heap of new characters, action, deception, magic and alliances written into its short length, but it also serves as both a complete story on its own and as a set up to Shadow Study. It’s pretty much essential reading, so good thing it’s available for free on Snyder’s website.

In Ice Study, we see Yelena as always embroiled in something disastrous as she’s separated from her heart mate Valek. While the story is basic and straightforward, it does show some significant advances such as the use of null shields to block a magician’s magic and hoe dependent Yelena has become on her magic, which is refreshing because in Poison Study she was a complete rookie.

I think Ice Study should definitely be read before Shadow Study because it sets up an important plot point, but it’s also an enjoyable tale in itself, one of adventure and learning who to trust.

Power Study short story by Maria V Snyder

Power Study (Study, #3.5) - Maria V. Snyder

A fun little look at mostly Janco’s point of view as they are recruited by a Sitian magician to help hunt down a powerful blood weapon being abused by a green Sitian rookie.

I’ll be honest, Janco got on my nerves a bit. I like Ari’s calm stoicness. Janco never knows when to shut up and he’s clearly in love with himself. That being said, it was Janco’s brains that figured out how to overpower the bad guy, even though Ari normally takes the lead with the two.

This story apparently took place during the story of Fire Study, but I didn’t know the reference to the villain Rye, the magical scimitar, or the Sandseed clansman Janco annoyingly called Stripey. I understand they were off having their own adventure while Yelena and Valek were trying to save the world, but I just couldn’t figure out why this story was written. What was the point? How did it tie in with the full-length novels?

Worth it for Janco’s humour, but not essential.

Currently reading

The Diviners
Libba Bray