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

ARC Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

The Orphan Queen - Jodi Meadows

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

Please note: this is a review of the sample offered on Edelweiss, which was about one-third of the total book (Part 1), and is not a review of the complete book.

 

SUMMARY

Wilhemenia is the orphaned queen of a conquered kingdom, a girl disguised as a refugee duchess in an enemy kingdom helping to free her enslaved people and their right to use magic even though other kingdoms believe wraith, a dangerous by-product of magic, is slowly destroying the world.

 

WORLDBUILDING

The worldbuilding in this book is phenomenal – there’s so much culture and different beliefs and even small gestures and sayings used by the characters. The one issue I had with it is how much of the world-building is relayed through dialogue – even Wil herself acknowledges that people are reciting lessons or indulging in hearing their own voices. Perhaps I would be more sympathetic if the words were coming from Wil herself – there’s nothing wrong with passing on information and world-building so long as it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story. I also wish I had access to the map that’s supposed to be in the beginning of this book, because the three main kingdoms and the minor ones around them sound so interesting, and also because the main threat is environmental and moving ever closer, so I’d like a better grasp on how much wraith has eaten how much kingdom.

 

CHARACTER

Wilheminia is pretending to be Duchess Juliana of Liania, which has fallen to wraith. She’s really the lost orphaned queen of Aecor, on the other side of the Indigo Kingdom, which forced other kingdoms into signing a no-magic agreement in an effort to curb the wraith. Wil’s a totally awesome character – she’s quick with her mind, wits, her physicality and her bravery. Oh, and she’s an illegal magic user, and I’m pretty sure none of her gang, the Ospreys, know that. Other characters of note include Melanie, who’s up to something she won’t let Wil in on; Tobiah, the surly crown prince of the Indigo Kingdom, who’s newly engaged; the other Ospreys, who were left behind when Wil and Melanie entered the Indigo Kingdom palace; and Black Knife.

 

RELATIONSHIPS

Can I just say oh my, Black Knife? That is one masked vigilante I wouldn’t mind being captured by. Of course, in the sample I read, which is only about one-third of the book, Wil and Black Knife aren’t friends yet, but are becoming uneasy, if still suspicious, allies. I’m certain I know his true identity – it’s a bit hard to write this kind of Young Adult novel without being all obvious about it – and I’d really like to see Wil realise it, too, and then get on with the kissing. I mean, there’s nothing romantic between them in the sample, but I just know it’s got to work out that way. Why else were we introduced so early? It’s the basis of YA!

 

I am aware of another book with a similar theme I recently read, Sarah Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes. Both contain young women leads who are capable warriors, who are

rightful heirs

(show spoiler)

from kingdoms that have been enslaved by a neighbour due to a policy on magic use. Why did I rate the sample of The Orphan Queen 5 stars and Snow Like Ashes, which I read in its entirely only 4, if they are so similar and both enjoyable? It’s as simple as this: I didn’t feel the romance at all in Snow Like Ashes, and although there was not yet any romance written into The Orphan Queen, I could have cut the sexual tension with a knife.

 

OVERALL

I need the rest of this book right now. Like, RIGHT NOW. And I’ll probably track down Meadows’ Incarnate books as well, because I just really enjoyed reading this sample of The Orphan Queen.




Project Everworld: Book #11 Mystify the Magician

Everworld #11: Mystify The Magician - K.A. Applegate

Christopher and the EverWorld gang come upon EverWorld’s version of Ireland, complete with telegraphs, electricity, elves, half-elven princesses, giants, and all kinds of stuff that makes them not hate EverWorld for once. But then Senna gets loose and goes crazy, opening the gateway and bringing through her crazy bigoted militia, complete with machine guns. As strange and weird as EverWorld is, it doesn’t stand a chance against guns.

 

This is one of the best EverWorld books because right away the gang has a plan and you know what’s going to happen. Christopher and the others are determined to stop Senna from murdering them and EverWorld Ireland. Although they’re only half-successful, it does make the book easier to read when the gang isn’t just running away with no goals in mind. There’s even an elaborate stunt set in the real world involving Christopher, Jalil, blanks in a real gun, and April screaming – all to try to stop Senna.

 

What I like most about this book is Christopher’s realisation that the things he’s experienced in EverWorld have changed him, but not changed the real world him. The real world him is still a lazy racist horndog asshole. The EverWorld him is no longer racist and mostly has his libido under control, and although he’s not the hero-wannabe type, he actually likes who he’s become. You can see he prefers EverWorld to the real world, especially since he’s got no hope and no future in the real world. In EverWorld he is someone, even if that someone is still liable to fall under Senna’s spell and fuck everything up.

 

After the last book was a waste of time filler book where nothing happened, it’s great to see so much movement, even if half the cast is brand new. With the return of old allies, it’s time to stop Senna once and for all – even if it means the gateway will never open again and the gang may be trapped in EverWorld.




RUN AWAY RUN AWAY

So I was invited on this blog tour for a New Adult book. I don't generally read New Adult and my blog is supposed to be Young Adult, but the book sounded soooo good... but i declined the tour because I don't want to get tied down, yo. I like to read and review in my own time.

 

But then I saw it on Netgalley.

 

And I uhmed and ahhed about it...

 

then I pressed the REQUEST button and ran away as fast as I could.

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Truth be told, sometimes it feels like it's only a matter of time before all the review books come after me for not reading them. I have one from 2012. That's SHAMEFUL.

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AND THEN I SAW I HAVE AUTO-APPROVAL FOR A BOOK I'M MEGA EXCITED ABOUT.

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I HAVE NO SELF CONTROL

 

HALP

help animated GIF




My Project for 2015

I've been trying to decide on my 'project' for 2015.

 

2013 was Project Animorphs. (by KA Applegate)

 

2014 was Project EverWorld. (also by KA Applegate)

 

I'm thinking of continuing the Applegate theme by doing Remnants, which has 14 books in the series - but I've read a few of them, and from what I remember I just really didn't enjoy them. I found them really creepy.

 

Someone suggested I do John Marsden's Tomorrow When the War Began, and I like that idea because it's an Australian series. There's 7 books in the original series and 3 in the spin-offs so I could do one a month and still have leeway if I fall behind.

 

What do you think? Should I continue on my Applegate theme and do Remnants or take a break and do Marsden's Tomorrow series?




Project Everworld: Book #10 Understand the Unknown

Understand the Unknown - Katherine Applegate

Narrator: David

My rating:

2 of 5 hearts

The EverWorld gang find themselves trapped underwater in Neptune’s realm and must escape before the psychotic god decides to murder them for no reason.

Oh boy, I’m tired of this series. I’m tired of filler books with no substance where nothing happens. I’m tired of this gang of characters who aren’t even friends but have to stick together. And most of all, I’m tired of Applegate trying to make things that don’t make sense make sense.

Welcome to EverWorld.

This book mostly takes place underwater, in a bubble within a bubble within a bubble. I don’t even know. It didn’t make much sense. The kids could breathe water thanks for Neptune, yet they moved between water bubbles and air bubbles. Mermaids walked on the tips of their fins. There was horse racing of actual horses way underwater, but the audience were in water while the racing was in air.

It’s not so much that it didn’t make sense, but it wasn’t consistent.

Because of the inconsistency it wasn’t that enjoyable. That, and the only thing that propelled the plot forward was David meeting a goddess in the real world who demanded Senna be murdered. Then they escaped Neptune’ world and made it to Atlantis where they met some guy from the real world who told them his sad story for no reason then helped them escape.

And the ending was crap, too. Like, I don’t even know what anyone’s doing and then it suddenly stops in one of the worst cliffhangers ever.

This book fails.

Bring on the end.




Christian Borle's words of wisdom
Christian Borle's words of wisdom

Dear authors with very fragile egos who probably shouldn't be in the business in the first place: take note of the above beautiful man.




Pawn by Aimee Carter

Pawn - Aimee Carter

SUMMARY

Kitty has failed the mandatory test that will determine her rank for the rest of her life – she’s been branded a III. With no prospects and no hope she accepts the offer to take up a VII – a rank only given to members of the ruling family of America. She is Masked and must convincingly play the role of the deceased Prime Minister’s niece, and help stifle a brewing rebellion. But not everything is as it appears, and as Kitty is pulled further into the world of the ruling family she uncovers conspiracy after conspiracy, and must muster all her courage to become more than just a pawn.

 WORLDBUILDING

I found Carter’s Goddess Test series a trial on my patience, but she seems to have learned a lot not just from her previous series but from other dystopians that have come before. I haven’t read it, but I hear The Selection by Kiera Cass talks a lot about rebels but never shows them presenting a threat, but books like The Hunger Games and Divergent show you the struggle of the rebels in their dystopian society.

Carter didn’t just give us a society I can kind of half-see working one day (just not so soon) in that it’s a merit-based society still blinded by its own privilege, but she also demonstrated why people are unhappy with it and what leads to the rebellion in the first place. I find it difficult to accept that the ruling family would inherit the position of Prime Minister – that’s not to say it doesn’t happen in other countries, because I know it does, but it’s asking me to suspend my disbelief quite a lot to suggest it might happen to the United States of America in such a short period of time. As such, I mostly saw the idea of the VIIs being American royalty, and read most of the book with a British accent in my head (the Prime Minister thing didn’t help, either). If you can accept this dystopian for what it is (and I think Kitty as narrator does help a lot in accepting the society and how it came to be) then I think the book could be very enjoyable.

CHARACTER

Kitty seemed like your basic pro-active dystopian heroine. I liked her sense of duty and her bravery, but she was also tempered by a healthy dose of fear that helped show us just how human she was. She was often filled with bravado, honestly believing she could easily kill someone with her bare hands, but when the time came to do the deeds she swore she’d do in previous pages, she often failed. I did find this a little disappointing. I understand that not everyone can be a Katniss, but I did find that her bravado seemed a little out of place. Apart from that I found her quiet desperation entertaining and enjoyed spending time with her.

RELATIONSHIPS

It was the relationships between the characters I found fascinating. No one was willing to commit to Kitty being Lila 24/7, and often called her by her birth name. I found the wealth of conflicting goals and myriad of secrets fascinating as each was uncovered. I found my loyalties shifting with Kitty’s and I think Carter managed this extremely well. It would have been difficult writing such a book with so many secrets and everyone knows a little of something, and keeping track of who knows what and how each secret motivates each particular character. I found that aspect particularly well crafted.

OVERALL

A better than average start to a dystopian series with a more believable than most back story as to how it came to be. Kitty was slightly better than your average heroine in that she was pro-active, but her bravado annoyed me when she failed to carry through her threats. I was a little disappointed by the ending and felt the stakes could have been raised. I fear the second book, Captive, will be more of the same in Pawn, but I will give the author the benefit of the doubt as she has grown a lot since her debut series The Goddess Test.




I'm totally freaked out today

I woke up to find my Wordpess.com blog (the old 'moonlightlibrary.wordpress.com') had subscribed to my self-hosted blog (the new 'moonlightlibrary.com') at 2am.

 

This morning.

 

While I was sleeping.

 

Whut?

 

*changes password*

 

 




I got married earlier this year

Wanna know a bit more about the wedding?




ARC Book Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes - Sara Raasch

SUMMARY
Meira is an orphan, one of only a handful of refugees of the fallen kingdom of Winter fighting to regain a lost locket of magical power. When she manages to restore half of the lost locket, it sets into motion a series of events that will reveal old secrets and hopefully help free her people the enslaved Winterians from Spring’s cruel tyranny and restore the rightful heir to the throne.

WORLDBUILDING
I found Snow like Ashes to be a marvellous book. Among its strengths were definitely its world-building, which was filled with a rich history and diverse culture and traditions that helped to propel the plot. I loved reading about all the little intricate details which although at times was a little info-dumpy, it didn’t detract from the storytelling itself. My only problem is my own inability to understand how a nation eternally ensconced in winter can possibly provide their own food with their crops dormant, but grass and trees still growing underneath eternal snow. I’ve taken it upon myself to believe that these particular crops are ice and frost-proof, as crops would have to be if they were able to grow during winter. Makes sense, no?

CHARACTER
The other strength was Meira herself, who was an extraordinary young adult heroine, capable and kick-ass and not in the least bit likely to damsel herself into a corner. She never felt sorry for herself and wanted to prove herself to her father figure, Sir (William), and to her fallen kingdom. I was often angry on her behalf as people refused to tell her important plot points like, “Oh, you’re going to marry someone now” and “Here, we’re holding a ball, surprise!” and she found out in the worst ways possible that her destiny was not her own. But she always took the blows, rolled, and got up again, and that’s why I really like her. I adore her fighting spirit, even when she’s supposed to be broken, even when she’s supposed to be terrified and in pain. She never gave up or gave in to despair. She was strong.

LOVE AND OTHER CATASTROPHES
There was a plot twist I guessed fairly early on only because it would have been totally cool if I was right, and I was. That’s not to say that the mysteries were not well handled. The (almost) inevitable love triangle seemed really blah to me, though. Although both boys were excruciatingly hot (as seen in one particular half-naked, sweaty hot boys training to fight scene which was particularly memorable), I never really got a sense that Meira knew either of them much deeper than that. By that I mean the boy she grew up with was the only boy her age and it felt a lot like infatuation – and when she was presented with another suitable suitor, she didn’t really feel anything for him at all, and her feelings for the first boy kind of spluttered to a halt. I think Meira felt like she was supposed to be in love with Mather because he was her future king, and when she was faced with another opportunity, she didn’t quite know what to do. Which really, is an awesome situation for a sixteen year old girl to be in, because she’s not developed mentally or emotionally enough ot be able to deal with all this angst. So that was great.

OVERALL
Overall I’d recommend Snow Like Ashes as a wonderful start to a brilliant new series for any fantasy lover, especially if you love strong, take-no-shit heroines who wield mighty chakrams like Xena: Warrior Princess (that’s the thing on the cover, BTW). Also, the blurb says 'Game of Thrones meets Graceling' and it's really not like either of those things.

 

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

This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library




3000 Followers and Christmas Giveaway

The Moonlight Library is hosting a $25AUS Book Depository giveaway. Come enter!




The DUFF film trailer

I didn't blog for about three weeks, and I was planning on staying away a bit longer, but I saw the trailer for The DUFF and had to blog about it.




10%

The Diviners - Libba Bray

I'm guessing I'm about 10% in, almost at the end of part 1, and Evie is THE MOST AMAZING CHARACTER EVER. She's sassy and loves attention but she's not stupid and know she needs to take care of herself. WOW.




1% (audiobook)

The Diviners - Libba Bray

Third person present tense? Hmmm




Reblogged from Let's Talk about Books Baby!



Happiness on a Friday afternoon is...

A lovely personalised email from a publicist always makes me smile. New book on the way!

 

Also, my blog has a new header. I manipulated it myself. Thought about adding text. Didn't. Couldn't get anything the way I wanted it. This is just temporary until I get my new blog design.

 

The countdown widget for Shadow Study that wouldn't work on my other blog works on my new one. :)

 

Also, I finally figured out how to see how many RSS subscribers I have. I'm close to 3000 followers over all social media. That also makes me happy.




Currently reading

The Diviners
Libba Bray
Starglass
Phoebe North