November 27, 2014

Black Friday Sale on Etsy 2014--Get the Coupon Code and Start Saving Now!

Black Friday SPECIALS start NOW! Use Discount Code: BlackFriday14 at these participating shops to $AVE now thru the Holiday Weekend!

Be sure to click and scroll through everything--there are lots of shops and lots of amazing items on sale!

In my shop, Aurelas get 15% off any order $5 or more with code BF2014 or BlackFriday14 through December 8, 2014.

Happy Holidays!

November 7, 2014

300 Posts and Pandora Hearts

I admit it. I wasn't planning to post anything today, because I have so many things I'm supposed to be doing. But I happened to notice that I only had 299 posts. That just bugged me. I know, very silly of me, right? So here is post number 300.

To celebrate, I'll share one of my best finds from the last few months.

I would have to say the best find I have made in the realm of books is actually a manga series called Pandora Hearts. If you love Alice in Wonderland, this one just might be for you as there are constant references!

Don't click any of the links to images or there will be spoilers!

Image source

The first volume starts off with a mystery--what is 15-year-old Oz Vessalius's great sin? Who is buried under the mysterious stone cross? What is so special about the pocket watch hanging on the cross? When Oz is dropped into the nightmarish Abyss

and meets a cute girl with a temper, Alice,

Image found here.

it seems as if things are going to become fairly normal for a manga story. However, the plot is absolutely byzantine, with new mysteries worthy of Agatha Christie constantly being introduced and weaving into the others. Who is Alice and how did she become the "Bloody Black Rabbit?" Why are her memories shattered so that she has no recollection of anything but her name? Who is beheading members of the Nightray family? Why does Oz's father say that Oz should never have been born? And what on earth caused the Tragedy of Sablier?

Image found here

I could go on for paragraphs, but I will leave it for you to read and discover all of the mysteries and their truly surprising solutions for yourself.
I read the manga here

The characters are very interesting on their own, and the reader will soon learn that nothing and no one is what they seem! My favourite is Xerxes Break (Mad Hatter), who has as many layers as an onion, with a lot of odd, creepy, and endearing habits that make him into a real show-stealer.

Image found here

Image found here

Image found here

I will say, though, that this is a series I would recommend for people 14 and up. It is dark and sad and at times pretty gory and disturbing, especially later in the series. Some readers warn others not to read it because their hearts will be broken. I can understand that.

Image found here.

Also, my husband and I both agree that listening to the music from the anime version (it covers only a few volumes of the manga, which has 20 volumes) really adds to the reading experience. The soundtrack is so beautiful that The Precious asked me what ballet it is from, and my mama was sure it was the soundtrack from a blockbuster movie!

Image source

You can listen here. Be sure to listen to the last track first as it is the tune from the music box inside the pocketwatch and it really sets the tone for the whole series. "Will" and "Contractor" are both very good too. For just the gorgeous violin theme, listen to "Turn."
Pandora Hearts Original Soundtrack

So there it is. My 300th post and my latest book (series) recommendation. Almost all images come from the anime, which is worth watching too, because they're so nice and colourful. Hope you enjoyed it, and that you enjoy the series as much as I do.

July 1, 2014

Book Review: Fledgling by Octavia Butler

FledglingFledgling by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Brief synopsis with no spoilers: A non-human wakes in a cave injured and with no memory. She hunts and kills animals with her bare hands/teeth and eats them raw until she is strong enough to get to a road and meet a young man driving a car. Upon biting him she is told that she is a vampire. She sets out on quest to find out what she is, who she is, and why she is all alone. But someone is out to kill her and everyone around her.

It is hard for me to figure out how to review this so I will stick with the problems I had with the book and the things I liked about it rather than dissecting the plot in detail. While I found it very hard to put this book down, at the same time I sometimes felt filthy for having read it.

Probable spoilers!

There is something very squicky about the multiple sexual relationships this little girl vampire has with humans who do not always even know that she is not a normal little girl at first. Perhaps it is normal for vampires who are still children to have sex with humans like crazy? But for humans it is not normal to have sex with what appear to be children. Yet none of them seem worried or grossed out or anything except the very first and he just keeps calling her jail bait. At least these encounters are not described in any detail.

I also found her relationships with her "symbionts" disturbing because they had so little choice in whether or not they became permanent blood donors/sex partners. Yes, apparently they each get one chance to walk away, but this is at the point that they are already addicted to vampire venom and willing to give up everything they have ever known to get it.

I liked that Shori was intelligent and strong (oh boy is she strong!) and that she was a person of colour. Yet that last bit...somehow the way she was a product of genetic engineering and the insane racism and anger it generated rung false to me. And that is a really important part of the story. I am not saying that in real life none of this would ever happen, just that to me it wasn't convincing in the story so it's a shame it wasn't better handled. Considering that they are at the heart of the mystery regarding Shori, I would have liked to see the Silk family fleshed out a little. It seemed like there were so many families thrown at us right at the end and even the main ones were pretty vague. The ending isn't really an ending (makes sense to find out that the author died before being able to write sequels).

I liked that this book forced me out of my comfort zone, but I am not sure that I really got anything out of it beyond some uncomfortable entertainment. I think I will try to see if I can find some of Butler's other work and give it a try because everyone seems to find her earlier work to be much better.

View all my reviews

June 17, 2014

This Sale is Hot, Hot, Hot!

The weather is toasty to the point of roasting, so we're having a...wait for sale! I know, it's awful, but it works for car dealerships. lol.
Check out some of the items that will be discounted during our

Pre-4th of July Sale-A-Thon!

Use Discount Code: 7414SAVE

Participating shops and their links here

In my shop you can use the code to get 20% off of any purchase $10 or more!

This sale will last until July 2nd (or July 5th in my case) so grab your oven mitts and snap up one of our *sizzling* deals.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.