Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting. This week I’m choosing Calamity by Brandon Sanderson which is the third and final book in The Reckoners trilogy. I really love Steelheart which is the first book in the series and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I still have to read Firefight but since I’m planning on picking that up as one of my first 2016 reads, I’ve already preordered Calamity so I can jump right into it and finish the trilogy. Without giving any spoilers, the series is about people who wake up with powers one day but instead of becoming superheroes, they rule over regular people through fear. The gifted people are called Epics and there are different degrees of power. The book follows a group of rebels called The Reckoners who are fed up with being treated poorly by the Epics so they plan and carry out assassinations of minor Epics. You can read my full review of the first book here and you may want to avoid the summary below so things aren’t spoiled for you!
When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.
David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back…
But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying. (via Goodreads)
If you’ve been spending any time around my blog this past month you may have noticed that I have an undying love of all things Christmas. Because of this love and my passion for different fandoms I’m incapable of passing up a great decoration especially if it makes a character I love a little more festive. My two favorite sets of decorations I’ve purchased this season are Star Wars Itty Bittys which are available at Hallmark stores and the holiday box of Tsum Tsums. I bought Yoda, C3PO and Chewbacca from the Star Wars collection but there’s also an adorable R2D2 that I need to complete the set. I didn’t pick him up at the same time because he looks like a reindeer and sadly, all of the antlers on the ones in the store were bent :-/ The holiday Tsum Tsum box can be purchased at the Disney Store and it includes Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Donald and Daisy! What are your favorite fandom decorations?
I can honestly say that I never thought I would live in a world where I would find the Spider-Man purse of my dreams and then not be able to afford it. Not to mention, it’s a Spider-Man purse being released by high fashion designer VALENTINO. Ladies and gentlemen, that is not a typo. Neiman Marcus describes this exclusive design as an abstract Spider-Man motif. This leather purse is crafted in Italy and officially licensed by Marvel Comics. If you happen to have an extra $4,595.00 laying around you can pre-order this beautiful accessory here (and I will be forever jealous of you). I feel like this purse pairs perfectly with one of my favorite limited series of Spider-Man comics entitled Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane which is written by Sean McKeever and illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa. You may be thinking, really (since I am very vocally Team Gwen)? But this series is very Gwen Stacy heavy and the artwork is delightful so yes, it will forever be a favorite of mine!
*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is no way swayed my opinions.*
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken was my most anticipated ARC at BEA (and I managed to get it!) but after finding out there was an updated draft I made an executive decision to wait until the finished copy… until, an updated ARC was printed. I was lucky enough to receive one and the moment it appeared in my mailbox I was so ready to dive in! I’m very happy to say that Passenger did not disappoint. The story is full of time travel and pirates (two instant selling points for myself) and it follows Etta and Nicholas who embark on a journey through time to recover an artifact that could destroy the time stream completely if it falls into the wrong hands. From the moment I started reading until the moment I finished I was completely enthralled with the story and the characters. Passenger is a truly gripping read. You still have time to enter my Passenger giveaway too!
A big part of why I loved Passenger so much is because Alexandra Bracken’s imagery made me feel like I was time traveling along with the Etta and Nicholas. I found it took me longer to read Passenger than it has to read other books of a similar size and I think it’s because I was so overtaken by the story. I felt like I had to read at a slower pace to absorb each and every detail. Time travel stories can often feel confusing or convoluded but when they’re done correctly, like Passenger,they’re one of my favorite types of stories. The way in which all of the rules of the world were described made complete sense and makes the story approachable to those who aren’t accustomed to reading science fiction. The story is complicated in the best kind of way and I already began planning a re-read before I finished the first time. The race for this mysterious artifact had me HOOKED.
I love both Etta and Nicholas separately and together I ship them so much! Etta is a violinist from modern day New York set to debut at The Met when she’s thrust into this life that her mother never explained to her yet she manages to take everything in stride and quickly adapt to her situation. She’s driven by love and the desire to do what’s right and she won’t let any male or female get in her way despite the century she happens to be in. Etta challenges social issues from earlier times that she doesn’t agree with and I love her quick wit. Nicholas’s polite and calm demeanor balances out Etta’s impulsive whims. I particularly love his way of fighting back civilly during the Voltaire conversation despite the other character not deserving any of Nicholas’ time or attention. He’s a man who’s always been dealt an unfair hand due solely to his race and I want nothing more than for him to move to the current century with Etta and live happily ever after but that ending remains to be seen. I really need the second book in the duology, Wayfarer, as soon as possible. I also really enjoyed learning about Ironwood and the way he has been controlling time traveling families for years. He is a prime example of someone whose had a taste of power and will never be satisfied. He is out for his best interest despite how the consequences will effect anyone else.
Final Thoughts: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is the first book in a time travel duology that is a must read for anyone with a penchant for pirates and / or historical fiction. The world that Bracken has built is an enchanting and enhanced version of our own. The main characters Etta (from present day) and Nicholas (from the past) are the perfect pair to recover the astrolabe before our villain gets his hands on it and destroys the time stream for his own benefit. I ship them together so much (and I especially love using that phrase in regard to Passenger because pirates). It was so hard to keep this review spoiler free because I want to talk about every story element of it with everyone! Please read this book!
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.
In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever. (via Goodreads)
I absolutely adore devoting some cold nights of the holiday season to watching my favorite Christmas films from my childhood and watching some new ones in the hopes of finding more favorites. I compiled a list of the ones I make sure to watch every year along with two new ones I’m hoping to see before the big day. The first is called The Christmas Dragon and it looks so ridiculous in the best way. I watched the trailer and it focuses on woodland elves who are trying to save Christmas, evade goblins and they happen upon an iridescent dragon who they befriend and manage to use to fly Santa’s sleigh. It’s free to watch on Amazon Prime if you’re also interested. The second is Nativity! and it’s described as an improvised comedy that centers around a school nativity play. The major selling point on this one is that it stars Martin Freeman! What are some of your favorite holiday flicks?
Recently, the company who created FanMail reached out to me to see if I would like to unbox one of their monthly subscription boxes which each have a geeky theme. The box I received is full of tons of cool space franchise merchandise and you can see each item in the video below! If you would like to order your own FanMail box, you can visit their website here and use the code SUPERSPACE for a discount.
For this week’s 5 Fandom Friday topic I decided to make a video Christmas Wish List of all the books I would love to find beneath my tree on Christmas morning! I might have cheated a bit and listed 10 books instead of 5 but it was hard enough to narrow it down to 10 that I couldn’t possibly cut my list even shorter. Plus, of the books I mentioned there is something for just about everyone so you can also use it as a gift guide. I left links to all of the books I mentioned in the description box on YouTube. What are you hoping to get for Christmas this year?
Now that Andrew and I are going to be moving in together soon, I’ve been putting a lot more thought into our future home decor. Obviously the most fun part of that thinking involves decorations, but more specifically Disney decorations. We spent last weekend trimming the tree and my parents house and while I love all of the ornaments we’ve been using for years, I think my aesthetic is going to be much pinker and exclusively Disney. My favorite ornament of the bunch is definitely the Beast primping in the bathtub and the Sleeping Beauty and Tangled Mickey ears are close seconds. To see all of the purchasing information for each ornament, you can view the full set on Polyvore!
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is the first book in the Shatter Me trilogy. The book follows a girl named Juliette who has spent her life avoiding touching living things for fear of accidentally killing them. She lives in a dystopian society but she hasn’t been outside in years. Not since her parents had her locked away. Unfortunately I did not like this book as much as other people seem to but there are some redeeming qualities. I also wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it earlier on in life before dystopians saturated the YA market.
I had such a challenging time rating this book because I found the beginning and the ending very interesting but the middle barely held my interest. I know I fall on the unpopular end of the spectrum since everyone seems to love and rave about this series but it just didn’t get me excited like it has for others. It’s possible that the book was overhyped and I went into it with high expectations which weren’t met. I’m also not a huge fan of stories that are heavily militial. About three-fouths of the way through the book did a complete 180 and the story suddenly grabbed me. I felt more like I was reading an X-Men origin story comic than a YA novel.
What I enjoyed most about my reading experience is Mafi’s writing style. It’s very fluid and Juliette’s narrative is a stream of consciousness which allows the reader to plow through chapters at an exceptional speed. However, I did feel like there were a lot of scenes that seemed like something out of an erotica novel. I never truly warmed up to Juliette despite feeling bad for her being unable to control her ability. I grew to like Adam more than her, specifically because of his relationship with his little brother James and I even liked the villain, Warner better. However, I did not like the insta-love between Juliette and Adam. I will also say that the novel is full of action and there are constantly things happening to advance the plot, but nothing excited me until the final chapter and epilogue. I’m so torn on whether to keep reading since I like where the story is going or stopping for fear of not getting into the second book either. I don’t know what to do!
Final Thoughts: I did not enjoy Shatter Me as much as many others seem to have but I do see potential in the series. The first book lays the groundwork for an X-Men story in the making and the while the writing is lyrical and fluid, the action didn’t hold my interest. I would like to see where the story goes but I haven’t decided if I’ll be reading on. If you enjoy dystopians, I would suggest checking it out!
I have a curse
I have a gift
I am a monster
I’m more than human
My touch is lethal
My touch is power
I am their weapon
I will fight back
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. (via Goodreads)
I was so happy when I found out that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were teaming up to release a new film together. They’re two of the most intelligent and hilarious women and they’re also best friends. They’re basically the best female duo in Hollywood. It must’ve been a blast to film together and I can’t wait to see what they’ve created.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reunite for Sisters, a new film from Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore about two disconnected sisters summoned home to clean out their childhood bedroom before their parents sell the family house. Looking to recapture their glory days, they throw one final high-school-style party for their classmates, which turns into the cathartic rager that a bunch of ground-down adults really need.
Fey produces the comedy alongside Jay Roach (Meet the Parents series) and John Lyons (Austin Powers in Goldmember), and Poehler executive produces alongside Jeff Richmond and Brian Bell from a script by Paula Pell (TV’s Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock).
Starring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, James Brolin, John Cena, John Leguizamo and Dianne Wiest
One (1) ban.do Giant Gem Speaker, SISTERS Sweatshirt, T-shirt, and party cup will be given away. Prize pack is valued at $100 and provided by Universal Pictures. Open to US addresses only.
Like SISTERS on Facebook
Visit the official website