moonlight walk~

this is my booklikes blog. enjoy~

Amazing start to a mythological YA dystopian fantasy series!

City of Gods - Hellenica - Jonathan Maas

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are an interesting bunch I have not yet seen adopted in YA fiction and they are the main characters of this story. Well, the main characters are likely their reincarnations or something, as much as I could tell based on some remarks throughout and as crazy as it sounds, and they are also 15. Wow, it sounds a bit weird to say that, because those are children and I did not feel they were and did not even imagine them that young while reading. They certainly were some special fifteen-year-olds, very grown-up, professional, serious and that made sense, because they were raised in special conditions, which I reckon would have made anyone grow up faster than it is "normal".

In the focus of the story is the forthcoming apocalypse which shall be caused by our main characters. Though, instead of ending the world, they plan to guide it through a rebirth. That main event that the story was build towards to has not happened yet and I cannot wait to see it happen. The main things described in this book were the training of the 16 young gods that were brought to the Academy and getting rid of a certain plague that infected the Academy soon after the new recruits came to Hellenica.

A lot of different mythological references, a lot of different gods and creatures from different mythologies have made this so awesome to me. I also liked how they were all given brief descriptions so that even people who are not that familiar with them would not miss out on anything. The interactions between Spartans and Amazons were particularly interesting to read. I liked the whole ultimate mythological worldbuilding. Such a vast world, so much potential there that it was so easy to get into it and I just want to dive into it even more. There were even some funny moments with my kind of humour and a lot of smart thoughts about life and the world in general.

The four different points of view were another interesting aspect of the story. It felt nice to be in the heads and feel the thoughts of all the four main characters, whose names are, by the way, Kayana, Gunnar, Tommy and Saoirse, which I find are really cool names for such epic characters. Kayana was an especially interesting character, with her unique ways and worldview; her crewmates were interesting too, but she got a bit more development and has the best powers. Academy students, other than the Horsemen, did not get much development, but enough to come to life and give more colour to the story. So I hope the other characters will play bigger roles later. Some certain romantic pairings were subtle, yet obvious, but did not change the focus of the story and fortunately were not brought to the front, no sudden shifts, which I liked a lot because that would have changed the mood too much. I do hope those relationships will get further developed, though.

I was so happy to find out that there will be a sequel to this, because it does seem like the first book in a series and it does seem incomplete. It is very well done, but I would not have really liked it if it were a standalone, because so many characters and such a big world would have been superfluous for the story so far.

I would recommend this book to all YA fantasy, dystopian and mythology fans. I enjoyed it a lot.

Live Your Dance

Brave and Awake: A Story of Authentic Becoming - Beverly Molina
We have come here to dance. We have come here to dance the dance of our dreams. Shall we allow it to unfold before us? Come, beautiful stranger, let us dance.

Brave and Awake: A Story of Authentic Becoming is the author's own story. But it is my story, your story, our story, too. The book itself is divided into three parts, three big steps in our journey to awakening. The author shared with us her personal experiences which made it easier to comprehend some ideas, to truly understand the purpose of it all. The main theme is self-discovery--awakening to ourselves, to who we really are deep inside and thus creating our own happiness. It is a very insightful guide for us to always have the courage to let ourselves shine, to make our inner diamond free of this world's dirt and see it for what it is, to scratch beneath our human-body costumes and beneath all our additional costumes for all our roles in this play called Life.

This book really spoke to me. I felt inspired. It took so long for me to read it because I tried to somehow implement these things in my life, try them out... From the first chapter I knew this was for me. It was not a coincidence--coincidences don't exist anyway. I knew all these things. I have had most these thoughts before and still have, but it was still an exciting experience to read thoughts that resonate with me and about things that I think about a lot, which actually shouldn't come as a surprise. I think this would resonate with a lot of people, because when it comes to this, I believe we're all pretty much the same.

I think this is something all of us need. Unlike most kinds of self-help books, I assume, the theme of this book is something everyone can relate to, because everyone wants to be happy. Everyone. That is something deeply ingrained in us. I want to be happy, too. And I was reminded that it is up to me. My happiness is in my hands and your happiness is in your hands, too. I am grateful I read this book. I'm grateful for all the circumstances leading to me reading it. I still feel inspired. It really was an informative, interesting and uplifting read. I will surely return to it frequently to check some "Tools of the Trade" or read some sentences or paragraphs I marked which stood out to me, which I thought I should always have in my mind.

The B Girl

The B Girl - James J. Caterino The title of the book suggests it is about a girl, probably some kind of a superhero. Then after the first or maybe second chapter I figured out what it really meant and it means something really cool. B... b... bee? Yeah. A young adult book about a young adult girl, in the summer between her last year of high school and first year of college. Technically, maybe something between young and new adult. And she is on the verge of death, not such an unusual setting in the stories I have read or heard of lately. But this story is not a tragic one, not really. The bad things that might have happened have nothing to do with weakness, sadness, hopelessness. Everything about this is just as the title might suggest at first, it is a wonderful and touching story about a young superwoman! It is also a tribute to nature, with a strong save-the-world message.

The writing style is from the third person point of view, quite informal, which suits the intended audience perfectly. There are a lot of pop culture references, which I like, except one that is funny to see but I still do not really like to see anywhere, and that is Donald Trump. However, I like the penis substitute metaphors, which would probably suit every feminist's fancy. Something that might be a hit or miss for some people is a certain relationship age gap present in this book. Personally, I am not a big fan of it, but then again, this age gap was not too big, I guess. And the fact that one of the characters addressed that matter and showed some sort of low-key disapproval of that, but also had some arguments for that relationship made me accept it and even see it as fitting. Thankfully though, that is only a side story here, a mandatory love-interest part, but the main events are about some things much sweeter.

This story is heavily centred around a close life-long female friendship between the main characters Victoria and Zoe, V and Z, as they like to call themselves. Seemingly average teenage girls, they're not average at all. Zoe is an already rather accomplished filmmaker-to-be and Victoria is her strong and beautiful best friend with the biggest heart, who is usually the star in her films. They are always there for each other and their biggest wish has always been to spend the rest of their lives together, to truly be best friends forever. Throughout the story they run into some obstacles, challenges, things that tried to bring them apart, but nothing is bound to succeed at such an attempt, not even death itself--for their connection is stronger than anything. It even gets stronger after an out-of-the-world orgasmic sci-fi-esque experience they shared, which made Zoe a believer in metaphysical things she had never thought she could believe in. The few retrospects of some key events of their lives, which were all well preserved in Zoe's video archive and her memories, too, were things that deepened our understanding of the beauty of their friendship. The events at Bluehole, their secret place, a waterfall, were so beautifully described and made me wish I were there with them, too. The atrium, too, made for a really soothing atmosphere. I like how the author allowed us to be in some animals' thoughts, to see how they might feel-- just the way he did with the chimpanzees in Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians. Aside from that alone, we even got the chance to imagine what it would be like would our two worlds collided. How other beings might react to something we claim for ourselves--emotions. We see the possibility of other beings maybe not having the same thing, but something similar to it, maybe even much greater--here called the stream.

Every message this book conveys is very positive and fitting for young adults girls, young adults in general, and everyone else, really. It is also very exciting, suspenseful, full of surprises and interesting events that lead to a perfect ending. I have not expected that and I do not think I would have liked it any other way. I am content with it the way it is, but I am sure a sequel would be awesome, as well.

I Unlove You

I Unlove You - Matthew  Turner 80s, 90s vibe. Those good old days. Cool days. I-wish-I-lived-in-that-era kind of sentiment. Reading this made me feel like I was really there, living that cool smooth chill life.

I truly enjoyed reading this novel. I loved the writing style, the way the story developed, the way all those five feelings were brought to the surface and life and the way they made me feel.
Apropos, the unloveart was beautiful and made this experience even more memorable, so kudos to that artist as well.

I think this is the first time I've ever read a new-adult novel and I think I should do this more often, since I'm a new-adult myself.

Erotic Seduction

Erotic Seduction - Moll Molone DNF

1. Erotic Seduction 1.5/5.0
The writing was not very good. I was not sure what was going on in a few scenes. This being an erotic story, I expected more detailed sex scenes. Only one of them was well done, detailed enough that is. Another thing is that I do not really enjoy stories about infidelity. This would not have been a problem if other elements were better, though.

2. The Mistress 1.5/5.0
A bit better written than the first story. It was even shorter, though. It ended more realistically, too.

3. The Awakening 2.0/5.0
OK. This one seemed the least complete so far. A nice setting, however.

... and then I stopped. I decided to stop torturing myself.

The Martian

The Martian - Andy Weir Wow. Astounding.
I almost cried at the end.
Wow.

The Crocodolly

The Crocodolly - Martin McKenna This was a very cute story about a girl and her new doll. A very very unusual doll, who was her friend she had to hide. Soon she could no longer hide her friend like that, so she had another cunning plan about what to do with him. Quite a surprising plan!

I really enjoyed this picture-book a lot, much more than I expected. I liked the drawings. It was a nice touch that some initial sketch lines were visible here and there.

I would recommend it to everyone, because it made me smile. :)

A Vampire at Christmas

A Vampire at Christmas - Anthony Renfro Here are two very short stories. The main story was much shorter than I expected. Only one third, while the "bonus short story" was two thirds of this edition.
A Vampire at Christmas is about a man who turns a vampire after being bitten by a vampire in a forest at winter after leaving his fiancée's house. And as a vampire he tries to keep his human self still alive by trying to feed on bad people as much as it is possible. Every Christmas he distributes some gifts in the form of money mostly to charities or people in need. That was about it, I guess.
Bonus Short Story: Need to Feed is about a town fighting vampires and werewolves at the same time every year. This year was more successful than the previous ones in a way, because they managed to save the other towns on their predators' way.
I liked how good wins in these stories, but not completely.
Short and enjoyable. Would recommend.

Angela

Angela - Adam M. Booth Bird girl.

A really exceptional story. I have to admit I have never experienced anything alike. It had some ideas I have had in my mind from who knows where, but this specific combination of all these elements felt unique to me.

It is very very dark. And it is very very well written so that I was drown right into Angela's world and I could not breath again until I stopped listening for a moment.

The narrator did a very good job. I loved the narration. The only part that was a bit weird to me was the imitations of the women's voices. It sounded a bit funny at first, but later on I found them fitting. And sad and... They did not feel like parodies, they felt... tragic.

Beautiful.

.
.
.
They can't imagine the deep obsidian seam that runs through the bedrock of families like ours, or the horrors that take place on the other side of the walls they share with us, or in the shadows at the bottom of their boring gardens, because Angela is not alone, and nature has a dark heart.
.
.
.

I really want to read Angela again sometime, once I have recovered.

Little Rabbit

Little Rabbit - Chevoque I am not really into BDSM, but this was pretty hot.

Top Christmas books for all ages

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

#1. Clive Staples Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

In the never-ending war between good and evil, The Chronicles of Narnia set the stage for battles of epic proportions. Some take place in vast fields, where the forces of light and darkness clash. But other battles occur within the small chambers of the heart and are equally decisive.

Review on Booklikes:

I cannot explain my reading preferences or my childhood as a whole without including this book. I can't tell you when my first reading of this book took place, as I cannot remember a time when I didn't know the four Pevensies, that 'once a king or queen in Narnia...always a king or queen of Narnia', and the 'not safe, but good' Aslan. I must have read this book at least three dozen times, listened to the radio drama multiple times, and watched BBC's mini-series of this so much I can hear the actors' voice and diction of nearly every line of the book. This book is woven intricately into my life.

#2. Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol

It is the twenty-fourth of December. Mean old Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his freezing cold office shouting 'Bah! Humbug!' at anyone who dares wish him a Merry Christmas. But that night the miser has a terrifying visitor. Marley, his dead business partner who must wander the earth for ever to pay for his sins, comes with a warning. Scrooge will be haunted by three more spirits. The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future arrive to show Scrooge the hardship he has caused...

Review on Booklikes:

My first experience with Dickens and it was very pleasurable. A Christmas Carol is very short, but how much it packs in! I think this is a story that we all think we know, having seen TV versions, theatrical productions and even advertising based on it [very ironic, yes?]. Scrooge has become synonymous with grasping selfishness and we forget that he undergoes a significant transformation during the course of the story.

#3. O. Henry

The Gift of the Magi

In a shabby New York flat, Della sobs as she counts the few coins she has saved to buy a Christmas present for her husband, Jim. A gift worthy of her devotion will require a great sacrifice: selling her long, beautiful hair. Jim, meanwhile, has made a sacrifice for Della that is no less difficult. As they exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, the discovery of what each has done fills them with despair, until they realize that the true gifts of Christmas can be found more readily in their humble apartment than in any fine store. O. Henry paints a masterly portrait of unfaltering love, a haven from the harsh world outside. The poignancy of his story is captured in P.J. Lynch's eloquent art, wherein every glance, every gesture, tells a subtle truth.

Review on Booklikes:

A really inspirational Christmas story with a moral to keep in your heart all year through.

#4. Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

The Nutcracker is a Christmas story about a little girl named Maria and her wooden doll, the Nutcracker, who became alive to fight the evil seven-headed Mouse King. This edition includes 20 illustrations by Artus Scheiner and Ludwig Willem Reymert Wenckebach.

Review on Booklikes:

It's always fascinating to find the true story behind a tradition. I've always wondered where the nutcrackers story came from and why the ballet was always so popular. I never in my mind thought that it originated from a fairy tale, nor that one of my favorite authors, Dumas, had written his own take on it not too many years later after. E.T.A. Hoffman wrote the original and overall I thought it was not too hard to follow, but in the end I was happy to know the story but wasn't overly impressed to see how this had inspired a tradition.

#5 Hans Christian Andersen

The Snow Queen

Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, the classic tale of friendship, love, and bravery, is beautifully retold with lavish illustrations by master artist Bagram Ibatoulline.

Best friends Kai and Gerda would do anything for each other. When Kai starts to behave cruelly and disappears, Gerda sets out on an epic quest to save Kai from the evil Snow Queen. But can Gerda break the Snow Queen's enchantment and complete the final task?

Review on Booklikes:

Kay and Gerda's stories start quite similarly. Both are carried off, partly as a result of their own actions, though they are taken far further than they thought. Both are trapped by magical beings who cause them to lose their memory and give them impossible or meaningless occupations. The difference is, Gerda escapes...The story is really about her journey, as for what it all means, I'm still trying to figure that out.

#6 Tove Jansson

Moominland Midwinter

Everyone knows the Moomins sleep through the winter. But this year, Moomintroll has woken up early. So while the rest of the family slumber, he decides to visit his favorite summer haunts. But all he finds is this strange white stuff. Even the sun is gone! Moomintroll is angry: whoever Winter is, she has some nerve. Determined to discover the truth about this most mysterious of all seasons, Moomintroll goes where no Moomin has gone before.

Review on Booklikes:

I ran across this book and I supposed that the Gods were telling me to read it again.  It is generally considered one of the best Moomin books, although I would only rank it myself somewhere in the middle.  However, as I think Tove Jansson is a genius that means that the book is still an excellent book. This time around the beauty of the writing struck me in a way that it had not before.

#7 Nikolai Gogol

The Night Before Christmas

It is the night before Christmas and devilry is afoot. The devil steals the moon and hides it in his pocket. He is thus free to run amok and inflicts all sorts of wicked mischief upon the village of Dikanka by unleashing a snowstorm. But the one he’d really like to torment is the town blacksmith, Vakula, who creates paintings of the devil being vanquished. Vakula is in love with Oksana, but she will have nothing to do with him. Vakula, however, is determined to win her over, even if it means battling the devil.

Review on Booklikes:

This is a very early work by Gogol'.
He was just 22 and already very brilliant when wrote these two books of Ukrainian tales now recollected in a single edition. Apparently these "Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod" don't have that much to share with most of the following production by this author, but still they show several characteristics of his talent and genius. Gogol' sense of humour here was more direct and popularesque, tied to the tradition of oral tales while later became bitter and melancholic with the combination of daily life and sophisticated influences. The sense of fantastic, supernatural, the counterposition (and the intersections) between evil and faith make these tales extremely enjoyable and worth of being re-read many times.

 

  

 

 

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity - Julia Serano This book broadened my perspectives about all the topics that were discussed in it. I was not aware of all the struggles trans women have before I read this book. And I never thought about all the different kinds of sexism and why do they exist. I cannot say I totally agree with all the opinions and suggestions, but all in all I think these ideas should be a guide for fighting sexism as a society. I recommend this book to every person in the world. These ideas deserve to be heard.

Dream Relationship

Dream Relationship - Chevoque Quite hot, indeed.
For women with bisexual fantasies.

Black Friday Deals begin...

Reblogged from Murder by Death:

Bookdepository.com is offering Black Friday deals and this weekend you can get an additional 10% off by using the code BLACKFRIDAY.

 

(Bookdepository doesn't show the discount field unless you click on a link from the email. I've pasted the link here, so just click this if you want to get the extra 10%.)

 

They're Amazon owned (although they operate independently) but they ship free internationally.  

Reblogged from INNAH'S BOOK LIFE:

Unputdownable

Lust, Money & Murder - Mike Wells

Unputdownable, indeed.

4/5

Currently reading

Cover Her Face by P.D. James
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Das gestohlene Paradies by Jem Poster