Unraveling Words

Unraveling Words one book at a time

"Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness."


Proxy - Alex London 3.5Proxy is a retelling of The Whipping Boy, never read it, so can't give you a good comparison with it, but what I can tell you is that this was quite the entertaining read all by itself.When I read the blurb I was immediately intrigued with the idea of having a proxy. It was messed up and yet while you are reading it makes a kind of sick sense with how their society is made up. Their whole society is based on debts. They keep track of this through your blood. I'm guessing they injected some kind of nanotechnology that stays in your blood stream? I was a bit disappointed that London didn't explain this better. He just left it at that, now how the whole system came about and how it was integrated. This lack of depth is one of if it's flaws. While London does make a good job of explaining the society Knox and Syd are living in, and how it all works. It all stayed in the now, nothing about the past was explained so you can't really get a good grip on it, but I decided to let it go, because the book is good anyway.As I have mentioned before I love my characters, and in this, London did not disappoint. At first Knox is your typical rebellious, rich kid teenager. Even knowing that he has a proxy and the one getting beat for it is Syd and not him, he never changes his ways. He had stopped seeing Syd as a person anymore and he took it more as a defiance to his dad. Then Knox has that accident and things start changing quickly. He is finally confronted with Syd and decides to help him out, but not out of the goodness of his heart. And this one quality of Knox, is what both made me like him and dislike him at times. I liked that he was honest with himself and with his intentions. He did what he had to do to keep going, and he wasn't ashamed of it, but at the same time I would get pissed at how shallow he would come across at times, but he showed some great character development as the book progressed.Then there was Syd, he was like Knox in a way as well. He was the center of it all. Multiple people kept telling him what he had to do, and both Know and Maria kept trying to sway him to one or the other side, like his personal little demon and angel over his shoulder, but Syd is Syd, and he can think for himself. He never once gave up and just let other people make the decisions for him, and for that Syd gets my utmost respect :)And lastly there was Maria, who I like to think of as the third wheel of the trio. She butt into the running away plan, acted like she was holier than thou, and was just ALWAYS there! It pissed me off! Yes she was strong and saved their butts a few times, but that doesn't mean I have to like the chick. She was annoying as hell. Her near fanatic beliefs and about Syd where creepy. I'm all for being optimistic during hard times and even a tad idealistic, but fanaticism? Hell no.I was hoping she would die during their journey, multiple times, unfortunately that didn't happen :(So...Would I recommend it? Yes I would!


Lexicon - Max Barry

2.5 Stars


I am really not sure what to make of this book. It was interesting enough to keep me reading the whole way, but there was just something about it that rubbed me the wrong way.


I've been trying to figure out what exactly it is that is preventing me from giving this book a higher rating. So I've come to the conclusion that it was a combination of the writing style, the subject matter and a few plot holes.


It took me quite some time to get used to the writing style and really get into the book. It didn't help that it kept going back and forth in time and it didn't freaking tell you. You just had to figure it out as you read along. It had the paragraph breaks and such but these breaks didn't always mean it changed time and story-line focus, so you really couldn't count on it for anything. The dialogue as well didn't come across as believable to me. It felt too stilted and forced at times. It just took entirely too long to get used to it and figure out the sequence of events and how many years it kept jumping ahead while still being in the past and then when it jumped back to the present, till it caught up. It was just really hard to keep up.


Then we have the subject matter it self. The Lexicon. The idea that you can persuade someone, control their minds, by uttering specific words that will let you bypass the defense mechanisms of your brain.


"A word is a recipe. A recipe for a particular neurochemical reaction. When I say ball, your brain converts the word into meaning, and that's a physical reaction. You can see it happening on a an EEG. What we are doing, or, I should say, what you're doing, since no one has taught me any good words, is dropping recipes into the people's brains to cause a neurochemical reaction to knock out the filters. Tie them up just long enough to slip an instruction past. And you do that by speaking a string of words crafted for the person's pychographic segment. Probably words that were crafted decades ago and have been strengthened ever since. And it's a string of words because the brain has layers of defenses, and for the instruction to get through, they all have to be disabled at once."


It was intriguing and the way it was presented at first made it incredibly believable, but then it got to the point where I started seeing it as more ridiculous than interesting, and from then on I just couldn't take it seriously again.


Lastly, we have the plot itself. I didn't know what was going on half the time since it kept going back and forth and nothing was revealed till the end, and I'd like to say I had a light bulb moment and suddenly everything made sense, but I'd be lying. I understand what was going on, but I'm still left with way too many questions, and I still don't get that ending! So if anyone who has read it mind explaining what the hell happened at the end, I'd appreciate it.


So, while this book was incredibly interesting and it kept me on my toes the whole time, there were too many different things that didn't agree with me to allow me to give this book a higher rating. I still think it's worth a read solely for the purpose that I'm not alone in my confusion :P

Belle Noir: Tales of Love and Magic - Ava Zavora A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.My favorite fairy tale at this point is Beauty and the Beast (I don't actually read many re-tellings but I love Beauty and the Beast), probably because it's one of the few that really drives in the point of true love. How they have learn to over come their first impressions and prejudices. How a person can change and just not physically, and how sometimes that just isn't enough.Each story had a different tone to it and it's own writing style that went with the type of tale that was told. Really liked how it was done and how it came across. These tales don't all have a happy ending, they are realistic in that sense, even with the elements of magic thrown in. All the stories are actually pretty depressing, but I really liked them anyway.My favorite one is Mirabilis followed by Transfigured. Even though all them are really short, and you are kind of just thrown in the middle of the story, you can still follow it through and even the world-building in each one was really well done. That's what drew me in with Mirabilis. It took place in a whole different fantastical place and even with its short length Zavora was able to capture this place's essence and weave a beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast.I also really liked the retelling for The Lady of Shalott, anything that has to do with Camelot I love, and it was a nice treat to have the actual poem there as well. My least favorite were Grotesque and Belle Noir, both because they just death with really tough issues. Belle Noir specially because it highlights that the beast doesn't have to be physically deformed for it to actually be one, and what a beast it was!What I really loved though were the endings in all of them. They end in such a way that you have to draw your own conclusions and even though they could be obvious ones they could end up being completely unexpected. It's really up to the reader to decide what kind of ending they would like to have.

Fade (In the Company of Shadows, #3)

Fade (In the Company of Shadows, #3) - Santino Hassell,  Ais 4.5 StarsI'm just going to write this review for the whole series. It's not spoilery, so it's safe to read.Even though these books were far from perfect they sucked me in and didn't let go. Even now I am having a huge book hangover. I love all these characters. I was there with them through it all and it was one hell of a ride.I think most of you will agree with me that these books were damn long, and I mean retarded long. So long, that it was what made me be so hesitant at first to even pick them up, aside from the m/m factor. Thing is, they could be shorter. If they do some heavy duty editing it could cut out quite a bit, because I did notice that once Boyd got started with his analyzing (which I actually did like and looked forward too) it was still became quite repetitive at times. There was also some very heavy descriptions at times that could be done without. Even though the length could be seen as a negative point, I still love these books so much that I never wanted them to end. The other slightly negative point was the pacing, but not really. Actually I only minded this during the first one, which coincidentally was the longest book of the 4. It seemed that at times nothing was really getting done when you thought about it in regards to Janus anyway. It was just a very long setting up for the rest of the books, which do get more things done when it came to Janus and the Agency both. It was also somewhat predictable at times, but not anything that would put you off.I had been looking for a good book dealing with assassins for awhile so when a friend pointed this one out I ended up caving even though I was uncomfortable with the m/m aspect of the story since I had never read one before, and I'm so glad I did! This was exactly what I was looking for. Finally a book about assassins that get the job done have their problems but don't become mopey-emo and woe-be-gone attitude. They killed, accepted their actions and went on with their lives, while still retaining, and in Sin's case, discovering his humanity again.While this book did deal with the Agency, assassinations, terrorism and the like, the main focus were the relationships, both friendship and romantic, between the characters. How hard it was for these people to create real friendships and even find love and once found keeping it. It was beautiful to witness the growth of both, Boyd and Sin, individually and then together, not to mention all the side characters.Let me talk about the characters, because this is really where these books shine. Sonny and Ais were geniuses in making these characters come to life. Making them real, their interactions, their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses. I fell in love with ALL of them. Every single one of them were exceptionally well written. I don't know what else to write in regard them besides just incoherent gushing, because that's just awesome they all are.The other excellent selling point was the way the book was set up. It's written in third person, but different points of views. It's mainly Boyd and Sin of course but we get insight into the rest of them at times and that's really what made them so great. You get to see everything in all their different perspectives and draw your own conclusions.That ending was great. Do not click on that spoiler if you haven't read all 4 books! I think it's funny how the adults were the ones who managed to actually stay off the grid while all the 'kids' were easily found again. In my opinion I think after some very deep thinking and discussions between Sin and Boyd, I think they would eventually go back. They are unsatisfied and they always will be. Once you are in that kind of life and that's basically all you know how to do, there is nothing else and that's why Sin was like that. But I'm sure they would have contacted Emilio and Carhart before making any actual decisions.So if you are looking for a book about secret government agencies, kick ass assassins, missions, with some romance, death and gore thrown in. You should really read these. Don't let the length of the books intimidate you, they are worth it. I promise.

Afterimage (In the Company of Shadows, #2)

Afterimage (In the Company of Shadows, #2) - Santino Hassell,  Ais 3.5 StarsDamn book had me suffering! Sweet ending though :)

Evenfall (In the Company of Shadows, #1)

Evenfall (In the Company of Shadows, #1) - Santino Hassell,  Ais Review to come!

The Oathbreaker's Shadow

The Oathbreaker's Shadow - Amy McCulloch 2.5 StarsI was so excited to read this book. It has such a unique concept and setting, so I was all pumped to start reading. Not 10 chapters later I was already struggling to keep going...I don't even know what was really the problem. Yes the pace was really slow at the start (Read 80%) but it's not like nothing at all was happening. The writing was excellent and Raim was alright for the most part. I guess it was just a combination of all the little things that started bothering me.The slow pacing, some of Raim's actions and his naive take on things, Khareh, Edrene, Wadi. Ok, so I guess the biggest problem was I just didn't like most of the characters. I think the only one I cared about was Dharma and she wasn't in it for that long. Because of my inability to care much about any of them or connect to any of them, I just found the whole book dragged for entirely too long. Even when we got to the good part (After the 80% mark) I couldn't really muster that much enthusiasm. It was more of a FINALLY! Let's get on with it! Which really shouldn't be the kind of feeling you are supposed to get out of it.The plot while being unique with it's believes of oaths and shadows, was still quite predictable. Nothing was truly a surprise, everything left me with a 'right, that's what I thought' feeling throughout the whole book, even during it's 'big reveal' moment, which honestly wasn't big at all. Then we get to the ending and the big showdown scene, and all I could think through the whole thing was, 'Someone just kill Khareh and shut him up! Please!' Unfortunately that does not happen. There wouldn't be much a series if he died right away would it? Can you tell I really didn't like Khareh. From the start he was an incredible spoiled brat, it was astounding really. So yeah, if you look at it objectively, there is nothing majorly wrong with the book and it should have been awesome, but once you put all those little things together, well it was a struggle to get through it. Sad, because I really liked the concept of this book. If you go in knowing is going to be a slow steady pace with a nice enough plot, you'll enjoy it much more than I did.

Escapement: 1 (The Neumarian Chronicles)

Escapement - Ciara Knight 2.5 StarsI have mixed feeling about this book. While I did ultimately enjoy it somewhat I was also left unsatisfied.The first thing that threw me off was the way it was written. The tense used, was not working for me and it took me some time to get used to it and finally get into the story. While I was intrigued by all these new races and how they worked, or not worked together as the case may be, I wasn't given enough information to truly for an opinion. And that was really the whole problem with the book.For this being a dystopian-steampunk book there wasn't nearly enough world-building to really get a look at the whole world. And because of this I wasn't ever able to really get into it. I just couldn't picture some thing in my head and even though you are being told there was a war and such and how the terrain and climates changed, I felt like I wasn't given enough of a backdrop to be able to believe that it could turn out like that. Why territories? How does their form of government really work? It didn't seem like an actual monarchy so how does it work? Who decided on the territories? How is it possible and how did the whole 'cyborg' thing come about? Why copper and not some other metal? Where does the term Slag even come from?Besides those two points, everything else was great. I thought the characters were all solid, and the plot was interesting and moved at a steady pace that allowed you to keep reading effortlessly. But that one issue with the world building just really did me in.So because of what I felt was an inadequate amount of backdrop information, I was never able to immerse myself in the book as much as I would have liked.

Weighted (The Neumarian Chronicles, #0.5)

Weighted (The Neumarian Chronicles, #0.5) - Ciara Knight 2.5 StarsReview to come!

Of Triton

Of Triton - Anna Banks 2.5 StarsReview to come.

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker 4.5 Stars


Parasite - Mira Grant I'm going to read this for the sole reason of finding out if they can really pull of the whole tapeworm thing. Cause to make that happen with a tapeworm is entirely too much work and really low chances of it actually working. So, why not just use something else that would have been more realistic?


Outcast - Adrienne Kress This was quite the fun read, while still dealing with the coming of age issue and touching on some religious aspects. I'm gonna right ahead and say that the best part of the book was Riley. She was a spunky, kick ass girl, who would sometimes come off as being a bit of a snob at times, but could still really relate to her. She reminded me a lot of how I used to be in some aspects. Was a lot of fun to read everything through her eyes since I could understand her perfectly. She has a unique sense of humor and I loved how cautious she was. She didn't take anyone's word fro granted. Sure she would ask people questions, but she would always test and nit and pick at the answer till she was sure it was right. Really liked that about her. She has one slip in character towards the end. One I was wrinkling my nose at. She had been such a strong character since the start and then that happens and she just crumples like that. Don't think so.Plot wise, it was actually quite interesting. The idea that angels would come down to earth and randomly take people and the reason behind this was a new concept for me and Kress somehow makes it work. She was able to slip in so many different aspects that you don't really notice it till you are done with the book. It just all flowed so smoothly it was impossible to not let yourself be swept along.The romance was another great point for this book. There was no insta-love, no love triangles. Just a sweet slow romance that developed naturally and I really appreciated this. You don't get to see this in YA novels now a days for some strange reason. What ever happened to normal romance? No one ever said it was bad...Speaking of which, the MC actually has active parental units! And they are both pretty awesome! They are there for her and really loving and supportive through out the whole book. Again, something rare in YA books.I'll leave you with one of my favorite parts that isn't spoilery:"He reappeared maybe ten feet away in front of me. I heard laughing in my head. You're a strange one. That's the last straw, buddy. "Yeah, well, you're dead." And I shot that angel right in the face."*Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy!*

Book of Broken Hearts

The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah Ockler *Slight spoilers*This was a nice, cute, solid story. Totally got blindsided by the Alzheimer's, a warning would have been nice. Then again I probably wouldn't have picked it up if that had been the case and this was definitely worth a read.I had been looking for a light fluffy read and while this did deliver for the most part, it had it's certain baggage as well. When the blurb mentioned Jude's ailing father I hadn't known that it was about Alzheimer's. Me and the German (as my family has come to know it) have an intimate relationship, unfortunately. I have lost a great-grandma (Yes, I actually do remember my great-grandma, not great memories though), a grandma, and soon to be another grandma to The German. Wouldn't be surprised if one of my aunts (there's 4 total including my mom) end up with the disease as well and eventually one of us. Probably wondering why the detail about the 4 aunts specifically. Jude has 3 sisters as well, so you get where I'm going with this. The similarities abound. I understood what they had to go through and how much it sucks to not only realize that they are starting to lose it but that they won't even remember you, and not just that. They become aggressive as well, it's not pretty. Ockler did get one thing wrong, and that's the advise that the doctors give you with how to treat them. The first thing they tell you is you have to just go along with whatever they say, can't start arguing with them and trying to prove them wrong. The girls only realized this all the way towards the end of the book, and that just wasn't right.Another thing I wasn't too keen on was the way the family kept trying to keep it all within the family. It's just not going to work. It's better for everyone else to know in case something happens and they can deal with it a bit easier or be somewhat prepared. And this part in particular really ticked me off at times, it was so silly. Endangering his life just to keep their pride or whatever? Don't think so.Now that I have written, like an essay on Alzheimer's let's get to the fluffy part of the book xD I liked Jude for the most part, she was a pushover for too long, but that was the point. This was her journey to finding herself and getting her spirit and living HER life, not whatever everyone else dictated her. I would have snapped a long time ago with how her sister's were, but that's just me :P I loved Emilio, he was always there for her, nudged her the right away and supported her through having to deal with her father having Alzheimer's. They had some great moments and I really loved how Jude narrated her life. She had just the right amount of depth, childishness, naivete, humor."The heart-in all its infinite wisdom (with some backdoor bribery from the hormones)-was totally edging in on this Vargas boy situation, and the heart didn't know the meaning of terminado."My favorite character has to be Pancake though. This was one awesome dog. Totally helped Jude deal with her issues too."Even Pancake lifted his head at that one, like, Jude, can't you keep your crazy shit together for five minutes? You have the attention span of a-look! Ohmigod! BUNNIES!"All in all this was a nice coming-of-age read, great cast of characters with a believable romance and a good dose of humor.

Patagonia: Light and Shadows

Patagonia: Light and Shadows - Rue Volley,  Madison Daniel It's not bad, but I honestly don't get it. It's going entirely too fast and no answers what so ever. I don't understand how all the oceans could have just dried up in under 5 years or how the earth apparently stopped rotating so there isn't night, just day all the time, but you can still see the moon. Not to mention Patagonia itself and the kids who live there. Where did it all come from? Why them? How does it all work, and where exactly is it? I was left floundering the whole time. There was nothing that made it stick enough for me to be able to believe this world that Volley has created.If this was longer and had some explanations in terms of the world-building, it would be 100x better.

Bound by Prophecy: 1 (Descendants Series)

Bound by Prophecy - Melissa Wright This was a short book and it kept my interest through out. While this was by no means a mastermind plot it was entertaining and solid.I really liked the world building and the characters in this one. Like I said before the plot wasn't mind-blowing by any means and while there were some twists it was nothing that I hadn't already figured out before. With that said, what really shined here were the characters, their interactions and the world building. I'm still a bit unclear on some aspects of their history and how exactly their powers work, but for the most part it was really well done, easily followed and I could easily see myself there.For characters we have Aern, out main guy, who I really liked. He was resourceful, stood by his principles and fought for his people and his love. Then we have Brianna and Emily. We don't really get to see much of Brianna since she is already in a safe house for most of the book, but once she is introduced, I immediatly liked her. Might be cause I'm biased when it comes to Seers/Prophets whatever you want to call them. She was quiet and kinda of gave off that aura of being unassuming but she had a tough quiet authority that I fully appreciated.Lastly, we have Emily, Brianna's sister. She was resourceful as well, and tough. She took things in stride for the most part, while running for her life with a stranger. She was determined to save her sister and she would do whatever it was to make that happen. It didn't hurt that she could kick some ass too :)The romance was slow, tentative, natural, and quite realistic. There were no love triangles. Thank God! And the romance was really more of a backdrop to the whole book, which was nice. They had more pressing matter,s what with the war and the prophecy and his psycho brother, to be going all angsty about the romance.All in all, this was a short, but solid start to a new series, which I'll be keeping my eye on.