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Andy Diggle – Snapshot
“Finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers”
Well, it’s actually intended to be completely in black and white with no colored highlights but I just didn’t like it. The story is still intriguing in the first issue but the rest of the volume is sadly a disappointment…

rating: 1/5

Moriah McStay – Everything That Makes You
“It is who I am. That’s what I’m saying.”

rating: 4/5 | thoughts

Danielle Page – The Witch Must Burn
“You can’t choose who you are. But you can choose what you’ll become.”
I liked to see more of Glinda and learn new aspects of her! Jellia as a character though doesn’t interest me at all… one could have made more of her fairy roots.

rating: 2/5

Danielle Page – The Wizard Returns
“Do you really think that’s how it works? You forget about all the bad things you did, and they just go away? The people you hurt still remember.”
Memory loss as a tool to make a bad guy see his actions and deeds in a new light – not original. But the twist at the end makes the wizard the most interesting character in the world of Oz and I just love him! Really hope we’ll see more of him in the last part of the trilogy!

rating: 5/5

Danielle Page – The Wicked Will Rise
“She had been both good and wicked and everything in between. She had been both at once, too, until it was hard for her to even tell the difference anymore.”
The second book starts right where the first one ended and is pretty solid over all. Page sometimes has problems to balance the plot – there are pages with a lot of stuff happening and then it’s back to nothing really happening for ages – but she manages to change the entire game at the end of the book with a fantastic cliffhanger!

rating: 4/5

Courtney Alameda – Shutter
“…I circled the words I promised you then, wondering who had been promised what kind of revenge, and when.”
Loved the world building and how you’re basically thrown into the action with very little explanations! Sadly Alameda later on feels the need to explain a lot of stuff which is unnecessary. The story sadly becomes very cliché-ridden later on and especially the villain character is very weak. Also I /love/ the typical deus ex machina ouija board scene in here.

rating: 3/5

Collen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher – Never Never (part 1)
“How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”
The setup is pretty cool and feels fresh. The way Silas and Charlie learn about themselves and how they aren’t too fond of the things they figure out is done neatly, and the cliffhanger at the end really leaves you hanging – good thing part 2 is due in May!

rating: 4/5

Sean Stewart – Cathy’s Ring
“Mein Name ist Cathy Vickers. Ich hasse es, warten zu müssen und ich hasse es, Angst zu haben, und im Zweifelsfall springe ich.”
Cathy… really isn’t very likeable and maybe that already makes her likeable again, I am not sure. I really love the overall idea of the immortals with different agendas but everything resolves way too easy and I don’t care about half the characters.

rating: 3/5

Hilary Mantel – Bring Up the Bodies
“The things you think are the disasters in your life are not the disasters really. Almost anything can be turned around: out of every ditch, a path, if you can only see it.”
CRUMB MY BOY – gosh, I loved this book! Only hesitating to give this an extra star because I have the feeling the last part can top it. The fall of Anne Boleyn is fascinating and seeing it from his perspective even more so. There are so many great scenes and quotes I love and considering how all this happens in such a little time frame… no words.

rating: 4/5

Charlie Huenemann – How You Play the Game: A Philosopher Plays Minecraft
“If Hard proves to be not hard enough for you, you can go “Hardcore,” which means that if you die, you stay dead. That is very hardcore indeed, as Heidegger once observed.”
It’s a trend to mix pop culture with philosophy and reinterpret it and the take on Minecraft as a subject is actually pretty well done. Plus you learn a lot about the game too!

rating: 4/5

Jude Fisher – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Visual Companion
The companion is pretty basic. You get a bunch of movie stills which are really blurry – seriously, the movies were filmed at a 5K resolution so they should be able to make better ones! Also as nice as it is to include the back stories for the dwarves, they’re not book canon and it wouldn’t hurt to mention that at some point…

rating: 3/5

Jude Fisher – Der Herr der Ringe. Die Gefährten/Die Zwei Türme/Die Rückkehr des Königs offizielle Begleitbücher
I love the companion books for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are a lot of details on the pages, maps, book canon back stories, (book) quotes, uncommon movie stills…

rating: 5/5 | 5/5 | 5/5

Victoria Schwab – The Ash-Born Boy
“And the boy whose temper seemed tethered to the air itself…they didn’t know what to make of him.”
Fantastic world building and a fresh character with cool powers. The name of the town is less than perfect if you have the Tolkienverse Dale on your mind but you can look over that. Of course this is just a novella to accompany The Near Witch so the story moves very fast towards the end and it’s short. I’d have loved to see more of it though!

rating: 4/5

Victoria Schwab – The Near Witch
“If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.”
The positive things: the witch mythology, language, revelation about the Near Witch, how Lexi is trained in a male profession from her father.
The negative things: The plot, especially the entire Wren subplot, drags at times. There are too many repetitions and the entire romance feels forced. I didn’t get Lexi’s mother at all and the ending was way too easy.

rating: 3/5

Katie Williams – Absent
“People want to believe bad things, I tell myself, glaring around at my classroom. They want to believe the most shocking story. They see you as the worst version of yourself.”
The starting point of the novel is original and makes you wonder about the characters and how they ended up here. Sadly there are very few explanations to the overall why and how and I hated how Williams took away the blame from Paige.

rating: 2/5

James Dashner – The Eye of Minds
“’My name is Kaine,’ it said. ‘And I see all.’”
The world building and story reminded me right from the start of other stories like Ready Player One, More Than This, Matrix and more. Dashner is pretty lazy with his world building overall and just throws words at you without a lot of explaining, for example I still don’t get the whole hacking aspect. The story starts to pick up a lot once the trio makes it on the Path and the revelation at the end was unexpected.

rating: 2/5

James Dashner – Gunner Skale
“To fully appreciate the Sleep, you had to embrace the Wake and all its drudgery.”
This short story helped to show how creepy Kaine and the doctrine really are!

rating: 3/5

James Dashner – The Rule of Thoughts
“Stay smart and run. Sounds like a sweet life.”
I don’t feel like the characters act realistically at all and there are tons of plot holes in The Rule of Thoughts. There are a handful of scenes throughout which make you go on but I don’t have high hopes for the final book.

rating: 2/5

Re Zension – Tödliche Rezension
This is a really short story which I got as a kindle freebie and although the cover is cool, the story is not. It’s about a self publishing author who gets a review. There was nothing ‘deadly’ about it at all and felt utterly pointless…

rating: 1/5

V. E. Schwab – Warm Up
“Some people forget, but David remembered everything.”
The pacing of this short is good and Schwab makes you want to figure out what’s wrong with David. At the end you immediately want to pick up Vicious because it’s so surreal and shocking – very well done teaser!

rating: 4/5

James Dashner –  A Mutiny in Time
“People still believe what the SQ tells them to believe. Because fear is always more powerful than truth.”
The target group is probably 11 to 13 year olds and I guess they’ll like the Infinity Ring series. It’s a nice enough concept to teach a bit of history with throwing time travel and an evil century old organization in the mix. Still there are some illogical things you can not not notice if you’re older and which take the fun away.

rating: 3/5

V. E. Schwab – Vicious
“Be lost. Give up. Give In. in the end It would be better to surrender before you begin. be lost. Be lost And then you will not care if you are ever found.”
It takes a bit to warm up with the characters (pun intended!) and the way Schwab uses flashbacks. Personally I enjoyed the second part more than the first and Serena definitely was my favorite character! Vicious is itself an innovative take on superpowers and how they can define characters. And the way the characters themselves define good and evil and the reason behind their talents… it’s fantastic and you don’t really want the book to end!

rating: 4/5

Catherynne M. Valente – Apocrypha
“Give me a dress to wear, red or white, and we will go on and on, down the bleeding road glittered with shattered grails and white knights with their last erections pointing northwards like sundials.” – C

Apocrypha is split into two parts: various poems and Z which is basically a very long text split under the letters of the alphabet. The poems sadly don’t work for me – there’s a lot of Japanese and Greek mythology mixed in here but it’s all very obscure and you don’t feel like understanding Valente’s point. Also as much as I value her using certain metaphors and allegories, at some point I got annoyed how often the womb was mixed in here. Z is more like her normal writing and there are a lot of sentences you can just get lost in. Overall I liked C, D and Achilles and Penthesilea the most.

rating: 2/5

Victoria Connelly – A Weekend with Mr. Darcy
“You could just pick up a book, flick through to the right page, take your fill of your favourite hero and then return him to the shelf. Job done.”
Fluffy chick-lit which reminded me at times of Austenland. The plot revolves around Katherine and Robyn who attend an Austen conference (but really, this feels more like a convention!) and where is a lot of Austen trivia. Overall I enjoyed the Robyn/Dan arc more than the one of Katherine/Warwick but both couples worked well together. Definitely going to read more books in the Austen Addicts series!

rating: 4/5

Mark Z. Danielewski – The Fifty Year Sword
“Did you know stars have shadows?”
The beginning of T50YS is confusing and I imagine it’s way more fun the second time you read it. It takes a bit to understand the various embroideries throughout the novel and how they tie in with the story. I started to read it out loud from the point the story teller enters the picture and that’s the way the story truly unfolds best. It’s very simple yet very gruesome and harsh and how a good horror story should be.

rating: 5/5

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