Book Review: The Butterfly Garden

Hiya friends, welcome back. As promised here is my review of the book that broke my reading slump. (Oh, happy day!)

The butterfly garden

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The Butterfly Garden

Dot Hutchison

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…(Amazon)

 

Now my thoughts, which begin quite simply with how interesting I found the plot of this story. I’m a sucker for mystery crime novel, and this one did not disappoint me. When I began reading it took some time to get used to how the author jumped between the present interrogation and the past memories. I immediately felt for the main character Maya, you could just tell she had a rough start at life, and being captured by the Gardener was just the latest terrible thing to happen to her. I will say, there are parts that are not for the faint of heart, it’s extremely creepy at points, and I can definitely see how that would be off putting to certain readers, but I’m a weirdo and I just thought it added another layer to the story. Then, as in typical crime/mystery novel fashion, there was a twist. But WHAT a twist! I didn’t see this one coming at ALL, which just made me like it even more. In honor of the tough women, I give this novel four and a half butterflies.

 

Well, there you have it, my review of this incredible novel. I really hope you take some time and maybe give this book a chance, I don’t think you’ll regret it…and if you do you can blame me.  Until next time…

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Book Review: Magic Bites

Hiya friends, welcome back. Prepare yourself for my first ever book review…dun dun dun. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Magic Bites

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Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

Ilona Andrews

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…(Amazon)

My Final Thoughts:

It’s no great secret, judging by my last post, that I am a massive fan of bad ass female characters, the tougher and mouthier the better. Kate Daniels is the embodiment of that very description, a tough as nails merc determined to find who killed her guardian. Throughout this story, you meet a wide variety of interesting characters, from the Beast Lord to a teenaged werewolf to a creepy vampire. Now I know what you’re thinking if you’re anything like me, “werewolf and vampire, oh hell no I read Twilight, that was enough for me,” but trust me when I tell you to give this book a chance. I adored the witty banter between the characters, and loved even more how Ilona wrote about magic in a way that didn’t leave me wishing for Harry Potter (quite difficult to do with a Potterhead like me). If I had to find one negative in this book it was that it left me with a few unanswered questions, but all in all, that’s not bad because it makes me want to read the rest of this series. On my scale, I’d rate this book 5 feels, it gave me all of them my friends.

There is only one thing left to say, until next time…

The Riddikulus Post

Hiya friends, happy Monday! So I totally meant to plan a good blog post for today, I was hoping to review Magic Bites, but stupid anxiety had other plans for me. I need something fun and easy to do, so Harry Potter tag it is. The second I saw this tag I knew it was for me, I’m a massive Potterhead and quite proud of that fact. Sit back, grab a butterbeer and let’s see if you agree. If you don’t, feel free let me know what you feel different about.

 

1) Favourite book?

HP6
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this but hear me out before ya get all judgmental face. I will stand by this one being my favorite book based simply on the fact that this is where Snape’s loyalty comes into question. In the previous books we know he hates Harry, but Dumbledore refuses to say one false word against him. This book makes it clear Snape is playing both ends against the middle because he’s still one of the big bad’s best Death Eaters. There’s a reason they released book marks with the question, “Is Snape good or evil?”

2) Least favourite book?
This is an annoying question for me, I hate to talk bad about this series. If I had to pick it would probably be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Don’t get me wrong, the whole Triwizard Tournament is pretty cool, I mean dragons, merpeople, and a massive maze full of magical goodness … epic in and of itself. Cool magic aside, this book is so full of teenage angst, I could almost feel the acne forming. Seriously everything from Ron being all hacked off that Harry’s name came out of the goblet, to everyone trying to find dates to the Yule Ball. Ahhh the joys of adolescence.

3) Favourite movie?
Oh, this is a tough one for me to choose. If I’m honest, I love them all in their own special way, yes, I’m a nerd and I am completely okay with that. I would have to say, and I know I’ll get dragged for this, but it would have to be Half-Blood Prince. There are some seriously humorous moments in this movie, “Why is it, when something happens, it is always you three?”

4) Least favourite movie?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, they just left so much out. Where was the sphinx in the maze? No mention of Hermione letting Madam Pomfrey carry on when fixing her teeth? Just really good moments that were missing. Also, Dumbledore asks Harry calmly in the book, in the movie he basically screams it in his face. Winky???

5) Favourite quote?
“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Thanks for that reminder Ginny.

6) Favourite Weasley?

fireworks
Fred and George, or Gred and Forge. They’re basically one person, right? They’re the ultimate troublemakers, and that speaks to my inner mischief maker.

7) Favourite female character?
I have two, Molly Weasley and Luna Lovegood. Molly is seriously badass, everything a female character should be. I just love her! Then on the flip side, you have Luna, this character just speaks to me. I’ve been called quirky and unique, and honestly Luna is the very definition of those two words.

8) Favourite villain.
Oh man! I’d say Lucius Malfoy. When he appears in the Chamber of Secrets, he really is quite a formidable foe. He sneaks that diary into Ginny’s cauldron, causing that entire plot to unfold. Then as the story progresses he pops up at the Quidditch World Cup and is so snippy, reminding you that he really shouldn’t be trifled with. Then as all bad guys do, he inevitably falls from grace when Voldemort strips him of everything right down to taking his wand. He goes from cutting this imposing figure to just being a scared man who wants to save himself.

9) Favourite male character?


Ron or Neville, it’s kind of a toss-up for me. Ron is really the epitome of loyalty, even with the moments in Goblet of Fire and the Deathly Hallows, he is so freaking steadfast in his loyalty to Harry. I mean I think we all want a friendship like that between Harry and Ron. Then there is Neville, the boy who lost everything because Voldemort, was petrified of Snape, and always seemed to have the worst luck, and yet he still found the courage in himself to face them both.

10) Favourite professor?
McGonagall, hands down. She’s tough, but you know she has a soft spot for those kids. Plus, I really love how she never backs down from Umbridge.

11) Would you rather A) wash Snape’s hair or B) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?
I don’t think I could listen to Lockhart drone on about himself for an hour, let alone a day. I’d have to say wash Snape’s hair, I’ll take greasy hair over bleeding ears any day.

12) Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) and angry Molly?

Molly
How is this even a question, an elated Bellatrix does not scare me nearly as much as an angry Molly, and it’s safe to say Bellatrix is crazy.

13) Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying Car?
Hogwarts Express. Seriously a nice, comfy compartment with all those sweets off the trolley, sign me up.

14) Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath?
Kiss Voldemort. I can’t be the only person who wonders what it would be like to kiss a guy with no nose. Does that make me weird? Probably does, but the alternative is Umbridge in a bubble bath, no thanks. Pucker up Snakeface.

15) Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt?

Firebolt
Easy, Firebolt all day. I’m super clumsy but I’d take my chances just to have a go on that broom.

16) Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?
Draco. In the books, he comes across as this whiny, spoiled brat, in the movies Tom Felton made him all that but somehow made my urge to punch the character less. It was a pleasant difference.

17) Is there a movie you preferred to the book?
I don’t think so, I love the books, and there are some parts in them that I really found myself missing in the movies.

18) Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?
Not a fair question, both were portraying the same character. Yes, the way they did so was different but both were amazing. C’mon Dumbledore is an epically complex character, and both actors did him justice.

19) Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most?
PEEVES!!!! He was seriously hilarious, and annoying, and just everything! I really wanted him to be in the movies, but alas …

20) If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be?
More than likely Goblet of Fire, I already listed all my missing parts in it so I won’t reiterate it.

21 Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?

gryffindor
Gryffindor. I’m not smart enough to be a Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff just didn’t incite anything in me, and I’d never go dark side so Slytherin is out. That just leaves Gryffindor, the house of the brave, and I’m pretty brave (unless it’s dark, and then all bets are off).

22) Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore?
Gryffindor, see I told you it was meant to be.

23) Which class would be your favourite?
I think I’d totally love Defense Against the Dark Arts. Who doesn’t want to learn how to fight dark wizards? Plus, I’m a brave Gryffindor so that’s like my calling, right?

24) Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?

Riddikulus
Riddikulus, come on this one is self-explanatory. I’d love to blast my anxiety like a boggart.

25) Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with?
This is probably the easiest question on here, I’ve said it from the beginning I would most definitely be friends with the twins. I’m always up for pranks and hijinks, like I said mischief makers.

26) If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?
The Resurrection Stone, death is a terrible thing. I know from the story that it probably wouldn’t work out for the best, but it would be nice to bring back the people that I’ve lost in my life.

27) Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change?
Yeah, I would have loved for there to have been a moment between Harry and Draco at the end, sort of like an understanding. That moment of we’ve been through some stuff together, but it’s all in the past. I know they were mortal enemies, but in the end, did it really matter?

28) Favourite Marauder?
I like the three that didn’t turn out to be lying, backstabbing jerks. Mooney, Padfoot, and Prongs! Separately they are all pretty wicked in their own right, put them together and that just sounds fun.

29) If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?
Another easy one, Fred. As much as I ugly cried for Dobby, I would use the resurrection stone to bring Fred back. I don’t think George could ever be truly happy without Fred, I’m almost positive that saying “two peas in a pod” was made for them.

30) Hallows or Horcruxes?

hallows
While horcruxes are cool, the idea of splitting your soul freaks me out a bit, therefore I am going Hallows. Master of Death has a pretty cool ring to it, don’t ya think? I bet I could pull it off.

 

I gotta say this was a seriously fun tag to participate in. I know you’re supposed to challenge people, so I challenge all of you. Until next time…

 

The Women of Fantasy

Hey friends! Maybe I should start this post with a disclaimer…I have cramps. I’m pretty sure there’s like 5 of you out there, and most of you are female so we all know what those words mean, and it sucks! That being said, let’s talk recommendations. Here are three of my most recent author recommendations from the one and only Tiff (two shout-outs in a week).

 

Anne Bishop

Now first off urban fantasy isn’t a genre I’m well read in (haha that was an unintentional pun, but I’ll take it). I’m a little iffy about this author choice, but the blurb for the novel ‘Written in Red’ has gotten my attention at least. Not to mention we all know how I feel about series, and The Others series has 6 novels which is right up my alley.

Written in Red


As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow. (Amazon)

 

Ilona Andrews

Ok, judging by the blurb for the Kate Daniels series, this author writes all the things I love. A badass female lead, check. A series, check. Magic, check. How have I never read this before?

Magic Bites

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…(Amazon)

Tamora Pierce

This author I’ve already started reading, and I don’t regret it. I’ve started with Sandry’s Book, which is the first in the Circle of Magic series.

Sandry' Book

In Book 1 of the Circle of Magic Quartet, gifted young weaver Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief with a way with plants; Daja, an outcast gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. The four misfits are taught how to use their magic, but when disaster strikes, it’s up to Sandry to weave together four different kinds of power to save herself, her friends, and Winding Circle. (Amazon)

 

 

If you guys have read any of these suggestions, let me know! Stay tuned for my reviews. Time for some aspirin and a heating pad. Until next time…

 

 

 

Books by the Bundle

Hey friends, welcome back. I love to read that has already been established, and if there is one thing I love more than a single book, it’s a series of books. Getting to stay with characters for three or more novels just solidifies my love for them even more. Let’s just say I have some pretty epic story lines to share with you guys, in no particular order. I hope you enjoy.

 

Rizzoli and Isles (Tess Gerritsen)

R&I

Number of Books: 11, with the 12th coming in August of 2017

This series is based around a homicide detective (Jane Rizzoli) and a medical examiner (Maura Isles) in Boston. While this series was eventually turned into a television show on TNT, I highly recommend reading the novels. The two main characters are not only strong and highly intelligent in their own unique ways, but they’re also vulnerable and broken. For some reason, they work well together, and their relationship is as interesting and compelling as their own personal stories.

 

Women’s Murder Club (James Patterson)

1st to die

Number of Books: 15, with the 16th coming in May, 2017

A series centered around four female friends, all with jobs centered around the justice system. Detective Lindsey Boxer, Dr. Clare Washburn, crime reporter Cindy Thomas, and defense attorney Yuki Castellano (in the first four books Jill Bernhardt, a district attorney was the fourth member). These four friends meet for margaritas and discuss their jobs, which most of the time all center around the same case. Every book in this series kept me reading until late in the night, so beware of that.

 

Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling)

Harry Potter Bundle

Number of Books: 7

We have undoubtedly all heard of this series at some point or another, I mean it’s everywhere. The novels center around a young wizard and his faithful band of cohorts, as they navigate school and stand against the most feared dark wizard of all time. In the seven books, we journey with Harry through time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, all while learning about his past and his fated future. If you’re interested in the fantasy genre and don’t mind a bit of YA, seriously read this series…you won’t regret it (and if you do just blame me!).

 

The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)

Narnia

Number of Books: 7

This is another series which most people have heard of, read, or at least seen The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. While the series does primarily center around Pevensie siblings, in the first book The Magicians Nephew you learn all about Narnia and how it came to be. These novels have it all, “far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise.” (Obviously, Belle is my favorite princess. Let’s be serious, have you seen that library?) If that doesn’t appeal to your inner childlike wonder I honestly don’t know what will.

 

Alex Cross (James Patterson)

Along Came a Spider

Number of Books: 24, but I’m sure more are coming

Are you seeing a pattern yet? I love a good mystery crime series. Dr. Alex Cross has a PH.D in psychology, concentrated in abnormal and forensic. Throughout the series, Alex struggles to find a balance between his work and his family. Again, this series has been made into movies, first starring Morgan Freeman (Along Came a Spider, and Kiss the Girls) later Tyler Perry (Alex Cross). I actually suggest watching these movies after you read the series, as far as adapted movies go they aren’t too bad.

 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Rick Riordan)

Percy Jackson

Number of Books: 5 (but there are I’d recommend any of his series)

I’m sure again that most of you have seen, or heard of this series. Percy is a teenager who finds out that he is a demigod, meaning one of his parents is a God. The books introduce us to Camp Half-Blood, which serves as a sort of training facility for demigods.  Throughout the books, Percy learns what it means to be a demigod, all while fighting against the forces of evil.

 

Inkheart (Cornelia Funke)

Inkheart

Number of Books: 3

Obviously, the shortest series in my list, but don’t let that fool you it’s still packed with all the right stuff. This story follows a girl named Meggie and her father Mo, who both possess a special gift. Once this gift is uncovered it’s a proverbial Pandora’s Box, and there is no way to undo what it does. This series was a suggestion from a woman working in the bookstore in my town and I’m glad I listened to her, I’ve read them numerous times and they never get old. (Side Note: skip the movie. I own it, and had high hopes for it, but alas I was let down.)

 

Well, there they are, seven of my absolute favorite series. If you read any of them, let me know what you think either way. Also, if you’ve got any suggestions let me know, I’d love to give them a shot. Until next time my friends….