Meli’s Nostalgic Tales: Cinder

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Type of book: Hardcover
Genre: Science fiction, dystopia, fantasy, young adult
Pages: 387

Once again I do bow down to the greatness of Goodreads, if there is one thing I regret is that I didn’t get to this book sooner. This is modern re-telling of Cinderella. Now I think one of the reasons I was so skeptical was because some of my fairytale re-telling normally don’t get executed to my expectation. Then I am left chucking another book against the wall. I joke. I don’t chuck disappointing books at walls, I chuck them at pillows.

What was great about this book is that while it took some of the similar approaches such as: horrible step mom, being treated like a slave, hopeless life, longing to go to the ball {although she claims that she would rather not}it still managed to make itself unique. For one, Cinder is an android! Now how cool is that?! But she would rather keep that on the down-low since her type of individual is frowned upon. She has a close friendship with one of stepsister, an upside to an unhappy home! Not to mention Cinder is a darn good even famous mechanic. Luckily or unluckily {still up for debate} she gets visited by Prince Kai {he makes‘em girls swoon people even had my heart racing a tad, but being a prince I suppose it just comes with the title} to repair a drone of his, a drone holding some important secrets. They are facing an invasion you see, in the guise of supernaturally-altered supreme beings called Lunar, and their queen who has some dark plans for planet earth.

Oh and there is a mysterious epidemic which is killing people off. It is a pretty bleak situation. -.-

This book is not all about action adventure, uncovering dark truths surrounding the Lunar and the mad doctor who perhaps isn’t so mad, although it is what keeps you turning the page >.<. Our main characters are each fighting for their own sense of freedom and struggling with the choice of doing what is best for them vs what it could mean for everyone. What I also enjoyed from this Cinderella was that she was head strong and won't shy away from doing what is right. I also felt that as the story progressed especially near the end she had reached a sense of maturity. For the first installment of this trilogy it left me crying out for more especially the way it ended. Also, should you decided to purchase this book there is a small bonus for the 2nd book Scarlet. Let me just say DELICIOUSNESS.

The time is ticking, Prince Kai is in danger and if Cinder doesn’t figure out how to stop the Lunar-race and their mutant army mankind will be exterminated. How exciting eh?!!

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Michelle’s Paper Garden Presents Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables

Title: Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables

Author(s): Stephen L. AntczakJames C. Bassett,Pip BallantineK.W. JeterJay LakeKat RichardsonPaul Di FilippoSteven HarperNancy A. CollinsG.K. Hayes,Gregory NicollPhilippa Ballantine  

Publisher: Roc Trade

Year: 2013

Number of Pages: 336 pages

Type: Paperback

Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Short Stories, Fairy Tales Retellings, Fantasy

Summary: Combining the timeless fairy tales that we all read as children with the out-of-time technological wizardry that is steampunk, this collection of stories blends the old and the new in ways sure to engage every fantasy reader.…

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes”, New York Timesbestselling author K. W. Jeter’s “La Valse” forges a fable about love, the decadence of technology, and a gala dance that becomes the obsession of a young engineer—and the doom of those who partake in it.…

In “You Will Attend Until Beauty Awakens”, national bestselling author and John W. Campbell Award winner Jay Lake tells the story of Sleeping Beauty—and how the princess was conceived in deception, raised in danger, and rescued by a prince who may be less than valiant.

The tale of “The Tinderbox” takes a turn into the surreal when a damaged young soldier comes into possession of an intricate, treacherous treasure and is drawn into a mission of mercy in national bestselling author Kat Richardson’s “The Hollow Hounds”.

In “The Kings of Mount Golden”, Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Paul Di Filippo tells the story of a young man’s search for his heritage and a mechanical marvel that lies at the heart of a sinister pact in this fascinating take on “The King of the Golden Mountain”.

ALSO INCLUDES STORIES FROM
Steven Harper
Nancy A. Collins
G. K. Hayes
Gregory Nicoll
Pip Ballantine

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15810153-clockwork-fairy-tales?ac=1]

My Rant:

Alright so I have not begun to read this book yet, but I am very excited for it. I saw the cover and just had to pick it up. Also, I love fairy tales. If I could just read fairy tales for a living, I would. I have actually never heard of some of the stories that are retold in this anthology, which only added to my excitement. I also hope that this book’s steampunk theme will make up for all the bad steampunk I have read in the past few months. I want airships, automatons, gadgets, and goggles! Is that so much to ask? Well we will find out once I sit down and read through the stories. I highly doubt that I will read them all at once, so my next review may just be on one or two of them.

Goodreads readers gave the book a 3.57/5, which isn’t too bad and to be perfectly honest, the readers on Goodreads and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on books. Most of them thought the Time Machine was a good book.

Meli’s Nostalgic Tales : The Iron Wyrm Affair

Title: The Iron Wyrm Affair
Publisher: Orbit
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
Type of Book: Soft cover
Genre: science fiction, steampunk, fantasy, magic.

In a tale of magic, mystery, bad ass characters and scary creatures, Lilith Saintcrow’s The Iron Wyrm Affair was meant to be my summer read. And it was…only it didn’t leave me breathless and grappling for the next page. Although, the writing style was fundamental, the description vivid and characters so charming (in their own way) I still wouldn’t put it as my top.

This is what went wrong for me:

Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen.
-Summary by Goodreads

By reading this summary, the whole book has already been unraveled. I was promised two characters who couldn’t be worse off to be partnered up, but the whole time it was Emma Bannon who was presenting all the hostility. I actually felt pity for Archibald Clare, a suffering mentath (a sort of genius at deductions is what I took away from all this, there was no encyclopaedia to help me here -.-) who has been off the grid.Their duo-ness was very flat. There was no excitement, most of the time they spent it apart doing their own thing. Emma Bannon was always shouting off orders and god forbid you’d disagree..pshhh…just because you’re Prime honey doesn’t mean you should act like you’re the center of everything.

I just didn’t like Emma, she’s this complex character with a dark past with A LOT of enemies. She’s got a weird rollercoaster-like relationship with her bodyguard which gets some development but you are still unsure of what it truly is. Bloody exhausting. The plot was basically about the young queen of the country having her advisers trying to off-her from the throne, the sorceress she hires to uncover the conspiracy and the building of this grand machine which could destroy everything! Didn’t even faze me.

It’s just so hard to find a good steampunk book and this wasn’t it. While I mention before her action scenes were fantastic and distribution of magic grand and her wording was nothing that I have witness before. Those were the redeeming qualities. Also, if one of you lovely followers do end up reading this book, please PLEASE tell me what in potbuckets is a Hansom!!!??? Good gravy it kept popping up and maybe I missed the definition in the book, either way I’m bothered and would like answers.

Grading : 3/5

Meli <3

Michelle’s Paper Garden: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan


Title: Saga Volume 1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Year: 2012
Type: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160 pages
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy, science fiction, romance, adult

Summary: When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

This specially priced volume collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls “the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make.”

Collects Saga issues #1-6

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15704307-saga-volume-1]

Review:
Where to begin? The art is fantastic and the character design is unbelievable. There is a character who is a grease monkey (slang for a mechanic) who is actually a monkey. I thought it was clever. One of the bad guys is a robot prince with a tv for a head, which is kind of weird but I assume that was the point, and another is a super creepy spider lady who invaded my nightmares for about a week and reminded me why I should not stay up until three in the morning reading scary comic books. Anyway, everything about this graphic novel was visually stunning.

Now, the story is a tale as old as time, but I like the classics so I was completely fine with the whole star-crossed lovers racket. Besides the non suicidal Romeo and Juliet plot, this comic contains a wisecracking ghost, a tree that turns into a rocket ship, magic, sarcasm everywhere, and bounty hunters. The star-crossed lovers thing is completely overshadowed by all the awesome.

Oh and the best thing about it is that it is entirely narrated by the lovers’ newborn baby, who is sarcastic and I loved it. Speaking of cool character, Lying Cat is the greatest. She can tell when you are lying and voices is by calling you a liar outright. I got attached to her. I also got extremely attached to Izabel,the ghost babysitter that helped save their lives and now follows them around. She’s sassy.

Oh I almost forgot. Remember I was praising the art before? Yeah, the artist (Fiona Staples) is very accurate with body parts. Mind all of the nudity because they show everything! If you freak out over a nip slip, then do not read this book because you will get the mother of all nose bleeds. There are a few sex scenes, as well as a brothel planet where no one is afraid to show anything off. Huh, I actually just noticed that there is some minor nudity on the front cover (everyone scroll up). Hey, breastfeeding counts.

Aside from the nudity, there is also a lot of blood and guts. At some point someone’s head explodes and there are a lot of battle scenes. There is a war going on, after all. Those who have read Hack/Slash won’t even bat an eyelash. Those who have read Runaways may be a little freaked out. You should all go and read both of those now. They are both fantastic, completely different from one another.

In short, this is a very funny and interesting graphic novel that kept me wanting more. I would recommend it and I would recommend Brian K. Vaughan’s other works, which I will eventually review. :)
5/5

Michelle’s Paper Garden: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Publisher: Del Rey
Year: 1979
Type: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 216 pages
Genre: Humour, Science Fiction, Adventure, Classics, Adult

Summary: Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11.The_Hitchhiker_s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy?ac=1]

Review:
This book is ridiculous and random and makes very little sense, but it is fantastic. Any book that has quotes like “Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again,” must be hilarious. When reading this book, you have to put all thoughts of normalcy aside. It is a wild ride of random events that make little sense and hilarious characters, including a depressed robot named Marvin.

Arthur is a little annoying at the beginning, but he gets better. Ford is just great. Trillian was meh and Zaphod was idiotic. Marvin was my favourite character. He causes a ship to become depressed and commit suicide. How could you not love him?

The story makes no sense. Stop trying to make sense of nonsense and just enjoy the bloody thing. Think along the lines of Alice in Wonderland, but in space with less math and more bad Vogon poetry. You will get that joke once you read both of those books. If you are looking for something meaningful, emotional, and deep, look elsewhere because you will find none of that here. It is a required taste so do tread carefully. I loved the book because I went in knowing that it would be random and ridiculous story. You have been warned.

Oh, the ending was great. Unexpected and fantastically hilarious.

4/5

Seen the movie? The book is better ☺

Michelle’s Paper Garden: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Title: The Time Machine

Author: H.G. Wells

Publisher/ Year: Signet Classics in 2002, originally published in 1895

Type: Paperback

Number of Pages: 118 pages

Genre: Science Fiction, classics, dystopian

Summary: So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him the reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes…and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth.  There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.  Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2493.The_Time_Machine]

Review:

I hated this book. I feel terrible saying that I hate it because it’s a classic, but I couldn’t stand it. It’s a small book, but I had a hard time finishing it. The main character, simply known as the Time Traveler, is a horrible person who embodies the white man superiority that was very much present when the book was written. He doesn’t really care that the Eloi, the futuristic humanoids, are the food of the monstrous Morlocks, and wants to take the Eloi Weena back to his own time, but he had no intentions to treat her as an equal; she would be more like a pet or a wonder for the people of his time to marvel over. He then lets her die in a fire. The main character had no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

1/ 5