Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Romances in Fantasy Novels

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hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I am picking last weeks topic. I don’t read pure romance novels and I get annoyed very easily when a romance in a novel takes over the whole story. I don’t like love-triangles or insta-love. I hate half-arsed sex scenes just as much as I hate a book that seems to consist only of sexy times. I like a good slow-burn romance. I like it, when a romance develops in the background and doesn’t take away from the story. I like explicit sex scenes, that don’t make me cringe.

So here is my list of novels that had love stories I enjoyed. I will only give you the books though and not the actual pairings, because I don’t want to give anything away.

Demon Child Trilogy / Jennifer Fallon –> Slow burn. Doesn’t really happen until the last book but the characters met in the first book and interacted a lot. They didn’t even like each other in the start and then had a teacher/student relationship going, which I was a big fan of. My only complaint: Not enough scenes together, I want more!

Kushiel’s Legacy / Jacqueline Carey –> Also kinda slow burn and lots and lots of Drama, because the characters couldn’t be more different. Their whole ideologies clash but they still find a way to be together. With lots of heartbreak. This is one of the more dominant love stories I enjoyed.

Daughter of the Forest & Son of the Shadows / Juliet Marillier –> You can see it coming, but it’s still a slow burn and I love how the relationships develop. When I want lots of romancing and heartbreak, I will always go back to Juliet Marillier.

Liveship Traders / Robin Hobb –> Slow burn! But I was shipping since book 1 and was so happy it happened! Wasn’t too dominant either.

Paper Magician Trilogy / Charlie N. Holmberg –> Slow burn & Teacher/student relationship. Very tame though.

Uprooted / Naomi Novik –> Teacher & student. Didn’t HAVE to be there, but I loved the characters and their interactions. Was a great book in general.

Wax & Wayne Series / Brandon Sanderson –> Slow, slow burn and I was so invested! I hated her with a passion at first but in the end she turned out to be my favourite. Could have had some explicit scenes.

Black Magician Trilogy / Trudi Canavan –> Slow burn. I was shipping since the first book but it only happened in the last. It was a great buildup but was disappointing when they finally were together. That waterfall scene…. I guess it was more YA but this was a moment where a sex scene could have made it SO much better..

Nightrunner Series / Lynn Flewelling –> Still one of my favourite pairings, I love reading about them together.

The Immortals / Tamora Pierce –> Slow burn & Teacher/student relationship. Doesn’t happen until the last book and I didn’t expect it at all but I loved it! Very tame as those are books for kids.

Reading Dune by Frank Herbert: Chapter 34 – End

Finished! In the end I can’t really decide if I liked the book or not. I thought the start was a bit slow, it picked up and really impressed me in the middle – but then we get this jump ahead in time and I felt like I was missing out. Everything I was really interested in wasn’t a big topic anymore and I really would have loved to read about Paul’s first years with the Fremen.

I wanted to read more about sandworms and wanted them to be a bigger threat & part of the story. Same goes for the Spice.

The ending feels rushed and Paul is just too powerful for my liking. Very disappointed in the presentation of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. I would have liked to see much more of him and not see him go out like that. He would have been a great major player for the next books. If there is one at all. Paul is just too good at everything, so I don’t think anyone can really be a threat to him.

In the end, I can say that I was really into the setting. Arrakis is a great & dangerous place that has so much potential. I loved the Fremen culture, the fact that water is so precious and that they can ride on sandworms. I didn’t like how most of the characters were presented, especially the Harkonnen side. I thought they were so sneaky and ruthless & clever and then Paul just takes them out easily, one by one. Feyd-Rautha should have survived!

I liked to do this little Read Along though. It is fun and helpful for complicated books. I might do a few more in the future. Thanks to everyone who read and commented, you kept me going 🙂

Later today, we will watch the 1980’s Dune movie. I cant wait. Just the picture I can see on Netflix looks epic!

Reading Dune by Frank Herbert: Chapter 23 – 33

This is not going to be a long post, as I am not stopping to make notes anymore. I am really impressed though and flying  through the pages. I don’t know what happened in which chapter exactly so here just a few things:

We get a Harkonnen perspective again. This time it’s the Baron manipulating his older nephew Rabban, who is a simple-minded violent brute and hated by most people in the universe^^ The Baron is very aware of that and wants Rabban to take control of Arrakis and start a reign of terror. That way, when Feyd-Rautha is ready, people will embrace him with open arms, as it means no more mean Rabban. Clever idea. I am just curious why Baron Harkonnen is so much into his youngest nephew & expects so much of him. He doesn’t seem like someone who’d give away power easily.. but the way he talks about Feyd-Rautha.. almost as if he’s in love. Also, I haven’t heard from him since the first chapter and I am curious about what he’s up to. Hope we get a chapter there soon.

Also, Baron Harkonnen wants to use Thufir Hawat as his new Mentat. Interesting. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. I can see it go both ways. Thufir turning against the Atreides family, as he was already a dodgy character or him realizing his mistakes and trying to destroy the Harkonnens from within.

We also see what happened to Gurney Halleck – he got picked up by the son of the smuggler Tuek, who was killed earlier, and is now set on vengeance. Not as interested in his story though. I hope he meets up with Paul & Jessica soon.

Talking about them… They finally caught up with a group of Fremen and have to prove themselves worthy of them. The leader of the Fremen is Stilgar, the one who had a meeting with Leto earlier on in the book. I just love those scenes! First of all, we get to learn a bit more about the sand worms. The Fremen seem to be able to RIDE them. RIDE! That’s so cool! Secondly, they are connected to the Spice but I didn’t get the whole story there yet. Also, Paul figured that you won’t attract a sand worm if you walk without rhythm.

The Fremen are all pretty suspicious of Paul & Jessica and don’t want to help them at first.. They are alright with Paul, but don’t want Jessica. Until she shows that she is secretly a ninja and recites some poem. Now they are impressed. So everything is fine? No! Of course one guy has to make a scene and challenges Jessica to a championed fight. Paul has to step in and kills that guy. I loved the fighting scene, it was great! I get to like Paul more and more as well. He is a little smart-arse but nobody is perfect. Keeping in mind that there’s a lot of pressure on him and that he’s seeing multiple paths to the future and has to figure out what doesn’t lead to disaster. He also met the girl from his dreams! And acts just like a 15year old should – he blushes. Very cute!

I can’t wait to learn more about the Fremen, the Spice, the sand worms and whether they find a solution for the water problem.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

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hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I know, it’s not the real topic today, but I felt like writing a post about movies, so here you go – Movies I am looking forward to in 2017:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / 05.05.2017 –> I can’t wait to see that one! When I watched the first movie I didn’t expect much. I was over superhero movies but we didn’t have anything else to do. Also, we wanted to know how Batista was doing. And the movie had it all – fun, excitement, sad scenes, great action scenes. After that I became a fan of the director.

I am weird with Marvel/DC movies.. I love some franchises, but others I am not interested in at all. I have never seen any Superman or Iron Man movies for example. No Captain America, no Amazing Spider-Man. I love the Thor movies, X-Men and the Batmans with Christian Bale. Also, the first Avengers movie. I hated the second. I was surprised I liked the Guardians as much as I did.

The Dark Tower / 28.07.2017 –> Well, I am excited on the one hand to finally see it happen.. But super scared on the other. It is sooo hard to capture the atmosphere and do it right. Also, I am not sure how accessible the movie will be to someone who hasn’t read the books. I am a fan of the casting – I love Idris Elba since The Wire and hope he will make a great Roland, but I won’t get my hopes up too much. Please, please let it be good!

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi / 15.12.2017 –> I loved Episode VII as well as Rogue One so I am expecting this to be just as good!

John Wick: Chapter 2 / 10.02.2017 –> This was a movie we randomly picked and were blown away! Great story, great action scenes, great everything! But that dog scene killed me a little 😦

Logan / 03.03.2017 –> Old Man Logan? F yeah!! The trailers were so great, I am a bit scared now that I will be disappointed. Hugh Jackman was a great Logan, I hope they will never let anyone else portray him ever again.

The Belko Experiment / 17.03.2017 –> It’s probably not on many people’s radar but it’s by James Gunn, who directed the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and I love his movies! So I will definitely check it out. ‘In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.’ (imdb.com)

IT / 09.08.2017 –> As a fan of Stephen King, I can’t wait to see it! Although I didn’t like the book.

Thor: Ragnarok / 03.11.2017 –> I didn’t even know it was coming this year, YESSS!!

Other movies that have my attention:

Death Race 2050 –> I wouldn’t say I am excited for that one, but it sounds so dumb, maybe it’s good. And Manu Bennett is the lead character, so even if it sucks, I still have someone to drool over. Basically, it’s what happens, when you combine The Hunger Games, The Purge and Mad Max. The world is overpopulated and as a result of that, government developed an annual competition, in which people score points for killing someone with their vehicle..

Jumanji –> not a remake. This time, it takes place in the game. Not expecting much, but sounds like it could be fun. Also, it has The Rock.

Wilson –> ‘A lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged man reunites with his estranged wife and meets his teenage daughter for the first time.’ (imdb.com) Doesn’t sound so interesting, but I watch everything with Woody Harrelson. Even  The Edge of Seventeen

War for the Planet of the Apes –> I haven’t watched anything of the franchise yet. But Woody Harrelson… He’s in SO MUCH this year..

So what are you all looking forward to? 🙂

Impressions #10 (Just Sanderson)

The Emperor’s Soulemperors-soul

When Shai is caught replacing the Moon Scepter with her nearly flawless forgery, she must bargain for her life. An assassin has left the Emperor Ashravan without consciousness, a circumstance concealed only by the death of his wife. If the emperor does not emerge after his hundred-day mourning period, the rule of the Heritage Faction will be forfeit and the empire will fall into chaos.

Shai is given an impossible task: to create—to Forge—a new soul for the emperor in less than one hundred days. But her soul-Forgery is considered an abomination by her captors. She is confined to a tiny, dirty chamber, guarded by a man who hates her, spied upon by politicians, and trapped behind a door sealed in her own blood. Shai’s only possible ally is the emperor’s most loyal counselor, Gaotona, who struggles to understand her true talent.

Time is running out for Shai. Forging, while deducing the motivations of her captors, she needs a perfect plan to escape…

I wasn’t a big fan of Elantris and that’s why I wasn’t sure if I would like this one as it was advertised as playing in the same world. Fortunately I couldn’t find any connections. Maybe because I never finished Elantris or just forgot, I don’t know 😀

I liked The Emperor’s Soul a lot more as it deals with an interesting kind of magic . Shai, the main character is held prisoner and forced to forge the Emperor’s Soul. Although this art is considered a crime, the current situation calls for it and Shai has no other chance than to obey. Although it is just a short novella, the character’s interactions are entertaining & interesting and the relationship between Shai and the counsellor Gaotona has room to develop. It is certainly not my favourite Sanderson story – the process of forging is really complicated and I didn’t quite grasp it and it’s a bit boring sometimes. But still a good idea and a nice reading snack 😉

 

Legionlegion1

Stephen Leeds, AKA ‘Legion,’ is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his ‘aspects’ are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society. The action ranges from the familiar environs of America to the ancient, divided city of Jerusalem. Along the way, Sanderson touches on a formidable assortment of complex questions: the nature of time, the mysteries of the human mind, the potential uses of technology, and the volatile connection between politics and faith. Resonant, intelligent, and thoroughly absorbing, Legion is a provocative entertainment from a writer of great originality and seemingly limitless gifts.

Just awesome – deserves to be a much bigger book and I was happy to see there’s a sequel. It’s an amazing idea and a great fantasy/mystery/thriller story that has so much potential!
The main character, Stephen Leeds or ‘Legion’ somehow hallucinates people that are all experts in certain areas. He knows they are just hallucinations but still treats them as normal people and even gets seats on a plane for them. He is talking to them and they are described as vivid personalities. It’s a lot of fun to read and I hope we will learn a lot more about Legion and his ‘friends” solving riddles and just being cool.

 

Steelheartsteelheart

   How far would you go for revenge if someone killed your father?
   If someone destroyed your city?
   If everything you ever loved was taken from you?
   David Charleston will go to any lengths to stop Steelheart. But to exact revenge in Steelheart’s world, David will need the Reckoners—a shadowy group of rebels bent on maintaining justice.
   And it turns out that the Reckoners might just need David too.

Surprisingly I wasn’t as excited about this one as I thought. Maybe it’s the fact that I am a bit over superheroes, I don’t know. It was an alright read but I wasn’t as blown away as I normally am. The story contains a little bit too much action and gun-talk if you ask me and I wasn’t as excited about the characters’ fates. I hated Megan – she was such a stereotypical tough girl character and there was no need to repeat several times how hot she is and how awesome and how David has to remind himself to stop drooling over her. I didn’t care about the revelation regarding her in the end just because she is a character I didn’t care about.

Everything else in the end got solved pretty well, I was happy with the last scene and I also liked a lot of the inventions and there were some good tension-filled scenes. Maybe it would work better as a movie for me.

Reading Dune by Frank Herbert: Chapter 16 -22

What what what, for the first 30% almost nothing happens and then everything all at once! I didn’t expect it to go down so suddenly, but I am not mad. It creates an interesting situation.

First we jump into an awkward evening dinner hosted by Leto. Invited are the VIP’s of Arrakis and the conversations are very tense. Everyone is politicking and following their own agenda. Trying not to give away too much information while gaining more knowledge. Everyone is very secretive on the topic of water, something that Jessica is mainly interested in. But no one really wants to tell her whether there’s enough or how they can try to get more and turn this planet around. Should talk to Mark Watney 🙂

In Chapter 17 there is a stand off between Hawat and Jessica. He accuses her of being a Harkonnen spy and she thinks that he’s not trustworthy any more. I don’t really see why Hawat wants to suspect Jessica. There’s no evidence. The only reason I can see is him being the traitor. Jessica uses her powers to intimidate him.

So let’s go to Chapter 18. Leto feels bad about being mean to Jessica and not letting her in on what he’s doing. He feels like he should tell her the truth right now. It is NEVER a good sign if a characters plans to open up to another character xD SOMETHING might happen before. It’s no different in this case. The Harkonnens get to him, but not before killing the smuggler Tuek and Mapes. What a shame, I liked the smuggler.. Yueh finally outs himself as the traitor but is still struggling with his decision and finds a way for Leto to try and kill the Duke with the help of a fake tooth that’s filled with poison gas. Clever man. And a double traitor. He also plans on saving Jessica & Paul.

Oooh, Jessica and Paul got caught as well! And they are in the hands of Vladimir Harkonnen who lets his people bring them to the desert in order to let them die there. But because Yueh prepared their thopter and because Paul & Jessica are clever and powerful, they get away by using the Voice and hide in the desert.

Chapter 20 shows us Yueh again and his plan to save Jessica and Paul. Somehow Duncan Idaho is involved in this as well, but I am not sure how. Last we seen of him, he was drunk. Yueh makes sure that Paul gets his dad’s signet ring by hiding it in their thopter.

In Chapter 21 we finally see Baron Harkonnen again. He has arrived on Arrakis all happy and is now looking forward to meeting Duke Leto. While he promised the power over Arrakis to his Mentat Piter de Vries earlier, he still plans on getting rid of him soon so he can groom his nephew(?) Feyd-Rautha for the job. Oh yes. And of course, he kills Yueh. What else. Stupid Yueh, you could have just tried to resist…

Anyways, Baron Harkonnen does a lot of talking and gloating and then wants Leto to get tortured because he won’t tell him where his ring is. He doesn’t even know! Gladly, Leto remembers his poison-tooth and bites on it. He kills himself, Piter, a few guards, but the Baron gets away! Noooo! He is very upset, wants something to eat and a drugged up boy who looks like Paul, for his entertainment. Ugh. Not cool.

In Chapter 22, Paul turns into an annoying teenage boy. ‘Leave me alone, Mom!’ He’s scared by the fact that he can see so many possible futures, gets all the connections and just knows things. He drops some truth on poor Jessica and tells her that she’s Baron Harkonnen’s daughter (oh please…) and that he knows she’s pregnant with his sister. He also blames her for making him ‘a freak’ although she says she only wanted the best for him. That’s what all moms say. He doesn’t refer to himself as the Dragon Reborn the Kwisatz Haderach, but as a seed. For now the 2 want to team up with the Fremen.

Okayy, I think it was time the big betrayal happened, seeing that I am almost half done with the book. I like that Paul wants to team up with the Fremen now, that should be fun to read. I don’t think I like how he developed. That was all a bit too quickly. We knew he was a clever & gifted kid and that he got Mentat & Bene Gesserit training. But all of a sudden he’s aware of everything and gets everything and thinks his mom, who is a powerful Bene Gesserit, is just stupid.. Hm. I hope he doesn’t get too smug!

Aaaand we had an ‘I am your father’-moment. Baron Harkonnen is Paul’s granddad. Oh no 😀 I am glad he didn’t inherit his physique.

Reading Dune by Frank Herbert: Chapter 11 – 15

I am back to it! And I think I finally ‘settled in’. The last chapter was the first one that wouldn’t let me put the book down.

Chapter 11,12,13 & 14 take place at the Atreides home on Arrakis. It’s mostly meetings, discussion of strategy and thinking about how to deal with the Harkonnens and not dying. While Duke Leto is talking to his advisors and allies, Paul always watches and learns. So what’s happened? We meet one of the Fremen, who is suspicious but shows respect to the Duke (by spitting on the table) and agrees to let Duncan Idaho join their ranks.. while he still reports to the Duke. Good move! They are starting to gain the Fremen’s trust.

Although I think it would be much easier to just let Paul throw around random bible quotes. They love that. They appear very superstitious and hope that Paul is their promised Messiah. His mum is Bene Gesserit, as the Prophecy says. And he fits a few other descriptions  like seeing through lies or adapting to the way of the desert quickly.

Leto becomes noticeably more worried and tired especially after he got the news that a note was found on an Harkonnen dude, which says that an attack from someone he trusts will come. Leto’s Mentat Hawat suspects Jessica but Leto himself sees through it and suspects that this is what the Harkonnen’s want him to think. What about Hawat though? He was quick with putting the blame on poor Jessica.. Also he acts like he’s hiding something!

In Chapter 15, Leto, Paul and Halleck finally venture out into the desert to have a look at how the Spice is harvested. They meet Dr. Kynes, the head ecologist/planetologist, who is a Fremen but also in service to the Empire. He’s ready for some backstabbing and betraying and doesn’t trust the Atreides clan at all! It’s all very tense as Leto and Paul try to gain more knowledge about the operations etc.

And theeeeen we get sandworm action, yay! I have been waiting for that! A sandworm is about to attack the Spice mine and something goes wrong.. Leto heroically saves the workers in the last minute and bitches about the security and that he means to change all that. Dr. Kynes ends up thinking that Leto doesn’t seem like such a bad guy at all!

That was really, really cool and it’s exactly what I wanted from this book. I love the fact that so much about the Spice Trade and Arrakis still remains a mystery. Like the relationship between worms and Spice. I also really like Leto and will be sad when he gets assassinated. I hope it’s not coming too soon!