Geek Girl Con ’15

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A Day (Or Two) in Seattle, Geek Girl Con 2015

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Hi guys! I haven’t posted in a while (because life happens). Well, today I plan to change that by blogging about one of the most enjoyable conventions I’ve been to, Geek Girl Con!

For those of you guys that don’t know what Geek Girl Con is, it’s like Comic-Con, but with more topics like theatre, anime, books, video games, and the celebration (as the name implies) of the female geek. Don’t worry, gentlemen, it’s also open to men, but the convention focuses more on girl power, and women’s rights in the geek world. All in all, it’s an event jam-packed with fangirls and fanboys alike, all gathering to share their experiences and passions with each other.

Being a book, anime, and video game enthusiast, Geek Girl Con was filled with a lot of activities to feed my fangirl-level expectations. I decided to make a list for you guys so you know what to expect if you do decide to go to this convention next year.

Here are some events and places I was able to go to (since I wasn’t able to go to every event, unfortunately):

  1. GeekGirl-Connections

These exhibits are filled with activities and organizations for you to discover and enjoy. It’s right next to the ticket booth, which made it my first stop during the convention. Organizations set up booths to introduce you to their cause and their very well made products (there was a squirrel basketball shooting machine at one of the exhibits). These are one of the places where you can meet new innovators and leaders. It’s a great place to expand your horizons, and maybe meet a Dalek or two.

2. The Artist Alley

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My beautiful bookmark from Artist Alley

To fellow stick-figure artists like myself: this is a place where artists from local areas show off their work, and sell them. We’re there to get our hands on those shiny new pieces of art and admire them. For my more artistically-inclined audience, you can participate in this enjoyable mini-art fair. Artists here have subjects that range from comics to LOTR. If you want to add a new edgy art piece to your home (or in my case, a pretty bookmark for my books), this place is a must-go for you.

3. The Exhibitors Hall (AKA where geeks are overloaded with fandom merch)

For those geeks who feel the need to replenish their fandom merch supply, or to discover more things to fangirl/boy over, this is the perfect place for you. Yes, things may seem overwhelming in this hall because of the big crowd, the dazzling shops, and the astounding amount of cosplayers in this area (I saw No-Face!), but let me tell you, it’s worth it. Shops vary from arts and crafts booths where artists display their crafts and artwork for us to ooh and aah over (and maybe even buy) to fandom-catering booths that sell merchandise from your favorite TV show to your favorite comic or book. Warning: I would suggest going there after watching panels, because just observing all the shops will take up a lot of your time.

4. Panels

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I loved the panels in the convention. The atmosphere in these panels were relaxed and welcoming, and everyone understood each other (there were some heated arguments about comics, but that’s normal). Another quick warning: parents, some panels’ topics might be a little inappropriate for your kids, so make sure to check the topics before you go to the panel itself.

Here are the panels that I attended (and thoroughly enjoyed):

  • Youtube vs. Real World – Speakers: Zach Peacock, Mallory Shoemaker, Kristina Horner, Joe Homes, Cupecake
  • The Sparkling World of Shoujo Manga – Speakers: Leah Zoller, Kathryn Hemmann
  • Beyond Fanfiction Live: Fandom in Performing Arts – Speakers: Stevi Costa, Sin de la Rosa, Rachel Jackson, Jeannine Clarke, Fairlith Harvey, Elicia Sanchez 
  • How to Write a Good Review (and Why it’s important)
  • Women, Diversity and Comics: A Non-Compliant Discussion        About the Comic Book Industry – Speakers: G. Willow Wilson, Heather Harris McFarlane, Sabrina Taylor

There are many more panels that I wanted to see, but wasn’t able to go to, but these five panels were truly enjoyable and informational. Not to mention, for those comic book-lovers out there, Ms. Marvel’s author and artist, G. Willow Wilson, was one of the panelists for Women, Diversity and Comics. May we please have a moment of thanks for letting Ms. Wilson grace us with her presence at GGC from all the way from New York.

And…that concludes my GeekGirl-Con ’15 experience! Hopefully next year, I’ll be able to attend and see one of you guys over there!

– Ravenna

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Afternoon – Robert Lampros, A YA Religious Fiction

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Title: Afternoon

Author: Robert Lampros

Type: Religious Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Afternoon Cover (5.5x8.5)

Blurb:

Afternoon is a novella for young adults about courage, faith in Jesus Christ, and growing up in a surreal and challenging world.

It’s been a while since I’ve read religious YA fiction, and I couldn’t ask for a better reintroduction to the genre. I usually don’t read these types of books, but this Afternoon made me want to read more! Just to tell you folks, if this genre isn’t really your cup of tea, go ahead and read this. You won’t regret it, I’m sure.

So what exactly did I enjoy about this book? There are many things, but the main reasons are:

  1. The writing was clear, I loved how the sentences were constructed.
  2.  The topic, and how the author writes about it. The main character’s meeting with Jesus was somehow relatable to me, since I’ve imagined meeting Him in a field of flowers too.
  3.  The storytelling was vivid, and you could easily relate to the events in the book.
  4.  The writing was soothing, and you feel like cheering the main protagonist on throughout the whole book.
  5.  I love how the writing tells us about the character’s love for God. It was heartfelt, and what the character tells Him when praying is really touching.
As you can see from the list here, I highly approve of this book. There are some things the author can work on, like making transitions between events more smooth, and creating an ending that would give readers a sense of closure.
Otherwise, this book was highly enjoyable, and I recommend this novel to any age who would enjoy a nice, soothing read about Him.

The Shadows (The Fianna)

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Title: The Shadows (The Fianna Trilogy)

Author: Megan Chance

Type: Fantasy, Historical, Romance

Rating: 3 stars

The Shadows

Blurb:

Grace Knox has grown up hearing the folktales of her Irish ancestors, especially about the warriors who fought for control of Ireland. In 19th-century New York City, however, these legends are far from Grace’s mind. She’s much more concerned with how to protect her family from debt collectors, and whether her childhood friend Patrick Devlin will propose. Patrick is a member of the Fenian Brotherhood, a group of young Irish American men intent on fighting for the independence of their homeland, whatever the cost. Patrick and the Brotherhood use ancient magic to summon mythical warriors to join their fight to protect Ireland. One of them, Diarmid, finds himself drawn to Grace, and she to him. When Diarmid discovers that, in their desperation, the Brotherhood has also summoned a rival group of ancient warriors, he warns Patrick that there will be bloodshed. Grace is caught in the middle of two men she loves, and discovers she alone holds the power to save Ireland?

I really liked the start of this book. There was magic, adventure, and a sense of suspense that made you want to keep reading. I also loved the main character, Grace, and the multiple POVs that kept the story interesting. There were so many points I loved when reading this book, although there were some things that the story may improve on (I loved the Irish theme of the book though!)

The protagonist of the book, Grace, is a poor girl who was once wealthy before the death of her father. Her mother wishes for riches, but doesn’t help at all in the house, and Grace’s brother is a drunkard who keeps on using their scarce resources. To also add to Grace’s problems, her grandmother is slowly dying, while losing piece by piece of her sanity. Grace’s situation is undoubtedly bad, and the only choice for her to elevate her status in society is to marry someone wealthy, whether sparks may or may not fly. I loved Grace’s character. She was strong and resilient, and had a reasonable head on her shoulders. I also couldn’t help but notice that unlike other heroines in other books, she also wished that she had some money, and some piece of her former status. This part of her character I admired, since she turned into someone human that readers can relate to. Let’s be real for a second. If you were in her shoes, you would wish you had money too :D. Later in the book, she has to make a difficult decision (I won’t spoil though), and that decision was something I did NOT expect. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s a plus in my book.

The plot of the story was intriguing, with not just a few secondary characters, but a LOT. I loved how the author actually made their decisions matter in the book, instead of letting them fade into the background. Also, the choices in the book was astounding! I loved how there were actually difficult decisions to be made, not just by Grace, but other characters like Patrick and Diarmid. These choices pushed the plot and made the story more fascinating, more than what I expected.

But not all stories are perfect, so here are the things I did not exactly like about the book:

  1. The plot was….s…l….o…w….

Okay, you’re probably thinking, she’s one of those people who are really impatient when reading a book. I’m sorry, but it is true. It is only because I wanted to know more about Grace and her powers that I finished the book. It was a long, uphill battle for me, since I’m more of a fast-paced book kind of gal. But, BUT, the end was worth it, so I’m glad I finished it.

2. The heroine did not end up with the guy I wanted her to end up with.

Yes. I didn’t really deduct a star because of this, but still, WHY?

3. There were times when I wanted to hit some of the characters on the head.

Remember when I said that Patrick and Diarmid had to make some important decisions? Some of those decisions I really didn’t like, (not going to spoil even though I really want to), which detracted from my reading experience.

Overall, I give this book 3 stars, and would definitely read another book by Ms. Megan Chance. This book is filled with suspense, Irish magic, and Gaelic galore. If you’re a fan of these genres, then go ahead, read it! Tell me if you enjoyed the book or not. 😀 See you next time!

*This ARC was provided by Netgalley*

Hollywood Witch Hunter

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Title: Hollywood Witch Hunter

Author: Valerie Tejeda

Type: Action, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 3 stars

From the moment she first learned the truth about witches…she knew she was born to fight them.

Now, at sixteen, Iris is the lone girl on the Witch Hunters Special Ops Team.

But when Iris meets a boy named Arlo, he might just be the key to preventing an evil uprising in Southern California.

Together they’re ready to protect the human race at all costs. Because that’s what witch hunters do.

Welcome to Hollywood.

This action-packed book is definitely something you want to read if you’re in the mood for a quick, fun read with a little bit of seriousness in it to keep it interesting. This book also contains witches who eat spoiled, bratty, beautiful women, and a heroine who fights for her career in a workplace dominated by men.

Let’s start off with the main character, Iris. She is the first and only female witch hunter in existence, making her the target of many egocentric hunters who all think they are more skilled than her. She hates witches with a passion, and loves hunting them. At first, I really liked Iris. Despite being sent to a mental hospital by her parents because they tried to convince her that witches weren’t real, she still fought for what she believed in and finally landed a job as a witch hunter. She was really independent at the start of the book, but as I continued reading, she started becoming dependent on the men in her life. It also felt strange that after hating witches for most of her life, she started being friends with one incredibly quickly. Iris had her good points though, and she was willing to help her ‘enemies’ to protect the people she loves.

I loved the concept of the witches in this book. They had to kill women to stay beautiful and alive, but they only sacrificed the worst of the worst. This made me think whether the witches were really evil or not, and I loved how the author wrote about that dilemma.

Then of course, the plot twists. There was a surprising amount of them in the book, which made the read exciting and intriguing. Some of them though were expected, though, making the suspense less…well, suspenseful. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading through all the twists and turns in the book :D.

The reason why I only gave this book three stars was that it followed the paranormal-teenage trope too much. The writing was good, but not that great. There were times when the writing strayed to almost a middle-school grade level, which was the main reason why I deducted a few stars off my rating. Also, Iris’ constant character/personality changes were too frequent for my liking, which is also another reason why I deducted stars from the full rating.

Overall, I really liked Hollywood Witch Hunter. It had a great storyline, had interesting, complex characters, and was altogether a fun read.

*This ARC was provided by Netgalley*

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The Last of the Firedrakes, Blog Tour

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The Author, Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy~

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Title: The Last of the Firedrakes

Author: Farah Oomerbhoy

Type: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Rating: 3.5-4 stars

When I first read the blurb, I was all like, “Epic fantasy!!! I need this!”. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed by this book ;D. The concept (although the names of the characters and places seemed borderline cheesy), and the relationships between the main characters are well-written. Also, the decisions made by the characters seemed realistic, although there were some questionable choices the characters made that detracted some of the characters good qualities.

The main protagonist, Aurora, is bullied in school and is verbally abused by her terrible aunt and cousin. Her uncle does not seem to care about her either, which is just another thing to add to the list of why her life is miserable. But when her uncle trades her for money, she is brought to a different and more magical world than ours, and finds out that she is the lone heir to an incredible kingdom.

Aurora, at first, seems like a pitiful human being at first, since she longs to be accepted by her adopted family and her classmates in school. This all changes when she realizes she doesn’t have to live in her perfect cousin’s shadow and that she has her own special power. After being transported into the new world, Aurora develops into an independent and strong character who knows what she wants and what her responsibilities entail. I really liked how Aurora admitted that she didn’t have the capabilities to rule a whole kingdom despite having loads of magical power. However, she stood up to her duties and didn’t let them overwhelm her. She had some bad moments too, like her infatuation to Rafe (I’m not a big fan of insta-love 😦 ), and she made some decisions that created bad outcomes. Still, I really liked her. 

The other characters in this book are also well-written. I really liked Snow, Aurora’s pegasus, and Aurora’s friends, Kalen, Vivienne, and Erien. The side characters weren’t swept to the side and completely ignored in the story, they actually had their own lives and their own responsibilities. I loved Erien and Vivienne’s relationship, they may be my favorite couple in the book despite not really being a couple. The grown-ups in the story are also mature and supportive, and they actually behave like actual grown-ups!

Then why did I give a 4 star rating? There were two reasons, first was that there was an overuse of fantasy names. There was a lot of things that was overused in fantasy books, like mages and being the savior of the whole universe gig. The second reason was that I really, really, really, didn’t like the love interest of Aurora, Rafe. It may be just me, but he seemed like a jerk to me as a person, even if he did some good things to help his kingdom. Maybe his attitude towards Aurora will change later in the series :).

Overall, I really liked this read. I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers, and people who just want to read a warm, feel-good book.

About the Author:

For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles will be published worldwide August 15th, 2015.

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A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way.  Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo | Smashwords | Itasca Books | Goodreads

***This ARC was provided by Netgalley***

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Blog Tour Schedule:

August 14th – Reads All The Books – Review

August 15th – Dizneeee’s World of Books – Review / Guest Post

August 15th – Melissa Martin’s Reading List – Review / Top 5/10 Post

August 17th – Ya Fiction Queen – Guest Post

August 17th – Christine Abee – Review

August 18th – Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between – Interview

August 18th – EndlessReading – Review

August 19th – Motif by Tanya – Author Interview

August 19th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post

August 20th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post

August 21st – Book Addict – Guest Post / Author Interview

August 21st – Author of The Not So Public Library – Review / Interview

August 24th – Miranda’s Book Blog – Review / Guest Post

August 25th – BookishFever – Review

August 26th – The Reader and the Chef – Review / Top 5 or 10

August 27th – The Power of Three Readers – Promo

August 27th – Ashley Martinez – Review

August 28th – Bookish – Review

August 31st – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review / Author Interview

September 1st – Beauty’s Library – Review / Guest Post

September 2nd – Pixie Vixen Reviews – Character Interview

September 3rd – Creatyvebooks – Review / Author Interview

September 4th –

September 7th – serenastone – Author Interview

September 8th –

September 9th – Read with Royella – Review

September 10th – Reading with AngelaRenea – Review / Author Interview

September 11th – Atomic Pirate Girl’s Book Worm Booty – Review

September 11th – Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review / Teasers

September 14th – Anything but Vanilla Book Blog – Playlist

September 14th – Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

Liebster Award

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Hello my fellow bookworms!

Today I found out I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the amazing @BetweenTheBlurb! Thank you for nominating me!

The Liebster Award is a great way to promote and support other bloggers’ blogs and share more ideas in the WordPress community. There are some rules you have to follow, but they could be easily accomplished :).

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So here are the rules:

1.) Each nominee must have less than 200 followers.

2.) You must thank the person who nominated you and put their link in your post.

3.) Answer 10 questions given to you, give 10 of your own for your nominees to answer.

4.) Nominate up to 10 blogs.

5.) Write a post containing your questions and in that post, write your answers to the questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.

6.) Include these rules in your post.

Here are the questions asked by John @BetweenTheBlurb:

1. In your own words, what do you think makes a good storyteller?

A good storyteller is someone who can paint a clear image using only words. Also, they should make any story sound interesting.

2. Where is your upmost favorite place to read, and why?

In a coffee shop! There’s this soft background noise in coffee shops that just helps me relax a lot. Also, you can buy coffees and pastries while reading!

3. What is your snack/beverage when reading?

Usually some kind of pastry, water, or coffee if I can get my hands on it. 😀

4. Do you think an illustrated cover plays a part in the book buying process?

For me, yes. The main reason why I usually pick up a book is the cover art. However, that is only one step of the process. If the first chapter or the blurb doesn’t capture my attention, then I usually put the book back. Then again, that is just my preference.

5. If you could live any book, which one would it be?

I’ve thought about this question a lot, but I would probably want to be part of Alice’s hunting group in Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, or an Orange in the Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken.

6. If you could change one thing in your favorite book what would it be?

My current favorite book, the Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, is an amazing book, but it lacks humor. If there was a little better, I would definitely add it to my “Books I Will Love For The Rest Of My Life” list!

7. What is your favorite genre to read?

I think this is pretty obvious, but YA fiction with some sci-fi, fantasy, and a little bit of romance is the best genre for me!

8. Do you have a rating system for your reviews?

Yes, I use a five star rating system.

9. What is your top read of the year thus far?

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, followed closely by An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas.

10. What are you currently reading/reviewing?

The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy.

And here are my own questions:

1. What makes a book a “movie-worthy” book?

2. What do you do when you don’t have any books to read?

3. If there is one character you would delete in any book, who would it be and why?

4. If you were to write a book, what would the plot be?

5. What makes a good villain for a story?

6. If you could be any character in any book, who would you be and why?

7. If you wrote a book, what would be the first sentence of the first chapter?

8. Who is your favorite fictional sidekick in any book?

9. What ending in any book would you change if you were the author?

10. What is your main reaction/feeling when you finish a really good book?

Last but not the least, here are my nominees…

1. @Ahck!Furball!

2. @Geo’sBookBlog

3. @LoveAndOtherBookishThings

4. @DreamingThroughLiterature

5.@TravellinginmyBookcase

6.@FeatherBookmark

Until next time,

The Renegade Zombie