CJ the Book Peddler

CJ the Book Peddler

I'm a book whore; I open my wallet at the mere promise of a good word.


I'm a reader. An unpublished writer. And I hate 'rithmetic.


!!! spoiler alert !!!
Aftermath - Ann Aguirre

I have no choice but to get this off of my chest because this book is killing me.


It took me about three years before I could sit down and read this, after purchasing, because I knew that I would need closure. So, I waited until the last book came out.


And here we are now.


I went into this with trepidation simply because when we last left Jax, she decided to betray March in order to save the world.


I get why she did it, I don't agree with how.


And again, here we are.


The books title accurately reflects Jax's mood and life after changing the star system in order to stop the Morgut from taking over planets and enslaving human and other sentient life forms. Her world is unraveling and she is trying to figure out her place, her role and herself.


Jax has always been a brilliant pilot. She has been a flawed and bad-ass heroine. She hasn't always been the best person.


And it took me this long to realize that Jax, while easy to root for, is hard to like and even harder to sympathize with. It's a testament to Aguirre's writing that it took me this long to realize that Jax has the emotional IQ of an ant and a stubborn + selfish streak that could fit the Grand Canyon.


I'm a little more than half way through the book and Sirantha is killing me.


I like that she is looking for a purpose, that she needs to right some of her wrongs before she can continue her life and I love that she's a fighter.


I hate that she doesn't understand compromise, empathy or relationships.


Yes, I'm talking about her relationship with March, which comprises a lot of this book. He's not in it, because I will admit that he took a decidedly selfish jaunt to look for his nephew while Jax was being held for High Treason (his reasons were good, as always, but they could've waited).


It all comes down to need.


It was telling when Jax partitioned her thoughts from March so as not to tell him about her plan, which was stupid in two ways:


1. With better foresight or perhaps a quickly hammered out plan, more lives could've been saved and Jax might never have needed to set foot in prison


2. She betrayed a good thing in her life due to selfishness and fear


At the end of the day, she broke a piece of herself away from him because she didn't want to have to explain herself, she didn't want to have to say good-bye (her words, not mine) and she didn't want to lean on him.


That's the thing with Jax, she doesn't lean. Perhaps it's because she equates leaning with breaking? Perhaps because she doesn't understand that the person you love would like to feel needed, even if you don't need him to breathe, as if you can confide in them and ask for comfort.


Which highlights some issues with Jax and March's relationship. March has usually bent, he went along with her, willingly, until his own personality began to surface and suddenly she was uncomfortable.


Don't get me wrong, March is no saint. He has a tendency to put things ahead of Jax. He also has a hard time compromising, and while he might not want to change the core of her, there are things he would love to be more pliable.


They never seem to be on the same page at the same time. And every time they are, something always happens.


This relationship has been about fighting. Fighting for the world, fighting for each other but they've never had a stable moment. What happens when the adrenaline runs out? What happens when they have to talk to each other?


March always has good reasons, he's an extremely good person, loyal and righteous, but he can also fail to see the big picture. Such as, even if Jax doesn't ask you to stay or whatnot, doesn't mean she isn't radiating with it.


However, I noticed it's a lot harder for Jax to support some of March's wants than the other way around. True, she'd go nuts if she stayed dirtside for too long and March needs to be on land every once in a blue, she hasn't ever tried.


She is hurt in this book and her only source of comfort is her "friend" Vel. A being that completes her emotionally...but only because he never asks for too much. He lets her get away with her comfort level and doesn't mind sitting passively next to her. I like Vel, don't get me wrong, but I don't like this weird transcendental love triangle that Aguirre is trying to pull.


I, of course, am going to root for March because despite all of the pain that they have caused one another, Jax and March fit. March treats her like a person in the sense that he doesn't always let her get away with shit. He challenges her and he loves her.


But my God, they need to actually vocalize their issues. That's what a relationship is.


I think I'm so annoyed because it's book 5. This relationship should be progressing, not regressing. Not only bound together by the ties of "love".


I don't fault Jax for her bitterness toward March's decision to leave. I don't fully blame March for leaving.


I do blame them for not trying. Not once have they just decided to lay all of their cards on the table and try.


The timing has never been right and then Jax went and screwed the pooch.


March was right when he said she doesn't need him, that she's never leaned on him and I gotta tell ya, that makes me wonder about them.


They are growing apart and Jax seems to be getting her emotional kicks from Vel. Which is not cool.


Also, not cool that this is happening in the penultimate book when this wasn't set up prior. I'm feeling a little blind sided here.


I do not want them together romantically but I absolutely love their friendship.


There also seems to be an issue with convenience. Jax keeps saying she's changed, that she is not the type to love the one she's with.


And yet.....


Anyway, this book is getting to me and it's a hard book to read. Especially with all of the deaths and the loss of some very awesome characters.


While Jax is growing up, she is also regressing.


And you know what? Comm codes are two ways streets.

4 Stars
My Mother Wants to Drink Me
Personal Demons - Nimue Brown, Tom   Brown

Trapped on an island off the coast of Maine, the people of Hopeless find life a little darker and more dangerous with every day that passes. The number of orphans rises continually, but who can say what happens to their parents? Plenty of the bodies are never found. This is not the stuff of happy, careless childhoods, it is instead fertile ground for personal demons. In Hopeless, the demons are not always abstract concepts. Some of them have very real teeth, and very real horns.

The island has been isolated for a very long time. Partly because of being small and forgotten, partly because the rocks and currents do not encourage visitors, Hopeless is surrounded by fog and overrun with nightmarish creatures, from small things with tentacles to demons and vampires. It's a peculiar place. Here, almost anything can happen, from the weird and unsettling to the darkly funny. With a cast of freaks, nutters and the odd power crazed psychopath, life in Hopeless is seldom dull.

Hopeless is also about who you choose to be. The tale is a protest against apathy, and against the small evils that everyone takes for granted. The worst monsters frequently aren't the ones with the obvious teeth--who are merely dangerous by nature--but the apparently ordinary people who choose to do hideous things.


With an opening line of "My Mother Wants to Drink Me" you know that this story can only go two ways. One, campy and gory or truly scary and dark.


Luckily, it took the latter route.

3 Stars
Not bad
Drama - Raina Telgemeier


Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!



It's cute. I have to admit that as an adult, I thought it was interesting but it didn't leave me overwhelmed.

However, my younger self would've liked this a lot more.

2 Stars
No, just so BORING
Reboot - Amy Tintera

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.


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Such an awesome premise that went absolutely nowhere for me. I wanted to love this, I got 56% of the way in and then......I just couldn't do it anymore.


Such an awesome premise. I'm going to keep saying this until it makes sense. Because how could a book with such awesome potential, fail me?


There was action, there was intrigue, hell there was rebellion and violence but even with all of that going on, it felt cold. Empty. Hollow.


Because of that, I couldn't get into it as deeply as I wanted.


It's not a bad book but it bored me to tears. And, well, simply isn't my cup of tea.

Reblogged Image
Reblogged from Books Over TV
4 Stars
Sword of Sorcery, Vol. 1: Amethyst - Christy Marx, Aaron Lopresti, Various

Amy Winston leads a strange life on the road with her mother. She's about to learn why it's all been necessary when she discovers she's the lost princess of Gemworld -- and has powerful enemies hunting her!


4 stars


This is a comic with a strong female leads, excellent art and only a little bit of overlong explanation.


Originally a comic that was started in the 70s, Gemworld sees new life with the reboot of the DC World via the new 52. A social outcast here on Earth, Amy Winston is a Princess of the Amethyst house back on her true planet/dimension Nilaa. Once she hits the ground, she is imbued with power, faced with enemies, learns her real name and thrust into a sink or swim political stage. Her Aunt wants her dead, her Mother wants to teach her and Amaya would like some answers.


With an appearance by John Constantine (who is looking pretty sharp) and a twist that has repercussions across Nilaa, this comic is full of action and adventure as well as strong women.


The only problem?


It was cancelled.



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So Amaya's adventures have been stopped once again and there are a bunch of questions left unanswered. Also, there is one less fierce badass chick in the comics realm.


This collection also has two Beowulf stories which are fairly interesting and I would read more about and one Stalker story which reminded me of the show Brimstone.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
3 Stars
Dead Reckoning or - Oy with the poodles - OP in May of 2011
Dead Reckoning  - Charlaine Harris

Oh. My. God.

I have never been so disappointed and consequently, angry, by a book as I am right now and it is actually hard for me to type. My brain is exploding right now.


This is going to be a rant. This is going to contain cusses. This is also going to call out True Blood. People are going to either like this or not.

First - True Blood has killed this series. *cue outrage from fans of the HBO show*

For the record, this is not about those that like the show. I have nothing against the fans of the show. In another world, perhaps I'd be a fan too. My problem is that this book is not about the fans of the book. It's about Harris' complacency and riding on the success of the show (which she absolutely should, she's one of my favorite authors and is definitely entitled to it) without giving thought to the books.

Harris is no longer writing for a book medium, to me she is writing something that may look good on the screen and damn the consequences. I want to know more about what is going on Sookie's head and not the same repetitive shit has been written in the past three books nor do I want to hear a diatribe about Christian morals that has been paraphrased from an earlier chapter. SHOW ME , do not TELL ME and for the love of God do not TELL ME something you've already told 450 words earlier.

The show is the campy cousin of the series and while the Stackhouse series has always balanced light, sexy and dark the last two books have been a stagnant mess. The characters have changed since this show into what's on the screen. I don't like the show, I don't want to read a veiled script for the show. Please remember those of us who had been fans of the book since before HBO needed a new show to take over the Sex and the City demographics.

Onto the book:

  This is me reading the first half of the book:gifs

Eric was a bitch in the book. This is not a spoiler because you will realize this in about six pages. This will in turn spoil the first 300 or so pages because we are then treated to the turmoil of the Sookie and Eric relationship. Not only do us fans get treated to the mistrust that Sookie has due to the bond, we get to experience Eric face pummel Pam and Sookie not having enough balls to ask why. Seems Sookie is content to live in her own world and complain "that Eric always makes decisions without her; like he's always done because let's face it, he's a fucking vampire and Sookie is a telepathic part Fae human and doesn't need to worry about half the stuff that goes on because she'll get it into her fool head to do something about it and then Oh, I don't know, DIE!

She goes on to complain that "Eric never talks to me about anything really important." Sook, you're not a college graduate but you're not an idiot. Please see the above reason.

Then "He's been too mopey and complainy since his maker - aka His Dad + Mentor - got all killed and stuff. By me." Yes, I actually can see your point here and Harris did not do a good job balancing the Eric that we know from the past ten books to this Eric who seems like he's thirteen and has just discovered a pimple the day before picture day. However, Eric has the right to be a bitch for about three pages before he stuffs those emotions back in like the Stone Cold Vampire we know he is. Yes, Eric has his moments of Diva-ism and just completely not getting the need for communication and choice that humans have but his behavior in three quarters was just disgraceful. I wanted to punch him in his lovely face.

Sookie should have stepped up and said something. She has no problem talking to Bill (even when they were dating) and had no trouble booting the Were-Tiger because he has mommy issues and she gives Sam the "what for" all the time. Why in the world would Sookie become a complacent brat about his silence? When she does decide to talk to him, she just lets things drop because ... the doorbell rings. UGH!

We are treated to a cast of characters that come and go like homeless people in a subway tunnel; with no real way to keep track of them. While they are interesting and familiar, you begin to realize that you do not have enough grace to care about them enough.

The middle of the book:

Characters are now caricatures of themselves, plots are messy and contrived, our heroine is growing harder and tougher and then all of a sudden becomes a weepy mess. You can't have it both ways!!!!

But now we are at the emotional/relationship core of the book. Sookie has, for awhile, been a little on edge about being bonded to Eric. It definitely has its advantages, one being he can come to her rescue when she ends up involved in a mess, not necessarily of her own making. But it also was sort of forced upon her, for her own good. Like a child, she doesn't like to be forced to do anything. So she treats the bond like a four year treats broccoli on its plate; she simply removes it. Thanks Amelia! At least you had a purpose in this book! Thank Fuck! #extrasarcasm

Of course, because Eric doesn't have anything else to worry about and since he's calmed down a bit from his previous PMSing, you can sympathize with his WTF attitude when he calls Sookie to make sure she's not dead. Because that's what the absence of the bond traditionally means. Sookie, not using her brain just didn't think about what this would do to Eric. Basically it's about testing their relationship. Does he really want to be with her if they weren't bonded? Clearly Sookie has amnesia because she doesn't remember that Eric has been pursuing her forever and in the fourth book (my favorite) when ]b]even suffering from amnesia, told her he loved her. He remembers what he felt and essentially what it's like to feel a book or two ago. But you know? I guess that doesn't count for shit in Sook's world.

And let's not forget the Alcide incident.

Did Harris just stick Alcide in because he's in the new season of Tru Blood or was there an actual reason? Did we need a naked Alcide to tell us that Janalynn thinks of Sookie as a rival? I didn't and it wasn't even all that amusing. All it led to was the removal of some secondary characters that had outlived their purpose. So, um, thanks?

The only person who was at all entertaining and true to form was Pam. I wish this whole book had been from her point of view because by the end of the book I was tired of this mirror-world circus.

The end of the book:

Oy with the poodles already.

At this point it has taken me one week to finish this book. I usually devour the Stackhouse books when they come out and finish it in one night. I'm ready to end this book and move on to something else.

The end was the only high point and not just because it was done but because this is where the meat of the story actually occurs.

With the plot to kill Victor underway and the faeries out of the house and the babyshower on the way (where the hell did that even come from) the action starts. Sookie, in a very weird unchracteristic Sookie move, removes her clothing, runs starkers into Bill's house and huddles up with him as two humans plan to kidnap her and bring her to Sandra Pelt. Oh, did I mention that Sandra Pelt is out and has no bearing on the larger part of the story, which is....well, I'm not sure but Sandra comes in fits and starts. Since the book opened with her firebombing the bar, setting Sookie and Sam together (I know a lot of people don't get it but they would be a very good couple) and causing the Eric hissy fit, it make sense that her death would be the final action in the book. Anyhoooooo, so, Sookie actually plans the death of Victor and then the night when the vamps all go into battle frenzy mode, she becomes a hypocrite and is disgusted by the actions. Good call Eric (he's the one who called her out) but probably not a smart relationship move at the time. However, I like how you bit her and made it hurt because at that point, she needed some sense to clear her head. I mean, she planned and participated in the attack. I get that she doesn't like gore and that could make anyone sick but to not at least acknowledge how important the actions were, well yeah, I can see how you're harshing everyone's buzz.

Oh, wait, did I mention that there's another plot thread? Eric has basically been sold to the Queen of Oklahoma and though he and Sookie are married, he would have to drop her like the leaden hot potato she's become to marry this Oklahoma bitch that his maker signed him up for? He's been trying to get out of it, hence the face pummeling of Pam and the moodiness. However, he only decides to bring it up after the fact. Is he going to get out of it? Does he want to? Sookie broke the bond and that hurt him. Will he stay? Stay tuned for the next edition of "What the hell is going on with these people".

So, Sam and Sookie seem like they should end up together. Sorry I said it. It is out in the open. Deal with it how you wilt.

Oh, Hunter. How could I forget. While I love Hunter and Sookie's dealings with him, why was he in this book? Was Harris afraid we would forget about him? I don't know. Was it to remind us that Sookie is human and has human dealings? Maybe. I can buy that but then I didn't need the friggin' baby shower. More time at Merlotte's would have been fine.

So all in all, this book is a crumbling husk of what it once was. It has some really good parts but they are all tied together with seemingly random and transient cords and then brought together for the final assembly. Of course since there is no QC in this factory, we are given a book that should have been given a polish without the influence of Tru Blood. It seems she was writing for the new fans and forgetting about the old ones.

In the process, she forgot about her characters and what's important to the story. There was no real story here. Just a few interesting things that happened that had characters in common.

Don't get me wrong, I'll continue reading this series and it's still one of my favorites. You don't get rid of a series because it's got a bruise or made a few bad choices.

But, in the words of Lorelei Gilmore; "Oy vey with the poodles already!"

3.5 Stars
Spunky but no discpline
Amelia Cole and the Unknown World - Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride, Nick Brokenshire

I'm sure those words were uttered to Amelia Cole at least once in her life because she is talented but she is not focused. She runs into situations without thinking and she uses her magic with emotion not necessarily precision.


In short, she's a hero.


The art in this book wasn't as high quality as I expected but it was neat and the story could've been fleshed out more than it was, also, the ending came sort of suddenly and without any real resolution in regard to Hector, the Magistrates "bosses", or how and why Lemmy healed.


I am looking forward to the next installment.

3.5 Stars
I want you to SEE me
The Sacred Blacksmith #1 - Isao Miura, Kotaro Yamada

Cecily Campbell photo tumblr_mqtzpv6Piu1qlpngvo5_500_zps45343195.gif



hee hee....oh Cecily.


I can't post the gif or image of this particular scene because it's definitely R-rated. Hilarious but R-Rated, just like Cecily's blush implies.


I thoroughly enjoyed this manga about an unlikely heroine with a lot of heart and a mysterious and brooding swordmaster/maker/magician and his cute little elfin assistant Lisa.


I've seen the anime of this, even though this was a light novel first, and I liked it a lot.


I will tell you this, there's some light fan service here, so if you don't like any of that, this isn't for you.


But if you like a manga with:


- a heroine who has a big heart (and big boobs) and more conviction than might, who


- pairs up with a hero who is mysterious and naive with an uncanny ability to forge and fight, accompanied by


- a cute, and slightly perverted, elfin assistant, and


- a human sword


Then you'll like this one.

2 Stars
Brain Camp
Brain Camp - Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, Faith Erin Hicks

I gotta be honest, I usually love Ms. Hicks but this one just didn't do much for me. It had some interesting ideas but I just felt they weren't fully realized.


The end came quickly without much buildup and then ended with a puzzle.


Try her other books first if this is your first Hicks novel.

2.5 Stars
It made me hungry but not excited
Do Or Diner - Christine Wenger

A majority of this book was interesting and then all of a sudden the last ten pages were rushed and hokey.


Review to be posted.

1 Stars
I closed my eyes on this one
I Only Have Eyes for You - Bella Andre

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I couldn't finish this because I couldn't get past Sophie's attitude and infatuation as well as an scheme that seemed immature.

Jake came off as a jerk and I found myself not caring.

I read 51% of this.

* Courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.

3.5 Stars
The cutest superhero comic ever!!!
Tiny Titans, Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse - Art Baltazar, Franco

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I enjoyed the CN show Teen Titans Go! and as a kid I (own this) read the edition of the Teen Titans were Raven went batshit crazy because she was evil and ruined the wedding of Starfire and Robin.


Needless to say, I love Raven and the rest of the team.


This was the cutest graphic novel I've ever read. I will admit that I had to break out Wikipedia in order to remember certain things and it helped.


If you're a hardcore DC fan (which I'm not, I'm a Marvel gal) then you probably won't need it (you'll also get the inside jokes that I had to read about) but if you aren't. Read by your computer.


The format of shorts reminded me of Archie comic books (did I just date myself a bit?) and the bright inks and childish pencils were reminiscent of the Power Puff Girls. This is a good thing. It hit all the right notes.


Just adorable and a great light graphic novel.

2.5 Stars
When Bigby met the Wolves of the Heartland or When the Big Bad Wolf had to clean up a Big Bad Mess
Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland - Bill Willingham, Craig Hamilton, Jim Fern

"At long last! The long-awaited original FABLES: WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND graphic novel is here!   

Bigby Wolf embarks on a quest through the American Heartland to find a new location for Fabletown, a secret society of exiled fairy tale characters living among the "mundys." In his wanderings, Bigby stumbles across Story City, a small town that seems to be occupied solely by werewolves. Oddly enough, they seem to already know and revere Bigby, but at the same time they've captured and caged him.  
FABLES: WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND tells an epic tale that began well before Bigby Wolf set foot in the bucolic plains of the Midwest. It began long ago when he served in World War II and became mired in a Nazi experiment that would change nations. It's soon evident that murder in Story City is the least of their sins, and unraveling the town's many mysteries may cost Bigby, the seventh son of the North Wind, much more than his own life.  
This new hardcover is a must-have for any longtime FABLES fan, as well as a great entry point for new readers."



As much as I love Fables and Bill Willingham, I just wasn't jiving with this story. In fact, I got to about page 15 and then had to doublecheck that Bill Willingham wrote this. I thought for a moment that maybe it was just his name above the title because hey, it's his story and concept, but nope. He wrote this.


I got a little sad. It's not up to the standard I'm used to. It wasn't horrible but it didn't feel like Willingham. Some parts were edited but needed to be explained, some parts just should have been removed (Oda, anyone) and other parts should've been added into it. There was also some strange word/dialogue choices that I just can't buy Bigby saying. I choose to believe that maybe he had a head cold when he wrote this.


Now, I love Bigby. He's one of my favorite characters but the art doesn't do him justice. I've always wanted a fully human face on Bigby but these artists just didn't do it...right. Ok, that's a lie. The first two chapters and the chapter seven were done pretty good (and whichever sections that were penciled by that guy) were done well but, meh, didn't like the rest.


All in all, if you are a Fables fan this is a good in-between story that explains Bigby's disappearance from the main title but on its own, doesn't do justice to Bigby as his own character. It also is not the best entry point for new Fables fans. The best entry point?


Fables #1.

Book Reviews from Goodreads

So it seems that reviews do carry over but only if you click on the book description and go to the book page.


That's annoying.

4 Stars
Devil Bones - Kathy Reichs
Devil Bones - Kathy Reichs

Wow. Good plot twists, character twists and a shining light of (possible) hope at the end of the tunnel. Can't wait for the next book.

However, I wish Reichs focused more on the resolution of Tempe's love life.

I'm not a huge fan of the daughter (whose name escapes me at this moment) but she was a good plot push for Tempe to meet Charlie - whom, I'm not rooting for.


Originally posted: Sep 05, 08

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/28061252