#813: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

The Bad BeginningDear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket Continue reading

#814: Claudia’s Story by Anne Rice

Claudia's StoryA richly-illustrated adaptation of Anne Rice’s interview with the Vampire, told through the eyes of the vampire Claudia, who was just a little girl when she was turned by the vampire Lestat.

Though she spends many years of happiness with her two vampire fathers, she gradually grows discontent with their insistence upon treating her like a little girl, even though she has lived as long as any mortal man …and her lust to kill is certainly no less than theirs… Continue reading

#815: Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Robopocalypse In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication.

In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.

When the Robot War ignites — at a moment known later as Zero Hour — humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.
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#816: World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z by Max BrooksIt began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality.

Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.

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Review: The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Glass MagicianThree months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.

When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.

The delightful sequel to Charlie N. Holmberg’s The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician will charm readers young and old alike.

Spoiler Alert: The Glass Magician is the sequel to The Paper Magician, which means spoilers may run rampant in this review. Continue reading

My Personal Reading Challenge

It’s 2016! Well, well, well… BA has been quiet for over a year, at least review-wise, and I find myself wanting to get back into it.

Where did I go for a year? If you are curious about that sort of thing here’s a quick catch-up. – I moved house at the end of 2014 and my life got busy. I ended up working 6 days a week, and going out socialising. It’s understandable when you know I was housebound for almost 10 years and unable to be independent.

So I just… Lived my life. Then I tried my hand at studying, which went well, except then I fell prey to mental illness. Again. For what feels like the millionth time. I say fell prey again simply because I have continuously suffered from mental illness and I’m at that phase where it’s taken over. Again. I just rolled my eyes. I’m that impressed with it.

Anyway, so there’s all of that. Now back to books.

I have decided, after my time away, that I want to challenge myself, but not be overly challenged. I also want to read, but I don’t want to accept reviews anymore (I loved it at the time, but it’s too much pressure right now). I loved hosting reading challenges, but again too much right now. This brings me to my new personal reading challenge! Continue reading

Review: The Troop by Nick Cutter

The TroopBoy Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” However, nothing can prepare this group of young boys and their scoutmaster for what they encounter on a small, deserted island, as they settle down for a weekend of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.

Everything changes when a haggard stranger in tattered clothing appears out of nowhere and collapses on the campers’ doorstep. Before the night is through, this stranger will end up infecting one of the troop’s own with a bioengineered horror that’s straight out of their worst nightmares. Now stranded on the island with no communication to the outside world, the troop learns to battle much more than the elements, as they are pitted against something nature never intended…and eventually each other.

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