Random Tuesday: Batman Retires, Singing Dragons, Science Is Awesome & More

Bubble monkeys on the moon! 

That was pretty Random, right?

Squid alien thingamajigs eat Oreos while swimming in purple jello.

Equally as Random or maybe even a little more so. As you can see I may be a bit delirious right now and I'm not entirely sure why. Also Random is my capitalization of a brand of cookie, but not the brand name of a jiggly substance. Now on to Random things that make more sense than the randomness in my head.

Spinoff Online has an interview up with Cassandra Clare, where they discuss motivation behind her writing the series, making sure her work passes the Bechdel Test, and altering her books for the screen. I haven't read much about Clare though I've read the series. It's a really good interview. I hope the movie stands up to the hype.

These robot-building sisters are far cooler than I have ever been and they are only 11 and 13. Impressive.

JE Fullerton is way more talented than me. That's why he created illustrated maps of Westeros and I am just staring at them a little slack jawed. (From /Film)

Speaking of Westeros, Batman has retired, so that he has time to read A Game of Thrones without interruption from the Joker or Catwoman or whatever. This was a cosplay at Comic Con last month and the picture was taken by photographer David Ngo. The guy was advertising the webseries The Dark Knight Retires, which starts tomorrow. (The Mary Sue / Fashionably Geek)

Speaking of Fashionably Geek, I want to work with guys who wear My Little Pony ties to work. That just seems like a fun work environment.

Entertainment Weekly has compiled a list of the "best 100 books of all time". This lists are always hit or miss. How accurate do you think it is?

This week in WFTM's Science: It Saves Lives, we have a guy who invented a straw that can detect date rape drugs and instructions on how to create your own penicilin in case of the zombie apocalypse (or any apocalypse really). (via io9)

Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords and who also wrote the music for The Muppets is working on a faerie tale musical he compares to being kind of like Labyrinth. It will involve singing dragons and monsters. I want this right now, but it sounds like it's still early in development. (Collider)

 

And that's all the random I have today. Send me randomness in the comments because randomness makes kittens happy.

Waiting on Wednesday: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

Today the lovely ladies over at Epic Reads (who have THE BEST jobs ever) held an ARC Party. For those of you not familiar with Epic Reads' Tea Times and ARC Parties, it's a webcast held every other Wednesday to talk HarperTeen books. Today was an ARC Party, where they unboxed the new ARCs they've recently received in their office.

Of course my TBR pile grew ever larger during this webcast, but the one book I am most excited about is...

Elusion
Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Katherine Tegen Books
Releases March 18, 2013
384 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Preorder it from Amazon

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

First of all, how beautiful is that cover? While I often judge books by their covers, I'm not usually one to gush about book cover, but seriously! How gorgeous is that cover? Toss in the serious science fiction plot devices and the idea of imaginary worlds to hide from real world problems... where do I sign up because I want to read this right now. RIGHT. NOW.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

The Diviners
Libba Bray

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Releases September 18, 2012
608 pages

Preorder it from Amazon

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

I have a fondness for the 1920s and it sounds like this takes place during that time period. Throwing in a murder mystery, superpowers and "creepy crawlies", I think I can over look the use of "pos-i-toot-ly" in the description blurb. I'm hoping this has some of the same biting humor as Beauty Queens, a book that surprised me and was a whole lot of fun from beginning to end. Bray has an interesting way of putting together stories, so I think this could be a fun read.

Review: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

I apologize for my recent disapperance. Due to being short-handed at my day job, I haven't exactly been all that conscious by the time I returned home in the evenings. Here's the review that I meant to post yesterday.

Glitch
Heather Anastasiu

St. Martin's Press
Released today - August 7, 2012
371 pages
YA / Sci-Fi / Dystopian

Purchase it from Amazon here

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

I lost count how many times the word “glitch” was used in this book. There were some pages towards the beginning when it wasn’t just on every page; it was on every page several times. I’m glad I didn’t start a drinking game or I would have been wasted before I reached chapter three (I’m kind of a lightweight). I mean, a version of the word is used just in the book’s description five times!

And to be completely honest, that’s really my only serious complaint with Glitch. It’s kind of a fun book with fun characters and when I thought there would be an inevitable betrayal and/or death of a central character, Anastasiu took a quick left turn away from the predictable and complicated things just a little more. When a more solid bad guy is finally introduced instead of just the vague “Society” and then that gets twisted, I found myself pleasantly surprised that I was in fact surprised. I felt like something was up, but it was still nice to not feel like every suspenseful moment is thoroughly telegraphed from the beginning.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Oppression by Jessica Therrien

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

I fear that I will soon have to do another YA detox or at least a YA dystopian detox. I've read so many of them recently that they're starting to blur together. Despite my sudden need for something a little more substantial, I'm still impatiently waiting on yet another YA title this week

Oppression
Jessica Therrien

NOVA
Releases February 28, 2012
346 pages

Preorder it from Amazon

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous.

After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time.

Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

This just sounds interesting. The last mythological/god-related book I read was a re-read of American Gods, so it would be nice to read a YA, less twisty-turvy take on gods in the modern world. I also like the idea of being super old but look young even though technically you still age. Sounds like it'll be suspenseful and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this title in a couple of weeks.

Review: Tithe by Holly Black (audiobook)

Tithe
Holly Black

Simon Pulse (2002)
331 pages
YA / dark fantasy / faeries

Purchase it from Amazon

Upon putting the first disc of the audiobook version of Tithe into my car stereo, I became very confused.  For some reason it sounded like a robot was reading the book.  Having a recently acquired fear of robots, this freaked me out at very early in the morning.  I don’t know why, but narrator Kate Rudd had a strange way of modulating her voice during the third person narration portions of the book that made her sound like a robot at times.  But then she started doing character voices and I decided that Rudd should be the narrator for all fantasy audiobooks.  She rocked those faerie voices.  Anyway…

Tithe is about sixteen-year-old Kaye, who grew up with a wannabe rocker mom and no parental boundaries.  She dropped out of school years before to work full time in order to support herself and she starts the book stuck in Philadelphia.  When her mother’s boyfriend attempts to knife her in a bar, the two head back to their hometown in New Jersey.  Kaye quickly resumes her position as the resident weirdo, seeing things that aren’t there, doing weird things that don’t make sense to those around her and basically being an odd duck because she can see all the crazy faerie things in Jersey that others can’t.  She soon gets drawn into a power struggle between three factions of faeries and terrible things start to happen.

Kaye is an interesting character.  She’s a girl who talks to little sprites and saves an odd faerie knight from bleeding out during the middle of the night in a rain storm.  She’s free-spirited (as one probably would be if they were friends with faeries) and impulsive, often getting herself into situations with dire consequences.  But mostly she’s a sixteen-year-old girl who gets her life twisted around when she learns the reason why she can see and communicate with faeries so easily.  Yes, she did some stupid things that, had she stopped to think about the consequences, would have made her life easier not doing, but she never struck me as overly selfish or weak.

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In My Mailbox #11: In Which My Bookshelves Overflow

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren as a way to showcase all the books she receieved on a weekly basis.  It has since spread across the book blogging community, and I'm so excited about what I've recently received that I want to share with all of you.

 

Due to various reasons, I didn't get up an IMM last weekend, which means this one is pretty epic in length.  I've recently gone a little overboard with the contest entering and Amazon free e-book downloading.  Here are the books that have entered my life in the last two weeks.

For Review

   

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons (million thanks to Tor for sending a copy my way)

The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher (thanks to Crown Publishers)

The Social Media Mind by David Amerland (thanks to Becky @ the Author Blogger Network)

 

Won

         

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Thanks to Erin @ Bookish in a Box!

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (thanks to Laura @ Colorimetry)

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough (thanks to Jean @ Book Nerd)

 

Borrowed

 

Tithe by Holly Black (audiobook)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

 

Purchased

   

Touch by Jus Accardo (Amazon e-book for book club)

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines (Amazon e-book for book club - see review here)

Womanthology Heroic Sketchbook by various (I didn't purchase this so much as it came as a bonus with my Kickstarter contribution to the larger Womanthology book, which hasn't been released yet)

 

Free E-books from Amazon

   

Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

Exiled by Rashelle Workman

Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

 

I'd also like to thank Feiwel & Friends for sending me some extra Cinder swag as a thank you for hosting Marissa Meyer on her blog tour.  I have a feeling some of that swag will find its way into a contest sooner rather than later.