Wednesday, January 30, 2019

LitJoy Crate January Review

Hello, all!

The first theme for this year was Pirate Thief, so let's jump straight into it.

First up was this print of Captain Rolfe from the Throne of Glass series designed by Salome Tortladze. This is the first time I've ever received something by her in a subscription box before, but I dig her style. It's exactly how I pictured Rolfe while reading the series.

Can you have a pirate theme without something drinking related? This little shot glass was a LitJoy exclusive, and it's a cute little addition for your bookshelf.

Next up was another exclusive item, a Pirates of the Caribbean inspired charm bracelet. I'm not a huge fan of the PotC movies, I think I only saw the first two and only liked the first, but I do like these types of bracelets.

These coasters featuring four famous pirates were designed by EvieBookish. They're really nice quality and I'm always a fan of her designs.

What goes hand in hand with pirates? A sea monster, of course! This kraken banner is really fun on its own or can be used as a pin banner. Mine did come untied, but that's no big deal. Then we had two more of the LitJoy Collectors Trading Cards of Manon and Lysandra from the Throne of Glass series. Both of these are some of my favorite characters in that series, especially Manon, so I'm super excited about these.

This month LitJoy included two books. The first was Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne. This follows the story of Stella, who is living on a spaceship which has been orbiting around an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. With no prospects, Stella will do anything to leave, and jumps at the chance to be a governess on the private ship, the Rochester. The captain, Hugo Fairfax, is notoriously moody and a bit of a drunk, but he's kind to Stella. While on the ship, Stella discovers that someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she digs the more she uncovers a conspiracy aboard the Rochester. This is supposed to be a Jane Eyre retelling in space, so I'm interested to see how it plays out.

The main book of the month was Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler. In the lower wards of Kahnzoka, the great port city of the Blessed Empire, 18 year old Isoka is a ward boss who enforces the will of her criminal masters by way of the power of Melos, the Well of Combat. When her unique ability is discovered by the government, she's arrested and taken before the Empire and assigned a difficult mission: steal Soliton, a legendary ghost ship that no one has ever returned from, and if she fails, her sister's life is forfeit. Isoka must become part of Solition's brutal crew and confront an even darker magic than what she possesses.

This month they put the book in its own little cloth bag, which I thought was a nice touch. To be honest, although I did like some of the stuff they sent, this box sorta left me a little underwhelmed. Hopefully next month will be a bit more exciting!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

OwlCrate January Review

Hello, all!

OwlCrate kicked off the year with a Magical Artifacts themed box, and it was such a fun way to start. All of the items were great, so let's get right into it.

First up was this lovely antler bracelet inspired by Shadow and Bone made exclusively by OwlCrate. I have really thin wrists, so sometimes it's hard for me to wear bracelets, but this has an opening that you can sort of squeeze to make tighter. I also like how delicate the design is, so it can really go with anything.

Are there any artifacts more magical than the elder wand, resurrection stone and the cloak of invisibility? These Deathly Hollow socks designed by OwlCrate and Michelle Gray are so comfy (I'm literally wearing them right now), and who doesn't love a nice pair of socks?

It was like OwlCrate knew that my roommate just said she wanted a letter opener. This wooden one designed by Juniper & Ivy Designs is inspired by Lord of the Rings, and now she can channel her inner hobbit while going through the mail.

I just recently started bullet journaling, so this A Darker Shade of Magic pouch by Stella Bookish Art is perfect for all my pens/highlighters. I always love her designs and this is no exception. It's also a good reminder that I need to start this series ASAP.

Then we had this tapestry inspired by The Golden Compass designed by Holly Dunn Design. I do think the design is nice, but just a personal preference, I'm not a huge fan of wall tapestries.

The book for this month was one I've been dying to read: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. This story takes place in 1889 Paris, and it follows Séverin as he assembles a team of talented misfits to track down a long lost artifact in order to redeem his inheritance. The group will have to combine their various skills, knowledge and wit in order to find the item and make it out alive.

The OwlCrate team also included an exclusive luggage tag and enamel pin that goes along with the story which was really cool.

Here's another look at the pin. OwlCrate decided to include enamel pins in all their boxes now, and I'm so here for it. Each pin will be tailored to match whatever the book is, and this first one was designed by Alchemy and Ink and it's so pretty. I can't wait to see what more they have in store.

This box was such a fun way to start off the year, and next months theme is Whimsical Beasts, which I already have high hopes for!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Vintage Video Game Collection

Hello, all!

Ok, first off-- I have a hard time wrapping my head around how these games I'm gonna get into are considered "vintage", but alas, I have yet to come to terms with the fact that as I get older, so do the things I grew up with. But anyhoo.

My 30th birthday was in November and my brother got me the best gift: a Retron 3 game system. I'd been coveting his ever since he got one, so I'm super pumped to now have my own. This system plays NES, SNES and SEGA games (which are pretty much the only systems I'm slightly good at) and I love it. I also really like how the controllers are wireless, although it does take away a little bit of the nostalgia factor of being up close and personal with the TV.

Along with the system, he gave me a few games and then he and my mom both got me some more for Christmas, so I thought it might be fun to show you all!

Mortal Kombat: This is one of my favorite video games ever. This is also a game where I need to apologize in advance for anything I might say while playing cause I get way too into it.

Super Star Wars: Before my Wii decided to go to the Dark Side, I had the Empire Strikes Back game downloaded and would play it all the time, so now I can start from the beginning of the saga.

Super Return of the Jedi: I don't think I've ever played this one before, so I'm excited to see little Ewoks takin' out Stormtroopers with some sticks and rocks.

DuckTales: There's only one thing to say about this one: DUCKTALES, WOOO HOOOO.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: This was another I had downloaded onto my Wii that I loved playing, so I'm glad I get to jump back into the turtle party.

X-Men: Unfortunately, for some reason, this one won't play on my system, but I'm gonna try and use my mutant powers to make it work. If not, I know it works on my brothers since he tried it, so if anything we'll just have to have a sibling game day like when we were kids.

Sonic the Hedgehog: In the words of my brother,  "How can you have Sega without Sonic?"

There's a few games I'm now on the hunt for, namely Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Galaga, so I'm going to have to do some major digging at the vintage game store by me. Or some intense Amazon shopping. Lemme know if you had any games you loved when you were younger!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Book Haul

Hello, all!

Remember when I said I was trying not to buy any books for awhile? Weeeeeell, I lied. To be fair, I had gotten a few gift cards over the holiday that were burning a hole in my pocket, and a Barnes and Noble coupon, so really, what's a girl to do? Here are just a few I picked up before going back to my regularly scheduled library visits.

Essential Bukowski Poetry- Edited by Abel Debritto: I have quite a few Bukowski books, so what's one more? I know Charles Bukowski is a bit of an acquired taste, but I've loved his stuff since high school. As crude and crass as he was, he also had some lovely gems and one of my favorite poems will forever be "Bluebird."

Soulless- Gail Carriger: Honestly, I was initially drawn to this book because of the cover, but then I read the synopsis and knew I had to pick it up. This story follows Alexia who has three big strikes against her: 1. She has no soul 2. She's a spinster whose father is dead and 3. She was so rudely bitten by a vampire which is totally against social protocol. To make matters worse (could they really get worse?), Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, which leads Queen Victoria to send Lord Maccon, an annoyingly charming werewolf, to investigate. With everyone believing Alexia to be the culprit in the recent vampire disappearances, it's up to her to uncover what's really going on in London society before it's too late.

Codename: Sailor V, Vol #2: I'm such a sucker for anything having to do with Sailor Moon/the rest of the Sailor Scouts. I read the first volume, so I'm excited to keep going with it.

Saga, Vols 2-4: I'm super late to the party when it comes to this series. I only picked up the first volume at last years BookCon, but I immediately loved it. Barnes and Noble was having a buy 2, get 1 free on their graphic novels, so I knew I had to take advantage of that and picked the next three up.

Smash! Green Day, The Offspring, Bad Religion, NOFX and the 90s Punk Explosion- Ian Winwood: Confession: I'm a massive pop punk kid at heart. Most of my favorite memories growing up consist of finger pointing and singing my heart out at shows with my best friends, so the second I saw this I knew I needed it. Unlike other books/documentaries/etc that focus mainly on the 70s-80s scene, this one delves into the 90s era that really changed the game and catapulted the genre to a whole other level. Just yes to everything about this book. Letting me relive my plaid pants/wallet chain glory days and I am here. for. it.

 Have you read anything good lately? Lemme know!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

I'm sure you all know by now how massive of a Star Wars fan I am, but what you might not know is that I love books that take place within the circus, especially in the 1920s. So big thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for two very fun reads that were right up my alley.

Pub Date: 10-23-18 by
Epic Ink
Pop Culture - Info - Fiction 
Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious- Pablo Hidalgo: This book is full of great artwork and information on various bad guys in the galaxy far, far away. It reads sort of like a cross between a recruitment pamphlet and a crime dossier. It's split up into three different parts, and within these parts you have everything from warrants for the arrest of everyone's favorite scoundrel and rebel princess, Han Solo and Princess Leia, to surveillance footage and mugshots from notable bounty hunters like Boba Fett to the slightly lesser known IG-88. This is such a cool perspective on the Star Wars universe. Usually, everything is about the good guys and this shines a spotlight on the bad guys who're the underbelly of the Galaxy. While this book doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table, it is a really fun read for any Star Wars fan.

Pub Date: 1-22-19 by
Polis Books
Adult - Fiction - Fantasy
Miraculum- Steph Post: Ruby is a tattooed snake charmer in her father's carnival, Pontillar's Spectactular Star Light Miraculum. She is jaded, stand-offish and not quick to trust people, but all that changes when a mysterious man in black seemingly comes out of nowhere and joins up with the traveling show. Soon, death comes to the circus and it's up to Ruby, and the rough around the edges Hayden, to uncover the truth about the charming stranger, while also learning about her own inner power. I really enjoyed this book, it was very atmospheric and you really feel as if you're in the sweaty summer sun with all the other dusty rousties. Ruby is such a feisty, tough main character and I loved watching her go through this journey and really come into her own and embrace her destiny. This story mixes mystery with the supernatural and throws in a dash of romance, and it all flows so nicely. I'm such a sucker for circus reads, and this one was no exception.