Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Institute of BS Explores - Human/Dragon Transformation in Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


                        Dragons are a staple of fantasy, and a frequent barb in the side of the Institute of BS’s Science Department. Everyone here is a great lover of fantasy; we’re all masochists you see, so dragons are a common subject of scrutiny amongst us. Due to this, the impossibility of dragons has been completely and overly proven (unless you ask Kyoma, who swears that the volatile nature of their guts that allows them to breathe fire, could be fired from another unnamed orifice, turning them into living jets. Pure speculation of course, due to personal fantasy rather than evidence). Or rather, was proven. You see, several months ago, we were presented with Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.
                        Unlike the traditional dragon, Rachel Hartman’s are extremely intelligent creatures with the ability to transform into a saarantras, a dragon in human form. The process that allows this is still unknown, but the problems it creates are amazingly interesting. First of these problems is where does the excess flesh go

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why I Hate the Barriers Genres Create

(Originally posted on The Intrepid Book Moth as a guest post)

Genre: a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like

               Genres are the backbone of books, the bed authors can fall back on. If an author is ever suffering writer’s block, they can just look at the genre they are writing within, take inspiration, see what’s needed. But just as they are a bed, genres are also cells. Looking between the bars, you can see your fellow inmates, crowded in their own cells; contact limited to shouts across the barren hallways.
               Trust me, there were at least five layers of metaphor in there. I don’t think I even understood all of them, but allow me to attempt to walk you through what I just said. When I think about writing (which I do way more than actually writing), I find myself subconsciously falling back onto genre conventions. It’s Sci-Fi so it needs lasers, evil corporations, and tentacled aliens. Bringing in ideas from other genres, ditching the evil corporation being overthrown with a teen who’s going to commit suicide, it feels dirty; like I’m defiling an unspoken rule. As a reader, I find myself doing the exact same, staying a mile away from genres, just because I’ve had a few bad experiences, and because I’m not supposed to read them. A teen guy reading a Romance? What’s wrong with him? This partial-bibliophobia kills the opportunities for a rich literature ecosystem, it creates formulaic plots, and fearful readers. Who does this benefit?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Waz Up?

Some of you may remember that a few weeks ago I posted a real quick update, informing everyone that I was not dead. In addition to that very important announcement, I was planning on giving a more in-depth look at my plans for the blog. Problem was, I’m an idiot, so I waited till late in the evening to write it, meaning I didn’t have time to finish. Today, I’ll be fixing that.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I'm Alive!

                        I’m alive! Air is in my lungs, blood is flowing through my veins, and other life sustaining systems are sustaining life! You know what that all means- I’m back. Everyone can call their PIs and tell them that I have been found at long last. After a long, dark month spent at the family’s, I am once again returning to blogging and supplying content that is at least acceptable.
                        Originally, this post was supposed to update all of you to the various things I have planned, but since it’s now two in the morning, I’ll leave that to another day. To put it quite simply, nothing much is going to change, and I will hopefully be returning to the old schedule (review every Thursday, maybe something on Tuesdays) with a few additions perhaps, which I will go into another time!
                        Sorry about the short post, but time was being a selfish POS, refusing to change its pace for me. Try not to give too many loathing looks to your clocks though; they are nothing but the messenger.

See ya on Tuesday! (Hopefully)

P.S. This will be first post to feature my new Shameless Whore section, because why not? As far as I’m concerned, the fact that you are reading this is evidence that stage one of the Shameless Whoring has worked, meaning stage two must be started. What that means, you ask? Quite simple actually: I’ll ask you to follow me on my various social media outlets, because it makes me feel good.

Want to stay up-to-date on all the blog happenings, and get a moment to moment glimpse into my mind? Then follow @NoBSBooks on Twitter! Or, if you want something a tad more interesting, you can follow/friend/whatever-StumbleUpon-uses, so when it slowly takes over my life, I know I’m not alone.  You can find that here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blogging Hibernation

 To set the mood-


                        Alright, all five of you reading this right now, I have some terrible news. If you are one to stand while doing your blog reading, then I must ask you to sit down, lest you go weak in the knees. You see, I am around these people called “family.” I’m not just around them, but living under their roof. The presence of these other bipedal creatures has disrupted my hermit equilibrium, which is the source of my blogging energies. Without a supply of blogging juices to spew, I can’t reliably write reviews that don’t suck. What this all translates to is this: for the next two or so weeks, while I’m around these fellow human beings, I will be entering a blogger hibernation. Glad that I had you sit now, aren’t ya?
So… See you later?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Book Notes Project - Spreading the Love

For various reasons I won’t be putting up a review today. Instead, I’ll be talking about something far more interesting, The Book Notes Project. Spreading a little happiness, bit by bit.

book notes 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway

The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand
“Adam Strand isn't depressed. He's just bored. Disaffected. So he kills himself—39 times. No matter the method, Adam can't seem to stay dead; he wakes after each suicide alive and physically unharmed, more determined to succeed and undeterred by others' concerns. But when his self-contained, self-absorbed path is diverted, Adam is struck by the reality that life is an ever-expanding web of impact and forged connections, and that nothing—not even death—can sever those bonds.

In stark, arresting prose, Gregory Galloway finds hope and understanding in the blackest humor.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #2 : Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less than I Did

                        You know that book, which had such promise, that you were ready to just love, but served to only break your reader heart? Or perhaps you know its brother; the quiet book, unassuming, which you were prepared to read and forget about, but in the end loved, went so far as to use your silken bookmark with? Who hasn’t been there? Follow me as I recount the Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less than I Did.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Stages of Madness in One Email

            I’m not going to give much explanation for this, but allow me to say that the following was written at four in the morning, right after I finished my review of Seraphina. I needed to send it to my teach/editor so I wrote this email, with the intention of it being nice and short, sticking to the facts. However, my conscious mind fell out of favor with my hands, allowing my subconscious to rise. You are about to read an unedited glimpse into my (sleep deprived) mind.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

"Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page." -taken from Goodreads

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Guest Post: The Kite Runner by Klaled Hosseini

This week, I'll be joined by Andrea from The Intrepid Book Moth, an absolutely fantastic blog dedicated to indiscriminate reading, who has reviewed Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner"A novel set mostly in Afghanistan. The introverted and insecure afghan narrator, Amir, grows up in Afghanistan in the closing years of the monarchy and the first years of the short-lived republic. His best and most faithful friend, Hassan, is the son of a servant. Amir feels he betrays Hassan by not coming to his aid when Hassan is set on by bullies and furthermore forces Hassan and his father Ali to leave his father´s service. Amir´s relatively privileged life in Kabul comes to an end when the communist regime comes to power and his extrovert father, Baba emigrates with him to the U.S. There Amir meets his future afghan wife and marries her. Amir´s father dies in the U.S. and Amir receives a letter from his father´s most trusted business partner and, for a time, Amir´s surrogate father, which makes Amir return, alone, to a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan in search of the truth about himself and his family, and finally, a sort of redemption." -taken from Goodreads

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Identical by Ellen Hopkins


Do twins begin in the womb?

Or in a better place?

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?" - taken from Goodreads

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 1#

Most Memorable Books I Read Before Becoming a Blogger

                        Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, in which you make a list of ten things (Absolutely shocking, I know. I didn’t mean to blindside you like that.), the theme being given to you. This week, it’s the best books I’ve read before I was a blogger. Now, I know this is my first week doing this, but I am going to slightly twist the theme to Most Memorable Books I’ve Read Before Becoming a Blogger. I hate to directly compare two books that have nothing to do with each other. My love for Crank by Ellen Hopkins is completely different than my love for the Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini. Being memorable is cross-genre though, and I feel that it’s fairly close to the original topic. This list should NOT be treated as a list of recommendations, ‘kay? Cool.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Self-Indulgence - Musical Musings in Delirium

               Welcome to the first in an irregular series I'll be doing, Self-Indulgence! Posts that have no substance or use, about thoughts I had that wouldn't be fit for a review. Completely self-indulgent.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

Post-apocalyptic America, civil war, and out of body experiences? All in this review!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

          World War III, brain computers, AND Nazi Ninjas? All in this week's review!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Introducing No BS Book Reviews

                I’ll be honest; I had no idea how to start this post. Not a clue. And really, that’s an accurate way to describe this whole blogging endeavor. It took me a month to come up with the name and it isn’t like No BS Book Reviews is any sort of masterpiece. Nothing wrong with it either. I like it. Describes what I want to do with the blog, it’s honest and distinctly non-poetic. Robert Frost wouldn’t ever be so forthright, would he? Regardless, I do have a plan now and you deserve to know what you get for staying around.
                My goal here is simple. First off, I want to provide reviews that aren’t BS. Too many times I’ve seen people skip over the problems a book has or ignore the book altogether and just say “I liked it.” Well, guess what? That information helps no one. I want to supply people with reviews that actually say something, without falling off the deep end and becoming bone dry. Whether I succeed or not is for you to decide, of course.
                Second, I simply enjoy writing and reading. Doing these reviews gives me a chance to combine two hobbies while creating something useful. For me it was only natural. Helps that I’ve been known to be slightly opinionated.
                I’m hoping to release reviews every other Thursday with the possibility that sometimes I may release one on the Thursday of an off week. Ultimately, I have to figure out how often I can reliably write these. It goes without saying that I hope to release more often than less.
                At some point, I am considering producing other book-related content, besides reviews. What that will be, or when it will be, I haven’t a clue. Maybe something that is slightly more interactive? Guess that just means you’ll have to stick around! (Please? Pretty please?)
                Hopefully you know what’s up now. If not, oops.

                Hope to be "seeing" you again!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Skin Deep by E.M. Crane

           Cancer, pet dogs, and a "zombie" protaganist"! All in this week's review!