We’re Moving! OnStarshipsAndDragonwings.com

We’re Moving!

Yup, that’s right. I finally got everything together to move to a self-hosted wordpress site at OnStarshipsAndDragonwings.com. If you subscribed RSS when I had feedburner (last few weeks), it should update in a few days to a week. If you subscribed when I had just a raw feed or through any other format, you’ll probably want to hop over and re-subscribe right now! Thank you so much for updating your feeds!!!!!

You may be asking yourself, why the new title and the move? The new name is to make it more clear that this is a sci-fi and fantasy blog and we’re going to be getting a new design (eventually, long wait-lists….) to go with it! If you are/know a designer, please please please email me! I’m still looking ;-) anyaejo (at) gmail (dot) com.

The move is because wordpress.com makes it difficult to do all sorts of fun things and so I decided it was time to take the blog to the next level :D There should be all sorts of new and exciting things coming soon: giveaways, new design, more interesting posts, more community and obviously my own domain :D. Please come join me again at www.onstarshipsanddragonwings.com.

See you on the other side!

AnyaAnya from About The Story

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Reading Vs. Watching (A) Game of Thrones

  VS   

     

As most of you, I’m sure, know, George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones novel, the first in the series A Song of Ice and Fire, was turned into the HBO series Game of Thrones last year. The TV show promises to continue for many more seasons (one book per season so far), which raises a dilemma for those of us who are book and fantasy oriented. The books are quite long and the TV show is being adapted with Martin’s contributions, which has made a strong case for watching the TV show even if you haven’t read the books yet. What’s a fantasy book lover and HBO fan to do???

Option 1: Read the Books (First)

If you were lucky (unlike me) and discovered (ie listened to your friends!) the awesomeness of these books before the show came out, then you might have a head start on reading the series. As I said above, each book is quite long and there are five so far. This means that unless you have a whole lot of reading time on your hands, it could take you awhile to get through each book, and while you are doing that you are yelling “NO SPOILERS!!!!” to all your friends who are talking about the show. The old book lover’s advice is to read the book before seeing the movie because the movie will ruin the book. This is not really the case with A Game of Thrones however, because the show is very good and won’t make you hate the story at all. If you are okay living under a rock however, while each season is running, or you got a good jump start, then this is an option for all you book purists out there ;-). If you have any interest at all in fantasy TV shows, however, you should definitely give the show a try eventually.

Option 2: Watch the Show (First)

Full disclosure here: this is the option I went with so I’m undoubtedly biased ;-). If, like me, you didn’t hear/listen to your friends about the book series until the show came out, waiting can be hard. It’s a lot of fun to watch the episodes as they come (if you are lucky enough to have HBO…) and with your friends/family (not the kiddies though D: ). This then begs the question: is it worth reading the book after you’ve seen the corresponding season of the show??? The answer is yes, as long as you tend to enjoy epic fantasy and longer books. I found it very helpful to already know all the names and places in what is admittedly a rather complicated story, and it’s really nice to get a text explanation of complicated scenes that are difficult to catch all the details of in the show. Also, the show deviates and skips over a bit from the first book and more from the second. This means you’ll get little “deleted scenes” by reading the books :). It’s important to understand, though, that the major plot points are the same so you are reading for the details, which can make the books a little more boring than they would be if you didn’t already know how things were going to end. Finally, if you have watched, say, all the episodes currently available and must know what happens next (OMG meh!) then reading the books is perfect since you can get five years ahead :D.

Option 3: Neither :(

While this may seem like a strange option to include, I find it important to point out that there is a significant group of people who really hate these books and show. The graphic nudity, incest, rape, violence against women and children and general grittiness of the books is only amplified in the HBO show, because, well, that’s what HBO does. I generally disagree with most of the criticisms that the story is overly sexist or racist (and by overly I mean once the medieval setting is taken into account), but that doesn’t mean that you or someone you know won’t be offended. There are also times when watching the show that I hope no one sees because I’m worried they’ll think I’m watching soft-core porn…. The graphic material is definitely something to take into account, but you know what they say about judging a book by what someone else hates about it… (I think I might have that saying a bit off ;-) ).

So, what approach have you taken? Please comment, I’d love to see what everyone else is doing!

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-AAnya from About The Story

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Four Stars: Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Cruise, Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich

Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Cruise, Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich is the story about three woman, and their awesome dogs, meeting, becoming and battling ancient Mesopotamian goddesses; oh and their dogs start talking :D 

When I had a twelve-hour drive I went over to the library and grabbed at any audio-books that looked fun and easy. Dogs and Goddesses looked exactly like the book I was thinking of and it was! If you like audio-books, this is a great one for audio, because dog voices are adorbs!!

Goodreads
Title:
 Dogs and Goddesses
Authors: Jennifer Cruise, Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich
Pages: 400 (paperback)
Genre-ish: Adult Contemporary with a little Fantasy and a lot of Romance
Rating: ★★★★ - Really fun story, little over the top
Setting: Modern setting in Small Town, USA, but with a Mesopotamian goddess (not historically accurate) who has and gives real magic.
Premise: Daisy, Abby and Char are three dog-loving women who have never met before a mysterious dog training class starts up in their town. After the first meeting they start realizing that things are not at all what they seem…. And they all have some magic in their heritage they didn’t know about, which comes in handy when they have to save the world.

Strengths:

  • Really fun and strong female leads who start out as ordinary women and find out a lot about themselves and their strength!
  • The audio-book edition’s narrator does the best dog voices ever! :D
  • Fun and interesting plot of how an ancient goddess would react to being accidentally reawakened in our time :)

Weaknesses:

  • There was definitely a strong romance aspect given that part of the goddess magic involves sex, so definitely not PG-13 and a little much for me, ha.
  • I wish that it was based on actual Mesopotamian myths instead of something made up for the book to work.
  • For reasons that will be clear for anyone reading the book, I craved cookies every time I listened to the book D:

Summary:
For a random book I found on the shelf of the library, I really enjoyed this book! It’s certainly not high-brow fantasy, but would make for a great airplane or road trip book. I highly encourage you to get the audio-book if you have any interest or want to try out audio-books for the first time, since puppy voices are the best!!

Remember to subscribe to get weekly reviews of awesome books!

-A
Anya from About The StorySimilar Stories Reviewed:
Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine – More women kicking butt with magic powers and an easy read
Amazon by Lori Devoti – Women with ancient, mythological powers taking names!

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Warbreaker Group Read Part 1

Naithin over at Once Upon a Time is hosting a group read of Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson that I’ve hopped into. If you want to join in, grab a copy and start reading :D. Because of the nature of the group read, this post will contain spoilers for those who haven’t read up to Chapter 12.

With that big bad warning out of the way, let’s get started :D. I loooooove Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn and so was  very excited to participate in this read a long, even though I got a little bit of a late start. I’ve caught up already though, so I’m even more excited now!

Here are the questions for this week, for Prologue – Chapter 12:

1. All right, let’s start easy – how are you liking the book so far? We’ve been introduced to a lot of characters and started several stories now. Any in particular catch your attention? Anything intrigue you?

The premise is definitely interesting and a lot different from Mistborn. I love Sanderson’s style, it’s so readable and the chapters are so quick, but I’m not as in love with the magic as I was with Mistborn’s Allomancy, since BioChroma-thing just seems a little less realistic I guess? Cool, for sure, but less easy to believe that color has magic than special metals that you ingest. Siri obviously has an alluring story for those of us who like a young and strong heroine, and will undoubtedly play a major plot role. I find it interesting that her sister is also getting some play time since most of the time the “boring older sister” role can be rather flat, and well boring ;-).

2. The Returned are all treated as Gods, but at least one of those Gods doesn’t believe in his own divinity, despite seeing potential visions. Do you think the Returned will prove to be divine? How do you feel about the religion built up around them?

I think that the visions will definitely prove to have weight given all the foreshadowing going on with Lightsong, but I’d need a definition of divine before I could further predict ;-). I found the whole requesting the Returned kill themselves to heal thing kind of depressing and morally conflicting, and I’m sure it was supposed to be, and I look forward to a moving sacrifice in the end.

3. The God King didn’t turn out to be the way he’s presented and thought of in this world. Any ideas on what his role will be in this story?

I’m definitely sensing a theme to Sanderson’s writing of revealing that myths can be more powerful than truth when it comes to God Kings…. I’m looking forward to Siri’s adventure when her brashness reveals what all the secrets and men behind curtains are for. Maybe the God King is really a prisoner? >.> <.<

4. The title – Warbreaker – what do you think it might refer to?

It’s probably something along the lines of Siri and maybe her sister breaking a war? :D Or it does sound a lot like the names that are given to the Returned….

Link me your read a long answers and what you think of mine :D And remember to subscribe for weekly reviews of awesome books like this one!

-AAnya from About The Story

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Four Stars: Anathema by Megg Jensen

Anathema by Megg Jensen is the story of a slave girl, Reychel, who has only been allowed to see the sky a handful of times, because her master knows her secret, and when she escapes she finds much more than her freedom; she finds her destiny

I grabbed Anathema off of the Kindle store when it was free (thanks for the tip Angelya!) and am very glad I did. I’m still getting used to indie books, but very much enjoyed this one!

Goodreads
Title:
 Anathema
Author: Megg Jensen
Pages: 206 paperback
Genre-ish: YA Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★ - Great story, Indie shortcomings
Setting: The ruling class tricked the lower class into slavery generations ago and has done everything they can to stifle the prophecy of a savior coming in the current generation. Once in a while a child in the lower class will be born Gifted, and some of these Gifted have used their power to rescue others from slavery, all waiting for the Prophet to return and save them.
Premise: Reychel remembers only slavery and darkness. She is only allowed to look out windows in the presence of her master, and even then it is a rare occurrence. That is, until she is rescued just before being branded on her 15th birthday. This starts a wild adventure of discovery as she finds out she has more power than she ever imagined, and her master had good reason to fear her.

Strengths:

  • Really cool magic system premise, I’m excited to find out about new gifts!
  • Well built society, ex: slaves shave their heads bald everyday so even if they escape they can’t blend in without help, and it is said that if a slave is able to hide until their hair grows in, they deserve to be free
  • Realistically strong female character who is also quite likable, refreshing
  • Some fun plot twists, I saw a couple coming, but it was still nice story development
  • Refreshing twist on the hero/savior story line, since Reychel doesn’t have the type of gift you’d think a savior would have

Weaknesses:

  • As has been said in a few of the goodreads reviews, Indie authors are hard-pressed to hide a lack of top-notch and pricey editing; a few typos and choppy sentences as can be expected
  • I am so not a fan of YA love triangles which are so popular lately, and there is a love triangle in Anathema which seems a little forced to me, though it developed fairly naturally, but I’m worried it’ll be more front and center in the next book….
  • All the different gifts have the possibility of getting a little overdone, but so far Jensen is pulling them off with a lot of originality, keep it up!
  • Too short! I was surprised when the novel was done and really wish that some of the montage segments had been expanded to give a more satisfying adventure story

Summary:
I honestly am tempted to go with four and a half stars on this book, and really encourage everyone to try to find a copy. I’m fairly picky when it comes to indie books and YA books, so the fact that Anathema impressed me for both of those categories speaks very highly of it. I am really looking forward to reading the sequel because the coming adventure looks awesome!

Remember to subscribe to get weekly reviews of awesome books!

-A
Anya from About The StorySimilar Stories Reviewed:
Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey – Another woman finding her destiny in an easy read
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk – Another woman finding out she has a lot more power and a much bigger destiny than she imagined

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WWW Wednesday #8

WWW

What did you recently finish reading?

 

We just finished up Bout of Books 4.0 and so I got a lot of reading done last week and am feeling pretty great! I finished the audiobook Dogs and Goddesses, and as part of Bout of Books I buzzed through Beggars in Spain and most of Song in the Silence. I have sooo many reviews to write and let me tell you there are a lot of stars coming :D.

What are you currently reading?
  

I started Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts when I needed a new audiobook, and then I got A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin on audio as well, so now I am listening to that as I do chores and play video games >.>. Loki is still my kindle book, but it’s going slow since I’m not super caught up in it and I just got Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress from the library and I’m soooooooo excited! I also got my first unsolicted review and am working on Merciful Flush by Lance Manion, woot!

What do you think you’ll read next?

?????????

Well, it’s proving impossible for me to predict what I’ll read next given my library requests are getting filled so quickly and randomly, lol! And I have a lot of reading to do before I need more anyway ;-).

What are you reading past/present/future?
-A
Anya from About The Story

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Bout of Books Wrap-up

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Yey I made it! I missed a couple of days in there due to work and real life, but I genuinely put in effort to read extra pretty much every day so I feel really great about this Bout of Books!

Favorite Thing: I got into the habit of finding extra time to read and wanting to make progress, and I hope that it’ll stick for a while!

Goals: 

  • Read at least 2 hours every day – Didn’t manage everyday, but read more than usual!
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving – Check!
  • Finish at least two books this week – Didn’t quite get this, but I’m almost done with the second one, so I’m still happy!
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community - I participated in several of the challenges and did a lot more blog hopping than I normally do, and did a Twitter chat, so I think I did well on this :D
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D – Done! My list is below :D

4 New Blogs Goal:

On the one grand prize vs. many overall: 

I didn’t really care for the grand prize and realized it would be more valuable to someone else, so I didn’t enter. I have no real need for specialty business cards, and was rather disappointed since they don’t seem very book related to me, though I understand that a lot of people were excited about them. I would say a more book related grand prize or just several smaller prizes would have made me a little happier, but I was already really happy with the read a thon, so it’s all good :D .

How did everyone else like the read a thon? What was your favorite part?

-AAnya from About The Story

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