New York Comic Con 2018 – Thursday, Oct. 4 – Part 2

After the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child panel I went to the live stage to see Ashley Eckstein talk about Her Universe and The Clone Wars being saved.

I took video of the 10 minute interview, but I am having some trouble uploading right now and will edit this post with a link to the video sometime soon.

I liked the part when she said she had to keep the secret about the Clone Wars being saved since January when she got a call from her agent and she didn’t believe it so she had to call up Dave Filoni to confirm it.

After, I roamed the Exhibit Hall and picked up these giveaways.

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I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid from Simon & Schuster.
From the Penguin booths:
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Green Rider by Kristen Britain
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden -> I asked a few people at the booth if they had this ARC before someone found it in the back. I have all 3 now! More about this in Sunday’s post.

I also went to the Audible booth where they were having a special event all weekend for the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter. The line was so long – about a 45 minute wait on Thursday and one hour on Saturday. You pick a character’s bottle for the “Pensive” (really just a headphone station) to hear a scene of theirs from the audiobook.

What is funny is that since July 31 I have been listening to the audiobooks and am now up to Deathly Hallows.

There are six characters to choose from Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Snape, and Voldemort. I would have liked to collect all 6, because you got to keep the bottle with their name, but I only got to do it twice. I picked Hermione first then Ron on Saturday. Hermione’s scene was when she slapped Malfoy. Ron… I think the machine malfunctioned, even though a repair man had just been there doing something to it, because the scene was when Bellatrix is torturing Hermione. And my sister went before me and she picked Harry and heard the exact same scene. So, yea, the machine was still busted, we think.

My sister went again on Sunday and picked Dumbledore. She heard the part when he tells Harry of the Prophecy and Voldemort’s need of it.

Another part of the Pensive experience was that you wave a wand in front of a camera, they add some smoke to the video and you send it to yourself to share on social media.

But the best part was the code they gave to redeem at Audible. I got a free credit and downloaded The Shining. Only allowed one code though, even though I went twice. My sister tried to add the second code and was told she already did it.

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Star Wars: Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn, narrated by Marc Thompson.

Star Wars: Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn, narrated by Marc Thompson. 13 hours 21 minutes.

Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader ally against a threat to the Empire in this new novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

“I have sensed a disturbance in the Force.”

Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root—its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor’s favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs—including the Death Star project—the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it’s not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there’s more behind his royal command than either man suspects.

In what seems like a lifetime ago, General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic, and Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo, officer of the Chiss Ascendancy, crossed paths for the first time. One on a desperate personal quest, the other with motives unknown…and undisclosed. But facing a gauntlet of dangers on a far-flung world, they forged an uneasy alliance—neither remotely aware of what their futures held in store.

Now, thrust together once more, they find themselves bound again for the planet where they once fought side by side. There they will be doubly challenged—by a test of their allegiance to the Empire…and an enemy that threatens even their combined might.

 

My wish came true! I had mentioned in my review of the prequel that I wanted the story of when Thrawn met Anakin Skywalker and would he figure out that he became Darth Vader?

I don’t think one has to read Thrawn before reading this sequel, but it sure would help to know his background. That said I was reading some reviews on Goodreads and some people mentioned that they missed Eli Vanto. I honestly did not. Though knowing the outcome of Thrawn: Alliances I wouldn’t mind seeing what he is up to with the Chiss Ascendancy.

I listened to this story on audible and once again Marc Thompson is a fantastic narrator. I did laugh at his voice for Padmé, but what can you do? He’s not Natalie Portman, or Catherine Taber.

I also bought the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition, only because I wanted the poster of Padmé. (Side rant: why must they put that ugly sticker on the cover? It’s hiding Vader’s buttons. And it is already printed inside that it’s a B&N exclusive. I pealed it off but there will always be a sticky residue.)

Ok, so back to the review.

I like that we have a time frame. The past is set after Ahsoka has already left the Jedi Order. The present is set after the Battle of Atollon on Star Wars: Rebels. So between seasons 3 and 4.

I’ll start with some critiques and then end on the positive. This is going to get spoiler-y.

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Top Ten Tuesday – July 24: Books with Sensory Reading Memories

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

July 24: Books with Sensory Reading Memories (where I was, what time of year it was, who I was with, what I was eating, etc.)

This is an interesting topic but there are only so many places I can list without it being repetitive. Mostly I read either during my commute, or at my grandma’s house on the weekend; and if it’s an audiobook I am either commuting, cleaning, or drawing/coloring. I feel this is going to be a short list of books that stand out the most, and it’s categorize by location or activity.

 

Grandma’s house:
I have read countless books at grandma’s house but these are two that really stand out to me.

1. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsle.
Ironically I was reading this in August and I remember sitting in my grandmother’s yard on a beautiful day. I was crying as I was reading the end.

2) Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
I remember going to read in one of the bedrooms because my family was so loud that I couldn’t concentrate. There is world building and politics involved and I was just like, “SHHHHH!”
It has been over ten years since I read this and would love to reread it.

Coloring in my Johanna Basford 16 month planner:

3) The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, Narrated by B.J. Harrison; 52 hours; February 11-April 24, 2018
Most of those hours were spent coloring.

4&5) The Tell-Tale Heart & The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, Narrated by B.J. Harrison. Each story is 15 minutes. Great when you want to be creative but are on limited time. Listening to these stories is like a set timer.

Cleaning:
Sometimes you need to kill two birds with one stone.

6) Catalyst: A Rogue One Story, by James Luceno, Narrated by Jonathan Davi; 11 hours 15 minutes.

7) Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story, by Jewel, Narrated by Jewel; 10h 21m.

8) Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, Marc Thompson (Narrator); 17 hours.

In my bed:

9) Morning Star, by Pierce Brown.
The night before the book signing I was 50 pages away from finishing. I read 100 pages on Sunday and another 100 pages on Monday. By Monday night my right eye was blood shot.

10) Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin, Narrated by Rosamund Pike; 11h 35m.
Sometimes I just want to lie in bed and do nothing but relive a lovable classic story.

Top Ten Tuesday – July 17: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

July 17: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

 

1) Zombies Vs. Unicorns, Edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths–for good and evil–of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

My favorite short stories in this collection are:

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Top Ten Tuesday – July 10: TTT Throwback

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

July 10: TTT Throwback (pick a topic we’ve done in the past that you missed out on, or loved so much you’d like to do again!)

I have been so busy that I didn’t have time to keep up with TTT and so this is perfect for me to do a couple of lists that I really wanted to do.

Throwback to May 22: Best Character Names


1)Victra au Julii, Red Rising trilogy.
I think Victra is a cool futuristic twist on the beautiful name Victoria. And the character is bad ass.

2)Rhiannon, Another Day by David Levithan.
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” is an iconic and beautiful song. I only wish that the song had been mentioned in the story. Rhiannon is not a common name, so was she named after the song?

3)Padmé, Star Wars.
It’s so pretty to say over and over, and I love symbolism. It means lotus which is earthy and very fitting since she’s in a forbidden relationship with a sky-walker.

4)Mara Jade, Star Wars (Legends).
I think it’s a fun name to say because it rolls off the tongue well. And as a red head she looks good in green.  I could do a whole list of Star Wars names that I love. Ahsoka Tano, Asajj Venress, Thrawn, Sabine Wren…  Ok. Moving on.

5)Hermione, Harry Potter.
An unusual and strong name for an an unusual and strong girl. Thought I admit, if it weren’t for the films I would be saying it wrong.

6)Ysabeau, All Souls Trilogy.
This is another name that until I listened to the audiobook I was pronouncing it wrong. I was saying Yas-a-beau, but it’s a French variation of the name Isabelle. When pronounced correctly it’s very pretty and uncommon.
Ironically, Ysabeau says in the first book that names are very important, so of course I had to include her on this list.

6)Edmund Dantes, The Count of Monte Cristo.
I loved the way the narrator (B.J. Harrison) said this name on the audiobook.

7)Sherlock Holmes
That is a one of a kind name and I like saying the sarcastic phrase, “No shit, Sherlock.”
What kind of name is Sherlock anyway? So I googled it.
“Sherlock is actually an English surname, which was used by Doyle as his character’s first name. The name translates from Old English roots scir, meaning ‘bright’, and locc, meaning ‘lock of hair’.

Doyle had originally named his character Sherrinford Holmes, his last name a homage to the great Oliver Wendell Holmes. But in the three weeks of writing his first short story featuring the detective, A Study in Scarlet, Doyle changed his first name to Sherlock, after an unidentified player he played cricket against. ”

Well, there you go!

Throwback to June 25: Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish
1) Shopaholic. I read Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, and Shopaholic Ties the Knot. I once planned to read past book 3 but I am no longer that interested in what happens next (I guess it kind of jumped the shark for me) and I don’t really read that genre anymore.

2) Dorothy Must Die. I gave the first book 2 stars so … forget the rest. I thought it should have been a standalone anyway.

3) The Beautiful Creatures spin off series: Dangerous Creatures. I mildly enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures books but not enough to keep going. I got closure from the first set of books and don’t need to open that door again.

The same reasons apply to..

4) The Dark Artifices. I liked The Mortal Instruments, liked The Infernal Devices a whole lot more, but I am done with this universe. The only exception is The Bane Chronicles. I already have it on my TBR pile and Magnus is a favorite character.

Top Ten Tuesday: March 6: Favorite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Buckle up buck-a-roos! This is a long post and it took me a long time to write up because I have so many and I did some narrowing down. Some will make sense out of context and some – well, it would too much to explain. That’s why I had to do some editing. The ones I chose are either the most memorable or classic quotes from that book, or they just really stuck with me because they made me laugh, cry, or I just found it so poetic.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

“Music? Music is life! It’s physical emotion – you can touch it! It’s neon ecto-energy sucked out of spirits and switched into sound waves for your ears to swallow.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story by Jewel.

“I would try to be as bold as that blue waterfall that had the audacity to liberate itself from stone.”

“We cannot always control or avoid what happens to us, but we can control what it does to our spirit.”

“Hatred is hurt masquerading-it is an energy used to fool someone into thinking they are frightening when in truth they are frightened.”

Every Day by David Levithan.
“Some days are like this. And the only way to get through them is remember that they are only one day, and that every day ends.”

Another Day by David Levithan.

“Most of the time when we think we’re looking for death, we’re really looking for love.”

Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden.

“Your virtue is safe with me. Your discomfort is rather charming, actually, but I’m sure you’ll get over it.”

“The overall effect made Vos like a falcon poised in that exquisite instant between free fall and flight, and for a moment he couldn’t breath.”

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

“But I think you should be careful, Batyushka, that God does not speak in the voice of your own wishing. We have never needed saving before.”

“It is a cruel task, to frighten people in God’s name.”

Morning Star by Pierce Brown.

“Molten wounds still glow where the two nuclear bombs detonated. And I wonder, in my last moments, if the planet does not mind that we wound her surface or pillage her bounty, because she knows we silly warm things are not even a breath in her cosmic life.”

“Mobs are soulless things that feed on fear and momentum and prejudice.”

“Government is never the solution, but it is almost always a problem. I’m a capitalist. And I believe in effort and progress and the ingenuity of our species.. The continuing evolution and advancement of our kind based on fair competition. Fact of the matter is, Gold does not want man to continue to evolve. Since the conquering, they have routinely stifled advancement to maintain their heaven…”

Golden Son by Pierce Brown.

“He looks like a Miltonian angel falling with wrath and glory. His exoskeleton sheds its friction armor, as Lucifer might have shed the fetters of heaven, feathers of flame peeling off, fluttering behind. Then a missile slashes the sky and high-grade explosives christen him mortal once again.”

“No. Don’t speak. It’s not your turn just because I pause.”

“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

“Rise so high, in mud you lie.”

“And what is the bloodydamn point of surviving in this cold world if I run from the only warmth it has to offer?”

You’re a sinister little shit, aren’t you?” Victra asks.
“I’m Gold, bitch. What’d you expect? Warm milk and cookies just because I’m pocket sized?

Per aspera ad astra.”
“Through the thorns to the stars.” Sevro snickers. “You fancy little fart. Omnis vir lupus.” Everyone a wolf.

Zombies vs Unicorns, “Princess Prettypants” by Meg Cabot.

“My unicorn is going to smash your face.”

“You have one twisted unicorn.”

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

“And the next time you get handed something magical – whether you expect it or not – behave like the witch you are, not some silly human. Don’t ignore it or tell yourself you’re imagining things.” Willful ignorance and dismissing the supernatural were at the top of Sarah’s list of human pet peeves. “Treat it with respect, and if you don’t know what to do, ask for help.”
“Promise,” I said quickly, wanting to get off the phone. But Sarah wasn’t through yet.
“I never thought I’d see the day when a Bishop relied on a vampire for protection, rather than her own power,” she said. “My mother must be turning in her grave…”

She [Sarah] picked up three wineglasses and waved them in Matthew’s direction. “Got any more of that wine, Casanova?”
“I’m French, Sarah, not Italian. And I’m a vampire. I always have wine,” Matthew said with a wicked smile.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness.

“I just killed a man! This isn’t the moment to discuss our marriage.”
“Nonsense. Marrying amid bloodshed is a de Clermont family tradition,” Philippe said briskly.

“I trust my wife’s judgement,” Matthew said firmly.
“That’s what Philippe says about Granny,” Gallowglass muttered under his breath. “Just before all hell breaks lose.”

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.

“And if we all did what we should, we would wake to find ourselves in paradise.”

“Ah yes the elusive right moment.” Matthew snorted. “It never comes, Diana. Sometimes we just have to throw caution to the wind and trust the people we love.”

“And one last thing: I do not, nor have I ever, sparkled.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower byStephen Chbosky.

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

“I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there.”

Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand by Aaron Allston.
“Luke, I don’t want to discourage your curiosity, but I have to remind you, if something goes wrong, this is an exceptionally embarrassing way to die.”

I can go on and on with Harry Potter quotes, but this is what I narrowed it down to:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.
“So light a fire!” Harry choked.
“Yes…of course…but there’s no wood!” …
“HAVE YOU GONE MAD!” Ron bellowed. “ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT!”

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling.
“Ginny!” said Mr. Weasley, flabbergasted. “Haven’t I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain?”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.
“Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.
“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.
“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me ‘sir’ Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

 

 

Iron Gold – Pierce Brown book signing at Barnes and Noble – January 24, 2018.

My sister and I got to Barnes and Noble pretty early and we got some good seats.
She had not read Iron Gold yet, but I finished it the day before.

Pierce spoke about the different POVs in Iron Gold and how his writing had to change. He usually does not outline, but he had to for IG and the next book Dark Age, not just because there is more going on but for pacing and syncing up different POVs that have to match at the same point in time. Otherwise there would be a lot of rewriting.

Something Pierce said that I related too when I write was that sometimes when writers outline they have so much energy and momentum while doing so but then lose it when it comes time to actually write. So sometimes it is better to just go for it.

This part threw me off because I noticed that Pierce changed his answer in another interview. At this event he said Lysander was the hardest to write because he’s so smart, and Lyria was the easiest to write. He thought Lyria would be the hardest.

One thing I really liked was when Pierce said that the readers have different experiences in life and it’s not an author’s duty to tell others how to think but to ask questions.

The Q&A portion with the audience was great. These were some of my favorites:

1)Someone asked what are the other Howlers’ real names. Pierce answered that he will reveal them in due time and it wasn’t an oversight to omit them, just there is a way he wants those details to be presented. He also has to find his notes to remember them. HA!

He also spoke a little bit about the differences in his former editor, Mike Braff and his new editor, Tricia Narwani. Mike had become one of his best friends and Mike’s complements could be counted on one hand. He’d say the pacing was slow and get to the killing. So Pierce would put in an Obsidian to distract him. Mike called Obsidians “Space Vikings.”

This is a funny story: Pierce told Mike that the end of Golden Son had a wedding. When he got to the end Mike was sending him messages in all caps and called him. But he was in his cubical so he had to use his inside voice but was clearly like WTF!?

Tricia was a beta reader before, the first person after Mike to read the drafts, so there is still continuity there. She is more complimentary and helps with the pacing when his world building slows down the story.

He has pages and pages of world building and his editor(s) would tell him it’s great and none of it will be used. I think that right there is a great start for a World of Red Rising Encyclopedia.

2)Another person commented how Lyria was written beautifully and wanted to know if he would ever write a novella from Mustang’s POV – as a mother and Sovereign.

Pierce said, “No comment. Seriously.”

Now I have nothing but speculations about Dark Age!

3) This was my favorite question of the night: When Pierce began writing Morning Star he wasn’t going to write a story about the aftermath, the what happens after the Death Star explodes. Is there any series, TV or book, that Pierce would like a follow up like Iron Gold?

Pierce answered almost all of them because when you are in the Falcon or at Hogwarts you feel like you are at home. You miss your home and you miss your friends.

The problem is…would the additions ruin the initial trilogy? He said it’s his burden/responsibility not to demean actions of the first three books: the original story, personal journeys and sacrifices of the characters.

So then, and this was my favorite part of the night, Pierce used The Last Jedi as an example. Luke’s evolution demeaned him from the the Original Trilogy.

Pierce wants to add on to the same journey with Iron Gold. The story should feel like the same characters and not a restart but an evolution of them as older people.

Sometimes he thinks he wants more but maybe it’s better not to have more. Many series go past their prime. He knows this story is not past its prime because he’s exhilarated to write this trilogy and if it didn’t feel right he wouldn’t write it. He doesn’t want to dilute or make the past consequences feel insignificant so that the fans feel cheap for reading it and then have fans say “that’s not my canon” or “not my Darrow.”

By not taking a big break and going right into this new trilogy he has kept the same tone. And there are new things to explore through the different POVs. We see more of the world and culture, and the cracks in their civilization. So it feels richer, and when we reread the first trilogy we’ll know all this is going on outside Darrow’s POV.

Before the signing portion we concluded the Q&A with a collective howl. People in B&N must have been like, WTF, lol.

Photos and a major spoiler below!

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