Grumpy Book Grrrl

a writer and reader


 Yep, that’s the song that’s been running through my head, so I thought it was apropos for an update post. What’s going on you ask? Well, here are a few things I deem worthy of mentioning.

I guess first up should be the bookish things. Here’s a quick-ish rundown of the stuff I read in May.

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Illona Andrews.

Yep, I FINALLY read it. I purchased this one last year when I thought the release of book 2 was imminent. Of course, that ended up not being quite the case so the book, weirdly enough, fell off my radar and into the black hole that is my kindle library. I think it may have also had a little bit to do with the horrendous cover art. I mean, come one, it looks like just another cheesy romance novel. Bleh. What can I say? I can be a cover snob sometimes. Fast forward to this year, as my book reader community began once again amping up for the release of book 2, book 1 wheedled its way back to the forefront of my mind. I could ignore it no longer. All I have to say for myself is, “What the freak was I thinking waiting so long to read it?” It was really good y’all. Like REALLY good. I’m totally on the Nevogan train. Or is it Rovada? Ugh, who freakin cares?!  I just want more! I can’t wait to read the second book, which was released on May 30th: White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews. If you haven’t read the first one, there’s still time to see the error of your ways. Trust me. 4½ Stars.

Hidden Blade (Soul Eater #1) by Pippa DaCosta.

I just finished this one and, as it happens, it was also a lot of fun (is that the right word?) to read. It’s a really quick, fast-paced read involving Egyptian Gods and demons. It’s kind of dark with an anti-heroish MC, and it’s definitely not all rainbows and unicorns. My only complaint is that it was too short. It needed a little more meat. Good thing it’s just the first in a series, though, right? 4 Stars.

The Bloodletter’s Daughter by Linda Lafferty

It’s a fictionalized account based on historical events. It was…interesting. I think that’s the best word for it. I thought the “science” behind the bloodletting was really cool. I mean, I’ve read about it in passing before in other books, but this goes into a little more detail. It’s basically about a bastard schizophrenic prince who becomes obsessed with the local bloodletter’s daughter, Marketa, who also works with her mother in the bathhouse. There’s a good bit of information available about the historical happenings this book is based on, if you’re interes ted in that sort of thing. I thought it made for some interesting, albeit gruesome, reading. 3½-4 Stars.

City in Embers (Collector #1) by Stacey Marie Brown.

This one has to do with fae-induced electrical storms, people called “Collectors” meant to capture fae on Earth for “research”, a Collector named Zoey now on the outs with the organization and a fae named Ryker who just keeps showing up. I pretty much loved Ryker, but Zoey…eh, not so much. I blame the author. There was a lot of telling with very little doing on her/Zoey’s part. It became pretty annoying. I get it! You’re badass and street smart. Now friggin act like it instead of just saying it all the time. Ryker, on the other hand, was pretty great. I may have developed a teensy, tiny book crush on him. I’m still on the fence about continuing the series. 3-3 ½ Stars.

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere #1) by Meg Elison.

This was post-apocalyptic story that takes place after a virus has wiped out most of the human population, leaving the demographics basically 1:10 female to male. Women are in scarce supply and for some reason babies are dying in the womb or shortly after birth, often claiming the life of the mother as well. The story is told from the perspective of an unnamed female nurse who does what is necessary to survive in the new world. It was pretty dark and gritty, but not without hope. I definitely plan to read the second book, The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere #2) sometime in the near future. 4-4½ Stars.

Weight of the Heart (Bruna Husky #2) by Rosa Montero.

I actually won this through a Goodreads giveaway not realizing it was the second book in a series AND that the series is basically Bladerunner fan fiction. That being said, I did read the first book, Tears in Rain (Bruna Husky #1) in April and this one in May. I really think there’s a good story here and I really liked the characters and the world, BUT…there seemed to be a lot of filler. Both books felt incredibly long, like way longer than necessary. I hate when books begin to feel tedious, it just leaches the joy right out of the experience. It sucks too, because there were a lot of really cool and interesting elements. Gah! I’m still torn over how I feel about this one!  3 Stars?

Next up Dark Thoughts (Refuge #1) by Cynthia Sax

We’re doing an alien/sci-fi romance month for June. Eeeek! Super excited for this! This is the first up on the docket. I’m preparing myself for some super sexy, super dark alien angst!

Now, it’s on to the not so bookish stuff.

Image result for doing all the things

It’s no secret that I’m an Xbox girl, through and through. I love my Xbox consoles and controllers, and I really like Xbox’s platform.  I feel guilty just thinking about another console, almost like I’m a cheating on a spouse or some shit. It’s weird. But I also get bummed when a game is released that looks awesomely amazing, and I can’t play it because it’s PS4 (or PC) exclusive. So, because my family loves me so very much and they HATE to see me bummed, for Mother’s Day my husband and kiddos acquired for me a PS4 (I keep it in a room away from my Xbox because I don’t want there to be any tension between the two.) I know, they (my family) are basically the best. Now I can play practically anything. It’s pretty fucking fantastic.

My world has been opened to so many new games, it’s a little overwhelming. I walk into the game store, and it’s like I can browse ALL the sections now.

The clerk is like,

“Well, that’s for PS4 so…”

and I’m all,


and he’s like,

“But you’re an Xbox owner. All your purchases have only ever been for Xbox. What the fuck is going on?! I don’t know who I am anymore,”

and I just look at him and sigh. It’s so quaint when someone only owns one type of gaming system, isn’t it?

(and I don’t want to hear anything from you PC gamers out there! Shush! I’m having my moment)

Okay, enough of that. Down to the good stuff: games. My first PS game purchases were: The Uncharted Collection (these games are like playing an action movie), The Last of Us (which is supposed to have like the best storyline ever), Bloodborne (definitely not a game for the easily daunted), and last, but not least, the one I was most looking forward to: Horizon Zero Dawn.

Let’s talk about Horizon Zero Dawn

Graphically, the game is gorgeous. The machines are super cool and the world is definitely a challenge. It’s been making a ton of “Best of” lists from open world to story to rpg. I wanted to LOVE love it. What should have easily been a favorite unfortunately doesn’t make that list for me. I’ll admit, I teared up a little throughout the game as there are some very touching moments, but I found Aloy, the protagonist, to be a little flat and boring. I love that she is a female lead and that she’s really pretty badass, but for some reason there seems to be a lack of emotion and humor in this world. Her expression was always the same and the voice acting was a little monotonous. Another issue, and it’s not really an issue issue but rather something I like to see in games, was the lack of a romantic interest. Yes, I’m one those that thinks all good stories should have some romantic element, even if it’s just a simmering one. Give me a couple to root for, please! There was a bit of flirting from some of the male characters, but there was ZERO reaction to that from our flat Aloy. There weren’t even any responses available to address their overtures, even if it was for her just to say knock it off. Looking through the great interwebs the theory is that the original intention was there for some possible relationship interest but it was removed sometime before the game released, hence the flirty, one-sided banter still present with a few male secondary characters. My brother is disappointed in my disappointment (he’s a PS guy, go figure), but while I can honestly say that I did mostly enjoy my play through, it’s not one I’m interested in playing again. As a side note, I also didn’t love the gear that was available. I’m thinking any future DLCs will bulk that up a bit, though.

NEXT UP: The Mass Effect trilogy

I’ve owned these for a while (like 2 years or so), but I’ve never gotten around to playing them. Now that they are backwards compatible on the Xbox one there’s absolutely no excuse for me not to play them. I need to rectify this tragedy and fill this gap in my newbie gamer resume.  I’m ready for some awesome sci-fi action (with a little romance side action going on there too.) Bring it on!

Notable Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (Amazeballs!), Get Out (totally not what I thought it was going to be), The Kingsman (awesomely funny!), and of course I have to add Beauty and the Beast to the list (because who doesn’t love BatB?).

Notable TV: LEGION!!!!!! Like, seriously, that’s the only show that I can think of. Dan Stevens is on a bit of a roll methinks. No, wait. Another that comes to mind is Black Mirror. If you haven’t watched it, then you totally should. Some episodes are almost mind-blowingly (screw you spell check!) good.

So, I guess that about wraps it up. I’ve read some books, played a few games, and watched a little TV. Of course there’s work and family stuff that I could write about too, like the fact my cat went batshit crazy on the kids yesterday while I was at work. They ended up trapped in their rooms until I came home.

They may be scarred for life. Good times, good times.

What books/games/movies/TV shows have you read/played/watched lately? We’d love, or we’d at least like it okay, if you shared with us!

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