In which I present the 2015 Blogger Awards finalists

  
 Well, then, everyone! 

Today we have the three finalists in my category of the 2015 Blogger Awards — Best Character.

The first two were easy to choose since multiple people nominated them, but the third was agony. I haven’t been in such indecision since I can’t remember when. 

Finally I narrowed it down to two names, wrote them on bits of paper, and had my sister jumble them up. Which worked beautifully. 

Without further ado, the finalists of Best Character are….

*music intensifies*

  1. Isidore (A Wish Made of Glass)
  2. Jace (The King’s Scrolls)
  3. Perceval (Pendragon’s Heir)

Thank you all so much for your nominations, cyberspacelings! I couldn’t have done it without you. Now you only have to wait with bated breath for December 22th when I announce the winner. 

In the meantime, stay tuned because on Wednesday I am sharing something delightful that involves spectacular photos and the word sea, plus books — it’ll be epic!
Toodle-oo!

An exciting announcement that involves books and awards and YOU, my fellow Cyberspace-ers // the 2015 Blogger Awards

 HUMANS.

I have a Very Important Announcement.

The second annual Blogger Awards have begun!

What is this you ask? Read on, my minions, and all shall be revealed.

(Hannah is talented with graphic design, y’all.)

 I heard wisps of talk about this fun, fangirl-y, thoroughly bookish event last year, but for some reason I never got around to actually participating.

In a nutshell, the Blogger Awards is an event hosted by five bloggers, and Yours Truly. The purpose of it is to honor the skilled authors of 2015. There are six different categories that we will be awarding:

Best Cover — hosted by Schuyler on Saturday, December 19th.

Best Title — hosted by Hannah on Sunday, December 20th.

Best Short Fiction — hosted by Ghosty on Monday, December 21th.

Best Character — hosted by Annie (Yours Truly *bows) on Tuesday, December 22th.

Best Book — hosted by Sarah on Wednesday, December 23th.

Best Author, hosted by Allison on Thursday, December 24th. 

(Basically we build all the suspense towards Christmas. Clever, right?)

This is where YOU come in, my shiny cyberspacelings (I say this is a word, and so it shall be). 

Leave a comment and tell me who you think the Best Character(s) are of books published in 2015! Pretty please, and thank you? 

Then, grab a chocolate chip cookie and some tea or coffee, and trot around to the other blogs and share what 2015 favorites you think should win in the respective categories. I will know if you haven’t and I’ll send my assassin characters after you. *cackles*

Ahem. 

Nominations are open until November 1st, and remember only books published in 2015 are valid. 

Feel free to sprinkle the Blogger Awards image about, and let people know about the event!

Go forth, and share your love for all the bookish things. DO IT. 

Leviathan — Book Review // 4 of 5 stars

  

(check out my new page: What is The Fandom Café?)

Leviathan written by Scott Westerfeld.

Genre: young adult steampunk alternate history.

Premise: Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
My Thoughts:

Plot: There were plenty of unexpected moments and twists to keep me guessing. For me the World Wars are a fascinating time period, so reading a book about the first War set in an alternate history, steampunk world was extra fun.

Worldbuilding: Brilliant, very well thought-out and written. I like a book where the world is so fresh you can see what’s happening, feel the essence of it, and know what everything looks, tastes, and smells like as if you were really there. Even though the slang Deryn speaks is often crude, it perfectly fits the world Westerfeld created. I’ve caught myself saying “barking spiders” several times. Also, Deryn’s rides on the Huxley are so real they were making me giddy. 

Characters: Ahhh… the characters. ^_^ Alek captured my heart at once — charries with tragedy do that to me. He’s such a sweet, brave, lonely little boy. By the time he realizes he has no clue how to pretend he is a commoner I was rooting for him completely. Deryn is a fiesty, clever-boots, determined girl who took a bit longer to worm her way into my affections (more on that later) but I love her to pieces now. Of the two Alek is my favorite. His character arc throughout Leviathan is fascinating to watch, from a little boy playing a strategy game with his toys to a responsible young man. 

I like everything about the Count, particularly his dry snark and when he talks politics with Alek — which is almost always. (Can I just say how much I loved the addition of politics in this book. Lots of books leave that element out of their worldbuilding, or only touch on it briefly, and I love that Leviathan wasn’t like that.) The “boffin” doctor is another favorite with her quick mind, clever dialogue, and enigmatic way of behaving. Diplomat much? I like how she keeps Deryn on her toes, but I felt badly for how easily she tripped up Alek in verbal sparring. Poor chap. He has a lot to learn. 



My dislikes:

Firstly, the evolutionism. One side of the War — mainly the Brits — are called Darwinists because they have evolved species of animals to make them more useful and spliced together genes to create various creatures that are combinations, e.g. dogs with spiders legs or a weird mixture of tiger, lion, and I don’t remember what else. It’s uncomfortable to read about because it’s so clearly against the laws of God, nature, and scientific logic. 

The other thing is Deryn’s attitude towards being a girl. It’s one thing to disguise yourself as a boy so you can be a midshipman, it’s quite another to do it with a hearty disgust about everything feminine. One of the saddest effects of feminism is girls who are taught to be uncomfortable as womanly women. 

Despite those two points I enjoyed Leviathan very much, and I’m dying to pick up Behemoth and see what happens next. 

In conclusion: Leviathan is an engrossing read with some unfortunate elements, but with stellar worldbuilding, a captivating plot, and lovable characters. 

–> The Fandom Café: now serving spoilers <–

GUYS. If those eggs don’t turn out to be dragons I will be barking furious. I will REND ALL THE THINGS. (kudos if you get that reference.) Also, I know they’re still children practically but I ship Alek and Deryn. so. hard. I need this to be a thing. And I’m dying of curiousity: has anyone else shipped the Count and Dr. Barlow together? Because there would be so much snark and adorableness. I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP. 

And can we just talk about the Huxley rides for a moment? Did they make anyone else feel dizzy? Heights are not my Favorite, BUT the moment when Deryn uses the whole set-up like a zip-line was EPIC. And I was freaking out when Dr. Barlow asked Deryn about her razor. I wonder how long it’ll take her to realize that she’s a girl? 

Oh, my stars. O.O How will Alek react?!! *hyperventilates* 

–> Exit the Fandom Café <–