Books: Gilded Cage by Vic James

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Time for another book review!

Title: Gilded Cage
Author: Vic James

Disclaimer: This review is based on opinion and observation! Please respect her thoughts and feelings about this book.

Synopsis: This story is a telling of magical aristocrats in a modern world where commoners are there to serve them. We meet the Hadley family who end up in the world of Slave Days where a family has to work for the Jardian family, a huge aristocratic family that has been equal for many years, for ten years. The family is known for having many of magical skill and secrets that they don’t want to give until the Hadleys have their son sent to a Slave Town in order to work while the others were sent to the prestitious Clindestined where they not only have to take care of baby that one of their members gave birth to with a slave woman but taking care of a family member who has been in a coma for over twenty years.Twists and turns take shape and even people are willing to get hurt or die in order to change things and show that everyone is equal no matter who they are.

Thoughts: All I have to say this book was DAMN! This is one story I wanted to keep going and not be disturbed from reading because of how good it was! I did get confused on some points such as the family backstory with the character Utope who was in a coma for over twenty years. Yes, it got explained but I wondered is that is she so emotionally unstable even with death? I mean she went into her coma after losing her parents in a fire and then destroyed an entire wing after a death and I feel like that should be something the family should control or at least help her by going through treatment or training to control her powers or both. I remembered in the Dresden Files, it was explained that Molly’s powers can be triggered by feelings and in Ghost Story her guilt made her magic even more powerful. So, yeah Utope’s powers should’ve been helped with.

I was also even surprised by how Luke, the son, was sent off to the Slave Town for being “useless” to the Jardians but it was revealed later that he was useful. I did like all the parts with him and how he was dealing at the place he was in even when working with the rebels since it shown the darker side of the Slave Days if you’re not useful to the Equals. I almost thought they weren’t going to make it when a huge chemical fire rose up when he and the rebels rescued a friend that got arrested and tortured. You know those moments in books that you think your fave character will die but he survives in the end. I had that the most with Caid in Midnight Breed Series for most of the books he shown up. That is how I felt about Luke and hoping if there is a sequel, since the epilogue opened it to one, that he gets through what had happened to him in the end and that he gets rescued again.

Another character I did like was Abby, Luke’s older sister, I did like how she interacted with Jenna, the unskilled member, and had a feeling that they would get together despite how forbidden it was. I liked how she did the hardest not only to act normal as she worked but knowing the secrets of the family as she worked such as remembering the history since she had read upon it before working for them and trying to figure out why Luke got sent away when she and her parents and the little sister were sent to the Jardian home instead. I did like how she said, “Screw the rules!” towards the guy that was on the leash that was known as Dog. He did interact with her at first by grabbing her ankle when she had to take him to the stables on the property and she knew that something was really up and wanted to solve the mystery behind it and why was he treated as a dog. She is one of those characters that can fit with the Mystery Inc. group on Scooby Doo with how suspicious she gets. I can see why Jenna fell for her in the end.

Rating: 5 Star Star Pawprints out of 5! This book was a very good read! I never thought I would enjoy it as much! There were some confusing moments like I mentioned above but hey I got passed that with how well it was written. I am hoping there is a sequel since it opened up to one and you know I would be reading that! Way to go Ms. James!

That is it for this review! I am glad I am almost caught up with my “Older Than Three Months” shelf on my Net Galley account. I was so caught up with the Victor Reader Stream but I am glad to find some of the books I read in the past recorded and also as Bookshare files so far. That is about it!

Books: The Bear and the Nightingale by Catherine Arden

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Time for another book review! This one was a hard one but let’s see what I think!

Title: The e Bear and the Nightingale
Author: Catherine Arden

Disclaimer: This Review is based on opinion and observation of the lead writer and please respect her thoughts on this book!

Synopsis: We meet a wild child by the name of Vasilisa who lives on the edge of wilderness in a small village in Russia where winter roars through most of the year. Like many children, she enjoys listening to the old stories that her nurse tells including the one about Frost and his brother which most people fear them the most when they hear the story.

When her mother dies, her father goes to Moscow to find a new wife which she forbids her and family to honor the old spirits that are worshipped by the village which causes Vasilisa to be fearful of the problems that start arising due to how these spirits aren’t being worshipped anymore. Signs start showing up such as crops failing and demons coming closer from the forest which causes her new stepmother to become even more stricter in grooming her in becoming either a bride or a nun. As time goes, she has to fight the ones she love in order to combat the evil that comes close with the gifts that were concealed from her in order to save the village despite having dirty looks casted upon her.

Thoughts: This was a really good book but at the same time it was something that slightly made me take breaks due to how much it scared me. It is supposed to be a sci-fi and fantasy tale but I saw more of a fantasy story with a lot of religious undertones weaved in. The writer, Arden, did look into folktales to weave into this story which made it even more interesting and I did get brought back to my Comparative Myth class in the heroes unit of the class where this is a twist on the hero myth.

How so you might ask? Well, we see most heroes being brave in a lot of tales which they are either chosen from saving their friends from evil at a young age or have a special gift early on but Vasilisa was mostly put into her predicament based on fear from her stepmother and had her gift from her father that he got from Moscow and given to her nurse in order to give to her but kept until she was a teenager when things got worse. Not only that, a priest did add more to her fear and her stepmother’s and half ister;s fears on top of that. Which they did show the priest follow the siren songs of a water spirit that Vasilisa made friends with in the beginning of the book to rescue him before he died and was told that he will end all the spirits of the forest unless he dies or she has to get rid of him herself which a lot of heroes do have a major choice to do and you see it with her. As in, she did make a choice of sacrificing her life and food by giving it to the Donavoy in the oven and did hurt herself when the Frost’s brother shown up by going into the forest herself to save her family or she will be sent off to a convent to be a nun because her stepmother forced her to go. What makes her different from most heroes too is that people mistrusted her too which she saw that she wasn’t acting like how a normal woman at the time should be as in taking care of the family in the kitchen, being married off to a man, when she rather rides horses and go into the forest to play around. When she was arranged to be married off, she scared off her fiancé in order to rescue her nephew by riding the fiance’s horse! This got the looks that they thought she was a witch and should be exiled instead of being able to live in the village. I can see how much fear can cause your own hero to be mistrusted and turn away from the tales that you know and love on top of it in order to be saved.

The reason why I had to take breaks was the parts with the stepmother and how she was acting towards Vasilisa and her interactions with the priest. I know this is early in Russia’s history and how religion was taught differently back then but I felt sorry for Vasilisa the most since she was treated harshly by the stepmother and I know why. In the beginning of the story, she was able to see the demons and she wanted to be a nun herself but couldn’t due to being married off to Vasilisa’s dad. She refused to bathe because that was when the demon she saw the most came around. Her fear was something she couldn’t control but forced upon on the family and she didn’t know how to deal with it. Heck, I remembered when the priest gave Vasilisa a crucifix in order to protect her but the stepmother took it away from her knowing that it didn’t belong to Vasilisa but meant for herself alone. I can see why the priest gave it to her because he remembered that Vasilisa was the one to save him from a spirit that tried to kill him off. I can see how the priest wants to help the stepmother but he did show how he was becoming more involved with the Frost legend due to see the “Bear” which he thought it was something else that would help him even in his services. A very good antagonist in my opinion that adds onto how Vasilisa would have to save the village from the evil demons.

Rating: 5 Out of 5 Star Pawprints! I gave it a rating of 5 because this story was a very well written story despite how many breaks I had to take. It shows how fear can make you into a hero that can be despised by your own community. I wonder how the recorded version will sound whenever I get to it through my NLS wishlist since that would be interesting to hear. Vasilisa is a really good hero in how she was developed and shown how much sacrifice she had to go through in order to save her family and her village from eternal famine from evil.

That is it for this review! I hope with the next book I don’t have to take so many breaks in between because it is starting to become a modern sci-fi tale in it. Let’s see what I bring next!

Books: Results May Vary by Bethany Chase

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Time for another book review and this one is another romance!

Title: Results May Vary
Author: Bethany Chase

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer! Please respect her opinions on this piece of literature.

Synopsis: We meet Caroline who had everything including a husband that she thought was the best thing ever due to being high school sweethearts but when she finds out that he has been having an affair with another man then it causes her world to crash. She wonders what went wrong and what other secrets he may have been keeping from her. This even gives her chance to rekindle with her sister and have a new romance on top of it with someone she knows at the office.

This book is a vary compassionate piece where things may take place in many ways.

Thoughts: This story was very good! I did lose my phone with it but I did find it on Bookshare and able to continue with the rest of it. At least I have the phone I’ve been using now with the rest of the books from Kindle, so don’t worry about me! Anyways, this book was entertaining and very cute but did show how a wife can be suspicious towards her husband after finding out an affair that may be taking place. I was surprised it ended up being a man and the book did unravel more secrets as chapters kept on being read. I did like the character Ruby, her sister, since she had a better outlook on everything including love herself. I kind of see her in me in a way since I don’t have a job myself and doing freelance work with my blog is the only thing keeping me together at the moment and it does show you have to start or re-start your somewhere small and then it grows. I did like her new romance, Caroline’s I mean, since it was cute and funny despite her boss did have two little girls already and he wanted to start and move on after his wife’s death and it did help Caroline to move on even if she still had thoughts towards her ex-husband. I think this would be a great book to read for anyone who may be divorced or lost their spouse or anyone else as a way to cope and move on because it shows it can be rocky at first but you will be okay in the end even if it means that your sibling would be with your best friend.

Rating: 5 Star Pawprints out of 5! This book was a really great read and as said above it does paint the picture of moving on from tragedy such as death and divorce. The characters were great and they interacted with each other through their bonds and not only that they do have their own personalities towards moving on with life. I definitely would recommend this to someone who just broke up with someone and needs a bit of comfort or at least some example of moving on and this book does that!

That is it for this review! Next book is kind of a sci-fi fantasy tale since I just started reading it and hoping to keep on reading it as time goes on. Next will also be the Top Ten Songs of April and it will be interesting!

Also, we will be at Orlando Overdrive this Saturday to do press coverage! This is our first nerd music event to cover and all I have to say is that 2017 is becoming very adventurous for us here at Nerdy Shique Universe! Just stay tuned here, Twitter, and Facebook for our videos and review on Orlando Overdrive 2017!

Books: Karolina’s Twins

Disclaimer: This review is based on opinion and observation from the lad writer! Please respect her thoughts and feelings on the book that she just finished.

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe and time for another book review!

Title: Karolina’s Twins
Author: Ronald H. Balson

Synopsis: This story is about a woman who have survived the Holocaust and must fulfill a promise she had made with two of her friends in order to find a pair of sisters that were sent away in order to survive the end of WWII in Poland.

Thoughts: This story was very well-written. It goes between the modern day since the Holocaust survivor, Lena Shheman-Woodword, goes to a lawyer and her husband for help to find these twins and then tells her story which we get a glimpse of Poland in the past. Like with the last book, The Girl from Venice, it does show how Poland was like during WWII but in a different area. A while back when I first joined Net Galley, I read another WWII story that dealt with Poland as one of the locations and that was Lilac Girls which shown how some of the Polish girls were sent to a labor camp like how Lena was in this one but sent to a textile one and the really big one, Aushwitz which was the major death camp. I decided to read this one after The Girl from Venice because it gave another survival story but this one was also fictional but based on an actual person’s survival or shall I say inspired by her survival.

After reading this book it got me thinking why would so many people be cruel to another race of people during a time of war when they didn’t do anything wrong. I know we see some of that today with what is going on over in the Middle East but this really knows how to drive the pont of WWII was horrible but very important in history especially with what happened to people who lived in Poland at the time alongside France, which is seen in Lilac Girls, and Italy, which was in The Girl from Venice. Of course it was also seen in the book I mentioned in my last review Everyone Brave is Forgiven where it is placed in London and gives two sides of the main character surviving there and her lover in Germany in how he survived being a soldier in that one.

This was a very touching story because it did show how much families can love each other during war and how so many can lose their family during that time but regain it once it’s over. I did like how Lena connected with Katherine, the lawyer you meet in this tale, since she was recounting her survival story but also knew that Katherine was about to be a mom herself and was able to connect with her in how much family can mean to oneself. I did also like Katherine because she was very strong during the trial that Lena’s son placed on her and that would risk her own career and how she was able to work with her husband, Liam, throughout the entire story. It kind of reminded me how I went through my computer situation and I had to rely on Gondras with getting our videos from Omni up and helping me get a job application done on a website that is not that accessible with my screen reader when I got my computer back and running. It shows how a couple can work together in order to reach their goals whether it is searching for two girls that survived or just getting some ice cream to calm that craving.

Rating: 5 Star Pawprints out of 5! I thought this was very well-written and gives you the past and present in one story. I felt like I didn’t want to close Kindle up because of how the WWII tale was being told. Yes, there was a twist and I don’t want to give it away but it was interesting in a way! If you are into stories with happy endings, this is one for you! If you’re into WWII history like I am that takes on a fictional aspect, this will also be for you! So enjoy!

Well, that is it for this review! You can find this book on Amazon for Kindle. And next time I will bring you the Convention Spotlight on MegaCon 2017!

Books: The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It is time for another book review! I know I was going to do the Cosmetic Controversy but I finished another book on my Net Galley list! Let’s see what I got!

Disclaimer: This review is based on opinions and observations of the lead writer. Please respect her thoughts and opinions of this book!

Title:The Girl from Venice
Author: Martin Cruz Smith

Synopsis: This book takes place towards the end of World War II and Venice is still has the Third Rike in their villages and cities making sure that no one gets into trouble until we meet the fisherman named Senzo who finds the body of a girl in the lagoon, which he finds out that she is alive in a lot of trouble.

Giulia, born to a wealthy Jewish family, escapes one night from being captured by Nazis and ends up being rescued by Senzo to ask him to help her in finding the person that betrayed her family the night they were taken. She not only gets the help that she asks for but ends being swept up in a lot more trouble than she asked for and even pulls Senzo into even more trouble that he doesn’t want.

Thoughts: This book was very exciting! I never thought I would see someone who was lying ina lagoon would be still alive when we know most crime dramas have people end up losing their lives in a situation like this. I tend to like World War II related stories even if they are fiction based, heck I am reading another one which the review will come up on here very soon, from Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, Number the Stars from when I was in elementary school, to this one!

This does paint the picture of what happens in Italy during the war since people were afraid of being bombed like Paris and London during the war and having people in hiding and keeping secrets do get shown throughout the book. I do like how Giulia did take on the disguise idea so she wouldn’t be found by cutting all her hair off to fool people that she was a man but some of the residents were able to see the disguise.

I do have one drawback from this book is that I felt the ending almost felt like Come Winter which there were good stopping points but kept going. I think some of the chapters could’ve been extended slightly because some of the chapters were shorter than most when more of the story could be added and couldn’t be thirty-seven or eight chapters long book. I did like the end since I did want Giulia and Senzo together throughout the book despite his promise to marry his younger brother’s widow since that was a bit of a custom at the time. I did like how he figured out what she was doing with her older brother time to time. He did have some of his hang ups with his deceased wife all thanks to a bomb that hit but he did get over it in the end. I did like the character Maria from the Argentian Consulate who at first forged paintings and met her husband through that and she vowed to stop forging but kept on doing it in other ways such as violins and government documents, which I see it as using it for the greater good and during the time of war you do become desperate and WWII was one of those desperate time periods.

Rating: 4.5 Star Pawprints out of 5! Reason being is that the story could’ve been shortened in some areas to extend some of the chapters that were extremely short. It was a really good story and it did use the history behind WWII very well in a fictional aspect. I can’t wait to see how the book I am reading takes another location into their story telling during WWII.

That is it for this review! You can get this book through Amazon and Barnes & Noble! So check it out while you can! Next post will definitely be my Cosmetic Controversy topic!

Books: In Twenty Years by Alison Wynn Scotch

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Will be taking a small break from my Omni coverage to review a book!

Title: In Twenty Years
Author: Alyson Wynn Scotch

Synopsis: This book is a reunion story that starts with twenty years in the past where six friends lived in a house during college. They split off once they graduated until Bea, the one who brought them together, dies and her lawyer send s out a letter for them to reunite in the same house on the day that was supposed to be her 40th birthday.

Since being astranged, the five other roommates reunite with secrets and feelings still locked within. First Katherine and her stay-at-home husband Owen were seen as the picture perfect couple but their marriage is on the edge of disaster, Lindy who is a famous singer is pushing middle-age in an industry that expects you to be young rather than older and fighting her own identity, Collin is the pretty-boy surgeon who has to keep the secret about his relationship with Bea and the time that took place while everyone was apart, and finally Annie is trying not to face her reality through social media.

Disclaimer: The Review portion is based on observation and opinion of the lead writer of the blog! Please respect her thoughts and feelings of this book!

Thoughts: This book was amazing! I was thinking it would be a boring read but nope, it wasn’t! What do I mean by that? A little while back when I first joined Net Galley, I did read one book that was also a slice-of-life one but it wasn’t as great. This one, on the other hand, kind of shows what can happen after college for many years. I kind of see it as Real World where you meet the people that lived in the house which are our key players in this story and Bea is the main person who brought them together in that place. It does tell the back story hhow they came together in the sotry which made me happy and you sometimes don’t get that, as in you wonder who are these people and how did they meet? You get it here and what I did like is that the author did each chapter with all the character’s point of view as the story took place which first you see their lives in what they are doing with their lives in 2016. Which first you see Annie at home doing her social media stuff then you see Lindy at home writing a song and getting the FedEx legter from the lawyer which she contacts Annie about which starts the story and then you see their reactions to the letter and wondering why are they getting it now of all times. Then you see Katherine at her job as a crafting celebrity about to do an HGTV pilot and knowing that it might end up being bad, then she hears about the FedEx letter in a printed email from Annie and then she goes home where Owen was and they both read the letter together. And finally, Collin who is heading off to work as surgeon in California and tries to ignore the letter. It shows that five adults are a little awkward and mad about getting the reunion notice and it does show the snapshot that their lives did not pan out as they hoped and dreamed about throughout the book.

I know in our little reality we expect being a famous singer is amazing but it is not always cracked up to be, then we have bloggers which can go down the hill at some point because people expect sunny days in their appearance, and of course marriage can go down the drain which this book is trying to show that life after college doesn’t always go the way you want it to be, especially with what you study. I have gone through this and going back into what I wanted to do before I was put into writing as my Minor. I wished this book continued because I wanted to see how everyone would fix everything. As in how will Owen and Katherine fix their marriage and how will Katerine get her career back in the right path, how will Lindy get through her career and juggling pregnancy, even how Annie is able either leave her husband to be with Collin or Lindy or stay with him? This kind of needs a sequel in my opinion.

If I were to pick one character or characters to like I would say both Lindy and Annie because Annie tries to drown her sorrow in social media but we all know that is one reality that shouldn’t be done but I can see how it relaxes her but realizes she needs to fix her own reality and does realizes how to fix it towards the end. While Lindy, yes she was self-destructive and did try to run away from her problems which a lot of post-grads do when they are in a crisis but there are times when they get brought back to where they started. I do like how she becomes overprotected about Annie during their past and then in their present after finding out what her husband was doing when she took her phone away, I can see that she still had feelings for Annie despite what she did to hurt her that lead to the husband issues. I hope that there would be a sequel or at least a spin off where these two still keep in contact after what took place and what will happen to Lindy nine months pass.

Katherine is one that I would probably relate to since I am a blogger and there are times when things don’t go right. She does rely on Owen for a lot of thiungs and I do the same with Gondras since I’m blind and he’s sighted but I do try find solutions and we do talk about it and pass on the info to Nerdy Shirts so he would know what is up. Wait, I forgot to do something which I am about to text Gondras about. Still, even though I am not as famous as she got to be in the book but life does get complicated when you’re trying to juggle life and work at the same time.

Rating: Five Star Pawprints out of 5! The reason hy it deserves this is because I couldn’t stop reading it even though I did have interruptions while reading since I was enjoying the book a lot! It did show the past in what the characters did as college students such as breaking into the stadium during a snow storm as an example and even streaking on the final night while being drunk. Then of course we see their lives take place after having families or careers and it does show how they can be burned out or see the chaos about to erupt. This was an amazing slice-of-life book and if you are into something like this I would definitely recommend!

That is it for this book review! I will be putting up up the interview with Josh Martin and Chris Rager soon! Stay tuned for that! I will also put up my Top 10 Songs soon as well. Stay tuned!

Books: Come Winter by Clair Gutierrez

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I know it’s been a while but been busy the past few days and now I am back with a book review and this is going to be interesting. Disclaimer!

Disclaimer: This review is based on opinion and observation. Her thoughts are based on what she read and what she thought about this book so respect her review.

Title: Come Winter
Author: Claire Gutierrez

Synopsis: In this book we meet Katrina Taber who gets captured while she sailing back to England and brought to Scotland. She becomes a kitchen maid of Master Reese Dermouth and hopes to leave to head home. She tries running away hoping to head home and works to get back home but her plan fails and gets brought back to Dermouth’s place hoping that love would start between the two.

This tale is a journey of one woman falling in love, going beyond the oppressive role that women are seen during her time, and live among royals that capture the villagers’ hearts.

Thoughts: ::deeply sighs:: I felt this book took forever to finish! Sorry if I am sounding critical but when I read the description I was hoping to see a romantic story between Katty and Reese but I was wrong since it kept going. I noticed how it was a cycle after she lost her first two husbands as in she runs away and gets found by the guy and brought back and they fall in love. The final husband, I did find it cuter in how they got together in the end and how at first that the last husband almost went through an arranged marriage but the girl ended up not looking as pretty as she looked. I did find it interesting that the second husband had an affair with one other woman while being with Katty but wishing they had the affair more involved in the story, which would’ve been a more hilarious tale like with some stories. Nope! I feel like it was briefly mentioned and ended quickly.

Did I like it as much as the other love stories? Not as much because there were good points to end the story and I felt like one love tale with one husband repeats and it rinses and repeats with a newer man. I think this author would’ve made the story shorter and not so repetitive and it was already fine with just the first husband, Reese.

Rating: 3 Pawprints out of 5! I didn’t want to go way below since there are good parts where the first part was better than the rest of the book in my opinion. I wished they covered the second husband’s affair and not cut it short because it would’ve given an interesting spin on the story. I wished it was cut short but if you like stories that are almost the same way as Gone With the Wind but set in Europe, I am not the end all be all reviewer, you can find this on Amazon.

Well, that is it for this short book review. I am hoping with the next one it will be better because it is in the Sci-Fi genre and I do love me some sci-fi stories!

What is next? Well, my Top Ten Songs of February! Stay tuned!

Books: Ten Club Book 7 by Mimi Jaen Pamiloff

Disclaimer: This review is based on opinion and observation by the lead writer and producer of this blog! Please respect her thoughts and opinions and please support the author of this book by purchasing the official release along with any other works!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Time to take a break from my schedule of what I have next in store for a book review. Okay Book Nerds in the Nerd Universe that are my age, you may want to read this one and the books before it!

Book: Ten Club Book 7
Author: Mimi Jaen Pamiloff

Yes, another by the talented Mimi Jaen Pamiloff and this time it is a dark one! Let’s get to it!

Synopsis: This book is book seven, what looks like the final one, of a series she has worked on known as the Ten Club. We meet Maya who lost her husband, King, but finds out that her husband came back from the dead! ::inserts scream:: What else is that he is not the same guy she fell in love with and she has to go and get him back by risking her and his brother’s lives and her time to rescue him from what had happened.

Thoughts: Even though I got a special invite to read this book and didn’t read the ones before it, I did like it! Dark fantasy is usually one of my fave parts of fantasy and wishing I did read the ones before it. I never thought I would read a supernatural story from someone I read a romantic comedy from. Well, I did download one of other books that deal with supernatural romance from Bookshare on my Victor Reader Stream. Anyways, I did like how it did explain the back story of how Maya got to where she is in the series since it did read in the description that I didn’t need to read the previous books to know what happened. You all know me with series, I have to do it in order but unfortunately it is not available on NLS nor Bookshare, but hoping very soon!

I would say Pamiloff is pretty good with doing fantasy style writing from what I’ve seen. She does weave the romance when it needs to be especially at the points where she gets close to “King,” since it makes sense for quotes due to how he was different from what I got in the reading. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat with each twist and turn and I can see why this was a good adventure as JAWS read on for me. I can’t wait what Leather Pants will hold for me because I did enjoy her writing after two books.

Now, I am hoping I get to read the other books in this and come back so I can have the complete book series to understand and feel how it was like before this one.

Rating: 5 PawPrints Out of 5 Plus A Reading PawPrint of Approval!

If you guys want to find any of Pamiloff’s work, I would say look on Amazon, especially for the next Happy Pants book when it releases!

That is it for this review! Next will be a post on Nerd Music! Til next time!

Books: Chasing Embersby James Bennet

Disclaimer: This Review is based on observation and opinion of the lead writer of this blog! Please respect her thoughts and feelings. Also, spoilers may be ahead!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It’s been a while since I done a book review since I have been reading books on my Victor Reader Stream, now I bring you a new review!

Title: Chasing Embers
Author: James Bennet

Synopsis: We meet Ben Gaston in this tale who is known for a bad attitude with a leather jacket and always bar hopping. There is one thing that not everyone knows is that he is known as Red Ben and has a secret underneath his skin and that is he is a fire breathing dragon! When an old rivalry re-surfaces, he ginds out that not only he is endanger from an old legend that exists in a desert but his once girlfriend, Rose, also gets taken and he must save her and his own life before things become dicey in this rivalry.

Thoughts: I think I did a better job with this synopsis since the website had a confusing one in my opinion. I did say it took me a while to finish this book since I had new reading device during my work experience but managed to get back to it once the New Year arrived.

I think the book was good but at the same time some of the parts were skipped over due to how Kindle likes to skip when you do the double finger swipe down on the screen. I did get the idea that this story deals with how Ben signed a pact that keeps all magical beings in control and not to cause any trouble and this was made after his story back in the old days when he used to know a girl that ran off with him and died when her lover caused major damage to the region they lived in by trying to kill the dragon when the lover didn’t know it was Ben who whisked her away in the first place. The pact did get broken when a girl ends up taking on the spirit of a dragon from Egyptian times as part of a prophecy. It did feel a bit complicated with this part because I can see how witches appeared to cause trouble but the girl taking on the spirit of a queen dragons spirit was out of nowhere. I think the book would’ve been better off without that part and just focus on Ben due to how the rivalry started in order to preak the old pact that was signed many centuries ago. They did resolve it in the end which I felt like it was fitting. I know I am a bit of a rookie author myself, putting too much into one story can make it hard to finish reading and there were points where I did have a hard time to continue the book, which towards the end I did have to take a break and digest what was going on with the final fight. Bennet should’ve just stick with the Ben and his current lover story and why the bad guys wanted her instead of adding on the queen dragon bit since I did see the love story part more than the B-plot. TAlso, there was a lot of Ben’s back story being told more than the ideas behind the witches and one other character, I did think they talked about the guild a little bit if I remembered from reading it earlier. I did say I have to take a break at certain points due to how much story this carried.

To me, this book should’ve been better to just focus on the love story bit than making it so action packed and focus on the legend parts itself to keep the story going. It could’ve been better…

Favorite Character: Khadra! It was hard to pick a favorite character since there were so many involved but I would have to say Khadra herself, the one who takes on the Queen Dragon spirit wiuthin. I was confused with how her story got involved since this did deal with a prophecy too. I didn’t get it as much because it only went back to things with Ben more than Khadra herself. If this book was split and would have Khadra’s story separate then that would make a better book. I did like how she was unsure of what her duty was and she did become stronger in the end after she let go of the Queen herself because Ise didn’t want to get hurt anymore than she had before when she took on the spirit back in the beginning. That is why I liked her a bit more than the other characters since it seems like was going through a growing up phase from what I’ve seen at the end of her role.

Rating: 2.5 Cat Paws Out of 5! This was hard especially with how complicated the story felt. I needed the breaks to digest this story but it felt like there were too many things going on in this book. I wished it was split into two with focusing on Ben and Rose in this one and then Khadra and the trouble with the rivals in the sequel itself because Ben was mostly focused upon in this one. Still, I feel like it would’ve been a better story.

That is it for this review! Next book from my titles from Net Gally, Come Winter!

Bests and Worsts of 2016

Disclaimer: This post is based on the opinion and observation of the Lead Writer herself! Please respect her thoughts and opinions! Also, we didn’t mean to go political for one thing but had to! Also, if you don’t like it then don’t read it!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Whew! We are finally on the last day of 2016. You know what that means? It is time for the annual Bests and Worsts list of the year on this blog. This past year was pretty much the worst year to many and there have been really good moments along the way but balanced with the bad too. Let’s start off with the Worsts because I think I have a bit more than the Bests!

Worsts

Celebrity Deaths: First is that this year had a lot of celebrities dying and that included David Bowie, Prince, Pete Burns, and the most recent Carrie Fisher. It felt as though this past year was the big year for us losing the most epic of celebrities even the ones that were overlooked such as the guy who was in the R2D2 suit, I am not kidding there was an actual three foot tall dude in that robot suit in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Worst Election Year EVER! Yes, I have to mention this when normally here we are not political but this year has been the worst election especially with the winner. As everyone knew and voted, it was pretty much Hilary Clinton vs. Donald Trump all year and man it was a heated battle which caused me to ask on Facebook towards America, “WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?” After knowing who won and that was Donald Trump. Heck, the world was even upset since there were countries watching who who will win and I know they wanted Hilary like the popular vote which she didn’t win and did find out as a fact that back in the past Presidents did win based on popular vote which would’ve been great but nope! The electoral college chose Trump to win over the popular vote this year. I keep on wondering why would they want someone who is going to embarrass us with the next four years? Let 2020 get here so we can have a better election because I don’t want him back in office.

Most B. S. Press Turndown: MegaCon Orlando! I had to mention this because we did have another turn down by a convention for press and that is our most popular and biggest convention in town and that is MegaCon. I did put Orlando due to how there is Tampa Bay MegaCon and not sure if that will happen again this year but we did get press for that but due to scheduling conflicts, we couldn’t make it but at least we know we can get it. Why Orlando turned us down? Apparently, even Nerdy Shirts mentioned this in his review and I added some notes, that it was due to how we didn’t cover them in the past. Here is the thing, if you know the story of us starting we didn’t start until a few months later from MegaCon 2012 on Blogger and didn’t start doing press until a year later but in Tampa over at MetroCon. We haven’t been back to Mega for three years due to branching out to other conventions like Omni, since they were the ones who reached out to us, Holiday Matsuri, and MythiCon. We did try AFO last year and you know the story with that. Will we go for Orlando again? Yes and hoping we get it this year because we have done so much for the convention community and since we are a small blog now getting slightly bigger, it does show that we can gain more experience and Nerdy Shirts did say that bigger conventions should give smaller blogs even some that are starting out press badges to help them get their name out there. Plus, unlike most blogs, we do interview the big stars, heck we just interviewed Steve Blum this past Holiday Matsuri and it would be great that we get more stars which we wanted if we done MegaCon like the Doctor Who companions, Kevin Smith and Jason Muse, even Adam West and the guy who played Robin in Batman who are now retired. Please let us cover Mega this coming year because just heard that Tim Curry is a guest this year.

Worst Movies: Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad! This goes to two movies since this year D. C. Comics and Warner Brothers tried to topple over Marvel Studios by bringing in Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. WGondras and I didn’t see either but heard that they both sucked! I would believe because I’ve seen the reviews especially with Black Critic Guy and both Bennet and Gabe doing it. I did do a post on where D. C. and Warner Brothers are better on and that is on TV because when they do movies they try so hard to copy off the success of Marvel but when they do it their story in film falls flat on their face or faces. As in, when they did the BVS film, they had characters that just stood there and when Nostalgia Critic did his review he had his cast do that “Oh, this person is there!” and whoever played them they went, “Hello!” and just left. That was a really good example of that idea and that’s not what we want in a movie when it comes to comic movie adaptations. At least with Civil War, you have all the characters involved and interacting with each other throughout the film not just stand there! I did hear the best out of Suicide Squad was both Marg Robbie as Harley Quin and Will Smith as Dead Shot which I might see that on NetFlix. Still, D. C. and Warner Brothers are better off just doing shows since what I’ve seen of Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow they were all great and the casting was even greater and not just saying that when they got the guy who played Harry Dresden on the Dresden Files tv show was on Arrow. Still, Warner Brothers, just stick to TV!

Weakest Season for a TV Show: Season 3 of Agents of SHIELD! Yes, I had to mention this on here because it was the worst season of Agents of SHIELD! Even though I need to catch up on season four of this series, Season 3 took on the Hive storyline and just made it bad. I am really sorry that I felt like I crapped all over it but Seasons 1 and 2 were better than this and the start of this past season was better because they did take the time to write all these seasons. I never thought back to season 3 until now because I wanted to forget about it and how it felt a little rushed even I would’ve written a better Hive story by instead of having Ward come back and becoming the Hive, I would’ve had the guy that Simmons interacted with on that planet be it instead by acting all okay on Earth but then turn around and not okay! I did feel better that Simmons and Fitz finally made love! Sorry, spoler!
Runner Up: Agent Carter Season 2! I think most of us have to agree that the second season of Agent Carter was a bit weak. Gondras didn’t like how they changed up the story and made the twists and turns different from the original story. If we gotten press for MegaCon, we could’ve interviewed Haley Atwell and asked her about her thoughts on it but as you can tell, we didn’t like it as much. Even though the series will be on a hiatus at the moment due to Atwell doing a different series, hoping if it comes back

Worst MakeUp Product According to YouTube: Nikki Tutorials Pallet with Too Faced! I had to mention this since this year it was all about the YouTubers collaborating with popular makeup brands and Too Faced was one of them. They collabed with Nikki Tutorials wt creat the Power of MakeUp pallet. I did get my paws on this and some people did say that this pallet had inconsistencies and that dealt with the pigmentation in the shadows and the highlighter, Pink Truffle. I did admit in one of my Favorites post that I mentioned this pallet is that one of the shadows did have to be built up but I did notice the other shadows were pretty pigmented and stayed put all day. I even remember a YouTuber did do a tutorial with this when she got it in Canada and so many people got on her case about it when she said it was really pigmented to her. To me it deals with the type of primer you use whether it is the Shadow Assurance primer that came with this pallet or anything you use like how I used the Maybelline shadow primer I love a lot! Also, I do believe that Too Faced should’ve taken the time to formulate the shadows like their Chocolate Bar pallets since it could’ve helped fix the inconsistencies and made it better.
Rummer Up: LimeCrime Super Foil Shadows! I heard about these but never bought them myself since I heard bad things about them and that is the LimeCrime Super Foils. They are a duo chrome shadow that features two colors in one compact and they are activated with water to give the metallic effect that people love even with the Duo Chromes that MakeUp Geek makes. As I have heard, LimeCrime is known for their own crimes such as the website being hacked and the owner putting down her customers, and there was recent sacadal where a contest dealt with buying a gift card to be entered into a drawing for over a $1000 in their products as a prize which normally contests don’t require that. Anyways, what made this the worst product from what I’ve seen on YouTube? Apparently mold and rust grows in these shadows even with not using the shadow itself! What did LimeCrime say about it? They said it’s harmless! How can it beharmless when you are putting rust and mold near your eye? Even people are wondering that too! Apparently the pans in these shadows are made from tin which rusts eery easily and when you are making a shadow that is activated with water you need a stronger metal! I need to ask Doe Dar something…have you seen the Wizard of Oz? The Tin Man rusts when water hits him due tow tin rusts easily when water hits! Plus, the eye is the most sensitive thing on us and you can get injured in that area or even go blind, take it from me since I’ve been blind since 2008 from an eye condition and it’s not easy. That is why I took a look into the fake lashes thing but back to what I said before, I wouldn’t buy this if I were you if you found it somewhere since I heard this item got taken off of LimeCrime’s website. I would also say stick to using shadows from MakeUp Geek, Colour Pop, Urban Decay, and many more that we all trust and love!

Worst Tragedy: The Pulse Shooting in Orlando… I had to mention this here since not only we had so many deaths in the celebrity world but we also had a worst emount of deaths but at a night club all thanks to one guy shooting up a night club in Orlando and that is known as Pulse. This took place when I was in Daytona for a pre-employment program and I just froze when dorm staff told me about this. I had to look into it and can’t believe that something like this would happen especially on a night where so many people were trying to enjoy their nitht like everyone else both gay and straight. At least the guy was found and was killed, I know that sounds mean of me to say but if he did survive then the House of Blues would’ve been next. Near Pulse right now, there were flags installed on the light poles saying “Orlando Unites” and even Tom from Soul Switch wore the shirt with that on his final night performing with them back in July. Again, I don’t get why people should have guns and gun control should take place since tragedies like these can be prevented. My heart still goes out to the victims that lost loved ones during this shooting.

Worst Device: The Galaxy 7 Note! ::groans:: I had to mention this since this thing has been on the news everywhere all this fall! It is the Galaxy 7 Note! If you all haven’t heard or heard all over, it is a phone that looks like a tablet and it was the latest in the series this year along with the IPhone 7! This device was known for overheating and causing fires while being on the charger. Someone in Hong Kong lost their apartment to it and even a guy got bronchitis while sleeping as it caught on fire on the charger. TSA wouldn’t even allow this thing on board of any flights due to what happened! Even someone in Daytona had one and had it recalled when news of this started rising. All thanks to this, Samsung did lose a lot of business due to the recall or shall I say two recalls of this device. I am so glad I am with Apple and have an IPhone SE since I upgraded to it this year finally when my IPhone 4S’ power button had a spring broken. Good thing is that I went with bigger storage with it too. Speaking of which.

Worst Tech CNo Ear Phone Jack in Iphone 7! Reason why I had to mention this is that I know we are trying to go wireless but IPhone 7 having wireless ear buds due to not having no ear phone jack was a bad idea. Yes, I know there is a lightning jack to plug in regular earphones but people were mad about that as well. What even sucked more was that some guy made a video about drilling a hole to create a new earphone jack into your IPhone 7 which newsflash it doesn’t work that way! People tried it and pretty much bricked their phones! There goes the Apple Care repair thing! I am hoping with the next phone they have an earphone jack with hhow bad this went.
Bests!

Movie: Dead Pool! Oh yes! I have to start the bests list with movies and to me Dead Pool takes it this year! Wow, a Fox Entertainment movie takes the trophy? Well, when you look at it, Dead Pool is still a part of Marvel and Fox did a pretty good job on this film. As in, getting his attitude, the comedy down, and even the action! Heck, the audio description that I had with this film even described it to a T! When I heard that Regal got it for this film, I was like “Count me in!” And I did get a Dead Pool hoodie! Oh by the way, even Ryan Reynolds, still better as Dead Pool than Green Lantern! I did hear this a second one coming out and can’t wait!
Runner Up: Civil War! It was hard since I almost thought Dr. Strange should’ve gotten runner up for this but Civil War kind of gets it more because it was a very good comic adaptation even though the ending went differently from the comic and it worked out very well. As said in the Worst Films slot, this movie did a lot better than what Warner Brothers did with BVS because it had all the characters interacting and being ivolved like they’re supposed to and made the story as compelling as it is. Also., Spiderman is back and he was played very well and of course, if you guys want me to, do you want me to write my thoughts about Spiderman having a movie in Marvel?

Best Death Battle; Dead Pool Vs. Pinky Pie! Speaking of the Merk with the Mouth, at least he didn’t pop out of nowhere, he had another Death Battle and this time against one of my fave ponies from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Pinky Pie! I know, I tend to go for the action-packed anime and action packed movies but I do love the newer MLP series that they have done since the dubbing in it was better and the animation was done right. Anyways, enough of that! This was a pairing that I never thought I would hear and when I told Gondras he was even more surprised! I don’t want to spoil who won but I will put the video and a fair warning…y6eah Pinky Pie’s description and stats may be so cute and nerve racking and also torture to some of you but the rest is still entertaining and that is why it got this slot!
Runner Up: Jack and Daxter vs. Ratchet and Clank! I do have a runner up and that is the match between the biggest couples of Playstation history and that is Ratchet and Clank vs. Jak and Daxter! This was made in time for the Ratchet and Clank movie and it was an amazing Death Battle! Todd Habercorn also voiced one of the characters in this battle and he did a very good job and that is why I wanted to know how it was working with Wiz and Boomstick since last year. I will get to ask that question if he comes back for a convention. I would say watch this battle and see who won!

Best Book Series I Wished I Didn’t Judge Too Much On: The Hunger Games Trilogy! Yes, I did judge way too much on The Hunger Games Trilogy! I remembered taking Theory of Creative Writing back in college and my teacher was always doting on it like it was the best book trilogy. I did meet a woman at my work experience who was a major fan and told me how she liked it more than the movies and decided to sit down and actually read it and like her, I really like it! It is not to the point of that teacher who doted on it but it is more of “Ma“, these aren’t as bad as I thought!” I guess I was worried that it would’ve turned into Twilight but it’s not. It is pretty much what happens if people had to survive by being controlled and to keep from rebelling against the capital and in order to take out people a contest must be held to thin out numbers. This is supposed to be a young adult book but by the time I read Mocking Jay, my thought was “Is this for young adults? This feels more like a college age series!” Even the first two felt more college age than high school age reading. If I would, I would write a paper on the trilogy for college.

Best Book: The Aeronauts Windless Book 1 by Jim Butcher! I had to mention this one since I have to mention my most fave author, Jim Butcher! I have read the Codecs Alera and now waiting on book 16 of the Dresden Files and found out that he wrote this one known as the Aeronauts Windless and that was the first in a newer series he is doing. I couldn’t stop listening to this on my digital book player due to how many twists and turns it took in the book! I can’t wait to see what the next one will bring since Jim is starting on it after Peace Talks is released! I am hoping it gets released in 2017 because I’m waiting for it in audio and Gondras is waiting for it in print!

Best Reading Device: Victor Reader Stream! I have to metion this and that was during my work experience, I had this device purchased for me and it is the Victor Reader Stream! It is a digital reader device where I can download podcasts, read Talking Books, and even Bookshare books which I finally got back! Also, this thing can record things which came in handy for getting the brownie directions when I made them recently with the leftover chocolate chips and toffee bits when I made cheesecake for my birthday.

Best Voice Actor Encounter: Interview with Steve Blum! I finally got to meet the guy behind the voices of our childhoods and that was Steve Blum! iIf you read my Favorites post recently, I did get to interview the man since I wanted to do it for a while now! I can’t wait to interview many other guests in the new year!
Runner Up: Finding Out We Had a Good Word In for Brian Beacock! Well, I had to mention this because I never heard this until Omni. One of the guests this year was Brian Beacock, the voice of Takato in Digimon Tamers and we were trying to arrange an interview with him and when it was being arranged there was a good word put in about us. He even told us about that and that made us really happy and feeling good! We never had a convention do that when it comes to interviews because we have been turned down by other conventions and since we have done press for Omni since it started and done our job and enjoying it, this was a major first for us. Maybe I should mention that on the MegaCon form, eh?

Best Thing Released: MY FIRST BOOK! I know there were many things released but the best thing ever released was by me! I released my first book self-published under Light Switch Press and it is known as The Blind Perspective: Conventiom the Dark! I have been a convention attended since 2004 and have gotten many experiences and have told them to friends and it got me wondering why not put them into a book? Well the most memorable and wrote it since last year. Well, it was done last year and took a year to be edited. I was happy that this took place and that people could read what I went through as an attendee before going blind and then went blind later. I did have business cards with me to promote it at Holiday Matsuri and if you have seen the videos on YouTube, I have linked it to the Amazon and Barnes & Noble pages where you can buy it. Here are the links again! So, please buy it!
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M16V8IO
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-blind-perspective-marinela-ortiz/1124670077?ean=2940156810611

Best MakeUp Collaboration: Tarte with Grav3yard Girl! Well, final item of this year is the Best MakeUp Collab with a YouTuber and that is with Grav3yard Girl! I loved Bunny ever since I stumbled upon her on YouTube and started watching her many videos. She is different and quirky and I love that in many people! It is not that bad being weird. Anyways, this year Tarte Cosmetics has collabed with her to create two liquid lipsticks and a face pallet and I was able to get my paws on the face pallet which includes eye shadows and a bronzer, blush, and highlighter! I loved this thing and I had to keep myself from using it everytime I take out of my drawer! I even loved the smell of it which reminds me of the Coldstone waffle bowls cooking! I loved to use the eye shadows the most along with the blush since they are so pigmented and made with the Amazonian Clay blush formula which is amazing! She did bring it back for Christmas recently on the Tarte website or shall I say Tarte did it since there are people who didn’t get it the first time. I didn’t get the lipsticks at first since I only wanted the pallet the most and love it the most! I really want to meet her since she has been my most fave YouTuber of all! Even Gondras has watched some of her stuff after witnessing me watching her.

Well, that is it for this year’s Bests and Worsts! I know it took me all day to do this because of the amount of Worsts from this year! I am looking forward to the next year because a lot of us wanted this year to end so badly after so much has happened. Yes, I did enjoy having my book come out but 2017 will be the year that I want a better life as in I am going to look into living on my own for real, things aren’t go so well at home by the looks of it and I am not getting any younger guys! Also, I am working on getting my aareer as an Assistive Technology instructor started since that was my work experience tog et my toes wet and I have been missing it and I am looking into continuing to be certified in that. Also, I have been working on a new cosplay for 2017 with the funds I got from the work experience which is finally coming to life! What is it? I wanted to do it this past year but I did get another cosplay made instead since I had everything I needed for it but for next year it is Link from Legend of Zelda as a Pokemon Ranger! Basically it is my Pokemon Ranger costume but what if I changed the red to green and give it the Zelda touch. I did buy the Silveon last year at AFO and got the goggles, elf ears, and hat before and after Matsuri which was a process in the making. It will be done by Omni 2017! So, anyone going? Go there or stay tuned to Instagram, I will try to get a pic up for it! I am also working on another book at the moment which is my very first fiction piece to be self published and I will try to get it done by mid-summer so it will also be released by next fall or so or even earlier depending on the time I will be working on it. So 2017 will be a huge year! Happy New Year!