First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Continue reading

Mini reviews: Good Omens, Mythos, and Lock In

Caidyn's review (1)

Look, I love mini reviews. I’ve done these for classics and other books when I had something to say, but I didn’t have a lot to say. It just works out well so I don’t ramble on like some idiot while trying to make some huge point about a book that doesn’t have a lot to talk about.

Today, I have three mini reviews for you all, two books and one podcast, so let’s get this shit going. Continue reading

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


It was a nice day.

All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and rain hadn’t been invented yet. But clouds massing east of Eden suggested that the first thunderstorm was on its way, and it was going to be a big one.

The angel of the Eastern Gate put his wings over his head to shield himself from the first drops.

“I’m sorry,” he said politely. “What was that you were saying?”

“I said, that one went down like a lead balloon,” said the serpent.

“Oh. Yes,” said the angel, whose name was Aziraphale.

“I think it was a bit of an overreaction, to be honest,” said the serpent. “I mean, first offense and everything. I can’t see what’s so bad about knowing the difference between good and evil, anyway.”


This is a book that everyone’s read but me. And I’m so glad that I’m able to finally read it even though I’m pretty late to the party. Part of this is brought on by it being made into a TV show, part of this is pure opportunity to read it.

It is…

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

I’m doing a buddy read with Michael from Goodreads and I’m really excited about it. I’ve been laughing so far, which is always a great sign!


This would be one of those days, I could tell. One of those days when clients would underpay me, the hot water would run out before I could shower, or some masc would decide I’m looking at him funny and bust my lip to teach me a lesson. It was the stink in the air, that acidic humidity. Made people irritable. 


This is a book I heard about on a podcast in which one of the hosts is Austin Chant, a trans writer whose books I’ve read and reviewed. I enjoyed them very much and thought it was interesting to hear him talking as a trans writer who writes trans characters. On that podcast, a science fiction book was mentioned and the world immediately intrigued me. A world where “women” or feminity did not exist. I do believe it’s a romance novel, but I’ve read plenty of those in my day. I’m definitely not opposed to queer romance. 

 

Y Negative by Kelly Haworth

Y Negative cover

This book is part of the reason I enjoy science fiction. It takes an idea and makes it a part of that world. I love it. Just like Ursula LeGuin wrote about a world where gender does not exist, I love seeing the dynamics of gender explored in science fiction. 

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

(Caidyn)

3.5/5

TW: death, PTSD, and war

I’m done. I finished it. I finished this series, one that I was stubborn about reading because I’m not a YA fan. But, in about three weeks, I finished this whole series.

First, the characters. Asha Grant was great because she was normal. She wasn’t like Kady or Ella, who were epic hackers. She wasn’t like Hanna, an epic fighter. She was normal. She was an everyday person put in a shitty situation and trying to find a way to survive. I could get behind that. I really could. While she wasn’t my favorite, I appreciated there being someone who was normaler than the rest of the lot.

But Rhys. Rhys Lindstrom. He was a lot like Ezra and Nik. Not a bad thing since I liked them, but I had hoped for a bit more from the series. All the characters were really alike to me. Rhys was interesting since he was from BeiTech, though. That made him interesting since he’s supposed to be our enemy.

Too bad the romance (I wasn’t surprised) between Asha and Rhys fell flat and dull and I was tired. I was tired of relationships in the series. I think that if it had been a queer relationship I would have been down for it, but it was straight and it just didn’t work for me since it was like everyone else. Every book had a romance, a romance that was inherently unneeded for the plot.

So, the plot. It was there and it felt stretched thin at times because it was covering so many different areas. That meant I didn’t get a lot of time with Asha and Rhys because the book was busy covering the lot on the Mao. This impacted the characters since I never felt like I got to meet and know the new ones while I had 600+ pages with the others.

And then the ending. Didn’t go out with a bang, did it? I expected (based on the screaming and crying gifs in other reviews) to find my soul destroyed and in a bleeding, sobbing corner.

I wasn’t.

I teared up twice and got emotional a few times.

What I said in my review of Gemina stands. You gotta have balls and kill some people that you don’t want to kill off to make it a bit better. While the plot didn’t suffer from the same issues as the second book, it still wasn’t what I wanted it to be.

So, some parting words. A very solid series that suffers from a lot of the same issues that other series do. I’d recommend this series with the caveat that it’s not perfect and I had wanted more emotional impact/attachment.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

(Caidyn)–

3.5/5

TW: death (lots of it again) and PTSD

What to say about this book?

Obviously, I liked it. But I didn’t think it was as good as Illuminae, despite everyone telling me that it would be as good as that and even better. It just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, honestly.

The characters were good. I liked the new introductions of Hanna, Nik, and Ella. They were complex and interesting and good shoulders to carry the plot on. Especially Hanna. Give me a BA woman who also embraces her femininity while kicking everyone’s ass any day. Same with Ella.

However, I thought they were far too much like Kady and Ezra. The romance between Hanna and Nik was nearly a carbon copy of Kady and Ezra’s, yet without the spark that made it believable. Hanna and Ella were also just like Kady. Nik had a lot of the same threads of Ezra. It was all just too familiar to me, which means I got a bit bored by it.

Then, the plot. I loved the invasion theme because it worked so well for the book. But then we got into other areas that just, well, didn’t hold my attention.

Spoilers for those who haven’t read this book!

Wormholes have bored me since Moffat started overusing them to solve plot holes that he created. It just wasn’t interesting to me. I’m so used to wormholes and time travel and shit like that to solve problems with plot that I didn’t want to pay attention anymore.

Then, and more spoilers, if you’re going to kill people, let them stay dead. Seriously. You killed them. Don’t bring them back. Bringing back Nik and Ella didn’t exactly float my boat because — after years of watching Supernatural and Doctor Who — I find it a mark of a weak writer to just bring back characters you just killed off.

Spoilers over!

So, that’s my take on Gemina. It was good but not great and it was far too much like Illuminae for me to get completely involved in what the characters were doing and feeling. I wanted something more different from the first book and I got a book that had the same characters with different names.