Toonopolis: Chi Lin

toonopolis chi lin

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Toonopolis is a cartoon city that is home to the thoughts and ideas of all sentient beings in the universe. As the center of the Tooniverse, it acts as an other-worldly rest stop for these creations.

Chi Lin was the last unicorn on Earth before he sought a safe haven for himself and his maiden, Saucha—a thirteenth century Indian girl. Little did he realize that even though they were safe from death in the cartoon universe, they were not safe from the machinations of Agent Mimic on Earth.

Gemini—having barely escaped with his mind intact during his first adventure in Toonopolis—returns to the Tooniverse with Jimbob the Talking Eggplant on a quest to find Chi Lin before Mimic can manipulate the unicorn into doing his bidding. Join Gemini on an all new adventure into both familiar and brand-new realms of Toonopolis where he makes more friends, visits old ones, and is reminded that things are not always what they seem to be in this strange and ever-changing world.

For those of you who missed my review on the First instalment of the Toonopolis Series, feel free to check out Toonopolis: Gemini

Another AMAZING novel by Jeremy Rodden!! I just can’t get enough of Toonopolis!! Yet again a zany mad cap adventure with Gemini, Jimbob, some new faces and some old favourites that I couldn’t put down!

I won’t go too much into the story as any of you who have not yet read the first one (SHAME ON YOU, REALLY! GO DO THAT!) won’t know what’s happened so far. But one of my favourite things about this book is the characters, in a pithy off hand way, breaking the fourth wall to explain things. Such as,

 “I feel like we’re starting the same story all over again. Last time I came to the Tooniverse , I started right in this spot after being shuffled through Sorting Square.” 
“Right after you met me!” Jimbob beamed his giant, toothy grin. 
“Right after I met you,” Gemini echoed. Jimbob hopped closer to Gemini and put a hand on his leg.
“But every story has to start somewhere. And technically this story is a sequel to the first one and clearly there has to be some repetition to remind people

about events from the first story .” 

Gemini blinked.“What people?” 

Jimbob shrugged his eggplant shoulders.

And this gem

“Actually, I need to ask you about an old quest from last time I was here.” 

“And avoid reusing too many gags from our last adventure,” Jimbob added.”

And with that wonderful Abbott and Costello “Who’s On First” kind of humour

“I’m getting a bad feeling in my stomach,” he replied. 
Ursidae adjusted the tilt of the helicopter to look for a place to land.
“What do you mean?” he asked the 
two smaller companions. 
Jimbob let out a loud belch. 
Gemini glared at him. 
Leothas rolled his eyes. 
“My stomach feels better,” the eggplant said. 
“But yeah, I also feel what the French call a certain je ne say quaff.” 
“Je ne sais quoi,” Ursidae corrected. 
“And what does that mean?” 
“I don’t know what,” the manbear translated.

  “Then why would you say it?” Jimbob  asked. 
“No, it means, ‘I don’t know what.’” 
Jimbob sighed. “We clarified you don’t know what it means. Can we just move on? I don’t want you 
to be any more embarrassed.”

it has all of that same wonderful and hilarious references to gaming,

“He looked up at Sir Goodypants’s castle and saw a faint glimmer indicating that there was, indeed, an invisible barrier protecting the castle from the air.
“Invisible walls. The bane of any MMORPG. . .” 
“Ah yes, a morpg!” Jimbob said, mockingly pronouncing the acronym as a single word. 
“What’s a morpg?” asked the Pinball Wizard. 
Jimbob added, “Isn’t it like a giant wolf?” 
“That’s a worg,” Gemini answered. 

“An old shapeshifter character from the X -Men cartoon?” 
“Morph.” 
“A breakfast cereal?” 
Gemini sighed. “It’s like you’re not even trying anymore.”

“DADADADADAAA! 
A strange chime came from the television and Gemini saw the young adventurer on the screen spin in 
a circle and jump in the air, his previously limp shield arm held up high. 
“Were you not just hurt?” Chi Lin asked. 
“I leveled up,” Leothas beamed. “I go back to full health when I level. A good thing, too, because my arm 
really hurt!”

And pop culture,

“If Artax and Atreyu there go through the Swamps of Sadness, I’m not watching. Too many bad feels there.”

“Ursidae, jog his memory,” Jimbob said from right behind them. He had apparently joined them once the danger was handled. Ursidae shrugged.  
Jimbob sighed. “Aw, come on! Princess Bride reference? You hit him on the head and he gets knocked 
out and then you say, ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to jog him so hard’?”

Ok, ok. I know at this point you guys are thinking… Geez, is she just going to quote at us this entire review?! Well…. I’m smart enough to know when awesome writing can win you over better than I can!! And, when I go back to a book to write my review and at least 50% of it is highlighted for quotes?? I know it’s a good book! I honestly want to know when it is going to be made into movies or a T.V series because the writing calls up such wonderful, nostalgic kinds of images!

Fine, you want a little bit about the book… well, I will spoil some of the places we visit in this book to entice you all to catch up, or continue! You will now be introduced to new and wonderful places, such as “Romantica” the place of cold and lonely Billionaires finding love in ‘unlikely’ places, “The Pirates Isle (Kaizoku Island)”, and the one that had me LITERALLY on the floor laughing “Hipsterville”, no… “Portlandish”, no…. “Amsterdam”?? What is that place called again? I never could keep up with the trends!

It’s kind of a newer section of Toonopolis so I don’t know a lot about it. But it’s basically full of irony and retro lovers. People here are so far ahead of the trends they go all the way around to steal trends from their parents and grandparents.”

In any case, get this series! I don’t care how old or young you are, I guarantee you will find yourself laughing at these books!

If you would like to check out more of Jeremy Rodden’s novels or would like to read his blog Follow these links!!

Jeremy’s Blog

Jeremy’s Facebook

Jeremy’s Twitter

And if you want a copy of his books, the link to the First novel is in my review of Gemini

And the Links for Chi Lin are:

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Toonopolis Chi Lin is Best Served With

A Unicorn Cocktail

20180409_173106.jpg

So, I got this idea from Mix That Drink

But, I had to make a couple of changes to it to suit the book. Firstly, I had to add some tequila for my FAVOURITE quote of the book!!! I know…. ANOTHER QUOTE?! I’m sorry, but this one just had to be on here somewhere!!

“I was trapped in his marshmallow prison. It was not tasty. It tasted like old sugar and regret.” 
Gemini eyed his former Toonopolis guide . “What does regret taste like?” 
Jimbob pondered the question for a moment. 
“Tequila.” 
“What?” 
“Nothing.”

I DEFINITELY didn’t taste any regret while reading this book… but I MAY have tasted some tequila!!

Ingredients

  • 5oz coconut water (with pulp looks really neat!)
  • 2oz Coconut Rum
  • 1oz Silver Tequila
  • 1/2oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/2oz Grenadine
  • Sprinkle Sugar for Garnish

Directions

  1. Wet the rim of a highball glass and roll in sprinkle sugar
  2. Add some ice
  3. In a separate container mix the coconut water, coconut rum and tequila
  4. pour Grenadine into highball glass bottom
  5. Add coconut water mixture pouring over the back of a spoon slowly
  6. Pour in Blue Curacao the same way. It will settle on top of the grenadine at the bottom but it will make things a little blue and purple along the way making a pretty rainbow effect!
  7. Stir before drinking
  8. CHEERS!!!

 

 

Orconomics :A Satire

orconomics

4 out of 5 Stars

A story of the Economics of Heroes. A Fantastical take on Modern Society showing a side of  Fantasy that you probably haven’t thought of! Sure, those of us who have played D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) know that we adventure to acquire loot to sell and buy better gear, etc… But, how many people really have their hands in that pie?? What take of that loot is actually ours to spend? In a Fantasy World where Heroes are sponsored by Corporations, and the Heroes Guild has made being a Hero into a career, there don’t seem to be any real heroes left.. just a bottom line,

“Surely you’re familiar with our gross domestic product.”

“Of course I am. Why do ye think I’m drinking imported?” said Gorm, shaking his tankard at the noctomancer. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

“No, I mean our GDP-the total value of everything that’s made or done in the Freedlands. It’s a big number, but if you break it down, four out of every ten giltin are linked with professional heroics.”

“Forty percent of the economy is loot?” said Kaitha.

“Loot, or plunder funds, or weapons and armor manufacturing, or potion brewers, or inns that cater to adventurers, or hoard-appraising, and so on,” said the noctomancer. “There’s a lot of work done and products sold to support questing heroes. If we stopped, what happens to the workers and the sellers? They’d lose everything. They’d starve in the streets.”

But, what if that’s not all there is to it? What if there could be real heroes still out there?

Gorm Ingerson is a washed up ex-hero. After tales of him running away from the dungeon of the Spider King and his whole party being wiped out became a thing of legend and song… So, did his legacy. Now he drinks and steals and does what he must to get by.

When a chance encounter with an old friend proves that sometimes over-embibing can be costly to one’s health.. In more ways than one! He finds himself signed up for a Quest he can’t get out of, part of a Prophesy he doesn’t care about and part of a Party he doesn’t want to be a part of. Best to just get this over with, retrieving the Elven Marbles from Myrewood Forest (and just the OUTSKIRT of it) couldn’t be THAT hard.. Could it?

Review

This book was so unexpected! When I saw Satire, I feel that I was expecting more of a spoof. It’s definitely a subtle commentary on modern society and the things we, as geeks, don’t think about the workings of in all of these magical lands that we read about. I loved the stark reality of it spelled out for us! This book was amusing at times with veiled (or not so veiled) references, can you figure this one out??

“Gorm looked up at a tiny winged figure glowing with such intense blue light that it seemed to be standing in a sphere. “Blood and ashes,” he swore. “A search sprite”

“All they are is a bit of knowledge with a mouth,” Gorm told Gleebek as they walked. “They only exist to tell ye obvious things, so they don’t shut up till they wear off. Could be days.”

“Hey! Listen!” shrieked the sprite.

Anyone who played a certain beloved adventure game should recognize it!! Lol!

I loved all of the references to the typical Fantasy tropes!

“”No, no,” said Gorm. “I ain’t splitting the party. She’s making a joke, lad”

“So splitting the party is bad, then?” said Niln.

“You never split the party,” said Laruna.

“It’s right in the Heroes’ Guild Handbook,” said Jynn.

“Someone always wanders off to grab something shiny or test a lever or something, and the next thing you know they’re coming back with some horrible monster following them,” said Kaitha.

“Usually when you’re in the middle of a massive fight with something else,” said Gorm.

“If they come back at all,” said Heraldin.”

But, it was serious as well. The characters were all very well written and relatable… weird thing to say about Fantasy characters. But, they were quite the down to earth misfit group of Fantasy characters, so everyone will definitely understand the feelings and growth within the motley band!

Gleebek, the friendly Goblin/Squire

Heraldin, the would-be womanizing Bard/”acquisition specialist”

Jynn and Laruna the opposing Noctomancer and Solamancer

Kaitha, the Elixir addicted Ranger who used to be something

Gaist, mysteriously never speaks and was the first volunteer for the Quest

And Niln, the “Seventh Hero” who recruits them all  “I’d say you have a destiny, and choices are the steps you take to reach it.”

Gorm was the best character! I believe he was described best by party, Kaitha,  “Beneath his curmudgeonly facade was, well, yes, a genuine curmudgeon who clearly cared for her.” He can be abrasive, uncaring, and rude… but he’s the Mother Hen you never knew you always wanted! He’s a Dwarf with a big heart and someone you want fighting on your side.

This book really gets you thinking about the World beyond the Fantasy. It brings it to a  real place and has you questioning what makes someone a “Hero”.

“Niln eventually broke the silence. “I always thought of heroes as these paragons, archetypes of man,” he said. “The best we had to offer. That’s what the stories and ballads tell us. They’re just average people with pure hearts and righteous intentions, and then… I don’t know… things just work out for them. They save the day. And it’s not because they’re strong or skilled or have ridiculously sharp flaming swords. I mean, maybe they have strength and skill and weapons, but the villain has those things too. They’re not the reason the heroes win because they’re good.”

Gorm sighed. “But those are just stories. The truth is that mankind needs to be defended from monsters, and doing as much takes stone-hearted killers. There ain’t no honor in it. It’s a job. Sometimes, the ones who are best at it ain’t much better than the monsters themselves.”

I can’t wait to continue my journey with the party. If you want to learn about Dwarven Reproduction, God’s Middle Management,  and Elixir Addiction (who doesn’t?!) I really recommend this book!!

Learn more about J. Zachary Pike and his works at His Website, Facebook, Twitter @jzacharypike

Also, pick up the book yourself on:

Kobo

Audible Canada

Audible US

Orconomics: A Satire is Best Served With

J. Zachary Pike’s Healing Elixir

O.K…. So, it’s actually an Amaretto Sour… But, when he let me know that it was one of his go to drinks… It was all that I could think about. I actually had a different drink planned and he had me throwing all thought out the window for just a sip of that wonderful Elixir. Which, is EXACTLY the type of drink I was looking for!!

In a Fantasy world where Heroes become addicted to their Healing Elixir’s

After that much exposure to sorcerous healing, a person could begin to like the sensation of the elixirs, or even to need it. The streets of Arth’s cities were littered with ex-heroes who had become too dependent on salve to adventure, or to find another job, or to do anything beyond acquire more healing potions.”

I thought that it would be great to make an Elixir of my own! Just drink in moderation! I don’t need you all begging for more! There are SO MANY ways to make this drink… I just went with a super simple basic sour.

elixir

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Amaretto (ok… I used Disaronno, which is technically and amaretto LIKE liqueur… whatever!)
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/5 oz simple syrup (if you don’t like a lot of lemon bite)
  • optional Maraschino cherries for garnish

Directions

  1. Put liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup (if you use it… I find it sweet enough on it’s own.. but, I pretty much have ZERO sweet tooth) in a shaker with NO ice. Shake just to mix (you can really just put it in the glass and stir if you prefer, but I find that it just never mixes properly that way)
  2. Pour into a glass filled with ice
  3. Garnish with cherries if you wish
  4. CHEERS!!

 

Secondborn

secondborn.jpg

4 out of 5 Stars

As with all aristocracy. The beauty is only skin deep but the betrayal is through and through..

In a society where the Firstborn is the Aristocracy, the Secondborn are the labour workers and soldiers and the Thirdborn is unheard of and the parents of such are killed on discovery.

“We, the firstborns, must rule. It is our birthright to sacrifice our own for the protection of the Fates. It is an honor for secondborns to serve as champions in this proud tradition—to give their lives to their Fate and to the call of service.””

The Secondborn daughter of the Sword (the Matriarch of this society) Roselle Sword, awaits her Fate on her Transition Day.

“The destiny of our once-great nation lies in the palms of our hands, and never more than today—Transition Day.” I’m unable to suppress a shudder. Transition Day. I’ve heard the words often over the eighteen years of my life. It’s the stuff of nightmares, what people say when they want to scare you: one day soon you’ll become a stranger to the people you love. A picture in a frame. I’ve always known today would come. I thought I’d be ready for it. I’m not.”

When she is put into the lowest position in the Infantry, she knows that her life will never be the same.

“Tiny brown holographic swords project from the lapel of my new, dirt-colored uniform. Tropo. I try not to wince. The emblem denotes the lowest secondborn rank in the military, the mark of the infantry—the expendables. My throat constricts.”

She will be following orders from now on. She will be trained, told how to wear her hair, when to eat and when to sleep. But, things aren’t always as they seem. The system is corrupt and there are people out there who wish to change the Political field. But, who do you trust? The “Gardeners” of the “Rose Garden Society” who want to take down Roselle’s brother so she can step up to become the Sword? Hawthorn, how has been by her side and seems to want to help her? Her Mother? Or is no one who they say they are…

““It outlived its usefulness, so it was killed. There’s something to be learned in that.”

“Never outlive my usefulness?”

“Never, ever trust the pack.””

Excerpt

“Dune growls low. “You don’t have to do this,” he says bitterly. “Roselle’s still too young. She’s not ready for war!”

Othala sobers. She narrows her eyes at her assembled staff. “Leave us.” Clara and Emmitt nearly bump into each other in their hurry to the door. I turn to follow them out.

“Stay, Roselle,” Dune commands.

I hesitate, looking to Mother for confirmation. She remains silent until the others have left, closing the bronze doors behind them, then whirls to face Dune. “It’s done,” she says, sneering.

“You can undo it,” Dune insists. “You can save Roselle.” He is rigid with barely suppressed anger, except for one hand, which twitches near the sword sheathed at his waist. My eyes widen. I know his aggressive posture well. It’s the stance he uses before he attacks.

“You underestimate her,” my mother replies. “She’s resilient and capable of surviving whatever is thrown at her. She has my blood.”

“You will spill her blood!” Dune’s sand-colored eyes narrow. He takes a menacing step toward Mother. My response is automatic. I move between the Clarity and my mentor, as I’ve been trained to do. My hand rests on my own sword’s hilt. I face Dune, my warning unmistakable. “You see?” Dune flicks his hand toward me. “She wants only to protect you, Othala. You have nothing to fear from her. She would never harm you or Gabriel. She loves you both.”

“And you care for her,” Mother hisses. She walks around the golden silk settee, putting it between her and us. Dune grinds his teeth. It’s an accusation I don’t fully understand.

“Of course I care for her. Roselle has been my student since she could crawl!” He rubs his hand over the short, dark stubble of his new beard. “I have always treated her with the utmost respect.”

“Yes, you two are quite close. She looks at you like a father.”

“You and I both know how little interest her own father has taken in her.”

Othala waves her hand as if to dismiss my father from the conversation, or maybe from her life. “Kennet is not one to form attachments. But you treat her as if she were your own daughter. You’ve taught her everything you know about being a leader, a fighter, someone who could maybe one day be the commander of this Fate?”

“I’ve tried to prepare her for any eventuality.”

My mother grips the back of the settee, her bejeweled fingernails digging into the fabric. “You’d just need to get rid of anything that stands in her way, wouldn’t you?”

Dune rubs his eyes, for a moment looking older than his thirty-eight years. “So, this is revenge against me! My decision to end my personal relationship with you, Othala, has nothing to do with Roselle.”

“It has everything to do with her, Dune. You’re her mentor. We both know that if something were to happen to Gabriel and me, she’d be The Sword.” A snarl twists my mother’s lips.

My hand, still on the silver handle of my sheathed sword, grows damp. Dune meets my eyes, and his soften. “Your daughter has no idea what you’re talking about, Othala. She’s a student of chivalry. Her only thought is how to win your love, not steal your power.”

Mother’s blue eyes look upward. “Even if the thought never crossed her mind, she’s still too dangerous, Dune. I have to protect Gabriel. He will rule the Fate of Swords one day, not her. It’s his birthright.””

What a great read! It’s full of action, drama, suspense and mis-direction. Nothing is ever as it seems! I have said before that I’m not a HUGE fan of YA. I enjoy them, but they really have to be done well. This was DEFINITELY one that was done well! It has the feel of “The Hunger Games” or “The Divergent Trilogy” but I found all of the characters very likeable! I thought that Roselle was way more likeable than Katniss Everdeen. She was strong and level headed, and with Society the way it way, even though she grew up around the Aristocracy she spent her time training to be the Secondborn she would always be.

She’s thrown into this life where she’s hated by everyone because she was High born and everyone watched her growing up thinking they knew who she was. She doesn’t fit in with the Firstborns, and the Secondborns do not accept her. It’s a lonely existence. But, she is strong enough to step up, take a leadership role and change the tides of the times. She could be the one who wins the War.

I HIGHLY recommend this book and I can’t wait to get to the rest of them!!

Secondborn is Best Served With 

A Three Ingredient Rose Cocktail

So, my antibiotics are complete which (to me) means that I’m back on the wagon again!! Off the wagon?? Well, I’m going to have a drink!! Lol! For Roselle and the Rose Garden Society, I figured that a Rose Cocktail would be fitting! And with Spring on it’s way ….*fingers crossed* we’ll soon be sipping these on our back patio’s!! *wishful thinking*

rose cocktail rachel ray

So, I got this Recipe from Rachel Ray and I just had to try it and dream of spring…

Ingredients

  • 2 cups store-bought lemonade
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 bottle Rosé wine

Directions

  1. Pour the lemonade into an ice cube tray and freeze.
  2. Cut the stems from the strawberries and place them onto a parchment-lined sheet tray. Freeze.
  3. To serve, place a few lemonade ice cubes and a couple frozen strawberries into a big wine glass and top with some chilled rosé.
  4. CHEERS!!

Never Say Never…

never never

5 out of 5 Stars

James Hook knows that he’s not a Lost Boy. He has a Mother and Father who love him… most of the time. With his Father constantly off to sea, and his Mother awaiting the arrival of a new child which seems to be taking up all of her attention James decides that maybe he’ll take this boy Peter Pan up on his offer to go to Neverland where you never grow up… but, just for a visit. James has never worried about growing up. In fact, even at only thirteen, he’s looked forward to it.

“To have a wife and children and to explore the world and conquer the sea.”

But he wouldn’t mind, at least for a little while, seeing the fairies there that Peter says are real, even if he is too old for them.

“Well, of course I’ve read about them in stories, but those are only for children.”

“And aren’t you one?” said Peter, looking around, distractable, touching all the leaves and twigs in his reach. 

“A what?” asked James.

“A children,” replied Peter, looking back at him.

James raised an eyebrow. Pan certainly was no Eton man. Somehow, that mattered less than it should’ve, as James found himself opening his mouth to say that of course he wasn’t “children” . Then an image of him several hours ago, blushing apple-red and struggling not to cry, flashed in his mind. He pursed his lips. Then, glumly: “I suppose I am a child.”

The only issue is, no one “visits” Neverland. Once you arrive it is your home and you are one of Peter’s Lost Boys and you will “play” by his rules.

“Number one, you’re not allowed to know things that I don’t know.”

“Number Two, you’re not allowed to be taller than me.”

“And lastly, and most importantly, absolutely no growing up.”

The problem is that James sees too much, and when he finds that Peter wants him on the island because he is “a Dreamer”, one who dreams up part of the Island he feels a kinship with the Pirates and grow up he shall.

“With his hat, his jacket, his boots, today he was really and truly a pirate. No one who saw him could deny it. And not just a pirate- a captain. He smiled a little wistfully, then wiped the smile from his face before he opened the doors to the deck, wishing to appear menacing. In a band full of pirates, that was no easy task.” 

But, when the newly founded Captain Hook begins to realise that Peter, no matter what parts were dreamt up by other boys, owns the Island. And it loves and will protect him. There’s only one thing left to do.

“Peter, yet again you provoke me,” he said , voice barely audible over the fierce wind.

“What are you going to do about it, old man?”

James thought for a minute, seriously contemplating his answer. Then he turned his face up to the boy and gave him the most honest reply he could. “Kill you, Peter. I will kill you.”

This book is the best twist on Peter Pan I have read so far (and I’ve read a few!) It is the perfect mix of dark and reality. It does get a little violent with the killing, but in more of an understandable way, and I LOVE the way that the parts of Neverland are contributions of the boys and the way that Neverland interacts with Peter.

Never never was also a good mix of James as a child and James as an adult and his transition into Captain Hook was a VERY good explanation of why he becomes who he is. (It’s almost like the “Wicked” of the Peter Pan world) James Hook has his home taken from him, his parents taken from him and Love taken from him, all by the Pan and you can almost hate Peter by the end of it.

I HIGHLY recommend this book! Even if you’re not a fan of fairy tale twists or even if you love Peter Pan and you don’t know how you would feel about him not being such a nice guy who just wants to play and never grow up, GIVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE!

If you’d like to learn more about the Author Brianna R. Shrum feel free to reach out to her on Twitter @briannashrum  to check into her upcoming release “The Art of French Kissing” Releasing June 5th 2018!

Never Never is Best Served With

A Josee

So…. I have no idea if this is how the cocktail is spelled. This is another of the cocktails that I learned in Cuba and had one of the bartenders at the Velentin Pearla Blanca nice enough to show me how to make it! By the way I made the napkin rose in the picture! The waiter there showed us how to make them!

20180212_214507

Ingredients

  • 1oz Gin
  • 1oz White Rum
  • 2oz Orange Juice
  • Top with Pre Fab Margarita Mix

Directions

  1. Put in glass in order of list top to bottom
  2. Stir
  3. CHEERS!!

I know, I know… Not too inspired. But, MAN IS IT GOOD!!

 

 

 

The Wendy, A Peter Pan Twist

the wendy.jpg

4 out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank Trash Dogs Media for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“If women ever sail the sea,

They’ll scrub the decks for men like me!

They’ll marry none but Davy Jones,

And for their children, only bones!”

These are words that Wendy Darling had chanted at her all her life as she grew up dreaming of the sea and joining the Navy. When she begins to think that maybe Davy Jones will be preferable to just growing up to the women’s duty of “having babies” she finds Olaudah Equiano (or Gustavus Vassa as was his slave name) and thinks that all her prayers have been answered and that under his tutelage she will finally get what her heart desires

“What the heart desires most in all the world,” Mr. Equiano reminded her gently, “does not always come to us when we wish it. Such yearnings cannot be rushed. We must work for them. And we must continue to work for them. Even when all seems lost. So that we will be ready, should the heavens find a way to deliver us.”

But, try and train though she would, the heavens did not seem to be delivering her anywhere, even joining the Fourteenth Platoon of the Nineteenth Light Dragoons at Dover Castle to sense magic for them, she is let down. As it is a boring, tedious jobs reading dusty facts out of dusty books. Until the “unmistakable scent of magic permeated the air as he gazed down upon her, a look of cold, merciless appraisal in his ice-blue eyes.” and Wendy Darling finally comes face to face with Peter Pan.

“When confronted with the imminent possibility of one’s own death, the important thing is not to panic. That is what everyone says, and they say it because it is true. Remaining calm will always save you, which is precisely what makes it such a difficult thing to do, but panicking never will, which is why it is absolutely, positively never the best choice.”  

Peter is the leader of, what is known to Wendy, as the Everlost, which has been described to her as a creature with no soul who comes to England t steal children to drain of their blood.

“Ah ha!” he exclaimed, his face lighting up in a sudden realization. “A creature without a soul! Ergo, lost forever to heaven! Ergo, ‘the everlost’! Well, that explains it, finally, I’ve always wondered.” He smiled at Nana and rubbed her head merrily as though she were sharing his private revelation.

“But… how could you not have understood the meaning of your own name?” Wendy blinked in surprise.

“Don’t be absurd. It’s not my name. It’s your name. You made it up. Why would I call myself everlost?” He regarded her the way a child might scrutinize a particularly baffling puzzle lock from the East, as though she were an exotic treasure of unfathomable mystery. “You might lose me, to be sure, but one can never lose oneself. The very idea is ridiculous. I’m always right where I am!”

When she is the only one who can track down the Everlost and Peter’s supposed “flying ship” that may be able to take her to this Island that he seems to exist, will she choose Peter and the Adventure he can offer her? Or will she choose Captain Hook and the possible life at sea that she has dreamed of all her life?

I really enjoyed this book! I liked the focus on Wendy being a strong female influence who won’t just quietly back down into her mothering or babysitting duties. I like to see her finally, not taking care of other children, but learning to fight and the maths and the stars and dreaming of bigger things. It was a beautifully written novel and a twist on the tale that was refreshing and new.

My one complaint about the book was the character of Tinkerbell… I’m sorry, this is me being picky I’m sure. They describe her as “a palm-sized, golden dragon speaking in a symphony of delicate chimes” and that “Tinker Bell belonged to that rarest and most precious of fairy species (known as the innisfay by those who still remember such things) who can turn themselves into any sort of animal at will.”

I really like the IDEA of this… but, I’m a HUGE fan of Tinkerbell and I don’t know if I can get behind her being a Shapeshifter.. totally my own beef. But, very well described and a very cool concept all the same. That’s the thing about twists on classics. You never know what might get twisted!!

All in all a very interesting and unique take on the Pan story with a wonderful focus on Wendy that I adored and WHAT A BEAUTIFUL COVER!! I definitely recommend a read!!

Erin Michelle Sky & Steven Brown began “The Wendy” as an experiment trying to see if an unknown duo could attract enough of a following to defray the cost of publishing the book. The answer was “YES”

If you would like to learn more about the Duo, they are most active on Twitter @DragonAuthors and you can find any ways to get a copy of “The Wendy” for yourself at http://trashdogs.com/wendy.html

The Wendy is Best Paired With a

Santa Maria

santa maria

Another drink that I learned in Cuba that seemed fitting with the rum and fitting with HOW GORGEOUS IT IS!!

Ingredients

  • 1/5 oz Green Creme de Menthe
  • 1 oz White Rum
  • 4 oz Orange Juice
  • 4 oz Red Wine

Directions

  1. Chill a tall glass
  2. Layer slowly over the rounded side of a spoon from the top of the list (which will be at the bottom of the glass) to the bottom of the list (which will be the top of the glass)
  3. Garnish with a pineapple wedge
  4. Enjoy how pretty it looks, but be sure to stir before drinking!! (It turned a beautiful purple!)
  5. CHEERS!!

Lost Boy, A Dark Twist on Peter Pan

lost boy

3 out of 5 Stars

Peter is luring boys to come with him who don’t have mothers… or so they are told. This is the story of the boy James who was taken first to be Peters favourite.

“If you come with me we’ll go to my island. It’s a special place, only for boys like you and me. And there you can run and play and no one will ever hit you and you’ll never, never grow up.

“How can you never grow up?”

“The island is magic,” he said, and he smiled. “And I live all alone there, and I want you to come there and play with me and be my friend for always.”

and how James began to take care of the other boys when he realized that something had to be done… you can’t be a boy forever, and every baby duckling needs a mother.

“The mother duckling stood at the shore of the pond, weeping and weeping for her little lost one. Her tears were so great and so many that the waters of the pond rose and flooded around her feet and ankles, and she sank deep into the mud there until the water covered her to her knees. On and on she wept, for she knew it was all her fault for letting her little boy get lost in the first place. After a very long time her tears ran dry, but by then her legs had turned into stems and her yello hair into the petals of a flower, and so she stands there until this day, crouched over the crocodile pond, hoping forever to see the face of her little duckling again. And sometimes, if you go to the crocodile pond late at night, you can hear her voice on the wind, crying his name.”

When James begins to feel that maybe Peter isn’t the wonderful fun loving boy that everyone thinks he is… that maybe there is something dark and narcissistic about him, that is exactly what happens. James begins to grow up as he watches HIS Lost Boys around him die in Peter’s twisted games.

“When he’d smiled at me and told me we would have adventures, I thought we would be friends always, that it would just be Peter and me, like brothers. But now I saw-and it was so strange that after all this time I finally did see- that I wasn’t enough for him, had never been enough.” 

With the boys dying all around him and Peter’s uncaring attitude is there anyone that can defeat the Pan? And is there anyone who will step up and help? And when Peter’s secrets begin to come out, will there be anyone remaining to love him?

Well, I was surprised at this book. I LOVED Alice by Christina Henry, and I will admit that I’m a HUGE sucker for all that is dark and twisted…. but, this one just didn’t do it for me!! Maybe, it was just a little too much… It is definitely twisted, and although the writing was good, it was just too much graphic destruction. I don’t mind a darker twist of Peter and his attitude (stay tuned for my FAVOURITE one in a later review!) But, maybe because I read so many so fast this one just couldn’t stand up.

I did like the Lost Boys in this one, they were written well and it really made you feel for some of them and hate others (it was a very “Lord of the Flies” feeling in this book) but if you don’t handle developing feelings for characters that may not make it through the book, and may get taken from you in very graphic ways… this may not be the book for you!

Lost Boy is Best Served with 

Pina Colada

As the book involves the pirates and mentions coconuts quite a bit, I figured this would be a good match and help me ease you all into my new drinks I learned in Cuba with my later reviews!

20180212_182526

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup ice.
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple, frozen.
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice.
  • 2 ounces coconut cream.
  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum.
  • 1 ounce dark rum.
  • Pineapple slices.

Directions

  1. Put the ice, frozen pineapple, juice, coconut cream, and the white and dark rums into a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frosty.
  3. Pour the drink into 2 glasses
  4. garnish the rim with pineapple slices.
  5. Cheers!!!

 

Through the Eyes of a Dungeon

dungeon born

3 out of 5 Stars

Well, first things first, this book was a VERY unique RPG LIT! I was really excited about the concept of the book as it is told, mainly, from the perspective of.. THE DUNGEON! Yes, that’s right! Cal, a dungeon core, is ‘born’ and reveals his story learning to build himself up and protect himself from the adventurers who are brave enough to explore his walls and seek his treasure.

Learning to take in Essence for use in expanding his walls, making ‘mobs’ and setting traps to lure in Adventurers to kill to receive more Essence to repeat the process and level up his dungeon for more and stronger Adventurers.

I really wanted to like this book… And in the end my rating ended up higher than I thought it would because they eventually split the narrative between Cal, the dungeon, and Dale, the adventurer adding another level and making the story a little more relatable. Unfortunately, up to that point, which was a long time coming, the story of Cal and his bonded Whisp (as in Will o’ the) Dani, is a little dry. It was almost as though Dakota took his D&D campaign manual and wrote a novel out of it… Which would be all well and good if it hadn’t been SO technical. As a huge geek and D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) player it was even a little too much for me! (or, maybe it was a little much BECAUSE of that!)

“Well, we start with an upgrade! Here are a few basics first though. There are many different levels of Essence cultivation. Starting with the lowest, we have G, F, E, D, C, B, A, S, SS, SSS, Heavenly, and Godly. Each rank has ten levels within it, the lowest being zero and the highest at nine. When I got here, you were at G-zero, which is basic life with only the instinct to eat.” She chuckled at that, I had progressed far in intelligence since then. “After making the deal with me you moved to G-rank one, which opens the way for more complex actions and thought. You have enough power already to move to G-rank two, which lets you begin to grow your power and use your own influence intentionally.”

<Correct me if I’m wrong, but the enchantment like this is temporary because it was cast on the sword, but looks like tightly woven Essence, not something else like Mana, and it is always active. Permanent enchantments are formed by cutting Inscriptions like on that pendant, then putting your own Essence into the Inscriptions right? That allows you to turn it on or off at will.> She was keeping up with me so far, I could tell. “Sounds correct so far. Just so you know, cutting those in is called ‘inscribing’ and when done properly, it is called a ‘Rune’.” She took a quick second to boost my knowledge. I acknowledged her input, and continued. <Well, I am wondering if I can use the Beast Cores to power enchantments. Since they can store Essence it should be possible to draw the energy from them, and not yourself right?> Dani went quiet for a moment, “Well, in theory. It is possible to use specially refined Beast Cores as Mana accumulators, but the cost is usually so high for even a normal Core that no one – that I have heard of anyway – has tried it for just Essence.”

The first half of the book was too much like being stuck in the tutorial of an RPG. I felt a little talked down to.. I understand trying to explain things to readers who may not understand these things… But, there’s a limit to what should be explained as someone who knew NOTHING about this probably wouldn’t be reading the book to begin with, and if they are, then they’re probably not stupid and can figure these things out through the story itself.

Now, in saying this, it really did become an enjoyable story! I may have been a little hard on it! The characters, when the adventuring team was finally introduced, were very likable (especially the ‘old’ mage Hans) as was the story. It just took a little longer than necessary to get out of that tutorial!

Dungeon Born is Best Served With

Dungeon Punch

dungeon

I found this drink at recipe http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink3292.html#ixzz56JzNrnKe I don’t know why it’s called dungeon punch (maybe after a few it makes you feel like you’ve been punched in the “dungeon”?) Lol! In any case, the name was so fitting and the drink sounded delicious… so, I didn’t really care! (Plus I got to buy kool-aid for the first time in…. well, probably ever!

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 5 oz Kool-Aid®
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz peach schnapps
  • 2 cherries

Directions

  1. Mix fruit punch flavored kool-aid with schnapps, vodka, and orange juice.
  2. Once stirred, garnish with cherries.
  3. CHEERS!!

Welcome to Toonopolis.. Leave Reality at the Door

toonopolis

4.5 out of 5 Stars

It’s Saturday morning (well, it is HERE at least!) so, what better to do with a Saturday morning than watch some Cartoons!! …or read about them anyways!

Some of you may remember my review from a little while ago for “Demonic Wildlife” which was a horror anthology. Well, one of my favourite stories was written by Jeremy Rodden and he expands on the wonderful world he created in this novel.

This is a book for all ages!! It almost reminded me of the old Bugs Bunny cartoons where, as a child they were silly and fun, and as an adult you looked back and thought “how did I not notice all of these references and double entendres??” You may not get all of the jokes and pop culture references at certain ages, but it’s an amazing story anyways!

Jacob Grenk is the only one who can be used for an experiment by “The Agency” and sent into Toonopolis to “do their bidding”. Only one catch, when Jacob enters Toonopolis he has lost his memory and has no idea who he is, or why he is there.

Taking on the name “Gemini” the only thing he can remember, he sets off with his “trusty” guide, Jimbob the Talking Eggplant, to find his memories and to get home.

I started this novel immediately getting feelings of “Alice Through the Looking Glass”, “Wizard of Oz”, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and “Cool World”. Funny enough, I quickly realised that I was getting those vibes for a reason!

“Where am I?” was the question that jumped out of the boy’s mouth. He didn’t even have time to wonder how the mirror could hear him since it had no discernible ears. “How should I know?” the mirror retorted. “I’m just an antique looking glass.” The young man suddenly had an idea inspired by a story from his childhood about a young girl who, like himself, found herself in a strange land full of bewilderment. It was with this thought in mind that he decided to run headfirst into the mirror. A loud thud and his rump landing on the grass were all he earned for his bright idea. “Ow!” shouted the mirror. “What in the world did you do that for?”“I guess I can’t travel through you, huh?” The boy rubbed his head. He rose to his feet gingerly.”

“The rainbow-colored walkway was made of oddly shaped rectangular rocks with rounded edges. Or so he thought. He knelt down for a closer inspection and found the pathway to be made of a plethora of PEZ candies. “Follow the Rainbow-PEZ Road,”said a cheery voice behind him.”

These kinds of silly throw-backs and pop culture references are riddled throughout the book and made me laugh all the time!! (Sometimes, these sorts of things make me wonder on the shelf life of books as, there may be a day that people don’t understand the references anymore..but, it won’t be while I’m still around!)

There are video game references,

“Well, we don’t have any other leads. Maybe if we pick one of these quests, we’ll get lucky.” Jimbob held out a piece of paper. “I like the first one.” Gemini turned to face Jimbob and snatched the paper out of his hand, saying, “Let me see that sheet.” He read aloud the first quest on the list “Questgiver: Bramaid Hanna. Reward: Ten silver. Quest: Slay five giant rats in the cellar of the Suckling Pig.”

“Enough talking,” cried Leothas. “It is your turn.” Gemini smiled. “So, what you’re saying is that you can’t attack me again until I attack you? Some magical force is making this fight turn-based? What happens if I just don’t attack you back?” Leothas looked stunned. He retreated from his attacking stance into a thoughtful one. He had one hand on his hip and rubbed his chin with the other. “I don’t know. I was always taught to take turns attacking. I don’t know any other way to fight.”“Yeah, good luck with that.” With a smirk, Gemini dropped his wooden sword into the dirt and walked up the road.”
References to certain franchises
“Toonopolis is constantly changing. The more well-known those other worlds are, the more rigid they become, like Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Or they become mixed up with so many different minds involved that they don’t even make sense anymore, like the Marvel Universe.”
To movie quotes (By the way… I’m pretty sure I’m in love with Jeremy Rodden for this quote thrown in from one of my favourite movies!!)
“Jack waved at Gemini. “By kids! Have fun storming the castle.”
Gemini had to travel through all of the different Toon realms from Supercity to Animetown to Camenot and picks up some wonderfully hilarious companions on the way
Miss Fire from Supercity
“Let’s see if we can fight fire with fire,” the superheroine said and hurled balls of fire at the wraith drake. The fireballs landed several yards away from Phantasm. “I guess Miss Fire’s not a misnomer,” said Jimbob. Miss Fire whirled on the eggplant with fire literally in her eyes. “Sorry, my mistake. I misspoke. I was misadvised by my brain.”
Wan Wan from Animetown
“Yuki cleared his throat. “I want to help.”Gemini looked sideways at the albino, who clearly was not a fighter. “Take Wan-Wan with you.”The mechanical Akita barked in agreement. “He is more than just a pet. He can help you.”“Yeah, he can fetch us the newspaper and pee oil onto our enemies,”Jimbob asserted. Yuki smiled and whispered something into Wan-Wan’s ear. A panel on the robot dog’s side opened and a missile launcher appeared and pointed toward Jimbob. “Ooh,”Jimbob said, retreating backwards.”
And Hawk from Camenot
“What’s his problem?” asked Angel in an uncaring tone. “We seek to destroy the shadow sorcerer, but we have no more leads, m’lady,” said Hawk. “Ooh, m’lady? A gentleman, eh? Whatcha doing later, Sir Knight?” Angel asked with a wink. “Serving my lord, Sir Goodypants, and assisting Sir Gemini in his quest to defeat the shadowy menace,” Hawk answered. Angel looked disappointed. “A paladin, huh? No use barking up that tree.”
And of course, who can forget Jimbob the talking Eggplant..
“He just sucks it up. Cows, crops, people. He sucked it all up.” Jimbob made a little whimper. Gemini thought at first that he was scared. After a glance at his purple companion, he realized he was trying to hold his tongue. “Just get it out,” Gemini said. Jimbob shook his head. “Come on, just say it.”“The shadowy figure sucks!” blurted Jimbob. “Feel better?” Jimbob nodded his head,”
I also love the tongue in cheek humor throughout the story because, being a Cartoon universe, nothing is ever as it seems!
“Gemini pointed to the sign. “Wouldn’t trolls be out of place here? I mean, they’re not really gothic or creepy. They seem like they’d fit better in Adventure Realm or Camenot.”
“Unless . . .”Jimbob began.
“You’re all probably fat, and I could beat you all up!”cried a voice from under the bridge. “Crap,”said Jimbob.
“What is it?”asked Miss Fire.
“An Internet troll.”
A small creature leapt from under the bridge onto the pathway at the base of it.
Gemini saw a teenager about his own age wearing a T-shirt decorated with a frowning yellow face. He had greasy black hair, fingernails that were painted black, looked as though he might have been crying.
“You’re all ugly and stupid,”said the troll. Gemini stared at it.
“Are you the grumpy old troll that lives under the bridge?”The troll’s eyes lit up at Gemini’s reaction.
“No, Dora, I live with your mom.”
This is a fabulous story that will have you laughing out loud CONSTANTLY! I love the world that Jeremy Rodden has built, I love his characters and I CAN’T WAIT to read the next instalment in the series!! I highly recommend this book to any lovers of Comedy, Cartoons, Video Games, Movies, Pop Culture, etc… SO PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS!!
If you’d like to check out more about Jeremy Rodden and his works please seek him out at:

Toonopolis is Best Served With

Saturday Morning Cartoon Cocktail

 

I found this fabulously nostalgic recipe over at http://www.onthebar.com/drinks/saturday-morning-cartoons and it was just PERFECT!!  Described as a “big kid’s White Russian”

saturday morning cartoons

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Rum
  • .75oz Cognac
  • .25oz Simple Syrup
  • 1oz Lucky Charms infused milk (I’m sure that you could make this with any breakfast cereal though!)
  • Marshmallow Root Bitters (I myself couldn’t track this one down… but, it was still great without!)

Directions

  1. The night before you are going to make this, put lucky charms in some milk and leave it overnight. Strain the cereal out and you have your infused milk!
  2. Mix all ingredients
  3. Garnish with Lucky Charms
  4. CHEERS!!

The Girl With the Rose Eye, and the Power to Change the World

catling's bane

4 out of 5 Stars

“Don’t trust anyone. We’re all influencers one way or another, aren’t we? Make up your own mind Catling, and mind yourself.”

What if, in a world of political unrest, you had no choice to obey? What if there were people who could control your very emotion to their bidding, who could use this “influence” even on the King himself to the point where the people don’t know who’s running the show.. and they possibly don’t care.

This is the world that Catling lives in. Society is broken into classes, with the poorest at the bottom tier and the rich at the top. The land is no longer shared, the land that was once free has been taken to own.

“In all three settlements, Ellegeans have extended their territory, built new walls, severed migration routes, cut forests, and damned rivers. The Farlanders have no rights within the settlements, and formal protests have made no difference. Our relationships are in shambles.”

The descriptions of the Civil unrest in this novel may strike close to home with our own situations, both in our present and our past, and was beautifully unfolded during the story.

“The mark on her eye looks like a rose. A little piece missing on a petal, but a rose, don’t you think?”

She discovers that, when looking through her “birth-marked” eye, she can see the work of the influencers and cut those strings to shield people from being blinded by their surroundings.

“The horror of the three bodies flooded her heart. She sank to the ground by the pigling’s fence and rested her head on her knees, breathing back a desire to retch. “Are you feeling sick from the sweets?” Whitt asked. “No.” She peered up and pointed across the market. “It’s that.” The look on his face told her nothing, his feelings pilfered, his smile hollow. She shifted her shield, cutting him free of the influencers’ touch. Whitt staggered backward, gasping. His gaze darted across the market in confusion before he stumbled behind the wagon and fell to his knees. Choking sobs blended with the hanging-day din.”

This, she learns quickly, is both a blessing and a curse. As she must hide who she is and keep out of the hands of those who wish to use her, or kill her so she can’t use her power.

“What you felt isn’t real, remember that. You can’t trust them, Catling; you can’t trust your feelings. Never forget that.”

This book was so fantastic! The characters were amazing. I’d like to give special notice to Tiler, the foul-mouthed Enforcer, who has a “Mouth full of butt nuggets, heart of gold” and I absolutely LOVED!

“Sodding cockthistles, Gan.” Tiler rested a hand on Catling’s shoulder. “Don’t scare us to death.”

“You’re a damn shaft-slapper, Gan,” Tiler shouted while Nial and two other guards restrained him. “Let me go, you bung-loving asspipes!”

But, all of the characters were wonderfully written and made you love them… which at times could lead to pain and heartache on the part of this reader. I will tell you right now, this story was very unexpected and could get very dark and sad on the turn of a dime, so be prepared for a very crazy ride!

If I had to talk about why it only got 4 stars and not 5, I will say that it is very definitely written with a series in mind, so there is a lot of talk of the political situations, the lay out of the lands, and the history of the people’s in general. It’s a lot to take in. But, it was painted very beautifully and I know it will lead to a very detailed thrilling conclusion! I can’t wait to find out what happens with Catling, Whitt and Gannon!

I can’t say enough about this book!! 

I will stop here so I don’t bore you all to death, but just know that I had about 30 more quotes that I really wanted to squeeze in to this review. So, read the book!

I had a write up about D. Wallace Peach for you all, but I know she’s a bit of an introvert (a woman after my own heart) so, I will spare you the names of her children and dog and just say that she is a fantastic person and a fantastic writer. I you would like to know more about her and her work, please check her out at

Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: @dwallacepeach

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Catling’s Bane is Best Served With

A Rose Cocktail

So, in honour of Catling’s birthmark, I had to go with a Rose Cocktail… and because of the fact that there are so many variations on this cocktail, I actually made 2 different versions of it!

The English Rose

english rose

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce cherry Brandy or Kirsch

Directions

  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass

The Rose Cocktail

rose cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Kirsch
  • 1 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 3 Dashes of Maraschino cherry syrup or strawberry syrup
  • Maraschino Cherry for garnish

Directions

  1. Same as cocktail above
  2. Garnish with Cherry
  3. Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

 

On Her Majesty’s Supernatural Secret Service

the rook

4 out of 5 Stars

“Dear You,

The body you are wearing used to be mine. The scar on the inner left thigh is there because I fell out of a tree and impaled my leg at the age of nine. The filling in the far left tooth on the top is a result of my avoiding the dentist for four years. But you probably care little about this body’s past. After all, I’m writing this letter for you to read in the future. Perhaps you are wondering why anyone would do such a thing. The answer is both simple and complicated. The simple answer is because I knew it would be necessary. 

The complicated answer could take a little more time.”

Imagine waking up, in the rain, surrounded by bodies, with no idea who you were. That is what happened to Myfawny (rhymes with Tiffany) Thomas. She has no prior knowledge to her life except from letters that her past self (if it IS her past self!) has written.

“Your main concern will be to master the running and politics of the domestic Checquy forces. You’ll be meeting with and coordinating the teams of Pawns who work in the country and assigning them to various tasks. You will also oversee the management of the Rooney, working closely with Gestalt. 

Oh, that’s going to be fun, Myfawny thought. 

And you meet regularly with the other members of the Court to coordinate the Checquy’s movements. It’s all fairly self-explanatory, really. 

Oh, well thanks an awful lot, Thomas, Myfawny thought bitterly. It sounds like I’m the Defense Minister of Ghosts and Goblins, but as long as the job is ‘all fairly self-explanatory,’ I’ve no doubt it will be fine. The country might be overrun by brownies and talking trees, but what the hell-there’s always Australia! 

Worst yet, there is a betrayer in her midst at the Checquy Group where she works. A Secret Service group of “talented” individuals who come in handy in certain delicate situations.

“So, I supposed you’re wondering all about the Checquy Group. Oh, and please note that it is pronounced Sheck-Eh. French influences, I think. Or possibly warped by generations of employees mispronouncing it.” 

“The Checquy Group is composed of hundreds of individuals. Some are loke me-they possess powers beyond the normal population. The non-powered members are simply the cream of their respective occupational crops.”

Stepping into the person she was, apparently a boring stepped on pencil pusher, doesn’t seem plausible anymore,

“Myfawny grimly contemplated the content of the residences’s wardrobe. Did Thomas wear nothing but black and gray? She asked herself. I mean, there are thirty good-quality suits here, and not a single one with any personality. No skirts cut above the knee, no blouse that isn’t white. 

The new Myfawny steps up to take charge of situations and her own new-found (to her new self) powers of controlling people’s bodies and minds. Taking on Evil Fungi, Grafters and even Dragons.

This was a great read and I can’t wait to continue the series! It took a little while for me to get into, but with thrill around every corner at whether someone will figure out that Myfawny is not herself, or who she can trust, it quickly sucked me in. It was like James Bond meets X-Men (o.k, maybe less James Bond and more Johnny English since she doesn’t QUITE know what she’s doing some of the time)

“” Charming, ” she said, and noticed Shanty looking at her strangely. “Well aside from the massive blanket of fungus covering everything. But if you look beyond that, it’s really not in bad taste.” Shanty carried on staring at her. “Oh, shut up. Do you see any signs of the Barghests?” 

“No,” Shanty said in a stage whisper. She was holding her large pistol in her hand and looking very tense. “What is wrong with you?” Myfawny whispered back. “You look like you expect someone to grab your ass.” 

“I’d be okay with that, as long as it was a personal,” whispered Shantay. “It’s when it’s the decor reaching out to cop a feel that I get nervous.””

All in all a highly recommended read for all of you sucked into the “Super Hero” fad going on in full force out there!

The Rook is Best Served With 

Mind Eraser

mind eraser

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur
  • 4 ounces soda water (or enough to top off an old fashioned glass)
  • lime wedge for garnish

Directions

  1. Fill an old fashioned glass with ice.
  2. Pour the vodka and coffee liqueur over the ice.
  3. Fill with soda water.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with a straw

*The soda is open for interpretation. I like plain soda water, but I have seen this drink served with lemon-lime soda and ginger ale before as well. So pick whatever you think best!!

Cheers!!