Firefly: Big Damn Hero by Nancy Holder and James Lovegrove

It’s been almost sixteen years since Firefly was cancelled by FOX, and honestly I’m still not over it. As a person that lives in a reality where Serenity does not exist, I was more than eager to dive back into the black with the crew that started my love for space opera and ragtag crews. But I was also apprehensive: would the series hold up? For me this book was everything that I was looking for and I am so excited for the next books in the series!

Firefly: Big Damn Hero contextually happens in the middle of the short lived tv series, which means that some jobs and events from the eleven episodes are referenced, but the great thing is that a reader new to the Firefly franchise will not feel lost among references. Holder and Lovelace did an excellent job of including references for fans of the tv series without alienating an entirely new audience.

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A Murder of Crows (The Ravenscourt Tragedies #1) by Annie Kirke

Rumours are nasty things. They lurk in the shadows and feed off people’s worst instincts.

I love me some strong female characters, so when Dying Arts Press reached out to me to offer me a chance to read this YA fantasy I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately this book did not work for me: I found the characters flat, world-building confusing, and the plot to be predictable and, if I am being honest, a little troublesome.

Abigail is 13 years old and her father just mysteriously died. Part of the burial process of loved ones is known as the Resting, where the spirit can say their final goodbyes to loved ones before crossing over. Unfortunately something went wrong and her father’s soul wasn’t there, so they are left alone with their grief and questions without their chance to say goodbye. Within a couple of days, his estranged brother comes and invites the family (Abigail, her mother, and her brother) to stay with him at Ravenscourt for awhile. And then the mysteries really begin.

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Illuminae (Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

BRIEFING NOTE: This is an addictive, fast-paced adventure that I didn’t expect to ███████ lurrrrrrve as much as I did.

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Greetings chum. I don’t even know how to adequately review such an amazingly unique reading experience. Illuminae is not your traditional book. It breaks conventional storytelling and is told in multi-media format: the book is the compilation of emails, instant message conversations, redacted memos, and more as if you are reading a confidential dossier.

“It’s not the bullets that kill you. It’s moments like these. One piece at a time.”

The year is 2575 and this morning Kady Grant broke up with her boyfriend, Ezra Miller. Hours later their tiny planet of Kerenza, which is an illegal mining colony, was attacked by a mega-corporation. Bad day, I’d say.

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Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books and Karina Shor (Illustrator)

“Christmas isn’t just about gifts, but the love underneath,
So it really doesn’t matter your religious belief.
We give because we care, we love, and we want to please,
So there’s room for every one of us under our Christmas trees.”

Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer is a beautifully illustrated book and a more inclusive take at the traditional story of Rudolph. I don’t read many illustrated books these days which honestly is a shame! I was instantly blown away by the artwork and really enjoyed this quick read.

Larry is a nerdy caribou that was teased and bullied in school, given the nickname Schmuck which unfortunately stuck. Despite never really fitting in, he worked hard and earned a degree in accounting with an emphasis in Yule.

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Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

“Of such small moments are disasters made.”

Friends, it pains me to say that this was just not the book for me. This is my first Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) read and while I absolutely adored the plot, unfortunately the writing style and narrative voice just did not work for me. This is definitely a case of right book, wrong reader.

“Many of them would continue to leave their homes even as they began feeling unwell. The virus would spread. The virus always spreads.”

Lisa Morris is an 8 year old girl on vacation in Florida. She is starting to feel a little sick, but it is their last day and she doesn’t want to miss out on going to the amusement park for one last time. By the time she gets home to California, she’s very sick and thanks to trams, rides, and airplane rides — so are hundreds of others. Lisa’s Patient Zero of the Morris Disease outbreak and the first casualty. The world is forever changed.

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