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Title: A Destiny of Dragons (Tales from Verania #2, Destiny Fuck Yeah! #1)
Author: T.J. Klune
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 400 pages
Date read: July, 2017

Once upon a time, the wizard's apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam's been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.

Life is good.

Until it's not.

Because Vadoma, the leader of the Gypsy clan and Sam's grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.

And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.

Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam's true cornerstone.


Of course not as good as the first book in the series. But then, how could it be? The first was original and innovative - this was "merely" continuing a good trend.

Also not as self-contained as the first book, which came as a bit more of a surprise. While the first book could easily stand alone, this is very clearly the first in a separate trilogy. While that didn't bother me as much as it could have, it does mean I'm less likely to recommend this book high and wide, until I know that the sequels live up to it.

All that said, I still really, really, really liked this book! It had all the humour I'd expected, all the odd one-liners, all the genuine affection between all the members of "Team Sam". Even Ruv ended up growing on me, although I'm still withholding judgment on Vadoma. Oh, and I loved Zero! Where else would you find an emo teenage dragon who's a romantic at heart?! :-D
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales from Verania #1)
Author: T.J. Klune
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5+/5
# pages: Audiobook ~17 hours
Date read: January, 2017

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King's Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.


Oh boy, where to start!

I have two simultaneous thoughts I want to get out through this review.
1) This book was HILARIOUS and I loved every minute of it. Can't remember when a book has last made me laugh this much and this often. Not to mention that it was just SWEET! ... at times... in places...
2) This book should come with a shit-load of warnings for language and content and is NOT for everybody!

(And for once I'm not going to apologize for my language, because I'd rather scare you off now, than after buying the book. Just trust me on that one. Consider it a VERY mild example).

Meet Sam of Wild - a 20-year-old wizard's apprentice, who has an incredible talent for getting captured by Dark wizards... but fortunately they just. can't. stop. monologueing!
Gary - a hornless gay unicorn who snorts coloured sparks and poops rainbows and cupcake-smells.
Tiggy - a half-giant who'll smash all of Gary and Sam's enemies if they let him.
Kevin - a sexually aggressive dragon.
'Mother' - Sam's fairy drag-mother.
Dmitri - the 6" tall gay fairy with a size-kink whom Sam almost got gay fairy married to that one time...
And of course - Knight Ryan Deliciousface... oops, sorry, I mean Ryan Foxface, who's the object of Sam's abject devotion, but unfortunately betrothed to Prince Justin.

Add all this together, and you get the FUNNIEST book it's been my pleasure to read in a very, very long time (I laughed out loud more times than I can count), while at the same time being incredibly rich in sexual jokes and very crude language. So if (explicit) M&M romance and (even more explicit) sexual banter is a dealbreaker for you - this is your warning.

The plot itself was well executed and pretty traditional for a fantasy novel - prince gets captured by dragon, knight and wizard must go free prince and return home in time for a royal wedding - yada-yada-yada. The novel's strength comes in the dialogue between the characters, and the obvious affection between Sam and his friends (including Ryan), his family, and even his wizard mentor and his King. Sam has the weirdest life ever, but it never seems forced, and much like Douglas Adams, T.J. Klune manages to make the jokes and mad escapades seem effortless and natural. The writing was excellent and appropriately witty all the way through.

The ending was perhaps a tiiiiiiny bit more explicit than I would have liked (although that may mostly have been because of the awkwardness of listening to it, rather than reading it myself), but for most of the book the sexual content is mostly talk, very little action. So download a sample off amazon, and if the language in the first few paragraphs doesn't scare you off - go for it. You won't regret it.

I "read" this as an audiobook, and absolutely adored the narrator, Michael Lesley. I've never listened to any of his performances before, but did an incredible job.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: In the Bag
Author: Kate Klise
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 306
Date read: June, 2013

A European vacation. A luggage mix-up. A note from a secret admirer.

Meet two single parents who think they're too busy to date.
And two teenagers who can't stop writing flirty emails.
This is a tale of connections - missed and made - in a universe that seems to have its heart set on reuniting Ms. 6B and Mr. 13C.

I picked this up on a whim after seeing it on a "Top Ten Travelling Books" list somewhere. It sounded cute, so I figured "why not" - and as so often happens when I have no particular expectations, I ended up being utterly charmed by it :)

The story itself is nothing special - pretty run-of-the-mill YA - but the characters are so real that I couldn't help being taken in by them. I like the way the story chances POV in each chapter, giving us insight into all four main characters that we wouldn't have had otherwise.

If you enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss and 13 Little Blue Envelopes, this book should be right up your aisle. A quick read too - I read it in one lazy Saturday :)

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