Hubby borrowed this from the library and because we're both fans of the Sandman, I wanted to read it too. Glad that I did.
This is an interesting Japan...moreHubby borrowed this from the library and because we're both fans of the Sandman, I wanted to read it too. Glad that I did.
This is an interesting Japanese story about a fox spirit and a monk. It really was a lovely tale of love and respect for fellow living things, as well as the complete opposite. A couple willing to die for each other, and the ultimate opposition being a selfish, greedy man willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants.
I loved this! It's just sad that in the end, the fox got exactly what she wanted at the beginning...(less)
It wasn't until this year that I realised there are many classic books I haven't read yet. So, I've decided to do something about it.
A few weeks ago I...moreIt wasn't until this year that I realised there are many classic books I haven't read yet. So, I've decided to do something about it.
A few weeks ago I watched an awesome episode of Supernatural that dealt with the characters from the Land of Oz. Then, while watching Once Upon A Time In Wonderland I got to thinking how cool it would be if they did an Oz version of it... Until I remembered that all my The Wizard of Oz knowledge comes from the old MGM movie.
So, I thought it was time to change that. And I'm glad that I did, because as soon as I started this book I was captivated by Dorothy and Toto.
Dorothy lives in the grey prairies of Kansas with her aunt and uncle, but when a cyclone (not tornado) sweeps the house off the ground and sends it flying, she and her tiny dog end up landing in a colourful faraway country. Not only that, but the house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, and Dorothy is therefore seen as a noble Sorceress. But all she wants to do is get home to Kansas, and when the Good Witch of the North tells her the Wizard Oz will be able to help, she heads off on an adventure to the Emerald City by following the yellow brick road.
And she takes the dead witch's silver (not red) shoes with her, simply because her leather ones are too tattered to walk miles in.
On her journey she meets many weird and wonderful people and creatures. She even helps some of them, like the Scarecrow who wants to have brains. And the Tin Woodman (not Tin Man) who wants to have a heart. Then there's also the Cowardly Lion who wants to find his courage.
Together, the four friends and Toto head out on an adventure that helps each one realise their personal strengths, realise how strong their friendship is, and free the enslaved.
And when they finally reach Oz, things don't turn out as they expected because their adventure isn't over until they kill the Wicked Witch of the West. Then find out that Oz is actually a fraud. :( But when they meet the Good Witch of the South--Glinda--their adventure ends well.
OMG. I absolutely loved this story because it's wondrous! It's written in a very simplistic yet captivating way. I didn't want to put my Kindle down because I wanted to see where it would all end up (even if I sorta already knew) and found 'our friends' to be very likeable. I was cheering for them every step of the way. :)
I think this is a timeless, imaginative classic. No matter how old you are, no matter what century you read it in, I think this fairy tale has what it takes to stand the test of time. It's so charming!(less)
Last year, I read and absolutely loved THRONE OF GLASS, so when I received the ARC for the second book in this amazing series, I couldn't wait to devo...moreLast year, I read and absolutely loved THRONE OF GLASS, so when I received the ARC for the second book in this amazing series, I couldn't wait to devour it. And that's exactly what I did!
Celaena Sardothien is now the King's Champion, and has been tasked with wiping out anyone that the King sees as a threat. She's not supposed to ask questions, just do what she does best. After all, she is the best assassin in the world.
So she goes off, does her job and brings back each dead man's head. Except, she hasn't actually been doing that. She's devised her own plan: pretend she's killing these people, but in fact is giving them the opportunity to flee. She's playing a dangerous game, because if the evil king ever finds out, he won't just kill her but everyone she cares about.
However, when the next name on her list is actually someone she knows, Celaena needs to tackle the task with a little more time and care. And instead finds herself in the middle of a hidden rebellion that want to overthrow the King of Adarlan by using similar tactics, which puts her in a very difficult position. Soon Celaena starts to wonder who she can really trust, and finds out--the most painful way--that even those closest to her keep secrets.
Everything is going to hell but there is one brief, bright light for her--Chaol Westfall. The Captain of the Royal Guard has slowly made his way into her heart when she was sure she'd never let anyone else in. But even then, she still has to deal with the hard realisation that even though you love someone and they might love you back, there's always something that gets in the way. And sometimes, unfortunately, it has to take precedence. At least her friendship with Prince Dorian Havilliard is strengthened.
There's one quest she must follow to the end, though. The clues are hidden beneath the castle, in the dark chamber of a dead queen that might just have a deeper connection to her than she ever imagined...
This story is so well written and told from several angles, giving the reader glimpses of what other characters are thinking and doing when Celaena isn't there. I found myself on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next, hoping it would all work out in the end. I also went through a variety of emotions--anger, delight, heartbreak, excitement, sadness--and even had several "I knew it!" moments.
Reading this book was exhausting, because I got so caught up in what was going on I almost felt like I was there!
Crown of Midnight is breathtaking. I enjoyed every single moment I spent with this book and just couldn't put it down. I love Celaena, she's such a well-rounded character who gives easily into her emotions and allows the darkness deep inside to take over when it's necessary. She's also loyal, caring, reactive, and will stop at nothing to protect and/or avenge those she loves. There are a lot of revelations in this installment, and the world's potential opens up so much!
I absolutely LOVED this book, even more than the first one. Wow. Can't wait to see what happens next...
Let me start with this: isn't the cover super creepy, yet absolutely stunning? It sets the mood for the pages inside, that's for sure.
Victoria McQueen...moreLet me start with this: isn't the cover super creepy, yet absolutely stunning? It sets the mood for the pages inside, that's for sure.
Victoria McQueen--Vic, or the Brat--starts out being a young, innocent girl with the uncanny ability to find lost things by crossing through the Shorter Way Bridge. A bridge that was condemned years before, yet she can ride her bike through it, come out at the other end and find lost things, or come out where she needs to find certain answers.
Her childhood is far from perfect because her parents are often fighting and she knows her father hits her mother, but she can always depend on her bike to get her where she needs to go. Actually, that's how she finds out about the child killer Charlie Manx--a stammering librarian who can divine things with Scrabble tiles mentions him. But Vic doesn't pursue Manx for years, because every time she uses the bridge she gets violently ill. She goes years without trying, and actually convinces herself it was all in her imagination... until she's in her late teens and runs away from home, finds her old beloved bike, and winds up at the Sleigh House--Charlie Manx's house.
After barely escaping with her life, she's rescued by a chubby guy on a bike and Manx is shortly arrested, but her life is never the same. Even though she loses herself in painting and becomes a popular children's writer, she still can't seem to live a normal life. She barely pays attention to her son, or the man she lives with, and those pesky children keep calling her from Christmasland...
Her life is a hell of a mess, and while she's trying to get things back into some order Manx returns and takes her son.
Wow. What a book! It's pretty long, but not once did it drag. The story grips you from the very beginning and just doesn't let you go. I was on the edge of my seat, couldn't wait to see what was coming next. I just had to know how it was all going to end for Vic and her family, as well as the other deranged individuals.
NOS4R2 is an amazing, well-written story that takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of mental proportions. Not only do we follow Vic from innocence to completely messed up, but we also get a glimpse into the madness of Manx, and his delusions. Not to mention the Gasmask Man--shudder--who is a truly disgusting individual, yet also not all there. This dark, spooky, and very violent tale is an incredible study of the human mind. About the darkness and horror that dwells inside our 'inscapes', and what happens when thoughts and reality collide.
And at the heart of it all is one very flawed, broken woman who is ultimately saved by love, and will do anything to save her son.
Oh, and one last thing. This book is so reminiscent of one of my favourite authors... Stephen King. I know, I know, but I say this as the ultimate compliment. :)
I absolutely LOVED this book. It's a keeper!(less)
This isn't a long book, so I read it in a few sittings. It was a lot of fun, and a great introduction to Markhat's world.
He's a finder hired by a tri...moreThis isn't a long book, so I read it in a few sittings. It was a lot of fun, and a great introduction to Markhat's world.
He's a finder hired by a trio of Troll warriors who want him to find a trophy being kept by vampires. It might sound like an easy thing to do, but it all goes terribly wrong. Still, with the Trolls beside him, Markhat's determined to solve the case.
I really enjoyed this story, as well as the undercurrent of humour, and the many creatures introduced in this world. I'm especially intrigued by Mama Hog.
I heard a lot of great things about this book, so when it was on special at Amazon I picked it up for my Kindle. And man, I think it's definitely wort...moreI heard a lot of great things about this book, so when it was on special at Amazon I picked it up for my Kindle. And man, I think it's definitely worth the hype.
Six weeks after the Angel Apocalypse, Penryn, her mother, and wheelchair-bound little sister are on their way out of their hiding spot when they stumble into the middle of an angel fight. A cruel attack that leaves one of the angels bleeding on the road after his wings are cut off.
Penryn doesn't want anything to do with these disgusting creatures, but when one of them takes her helpless sister she decides to help the wounded angel in exchange for helping her find her sister. What follows is an amazing and very violent adventure on the way to San Francisco--which is where the aerie is located.
This is one awesome story that kept me hooked from the very beginning. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I also loved the building friendship between Penryn and Raffe. Their connection defies their initial dislike for each other, and proves that not all humans and angels are the same. Her sister's story is heartbreaking, and the endurance of her mentally-unstable mother is surprising.
I really enjoyed this dark book and look forward to reading the next one.(less)
I've heard great things about this book, so when I found it at the library I borrowed it and couldn't wait to read it.
The concept is intriguing and th...moreI've heard great things about this book, so when I found it at the library I borrowed it and couldn't wait to read it.
The concept is intriguing and the main character's grim personality started out interesting. But the more I read, the less I could tolerate her. I have to be honest, her voice sounded more like a man than a woman. Which was disappointing.
Her world is so bleak that I was actually turned off by it. And I usually love dark and gritty worlds. Every new page I read made me feel dirtier. What started out as gritty and exciting soon turned into uncomfortable.
I really, really wanted to like this book but instead I'm going to DNF it. Can't bring myself to finish a book with such an unreliable and unlikeable protagonist.
It's a shame.
PS. Forgot to mention that the cover is awesome!(less)
This is another great story set in the world of Marla Mason. One that tackles the Orpheus myth.
In Blood Engines Bradley--or B--mentions a bizarre trai...moreThis is another great story set in the world of Marla Mason. One that tackles the Orpheus myth.
In Blood Engines Bradley--or B--mentions a bizarre train ride to the Underworld. And this is that story. It's a short tale of love and loss, which both B and the guy he escorts to the Underworld share.
The age old question: if you bring back to life the loved one death stole from you, would they be the same person? Because, that right there is the moral dilemma. And might just be the test.
I was really looking forward to getting stuck into this book, and although real life got in the way more than I wanted it to while reading it, I still...moreI was really looking forward to getting stuck into this book, and although real life got in the way more than I wanted it to while reading it, I still managed to enjoy it very much. Oh, and it didn't disappoint!
Celaena Sardothien is an assassin. Actually, she's the best and most feared assassin. But after she was betrayed and caught, she ended up serving time in the hellish salt mines of Endovier. For a whole year she's been slaving away, malnourished and beaten in a place where the prisoners are pretty much forgotten and left to die.
So when the Captain of the Royal Guard--Chaol Westfall--and the Crown Prince of Adarlan--Dorian Havilliard--offer her a deal, she accepts the opportunity to become the King's Champion under an alias. Even if she despises the awful and cruel King of Adarlan. Still, competing in this tournament offers her a chance to temporary live outside of prison, as well as the offer of real freedom after she serves her time with the ruthless king.
However, what she didn't expect was to discover some buried, ancient secrets beneath the castle. Or to make such good friends, and even lose her heart. Celaena is forced to accept a lot of new things. She has to learn to trust other people again, after being let down by everyone. And although she's not afraid to get her hands dirty and is strong enough to defeat the other competitors, there's plenty of scheming going on behind the scenes. Her journey is an amazing one!
And proves that even the toughest of people have vulnerabilities. It's what makes us human.
Throne of Glass was an outstanding, well written book! I loved how it was primarily told from Celaena's POV, but we also got glimpses of what other characters were doing. This intriguing book hooks you in from the very beginning... Awesome! (less)
This is a book I've had my eye on for a while, so when I found out my local library was able to get it in for me, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it...moreThis is a book I've had my eye on for a while, so when I found out my local library was able to get it in for me, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it.
Firstly, I want to start by saying that this book looks beautiful. This was the hardback edition and the black and white illustrations throughout the whole thing are absolutely stunning.
Also, the Author's Note at the beginning was very moving. I think Patrick Ness did an amazing job with this book and he should be very proud of himself.
Now, the story. Wow. Beautiful. Sad. Thrilling. Moving. Just, wow. I was so captivated by Conor's story that I found it hard to put the book down and ended up reading it in two sittings.
Conor is a young boy with a very sick mother. She has cancer and as sick as she becomes, he's determined not to face his nightmares and keep believing that she'll be okay. But when a monster--who also happens to be an ancient yew tree near his house--comes calling, his whole life changes. This monster wants to tell him three tales in exchange for one of Conor's. He also wants the truth. But more than anything, he wants Conor to face up to his nightmare and accept the truth for himself.
I have to admit that this story made me shed tears. It's beautifully written and I felt everything poor Conor went through. I'll never forget this tale, and I'm pretty sure I'll be buying myself a copy of this book to put on my keeper shelf.
I haven't read any Anita Blake books since Book 12. It used to be one of my favourite series, but something happened along the way and I just couldn't...moreI haven't read any Anita Blake books since Book 12. It used to be one of my favourite series, but something happened along the way and I just couldn't handle the path Anita is headed in. So I stopped reading her stories. I borrowed this from the library with the intention of reading the short stories only, so I skipped Micah.
THOSE WHO SEEK FORGIVENESS: This is actually an Anita Blake story, and I loved it! It's got everything I originally loved about Anita and her world. It focuses on a case that seems pretty straightforward--a standard reanimation--but ends up in a pretty bad place. It was great!
A LUST OF CUPIDS: Um... not sure about this one. It was a little too light and fluffy, I think. Even the description of the cupids, lol. And the ending was a little... meh.
THE EDGE OF THE SEA: Oooh, I liked the atmospheric feeling of this story.
The night Adria wakes up nervous and with a feeling of doom, she finds her best friend and housemate dead on the beach. Shortly after a man was taking advantage of her, and then disappears into the sea. Distraught and grief-stricken, she starts to hear a strange song inside her head, while other women turn up abused and dead on the shore. Soon, she finds herself in the same danger... but she might be strong enough to save herself and put an end to this monster.
Although the subject matter of this one was very dark, I liked the style of the story. I really got dragged into the middle of Adria's confused and haunted state of mind. Besides, I've always thought the sea to be super creepy.
A SCARCITY OF LAKE MONSTERS: Oh, I think this is my favourite story so far!
It's set in a world where lake monsters are actually real, and a wife and husband team take care of one in particular in the Enchanted Forest National Park. His name is Irving, and he's got quite the sense of humour, plus really likes his human caretakers. However, the night some assholes take their boat out on the lake and pretty much butcher the poor lake monster, Mike and Susan are distraught, but also discover something fascinating about these sea monsters.
I loved this story.
SELLING HOUSES: This is a short story set in Anita Blake's world, but starring a realtor. Abbie is trying to sell the house of a recent family massacre, but this isn't your average murder house. There's a really dark and evil stain left on it. Dark enough that some pretty heavy supernatural cleansing needs to be done before it can be sold. Lucky for her, other creatures of the night happen to be interested.
A fun and tension-filled story that I really enjoyed.
A TOKEN FOR CELANDINE: An interesting fantasy story about an elf, a healer, a demon and the quest to cleanse the healer. I really enjoyed this one!
A CLEAN SWEEP: This is a silly story that I didn't like. At all. :/
THE CURSE-MAKER: I just couldn't get into this one... DNF.
GEESE: Another fantasy story, but one that I really couldn't get into. So, in the end I read the beginning, skimmed the body, and read the ending. That's it.
HOUSE OF WIZARDS: Another fantasy story. Didn't bother with it.
HERE BE DRAGONS: Now, this was a great, psychologically insane story. In a totally screwed-up way. Wow. It hooked me in from the very beginning and I just had to read it in one sitting. It's a very powerful story set in a world filled with very dangerous, psychic children. Yikes! It made my skin crawl, and I agree with the editor LKH mentioned at the beginning--I feel unclean now.
WINTERKILL: This is another fantasy story, so I decided to skip it...
STEALING SOULS: ...and this one too.
THE GIRL WHO WAS INFATUATED WITH DEATH: Y'know, it wasn't until Jean-Claude entered the scene that I realised I'd already read this story, lol. Still, it's an Anita Blake story and it managed to hook me in once again. So, I just kept reading until I got to the end.
This was an interesting story, another one that reminded me how much I used to love Anita and her world. :/
Well, there it is. This book was a strange mix of short stories. Some I REALLY enjoyed, some I had to skim, and a few I decided to skip. Still, I'm glad I read this collection.
My faves were: Those Who Seek Forgiveness and A Scarcity of Sea Monsters. :)(less)
I found out about this book because my daughter was interested in reading Green Angel. I searched here on Goodreads and to my surprise--and excitement...moreI found out about this book because my daughter was interested in reading Green Angel. I searched here on Goodreads and to my surprise--and excitement--found there was a sequel. Then I found it at the local library and just had to borrow it.
My daughter actually read it before me, and she told me it was lovely. I picked it up yesterday and read it in a few sittings... and she was right. This is another beautiful, haunting, heart-breaking story about Green. She lost everything a year ago, but is now rebuilding her life. Still, she longs for the boy she loves and sets out on a wondrous quest...
This is another wonderfully-written story by Alice Hoffman. She certainly has a way with words, and can convey so much emotion in just one sentence. Her stories always touch my heart, so I'm going to have to go out of my way to read more of them. She's a brilliant storyteller.
This passage from the book is about love, and it truly is amazing:
"You have to be willing to give everything away. You have to be willing to end up with nothing.
Only then will your heart be whole."
Last night, I ordered Green Heart, which actually contains both books. Can't wait to receive it. :) (less)
After hearing so many good things about this book, I was looking forward to reading it myself. And I have to say that it's definitely worth the hype.
K...moreAfter hearing so many good things about this book, I was looking forward to reading it myself. And I have to say that it's definitely worth the hype.
Karou is an art student who lives in the wondrous city of Prague. She's also the member of a family of monsters. Brimstone is her guardian. He has a shop that deals in wishes, and gets her to run a bunch of errands for him. Errands that take her all over the world, via magical doors, and has her gathering teeth. She enjoys her job and loves her art, but she's filled with many questions that Brimstone doesn't want to answer. She also feels as if something's missing inside her. Something she's sure she's lost, but can't remember.
However, the day she meets the wrath of an angel, her life is thrown into a downward spiral that separates her from her family, and challenges everything she's grown to believe about Elsewhere. Suddenly, she's feeling things she doesn't understand. The most baffling being her connection to this strange angel who is throwing her life into chaos.
What follows is an amazing adventure of self-discovery and unbelievable truths, through a world more complicated than she could ever have imagined...
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautifully written and intriguing book. I really enjoyed the intricate story. The more I read, the deeper I got into the mystery surrounding just who/what Karou really was. The story also got better with every chapter, leading to an amazingly, unexpected end. One which answers a lot of questions, but also paves the way for many more.
This was a truly wonderful journey into a dark, elaborate world of fantasy with a very human backdrop. I absolutely loved every minute of it, and can't wait to read more. (less)
DI Cass Jones lives in a very dark future London, where most of the world is in financial ruin, crime is pretty much everywhere, diseases are more common and deadly, and most people lead impossibly hard lives. To add to that, London is rocked by a terrorist attack, which is later mirrored in two other cities around the world. Except, these aren't your average terrorists.
This might not be a case Cass is investigating, but he does get dragged into it. Even if he's too busy trying to figure out why so many university students are suddenly killing themselves and leaving behind this message: Chaos in the darkness. He also receives a message that his dead brother left for him, claiming that his child (Cass's nephew) is still alive because 'They' took him.
At first none of these strange and bizarre events seem to be connected, but the more Cass finds out, the further he's dragged into the mess that's going on around him. And he starts to figure out that all of these events are not just connected, but all lead back to the one man: Mr. Bright.
But Mr. Bright isn't alone this time. There are more like him and they have plans for the world, while they play their mysterious and dangerous games of betrayal.
The characters in this book are amazingly real, and wicked. It's once again written in the shared POV of several of them, giving us a peek into what some of the other players are getting up to.
The Shadow of the Soul is an amazing book. I was instantly sucked into this bleak and hardened world, and got so caught up that the tension and danger at every point had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't wait to see where everything was going to lead. Although there were a few crumbs of explanation, just like everything else about this trilogy so far, nothing is as it seems and I was left with more questions than answers.
I love the shadowy existence of The Bank, and now that we know a little bit more about them, I can't wait for the last book!(less)
After really enjoying STREET MAGIC last week, I decided to get stuck into the second book in the Black London series right away.
The POV shifts to Jack...moreAfter really enjoying STREET MAGIC last week, I decided to get stuck into the second book in the Black London series right away.
The POV shifts to Jack Winter, and I had a blast getting an insight into Jack's head, as well as learning so much more about him. He likes to keep plenty of things hidden from Pete, so delving into his inner thoughts was a great way to understand exactly why he is how he is, and why he's done all the strange and weird things that make him seem like nothing more than a strung-out junkie.
Jack and Pete have been living in his flat in Whitechapel, also working together performing odd jobs by using Jack's many freaky mage talents. When they take on a job that sends them away from the city and into the English countryside, things get really complicated. Because, not only is the demon Jack made a deal with thirteen years ago back to collect, but there seem to be a few other 'people' after him as well.
I loved this book! I'm also really enjoying the series. This installment takes us on quite a gritty ride through the London streets, then into the countryside, as well as in Bangkok--which gives the Black a whole new level of darkness. Once again, I like how Jack's addiction is portrayed so honestly.
I'm also finding myself totally swept up in the impossible--yet touching--relationship between Jack and Pete. It's so fragile, yet strong. Impossible, yet meant to be. Oh, and I loved the way it ended. There were a few surprises I didn't expect.
Can't wait to find out what happens next. I ordered the third book last night, as well as preordered the fourth. Yep, I'm a fan! :)(less)
I grabbed this book next because I found out the fourth book in the series is coming out next month. So, before buying it, I wanted to make sure I enj...moreI grabbed this book next because I found out the fourth book in the series is coming out next month. So, before buying it, I wanted to make sure I enjoyed the first book. (I already have book 2 and 3 on my bookshelf.) And, wow!
Meghan Chase has always felt a little different. She doesn't quite fit in at school, and her stepfather seems to constantly forget she's even there. But when her half-brother is taken and replaced with a violent changeling, her eyes are opened to a new world she never thought existed. All of a sudden, she finds out that her best friend Robbie also happens to be from that world, and in order to get her brother back, she'll have to venture into Nevernever to find him. But the Fey are cruel, complicated creatures with trickery and deals waiting at every turn...
I absolutely loved this book! It was amazing. I was hooked! This world of the Fey is vivid, intricate and dangerous, with a great combination of scary and intriguing creatures. I can't wait to visit again. Actually, I can't wait to get stuck into the next book to see what happens to Meghan next... (less)
I'm a huge Clive Barker fan and have read (and loved) many of his books. I love his writing style, and his twisted imagination. I actually own every s...moreI'm a huge Clive Barker fan and have read (and loved) many of his books. I love his writing style, and his twisted imagination. I actually own every single one of his books, but haven't read all of them yet. And this is one that I've been meaning to read for YEARS!
Last week, while shuffling things around in my bookshelves, this book caught my eye and I started it. I was instantly swept away by the sheer enormity of the story. There's something magical about this book. It's majestic, and filled with characters that are larger than life. The Barbarossas are an ancient family that are much more than human. Their lives span centuries, and when the story starts we meet the 'kids' who are living in a grand hidden house that was built by Jefferson himself. Cesaria and her offspring are hiding from the world, and have done so for so long that one of them decides it's time to tell their story.
But to tell their story, first he needs to go back to the beginning. Back to a time when Gods and Goddesses walked the Earth and were worshipped by people. Which then leads to a very powerful American family--the Gearys. These two families are enemies, but have a heavily intertwined history. An amazing past that links them but will ultimately tear them apart.
As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to the prodigal son. His name is Galilee, and because of him their world might come crashing down around them...
OMG. This is an amazing book and I absolutely loved every minute of it. It's epic. It's a twisted love story. A tome filled with hidden histories. Characters who are both good and bad. It's moving and powerful. Violent. Interesting. Erotic. Fantastical. Brilliant!
Seriously, Galilee is a beautiful, twisted, complex, and intriguing adventure. (less)