Monday, January 25, 2016

REVIEW: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

The KonMari Method of decluttering is quite simple when you think about it—simply remove from your home any items that don't spark joy. Yes, I realize that may sound a bit oversimplified but the logic behind it is thus: if an item is no longer bringing you joy, it has reached the end of it's usefulness and you should let it go without regret or guilt. You do this for all your items starting with clothes, then moving on to books, then papers, then miscellany, saving mementos for last. If you tidy completely in this fashion, following her advice, you need only do this once and clutter should never infringe on you again.

I haven't yet put the advice from this book into practice yet but am very much looking forward to doing so this week. I also picked up the companion book Spark Joy which expands on some of the frequently asked questions and includes illustrations for folding and storing, and which I'm reading now. I will update this review after I've more thoroughly begun the process.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

REVIEW: The Conquering Dark: Crown & Key, Book 3 by Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith

My Rating: 5 out of 10 stars
Synopsis from the Publisher:
The Crown and Key Society face their most terrifying villain yet: Gaios, a deranged demigod with the power to destroy Britain.

To avenge a centuries-old betrayal, Gaios is hell-bent on summoning the elemental forces of the earth to level London and bury Britain. The Crown and Key Society, a secret league consisting of a magician, an alchemist, and a monster-hunter, is the realm’s only hope—and to stop Gaios, they must gather their full strength and come together as a team, or the world will fall apart.

But Simon Archer, the Crown and Key’s leader and the last living magician-scribe, has lost his powers. As Gaios searches for the Stone of Scone, which will give him destructive dominion over the land, monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther, gadget geek Penny Carter, and Charlotte the werewolf scramble to reconnect Simon to his magic before the world as they know it is left forever in ruins.

Unfortunately, my interest in this trilogy began to wane significantly, as evidenced by the 3 months it took me to read, by the time I reached this third and final book in the trilogy, but seeing as I received it to review and I'd already read the first two, I was compelled to finish.

Although there were a few new revelations to drive the story forward, it came across to me as more of the same thing I read in the previous books. The action scenes seemed to drag on too long; they were too descriptive and wordy, and my mind started drifting before I was through. It seemed like 75% of the book was devoted to these highly detailed fight scenes and it really got tiring after awhile. Perhaps the story had just run it's course by the time the authors got to this third book, and by that time there was nothing new to add to the story but fight, fight, fight!

When compared with The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels, another action-filled steampunk series, Crown & Key just doesn't measure up.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group/Del Rey Spectra for providing me with a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.