It Has Been A Tough Week

It’s been a tough week for me. Not just reading wise.- Nearly everything I have picked up this week has just been terribly discouraging.

I have read a total of four things on and off, only one of them getting finished. Hopefully I’ll finish book number two today.

The book I finished yesterday, actually wasn’t even really a book, but a graphic novel. I know it’s still reading, and that it counts. However, even though it was a focal point of something that usually would catch my attention, it fell really flat. I’ll post a full review of Marie Antoinette Phantom Queen sometime later this week when I’ve fully absorbed it, and can actually get words out.

That’s another thing. I’m losing words. Or at least I feel like I’m losing them. Maybe it’s just because everything else has been dragging me down? I’m not sure.

About a month ago, I purchased a very cheap, student grade Violin. Something that I’ve really wanted to pursue for awhile, but finding someone helpful to achieve that goal? Surprisingly frustrating!

Through all my music endeavors , I’ve been able to find teachers without issue. Teachers that are willing to work with me despite having a disability.  For whatever reason, violin continues to elude me.

For those of you who may be new, I have Spastic Cerebral Palsy. It varies from case, but for me, It mostly effects both my legs, and the left side of my body. I can walk extremely short distances with the aid of an arm, or a walker. For everywhere else, I have my manual wheelchair.

I’ve played Piano for a very long time on and off. I had an absolutely wonderful teacher during my Freshmen year of High School. She’s since retired, but she was so lovely, and patient with me. I’ve never faced this sort of challenge before. Someone not willing to work with me on an instrument.

I played the Alto Saxophone for about 4 years while I was in middle school, and even though I had to have a little black box to prop up my saxophone, I played just fine, and with the other Alto Sax players who didn’t look at me any differently. And even though the school teacher couldn’t turn me away, despite having never worked with someone who was disabled, they researched, watched, listened,and adapted as needed.

During my Senior year of High school, (and my first few semesters of College when I still attended)  I picked up the bass guitar. In the end, while I enjoyed the bass It was very large, and very heavy for me to carry around all the time. I had difficulties playing something with such a wide, long neck, but it taught me something.

I had enough movement in my left hand to play notes. Which is what I needed for the violin. And so last month I finally purchased one. I have what I hope to be a few devices that will help me hold the bow, and the support of many people.

All in all, even though the week hasn’t been all that kind to me, hopefully the next will be better!

Our Dark Duet Review

**The first half of this review will be what I would consider to be spoiler free. All major spoilers will be put under a read more tag to discuss all major character deaths and things of that nature. Those are what I consider spoilers.**

Our Dark Duet is the second and final book in the “Monsters of Verity” Duology . The fist book in the series is This Savage Song.

Our Dark Duet synopsis as it is on the dust jacket:

Kate Harker isn’t afraid of Monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it. August Flynn once yearned to be human. But no longer. He has a part to play, and he will play it. No matter what the cost. The war has begun. The Monsters are winning. Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new Monster is waiting- one that feeds on chaos and brings out it’s victims inner demons. Which will be harder to concor: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

Let’s talk about character development and how it was done really, really well with August, because he was the one I felt had the most ups and downs overall over the two books. Yes, Kate certainly had her fair share of it. Not nearly as much as August though.

August has essentually taken up Leos position- and since you’re reading this review, I think it’s fairly safe to assume that you already know that Leo is dead. If you have not read the first book in the series, then well.- That happens and now you know. August also has Leo’s voice constantly going through his head. At first, I thought the poor boy might be experiencing some sympotoms of PTSD. Over the course of the book, and by the time the book broke back into part two, I firmly believe that Leo’s soul perminantly resides in August, and he listens.

This was one of the most frustrating things . Augusts’ dramatic personality change during the first part of the book and about halfway through part two, after Kate’s return, he comes to his senses, and sort of tunes Leo out. Then we get to see the August we knew and fell in love with during TSS. I understand the change. I just didn’t find the progression of in all that natural. That being said- In his defense, it very well could simply be because Sunai are naturally controlling. Leo being as manipulative as he is, probably progressed the change. And in a way, August just kind of accepted and gave in.

He starts to back peddle a bit when he is reunited with Kate, as stated before. Kate knocks sense back into him, and Leo has less of a hold over him. Kate gave August back his “humanity” and I think it’s a wonderful display of friendship. It shows just how much Kate means to August.

Kate, had very little character development in comparison, however I also felt that not much character development was needed with her. She had spent a good chunk of her life fighting, and inner turmoil.  The best character development seen from Kate is that she can finally bring herself to let people in. To accept help when she needs it.

Although the reader doesn’t get to hear all that much from the newer characters, (With the exception of Alice) they were all good. Which leads me to believe that this might not be the last we see from Verity. Somewhere in the future- perhaps not the near future with everything Victora has on her plate for the next few years. It’s a fairly safe assumption that there will at the very least, be a short novella.

For those of you who love Diversity! A new Sunai has arrived! And they go by they/them pronouns!

That concludes the spoiler free discussion of this book. If you have not finished Our Dark Duet, proceed with caution. I will be discussing the ending, and who did not make it to see the end of the series.

I believe the epic conclusion is worth the read!

Links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble provided for convenience. Not sponsored in any way!

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab/1124651131

Continue reading “Our Dark Duet Review”

How I Wish More Series Ended

I’m sure that we’ve all been here before. You’ve finished a series! Yes! And the Author has been kind enough to tie up all those loose ends! How kind of them! You’re probably thrilled. I admit, I love when this happens. However, life doesn’t always get a nice wrap, complete with shiny wrapping paper, and a nice big bow on top.

I wish more authors left us with loose ends, and broken hearts. What made me think of this? Or just about this topic? Last night I finished Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab, and I cried.

Which really isn’t all that unusual. I went in knowing I was probably going to cry at the end. I was expecting them to be “Oh man! That series was so great!” tears. And they were that, but they were also tears of ‘Why did -insert name here- die?’

It wasn’t wrapped up nicely. And that’s fitting for books about wars. Really, all it comes down to is that it doesn’t matter what side you fight for. People die. there are no “real winners.” I think Victoria did a fantastic job with it.

I also hope that George RR Martin will leave me with the same feeling when that last book finally gets released. Or probably more accurately… I hope thats the same thing season 8 leaves me with. A wrap up that’s real. Not a gift.

Spoilers under the read more. proceed at your own risk. MAJOR spoilers for the ending of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Continue reading “How I Wish More Series Ended”