Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Star Wars: New Jedi Order: Star by Star Review

Title: Star Wars: New Jedi Order: Star by Star (Book 9)
Author: Troy Denning
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: October 30, 2001
Format: paperback
Genre: Sci-Fi 
Rating: 5/5


" It is a solemn time for the New Republic, as the merciless Yuuzhan Vong continue their campaign of destruction. The brutal enemy has unleashed a savage creature capable of finding-and killing-Jedi Knights. Now Leia Organa Solo faces a terrible ultimatum. If the location of the secret Jedi base is not revealed within a week, the Yuuzhan Vong will blast millions of refugee ships into oblivion.
As the battered but still unbroken Jedi scramble to deal with the newest onslaught, Leia's son Anakin lays out a daring plan. He will lead a Jedi strike force into the heart of enemy territory in order to sabotage the Yuuzhan Vong's deadliest weapons. There, with his brother and sister at his side, he will come face-to-face with his destiny-as the New Republic, still fighting the good fight, will come face-to-face with theirs..."

Oh the wonders of Star Wars Expanded Universe! While it no longer is canon within the Star Wars Universe, it is still near and dear to my heart! This book, more so than any other of the EU books, has brought me much sorrow, happiness, and remains my most conflicted reads ever! This book is the 9th in the New Jedi Order (NJO) mini-series,therefore, much that is discussed in it and on here will be kinda new to those who don't know much about it. Not to mention that the entire EU is one giant comprehensive group and many story lines from either books and characters get fleshed out more here, or even meet their ends. 

As the synopsis states (very Star Wars opening scroll is it not?), The New Republic, the government that is formed out of the Rebel Alliance after the fall of Emperor Palpatine, is fighting a losing war against the extra-galactic invaders, the Yuuzhan Vong. Invaders from a distant lifeless galaxy. The Yuuzhan Vong wield organic ships, weapons, and armor, obsessed with self-mutilation in honor of their Pantheon of gods, and most vexing of all, are invisible to the Force. Calling the technologically advanced races of the Star Wars galaxy "infidels" and looking for a new home, the Vong invade the galaxy and begin a long and deadly war. The Jedi, rebuilt by Luke Skywalker, are seen as the only honorable and dangerous beings to be found in the galaxy and worthy of personal destruction at their hands. Creating a Force-hunting creature based off the native creatures of the planet Myrkr, the Vong unleash them upon the battered Jedi. 

With no options left to the dwindling guardians of the galaxy, Anakin Solo, Leia and Han's youngest son, devises a plan to strike at the Voxyn Queen, mother of all these dangerous creatures. Joined by his siblings, the twins Jacen and Jania, Chewbacca's nephew Lowbacca, the Dathomiri Tenel Ka, the former Dark Jedi Zekk, the Alderaan survivor Raynar Thul, his childhood friend Tahiri Veila, the healer Tekli, the reptilian hatch mates, Tesar Sebatyne, Krasov and Bela Hara, the rebellous Ganner Rhysode, musically inclined Ulaha Kore, spacer Eryl Besa, and the Rodian sniper Jovan Drark, they plan on taking the war finally to the Vong and showing the galaxy the might of the Jedi Order.

While this team of Jedi apprentices battles overwhelming odds in order to save their Order, the Yuuzhan Vong, allongside traitors and spies, plan on launching daring attacks against the few remaining strongholds of the New Republic, including their capital, Coruscant. 

This book is just jam packed with wonderful, sad, and joyous information of the Star Wars EU. The author, Troy Denning, brings characters introduced in older books, to a close in a way that shows the overarching impact of the antagonists. Bringing in twists and turns from beginning to end, Denning turns a simple book into a block-buster that would have made a wonderful addition to George Lucas's movie franchise! Following not just the young strike team but also old favorites like Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Wedge Antilles, the book brings action and intrigue  to every corner of its pages. From beginning to end, from every upturn to every tear-jerking moment, this book brings to mind the very movies it was based on. 

If sci-fi is your cup of caf, and if you are looking forward to a book that harkens to the block busters in theme, grandeur, and storylines, this is a book, and a mini-series for you!

Howdy Fancy Visitors! A Little More About Me!

Howdy our perfect friends!!!

I just wanted to apologize to ya'll for not posting since I became a co-blogger! You know, Life and all those things, but fear not!! For your new blogger has a review of one of his favorite books soon to come out on this lovely blog.

Unlike Brian, I do not have a way to read e-books, so many of mine will be more of the hardcopy variety. I also have always wanted to review some of the more older books in my library, such as the one coming to ya'll from 2001! So many of my reviews will be from slightly older times. That's not saying, of course, that Brian won't do older books nor I newer ones, but just wanted to give you all a heads up on that!!

I hope you all enjoy the review and continue to tune in to The Guy's Side and enjoy the wonder that is the inner workings of Brian's mind and my little contributions here and there!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Review - Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn

Title: Leaving Amarillo (Neon Dreams #1)
Author: Caisey Quinn 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Format: e-book
Genre: NA, Contemporary, Romance 
Rating: 5/5

Nashville meets New Adult in Neon Dreams, a dramatic, sexy series from bestselling author Caisey Quinn, about a country band’s rocky road to fame—and the ambition, dreams, and love of the people who make the music.

Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.


For those of you who read a post I had a while ago about my love for NA, this hasn't changed one bit, as it is I thought it would be fitting for me review this one for y'all because I LOVED IT. I mean country music AND a contemporary romance rolled into one!? What's not to love!? Breaking this down into categories now. 

Characters: Dixie Leigh Lark - This girl is a real hellfire and I loved that about her, she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go for it even if it is Gavin. She's also not dumb enough to allow her personal feelings to stand in the way of what's right for the band. Plus this girl can play a mean fiddle and if her inspiration came from the Greats, then I really have no problems!

                  Gavin - Not wanting to do anything he isn't supposed to that would cause drama, made him a well liked character with me. Yeah I wish he would have man'd up a bit in the beginning and just said it like it was but it was nice to see him come to terms on his own time. His backstory was one that I felt along with it. 

                 Dallas - This man right here! He wants what's best for him and the band and will make sure that they become the very best, even if it does mean pinching money for the longest time. He's the big brother that most people would love to have. 

The plot itself was well written and is honestly one of the best representations of the music industry that I've read, its not all glamour and easy. Its a hard, tough world to catch your break into and Caisey managed to capture that with this band. In reality this novel reminded me a lot of the show Nashville. Yes I am a Nashville addict! The romance was hot and wonderfully written and I don't think I can look at ice cream the same way again. Honestly this has taken a place on my favorites shelf from now on and I will be getting a physical copy because I love it so much.

The ups and downs and the feels all around especially with the ending left me wanting more and thankfully more is what I got with Loving Dallas. Caisey Quinn you have sung one hell of a tune with Leaving Amarillo! I'm going to be starting Loving Dallas shortly because I really do need to know what is going to happen! 

Overall rating is a 5/5 stars!

Random Ramblings #3 - Thanks

So I haven't rambled in a while but that's because my laptop was all wonky and then my back up on was all wonky and well I'm back for the time being! So I have this post I wanted to do and I have a few people that I'm dedicating this rambly thing to. And like all my Random Ramblings, I write like I talk, so bear with me! 

A year of blogging is approaching me soon (11 months today!) and I want to take this time to thank so really awesome bloggers and non-bloggers who have helped me along the way with the Guy's Side. I know I should really save this post for my blogiversay but I'm just way to excited and with a working laptop now is the time to do this! So without further ado! 

There are two non-bloggers who deserve my biggest thanks and they are the ones responsible for me starting my blog last year under the name Tales of a Book Nerd. One of them is one of my best friends, former "roommate" and craziest enablers of things that I get into, Samantha! She encouraged me to actually start blogging and I have to thank her immensely for it and for everything in the last 5 years of our lives that we've gotten into throughout college and our post graduate lives. She's actually working at a library these days which means I'm going to have more of a reason to harass her on Twitter these days.  

My other big thanks for her encouragement was one of my former supervisors at my college library, Deb! Deb has always given me book recs and asked if I thought a book would be good! She's actually responsible for me falling in love with Something Strange and Deadly! Even now after I've graduated me and Deb still talk books and whats new and she's a great friend as well. So thanks Deb for encouraging the blog and me and everything over the years!

Now there are lots of bloggers I have met on Twitter and there are some that have been super helpful and amazing! 2 of them I mentioned during the #BCLove event on Twitter last night and were confused as to what they've done for me. Well you two, you're going to find out! Most people know who they are, so they would be Nori and Kelly! 

Nori better known as @ReadWriteLove28, has been one of the biggest helps and friendliest people I've had the pleasure to meet since I started. Her blog is also fantastic! From her excel sheets (which have been a godsend!) to just being a great person to chat with and even encouraging me to do posts and looking over posts for me and other little things. She also has #RQWN, which is always a blast and has been a way for me to meet even more new bloggers! So Nori, I just wanted to thank you for all the help you've been to me and my blog over the last few months! It was actually because of Nori, that I met one of the other most amazing ladies ever; Kelly. 

Kelly or @YAFantasyFan, is another fantastic blogger and friendly face around Twitter. The two of us had a conversation about getting co-bloggers one day a couple months ago and we both have them now. Kelly and her tweets with all the advice in them and pictures have actually kept me going with the blog when I've felt like throwing in the towel at times. She also reminds me of another friend who goes by the name of Kelly as well. It's a small world in the blogosphere. So make sure to check her blog out

I've met very few other guy bloggers and all the guys I've met are amazing in their own ways! There's one though who's been a major help and become a good friend! Ethan Gregory from One Guys Guide To Goodreads! I actually met Ethan during his blogiversay celebration back in March. Let me say this for Ethan, he's a great guy and I am so glad I met him. He introduced me to a whole new realm of books and some other fantastic people. We've discovered that our nerdy interests run pretty much the same, along with our reading habits and he's become my scape goat when I buy new books. He's always put up with a chat with me for whatever reason, even if its about my job and calling the horses; cows and sheep. Hey Ethan if you see this, I've taken to calling Bajaia a mule!

I'm going to take this last little bit of this post to thank the others that I've met and have been thankful for. I would list everyone but that's another post in itself.  There are many more pretty much all of those I follow on Twitter and those who follow me. All of the guys and gals of #OTSPSecretSister project. All of you have been a huge help and lots of fun to talk to all of you. So I guess I have to say thank you to everyone for everything these last 11 months. Next month is my one year anniversary of blogging and I hope y'all are around to see what I have to say then, because it will be an even LONGER post than what I'm used to writing. So I guess until my next R.R. post!

Y'all come back now! Ya hear! 

Announcement: AKA Co-Blogger Welcome!

So I would finally like to welcome my co-blogger Scott!I've known Scott for 5 years after spending 4 years together on a tiny little college campus in PA, I had him as a co-reviewer but decided to move him up to co-blogger. I'm super excited to have him here, mainly because I could use the help. So now I'll turn it over to Scott so y'all can get to  meet him.

Howdy all of you wonderful book fanatics! Nice to meet ya'll!! My name is Scott Straubinger and I am one of The Guy's Side's lovely fabulous reviewers! What all is there to know about me?! Why I'm glad you asked!  

Well let's see. I'm an avid reader of anything ranging from Hatchet, to Star Wars Expanded Universe, to Lord of the Rings, to the Inheritance Cycle. My interests range from video games like Mass Effect, to movies, to superheroes! 

Truthfully, I'm just a fun-loving, perky, guy who loves to meet new people (especially wonderful characters from books! The best friends you could ask for!) and loves to talk fantastic things like described above! If you have any book suggestions for review or just general conversation, send me a message on one of these links! Have a great day all my learned new friends!

Twitter: @figgy4prez
Facebook: Scott Straubinger

The A - Z Survey is thanks to Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner! She's an awesome blogger and y'all need to go check her out!

Author you’ve read the most books from: 
Troy Denning, Timothy Zahn, James Patterson, Cassandra Claire

Best Sequel Ever: 
Clockwork Princess

Currently Reading: 
Nothing right now! :(

Drink of Choice While Reading: 
Green Tea

E–reader or Physical Book?
Physical Book

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: 
Alec Lightwood tbh, though college would have been Magnus Bane!

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Maximum Ride

Hidden Gem Book:

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
Star Wars: New Jedi Order Vector Prime

Just Finished:
Maximum Ride Forever

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: 

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Major book hangover because of: 
Lord of the Rings

Number of Bookcases You Own:

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: 
Star Wars New Jedi Order Star by Star

Preferred Place To Read:
anywhere quiet

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: 
"Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia"

Reading Regret:
Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):
the Ranger's Apprentice

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books: 
Lord of the Rings The Return of the King, Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other
Extreme Sports, Star Wars New Jedi Order: Star by Star

Unapologetic Fangirl For: 
Magnus Bane of the Shadowhunters Chronicles

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
"was" excited for the Bane Chronicles

Worst Bookish Habit:
rage over people writing in books of any kind

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
 Star Wars Boba Fett #2: Crossfire

Your latest book purchase: 
Dark Space by Lisa Henry 
ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Hey y'all!

So LONG TIME NO BLOG! If you're wondering what happened to me back in July my laptop quit working and my loving parents fixed up my old laptops that also had quit working over the years and I'm back in business with my first laptop. This means I have a lot I need to catch up on. Blogging, life in general, everything. No more attempting to do everything from my phone or a table that wouldn't connect to my wifi to save it's life. So short post for today but just wanted everyone to be caught up to speed on what had been happening. I also have a horse show this weekend so the blogging will be back in full swing after the weekend when I can sit down and blog without any interruptions! Let me just end this by saying I'm happy to be back!

Until a few more days!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cover Reveal The Darkest Flame by Christina Lee

From the author of There You Stand, a new male/male romance about an errant motorcycle recruit and the captivating bartender who sends his wheels spinning down an all too tempting road.

Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.

“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.

When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.

As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe