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Spook by Mary Roach

Ugh, I really wanted to love this book. I really enjoyed Stiff & Bonk by her, so I figured this one would be an amazing read as well. I really appreciate her writing style and the way she uses wit and  layman's terms to make learning about a subject fun and fascinating. She should write science textbooks for high school. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get through this book. I got about halfway through and my eyes had glazed over more than a few times at that. I may try again later when I don't sacrifice sleep for reading, but not now. I do plan on trying more of her books, there are a few others that I've seen raves about (This is one of the lower rated ones.). To really get a taste for her writing, I would definitely start with one of the aforementioned titles. 

An Echo in the Bone (Outlander Series #7) by Diana Gabaldon

This book helped fully restore my faith in the series. I really enjoyed the last one as well, so I was hopeful it would continue on the same path. There were a few tangents and chapters that I feel could have been tossed without causing detriment to the whole story, but they were easy to overlook once things got going again. I was nervous about the setting, being set during the American Revolution. A lot of the build up to war had been a little tedious in past books and a few chapters in this one. I didn't think I would enjoy reading about their life during the battles, but I was happily wrong. I'm also usually weary of being introduced to new characters that seem of importance, but Diana handles this beautifully, gradually immersing them into the world and making their contribution to the story interesting enough to want to keep them around. We also got a couple more P.O.V.'s, which made some people unhappy, and they did contain the more boring chapters, but they paid off in the end. And one more big improvement to this book was that Diana let us use our imagination (Or not.) and allow time to pass, whether it be travel or an empty place in the timeline where she would have added a lot of filler, such as surgical operations, pirates, (Trust me, there are enough trouble-at-sea instances to fill that desire.) or everyday happenings that are refreshing once in awhile, but pretty much made up all of book five. 

I loved this book. It started off with a bang, (Literally. Too much?) and continued with nice builds, arcs, and refreshers in true Diana fashion. This book made me feel things that I haven't felt since Voyager, toying with my emotions whether my heart is racing or I am silently pleading for a character's life. And then Part 7 happens, and all hell breaks loose. It was really surprising for me, since her usual writing style can be fast-paced, but everything is laid out thoroughly, and arcs usually come to a close before dealing with another crisis. The happenings of the last hundred pages were dizzying and wreaked havoc on emotion, but I want that. Just when I think she (Or the characters) has gotten comfortable in a routine, she throws us through a flaming hoop and that's what keeps us coming back for more.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 27: The Whisperer War by 

This volume had more action than the previous, hence the name, but it still served as more of a set-up than a climax. It still had it's fair share of action and gradual developments in the non-linear storylines. It introduced new questions, such as secret identities, a peek into a notorious character's personal past, and a cliffhanger that means trouble for everyone. Like many issues before, it leaves you wanting more and also fearing what that entails. 

Saga Vol. 3 & 4 by Brian K. Vaughn (Author) & Fiona Staples (Illustrator) 

Volume three starts off with a little backstory regarding the cliffhanger at the end of volume two. The protagonists are dealing with the aftermath of the previous issues. Volume four is surprising at the start. Characters are fighting for normalcy and it is harder than they expect. We are introduced to new characters, some friends, some with suspicious motives, and an unlikely alliance with a common goal. These volumes had a lot of action and excitement, I didn't like them more than the previous two, but they were still enjoyable reads. 

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I expected a lot of emotion with this book and it was delivered. It takes place in Australia around the 1920's. A lighthouse keeper, Tom, and his wife, Isabel, live in solitude on an island. After several failed attempts to start a family, a boat washes ashore with a dead man and an infant. Isabel believes this baby was godsent for enduring her previous losses, and takes her in, despite Tom's reluctance. When they leave the island, years later for a visit to the mainland, they discover that their redemption was someone else's tragedy, and have to make a difficult choice. 
What I really found intriguing about this book is that I had no idea how it was going to end. It wasn't a matter of cliche or one of two options either, it was that the characters thought processes changed, making anything possible at anytime. I read some reviews from people without children who couldn't wrap their minds around Isabel's character and decisions, and I may have felt the same way before, but man I really sympathized with her. You can't totally write any of the main protagonists off as bad guys because they all have real and raw motives behind their decisions. I like that the book challenged me in that way, of finding everyone selfish at some point until I put myself in their situation. It's about very flawed people with the best intentions, and no easy outcome. I didn't think I was going to like this book as much as I did, but I did and I'm glad I took the chance to read it. Oh and I definitely cried, like a lot. 

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