Mickey Is Hopelessly Average

I'm just a girl who reads too much because socializing is hard. I love books and I love to talk about books. I have kitties, a puppy and a tea addiction. I also read comics, watch horror movies, bake cake and would like to own ALL the blankets.

Review: Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin - Lauren DeStefano

I received a copy of Perfect Ruin as a first read through Goodreads giveaways. Before I even get to reviewing the book I just want to say it is seriously one of the prettiest paperbacks I own. The cover is gorgeous! And the font! *swoon*

Anyways, Morgan Stockhour lives on the floating city of Internment. The city was placed in the sky by the Gods and the inhabitants of Internment are never allowed to leave and getting to close to the edge of the city can lead to death or madness.

On the surface Internment seems like a paradise. Lives are simple and happy and everything is taken care of. Before birth you are matched up with your betrothed, you go to school, you work, you have children and then 75 years later you are dispatched. This is Morgan's life and she has never questioned it until there is a murder in the city. After this, Morgan can't stop herself from seeing the cracks in her world and wondering if perhaps Internment isn't what is seems to be. As you get to know Morgan better you learn that life on Internment isn't always perfect. There are the jumpers, people who have tried to leave Internment by jumping off the edge who are left forever scarred. Morgan's own mother has serious mental health issues. Her family has basically drifted away and Morgan is left feeling lost and longing for her childhood when things were happier.

I really enjoyed Perfect Ruin. As the story progresses, Morgan learns that her entire life has been a lie and her family and her world are not what they seem. I loved that while Morgan was naive she was never weak and as the reader you learn along with her instead of just being told how things are. I also enjoyed her relationship with Basil, her betrothed. It is one of the few not creepy relationships in YA stories. Basil's character could use some more development but I have a feeling that is going to come later in the series. 

It is really obvious that Perfect Ruin is the first in a series because a ton of questions are asked and almost none are answered. You get to know Morgan very well, you understand her life and her family and the world she lives in but very little else. Because it is the first book it is also not the most exciting. BUT that doesn't mean it wasn't entertaining and captivating.

And now for the sad part. The expected publication date for book two is February 2015. That. Is. So. Far. AWAY! It doesn't even have a title! There isn't even a pretty cover for me to drool over! Sad...very sad...

Review: Refuge by N. G. Osborne

Refuge - N.G. Osborne

Noor is an Afghani refugee who fled to a Peshawar refugee camp with her family in 1981. During her families escape from Afghanistan her mother is shot and killed and her death ends up being the reason why the family gets out of the country at all, though they never make their intended destination of America.

Charlie is an American aid worker and war vet who went to Peshawar to lead a demining project. His reasons for being there are kind of shallow as he just wants to earn some money to open a dive shop up in Belize and sees Peshawar as nothing but a good paying gig. 

Refuge is the story of an unlikely love that forms between these two characters, but it is also so much more. This book was a quick read for me, it is fast paced and very enjoyable. And while it is a fast read the writing style kind of reminded me of Ken Follett books because there are so many different story lines that are woven together.

I loved reading about the supporting characters just as much as I loved the story between Charlie and Noor. Aamir Khan, Noor’s father was a fantastic character. He sacrificed everything for his family and wants only the best for his daughters. Wali works with Charlie on the demining project until there is a tragic accident that leaves him minus a leg and a foot. Elma is a Dutch aid worker who ends up projecting her own relationship failures onto Charlie and Noor. Elma tries to force her will on Noor and when that doesn’t work she does something unforgivable. 

And then there were the sleazy jerks Tariq and Ivor. Tariq is Noor’s brother. He is a religious zealot who was gotten himself involved with the Mujahideen led by a Saudi Price. He is power hungry and thinks the world owes him something and he is perfectly willing to destroy his own family to get it. I actually HATE him. And let us not forget Ivor. Everyone knows he works for the CIA but they aren’t quite sure what he does. He is manipulative and self-serving and it is hinted at that he is involved in some very dark business.

Peshawar really comes alive in this book. The descriptions of poverty seemed very real to me and while I read I could easily imagine the crowded city streets, the camps and the markets. This helps to understand what Noor’s life is like and why she longs for something better. 

I am not going to say much more because it is hard to not give away spoilers so I will just say this. I wasn’t upset by the abrupt ending but I also had no idea this was going to be book one in a series. Part of me thinks this is awesome and another part of me screamed NOOOOOO WHY CAN’T THINGS JUST BE HAPPY! 

So I have signed up on the author’s website to get updates on the arrival of book two and if you liked this book I recommend you do the same. 

Lastly, I would like to thank the author for sending me this book as a part of the Goodreads First Reads program.

Still Missing - Chevy Stevens This is the second book by Chevy Stevens that I have read, the first being Always Watching. As with Always Watching, Still Missing is a psychological thriller/mystery novel that (to me anyways) feels similar to Jonathan Kellerman.

In Still Missing, Annie O'Sullivan tells the story of her abduction, escape and her struggle to put her life back together after coming home. The story jumps between her present day struggle to cope with the psychological damage done to her and her year long captivity with a man she only ever refers to as The Freak.

I enjoyed the fast pace of this book. It was exciting and there were almost no parts that dragged by. Annie was a decent character. I found her struggle after she returned home to be more difficult to read about than the struggle during her captivity, brutal though it was. Having the story take place after the abduction was a unique twist that I did appreciate. I enjoyed how Stevens portrayed Annie's mother. I didn't like her but there was something very realistic about how pathetic she was.

What I really didn't enjoy was that this book is set up so that each chapter is a session with her psychiatrist. It's supposed to be Annie telling her story TO her psychiatrist. This really fell flat for me. It felt like a gimmick and I felt like the book didn't need it. It didn't benefit from it. For one thing, the style of writing didn't come off as realistic for a conversation. I HATED that Annie addressed her psychiatrist as "Doc". It just felt very...lame. I think this book would have been so much better if it was just Annie's story told from her point of view WITHOUT using the sessions. And for anyone who has read Always Watching, the psychiatrist Annie is talking to is supposed to be Dr. Nadine Lavoie, correct? That was the impression I got.

So who would I recommend Still Missing to? Well, anyone who enjoys a kind of trashy, fast paced mystery novel. It's not a book you'll have to put a lot of deep thought or time into but it is enjoyable. Having ready two of Chevy Stevens' books I'll probably pick up another. They're nothing fantastic but hey, they're fun.

Oh yah, one last thing. I HATED the name of Annie's baby (very last sentence of the book). Reading it was like getting hit in the face with a frying pan.

Broken - Kelley Armstrong Broken was a book I could take or leave. It's pretty slow the entire way through and since I'm kind of anti-baby I didn't get all googly over the face that Elena was preggo. Actually, I found that kind of annoying. I don't see Elena or Clay as being parents and I don't really care for the change in their characters but eh, that's just me.

Basically the Pack heads to Toronto to steal a letter linked to Jack The Ripper. They accidentally open a portal and out pops a mystery killer and some zombies. There was a lot less action in this book than the other ones featuring Elena and the Pack. Clay and Jeremy are not themselves due to Elena's pregnancy and Elena is stuck on the sidelines for a lot because she's a giant beach ball of a person. In fact, it really felt like the story was more about Elena being pregnant than it was about Jack The Ripper or zombies or anything else. That's what really disappointed me. I don't pick up a werewolf book to read about a glowing pregnant woman. It just...doesn't work.

I really don't have anything to complain about besides being kind of bored. As usual with Armstrong, the writing was solid. At this point the characters are familiar and well rounded and I must say there were two parts at the end that I really, really enjoyed. One involved some good old fashioned throat ripping (MORE! MORE!) and one was a bit of a twist I honestly didn't see coming.

In hindsight I kind of wish I had just read the synopsis and moved on to No Humans Involved because I don't really feel like I would have missed too much.

Thirty Seconds to Die - S.G. Holster That's it. I give up. I'm throwing in the towel. I'm not finishing this book and frankly I wish I could forget what I did read. I'm sorry, S.G. Holster but you had no business publishing Thirty Seconds To Die. And for anyone who gave this book 4 or 5 stars, shame on you! You're lying. And this isn't a matter of opinion, this is a fact. Thirty Seconds To Die is awful.

To say the writing is amateurish is a gross understatement. It is downright childish. There is no structure, the pacing is terrible and it is glaringly obvious that NO ONE EDITED THIS BOOK. I felt like I was reading the rough draft of a grade 8 creative writing project. Worse, it stank of Twilight.

Holster, you might dream of being an author. But you need to be realistic. You are not a good writer.

Un Lun Dun - China Miéville Sigh...I was disappointed by this book. I normally really enjoy China Mieville the other books of his that I have read have been complex, imaginative and fun. The characters are always very well developed and their journeys are always twisty and weird. Un Lun Dun just didn't do it for me. And maybe this is because when I bought it I had wispy little dreams about it being another Neverwhere and it just really wasn't even close. And I know, I know I can't be upset by that because Neverwhere is by Neil Gaiman and not China Mieville.

It is pretty obvious from the writing style that this book is meant for a far younger audience. Unfortunately, I can't see anyone that young sticking with it because while the language and the story has been simplified it is still 432 pages of Mieville madness. Un Lun Dun is incredibly slow to start off and I don't feel it has enough going on to keep a younger audience occupied.

I did enjoy how Mieville messed with the idea of The Chosen One and destiny and all that shit. It was good. Deeba was a strong enough lead and the supporting characters were interesting. Sadly some of them did kind of feel a little...forced? It was almost as if Mieville tried too hard to make them weird and they ended up feeling really one dimensional and boring. Like, Skool. Ok great, a bunch of fishies in a diving suite that are somehow a single sentient being. That's all neat and nifty but it was impossible for me to feel any kind of connection to him because he didn't DO anything. Or talk. I found Curdle more engaging and Curdle is an old milk carton.

Now obviously this won't be enough to make me stop loving Mr. Mieville. That just will not happen. And I have a stack of other books by him just waiting to be read. I'm just going to hope and hope that the others don't flop like this one did.

Haunted - Kelley Armstrong You know, I hate to say this but I wasn't really a fan of Haunted. I have really, truly enjoyed all the other books I have read by Kelley Armstrong but this one just fell flat for me.

I understand that Armstrong wanted to give readers a better understanding of Eve but I feel like she...dare I say it...ruined her for me. In Haunted, Eve is tasked with hunting down a demi-demon by the name of Nix. During the book you learn about Eve's obsession with keeping an eye on Savannah, her relationship with Kristof as well as what the afterlife is like (at least for her).

That all seems great, right? Nah. It's a boring book. As usual, the last quarter is way more interesting and fast paced but even that couldn't save it. The afterlife is cheesy. Eve and Kristof are cheesy. These are both characters who are supposed to have quite the dark side and I really didn't like that Armstrong ignored that. Eve was not a badass at all and Kristof was just some pudging middle aged man with thinning hair. Boo.

I also felt that certain things were left hanging and I didn't appreciate that. Now, I'm not going to get into specifics because they all happened at the end of the book and I don't want to ruin reading it for anyone but it felt sloppy.

Ms. Armstrong, did you actually want to right this?

Sigh. Oh well, onto bigger and better things (hopefully). I am starting Broken right now. Do I spy the name Clayton in the first sentence? I think I do.
Always Watching - Chevy Stevens I really wish I could give half stars. If I could do that, I would have given this book 3.5 stars.

Note: There are teeny tiny spoilers in this review. Nothing that really matters though.

I received Always Watching from St. Martin's Press through Goodreads First Reads and I was pretty excited to get it. You see, I have a dirty secret...I love suspense novels. In fact I have read through all the Jonathan Kellerman trash that has been put out and I loved every minute of it! I think part of it is that the books always really fast paced. Another thing is that I am fascinated by crimes, especially murders. What? I'm twisted...

Anyways, in Chevy Stevens newest novel, Dr. Nadine Lavoie is forced to confront her past after a patient is brought into the psychiatric hospital where Nadine works after having attempted to commit suicide. After hearing the girls story, she learns of some parallels to her own life and a history she thought she had left far behind.

Always Watching is a great suspense novel. Can you really go wrong with a book that has murder, betrayal, secret pasts and cults? No. No you cannot. Chevy Stevens wrote an engaging story with well rounded characters. Nadine is a good lead and I felt she never struggled to carry the story. The story started out strong and didn't lag much at all (until the end, but we'll get to that).

One thing I could have done without was the romance between Nadine and Kevin. I think the only real purpose he served was to act as a sounding board for Nadine so that she didn't appear to be TOO self aware. Besides that, Chevy could have removed him completely and the story would not have been effected in the least. I also found the sex scene between Nadine and Kevin pointless. If you're going to skim over 90% of it, just leave it out.

And just a warning, there are some fairly graphic and brutal sex scenes between Nadine and Aaron (he molested her when she was younger and living in the commune). Maybe I'm just sensitive to the topic but they made me cringe. If that is something you want to steer clear of maybe don't pick this book up. Don't get me wrong, Stevens didn't glorify anything the relationship was meant to be horrible and uncomfortable, and it was.

I did appreciate that Always Watching didn't degrade into a complete and utter free-for-all at the end like a lot of suspense novels do (*cough* I'm looking at YOU Kellerman). No one ended up wearing a mask made out of other peoples skin or anything (KELLERMAN!). I don't want to ruin anything for anyone but... It annoyed me that Nadine, Robbie, Kevin AND Lisa survived while Aaron, Joseph and Daniel all got what was coming to them. It was too perfect! If Kevin HAD to be in the story Chevy could have at least brutally murdered him! I mean REALLY!

Last of all, the ending was drawn out a bit much. While I appreciate the effort put in to tying up lose ends in a way that made sense the book did seem to drag on too long. It's kind of difficult to keep interest in a story when the bodies stop piling up and there are no more explosions and guns and stuff.

All in all I really enjoyed Always Watching. It definitely isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea but it's a fun, quick read. The writing was very good and the characters were interesting and likeable. There were some issues but I was able to get past them immerse myself in the story.

Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger - Beth Harbison Ever since Quinn Barton called off her wedding to Burke Morrison ten years ago, her life hasn't been exactly what she hoped it would be. Quinn is in a serious rut. She hasn't left her home town, she's working as a seamstress at her family's bridal shop and she hasn't been in a serious relationship since Burke broke her heart. Quinn fools herself into thinking she has moved on from Burke but when he shows up back in town, along with his brother, for another wedding it becomes very clear that this is not the case.

Now, right off the bat I was kind of annoyed because there was a serious lack of editing in the ARC I received. The back of the book claimed the main character was named Ashley, not Quinn. And in a different synopsis it said that 17 years had passed, not 10! There was also a scene in the book where the author forgot which of the brother was in a particular scene and switched them part way through. Now, I understand that a lot of books I receive through the Goodreads Giveaway program haven't gone through a final edit, but the number of major errors did kind of irk me. Not enough to change my rating of the book or anything, just enough for me to bitch about it.

Anyways, what I did like about the book was that the supporting characters were well developed and interesting. Glenn was a good best friend, he was funny and well rounded. He did his best to help Quinn without coddling her and he called her on her bullshit. Dottie was quirky and sweet, she livened the story up and was a bit of a shit stirrer while still being likable (that is seriously rare). Those two characters were enough to make me enjoy the story. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of the book annoyed with Quinn. She was incredibly needy and lost in the past. She wasn't very mature, instead of dealing with her shit ten years ago she stuck her head in the sand and willed it away. It's difficult to root for a character like that. Quinn was one of those damp napkin characters. She needed more spunk!
I was also incredibly annoyed that she spends a lot of the book going all googley eyed over Burke, the man who cheated on her! And he's still an ASS! He blames her for calling off their wedding when HE WAS CHEATING ON HER!!! Then he tries to spin it like he was doing it for her benefit?! Seriously. What. The. Fuck. Quinn! You're a 30 year old woman running a successful business and it has been ten years since this twit left your life! MOVE THE FUCK ON!

Sigh. It is hard to find a good squishy romantic summer read.

So why am I giving the book 3 stars? Seems kind of high considering I didn't really enjoy the main character. Well, the writing was pretty decent. Like I said, the editing is rough but as long as the book doesn't go to final print like the...eh... I saw a lot of potential in this book and I feel like if Harbison tweaked it a little it could have been hilarious and heart warming.
Chose The Wrong Guy isn't anything amazing but it's entertaining enough.
Dime Store Magic   - Kelley Armstrong In Dime Store Magic we leave behind Elena and the pack and enter into the life of Paige Winterbourne, newly made leader of the American Coven after the death of her mother. Paige was originally introduced in Stolen - Women of the Otherworld #2. Dime Store Magic picks up after Paige and Savannah have returned back to Massachusetts, unfortunately the trouble isn't over for either of them. Leah, the telekinetic half-demon that we also met in Stolen has returned to cause some trouble.

I do enjoy these novels, so maybe it is just because I have been reading them one after another but I was feeling a little bored with this one. I also didn't love Paige. She's an alright lead but she's no Elena. Paige has this pesky conscience she has to deal with and it really gets in the way of things. Savannah on the other hand, didn't have this issue so pretty much everything entertaining that went on had to do with her.

The best part of this book is the last quarter, that's where everything happens. Once Mr. Nast got involved in things shit got interesting. I'm starting book #4 but I might have to take a break after that. I believe I'm reaching my saturation point. I can't even focus on writing a review...

Bleh. It was entertaining. People get killed, shit gets burned down, there is sexing to be had. All good fun.
The Angel's Game - Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves Carlos Ruiz Zafon writes books that need to be read slowly and savored. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself lost, missing tiny connections and details that turn out to be oh so important later on. This is something I had to keep reminding myself as I read the book, especially at the beginning. At times, The Angel’s Game was slow. The story is beautifully written with an intricate plot but there were times when it dragged.

David Martin is a struggling author who makes his living writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. His modest income allows him to rent a decrepit old mansion in Barcelona called the Tower House which is steeped in mystery and filled with the belongings of the previous occupant. David receives an irresistible offer to write a book from a man who goes by the name of Andreas Correlli, a French publisher. As David begins to work on the book for Correlli he realizes that perhaps the offer he accepted wasn’t what he thought it was and that the fate of the previous occupant at Tower House might be tied to it.

When I first picked up The Angel’s Game I had hopes that it would be similar to The Shadow of the Wind. It wasn’t. Despite the fact that The Angel’s Game is book #2 in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books trilogy it is NOTHING like The Shadow of the Wind. For one thing, it is far darker. There is no Fermin to lighten the mood and no lovely father son relationship to remind you that there is good in the world. No, The Angel’s Game is a very dark story. David is extremely troubled and it is difficult to tell what is paranoid delusion and what isn’t (or is anything paranoid delusion?). Correlli is obviously a very dangerous man but it is hard to tell if he is real or simply a fantasy thought up by the unwell David.

Another difference is that the story isn’t wrapped up like it is in The Shadow of the Wind. In fact, almost all of it is left rather open ended. I have had to read several other reviews and even some discussion boards to understand the events taking place. And even now I wouldn’t say I am 100% sure.

There were also a couple characters and relationships that weren’t developed as well as I felt they could have been. My main complaint is with Christina, David’s love interest. She is cold and distant throughout the book and even when she makes herself available to David it feels almost…hostile? That is the best way I can describe it. I don’t really understand the fixation that David has with her.

Besides that I really enjoyed The Angel’s Game. It is complex and interesting. When the story is slow it is for a reason and you will be grateful for the added information later on. Once again, Zafon paints Barcelona as bleak and hauntingly beautiful. I could not imagine a better setting for the story. I also loved meeting Isabella, who is the mother of Daniel from The Shadow of the Wind. Senore Sempere was another great character, he is the only one who ever really offers David unconditional support and comfort.

I think I did enjoy The Shadow of the Wind more but regardless, The Angel’s Game is an amazing read. I cannot wait to read The Prisoner of Heaven as I believe it ties the two stories together. Also, Fermin will be back!
Bitten - Kelley Armstrong I hate Twilight. To quote my sister "Twilight ruined everything, forever". Stephenie Meyer ruined vampires, werewolves and roughly 90% of the female population. Her writing is a slow working poison that has wormed its way into books, movies, TV and young minds everywhere. I'm almost certain that contact with it causes your brain cells to wither and die within minutes.

And what does that have to do with Bitten? you may ask. Well, I ended up avoiding the shit out of this book ever since it came out because of Twilight. I would see it sitting there on the shelves at the bookstore and occasionally I would pick it up and read the back only to slam it back down and give it a serious stink face. Because it reminded me to Twilight. If I had never accidentally read Waking The Witch, I would never EVER had bothered with Bitten.

Now don't I feel like an asshole.

Bitten is great! For one thing, the writing is excellent. Monster stories are really difficult to take seriously, especially when authors turn their creatures into great big pussies. If you write a werewolf story and the wolves are more Bieber than Beast, I will hate it. It is just WRONG, you hear that Meyer? WRONG! Now I'm no gore hound, but a werewolf story ain't right unless someone gets their throat ripped out. Want to write about pretty, sparkly, fluffy things? Write about fairies or smurfs or something.

Also, I freaking LOVED Elena Michaels. She is one seriously tough bitch. There are no endless paragraphs dedicated to her luscious flowing locks or her sparkling eyes. She is conflicted and she makes mistakes but she isn't an idiot. Elena isn't waiting for anyone to save her. And even though it took her waaaaay too long, she does eventually ditch Philip, who was a lame-o (I'm glad he got stabbed, it was the most interesting thing he did).

So to sum things up. I really liked Bitten and I take back all the mean and nasty thoughts I had about it when I was busy assuming it was another symptom of the Disease That Is Twilight.
The Hidden - Jessica Verday What to say, what to say…

I loved first two books in this series. Abbey is an average high school student who is struggling to cope after the death of her best friend. Abbey finds comfort in Caspian, who she meets at her friend’s funeral. It later turns out that Caspian is dead and Abbey’s destiny is to complete Caspian as his other half. Unfortunately, to do this she must die.

Like I said, the first and second books were great. I enjoyed the characters, the setting was lovely and the story was interesting. The third book was disappointing though. In fact, it made me quite mad.

The whole book really makes it painfully obvious that Abbey is going to die in the end. The entire time Abbey is basically putting her affairs in order so that she can be with Caspian foreeevvveerr in deeeaaath. I found this to be quite disturbing considering the intended audience of this book is young women. A few of the conversations Abbey has with family and friends are straight out of Suicide Warning Signs 101.

Verday sugar coats things a bit so it isn’t completely and utterly smack you in the face obvious that Abbey kills herself. Abbey’s death is glossed over nicely and we get the bonus of her death bringing back her friend Kristen. I guess this is supposed to make it ok that Abbey willingly gives up her entire life for a boy who died before she even met him. It also never even touches on the effect that Abbey’s death has on her parents. And for some reason Kristen seems totally ok that Abbey is dead. She visits Abbey's grave with Ben and they run off into the sunset, laughing. No…seriously, they do.

That's right, we just candy coated teen suicide. Sweet.

It really bothers me that a series targeting young women would end with the main character choosing to die in order to be with a boy. Abbey chooses death so that she can live in a cottage by the cemetery and be with Caspian making perfumes. Abbey gives up her dreams, her family and her friends so that she can be with Caspian. I just…sigh…

I really liked the relationship Abbey and Caspian had in the first couple books but by the third book they are straight up obsessed with one another. Abbey makes excuses not to see friends and family, she ditches out early on important events, she can barely make it through the school day. It just isn’t healthy.

And I don’t even feel bad for ruining this book for anyone who wants to read it because this book is bullshit. When did this kind of a relationship become acceptable? Why are we suddenly swooning over love that causes nothing but pain? Why are authors treating these relationships as something that is desirable? Why are we giving these books to the young women in our life, not batting an eye when they eat them up and become obsessed with the love interest?

We need to stop with the constant preteen love triangles, and the drama and the destruction of one’s self for the attention of a cute boy. We need to stop with the 15 year old girls and the obsessive boyfriends. Why can't we start teaching girls that there can be adventure and discovery growth without a love interest? Or that you don't always have to be the co-pilot?

Does no one else find it frightening that there are so many ladies in this world who want to be Bella Swan? Or Anna whats'er'nuts from Fifty Shades of Yick? It sure scares me.
Hack/Slash Omnibus Volume 2 - Tim Seeley, Rebekah Isaacs, Emily  Stone I love me some Cassie Hack
Waking the Witch - Kelley Armstrong I think I would have rated this book higher if I had read the others in the series. This is #11 or something and while it does a fantastic job of standing on its own, it still would have been nice to have a little background.

I'll write a full review sometime in the upcoming week!
The Lantern - Deborah Lawrenson I hated this book.

Currently reading

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China Miéville
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