Review of “Dark Days” by Derek Landy

Title: Dark Days
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #4
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 419
Published: 2010, HarperCollins
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 villains

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Skulduggery Pleasant is lost on the other side of a portal, with only some evil gods for company. Can he possibly survive? (Yes, all right, he’s already dead. But still.)

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, sorcerer, warrior.

Oh yes. And dead.

Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, sucked into a parallel dimension overrun by the Faceless Ones. If his bones haven’t already been turned to dust, chances are he’s insane, driven out of his mind by the horror of the ancient gods. There is no official, Sanctuary-approved rescue mission. There is no official plan to save him.

But Valkyrie’s never had much time for plans.

The problem is, even if she can get Skulduggery back, there might not be much left for him to return to. There’s a gang of villains bent on destroying the Sanctuary, there are some very powerful people who want Valkyrie dead, and as if all that wasn’t enough it looks very likely that a sorcerer named Darquesse is going to kill the world and everyone on it.

Skulduggery is gone. All our hopes rest with Valkyrie. The world’s weight is on her shoulders, and its fate is in her hands.

These are dark days indeed.

MY REVIEW

My general feeling about Dark Days is that this is mostly an in-between-book. That this book is only taking you from the previous and transporting you to the next. Som big reveals, recurring characters, but nothing really new.

I did really enjoy the first part, where Valkyrie tries to save Skulduggery in the dimension of The Faceless Ones. That was new and interesting and fun, after that it basically only felt lika a transportation from book 3 to book 5.

Still very entertaining and I smiled several times while reading. As usual.

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Hacked Instagram account

”It never happens to me, it only happens to others.” That’s probably the one and only thought that got me into this mess. Last night my IG worked perfectly fine, but this morning when I wanted to scroll through it before thoroughly waking up, I was logged out. My password didn’t work and when I wanted to recover it, a notification box told me an email with password reset instructions had been sent to “k*******k@m****.ru”. Definitely not my email. So I decided to get it back.

There is a support site on Instagram’s webpage where you can tell them that your account has been hacked. Shortly after I sent the report in, I got an email from Facebook telling me what to do in order to verify my account.

The purpose of this post is to help others in the same situation, because I was very skeptical to Instagram’s way of verification.

 

Facebook <info++aazqgct4b5q55e@support.facebook.com>

Hi,

Thanks for contacting us. Before we can help, we need you to confirm that you own this account. 

Please reply to this email and attach a photo of yourself holding a hand-written copy of the code below.

XXXXX

Please make sure that the photo you send:

– Includes the above code hand-written on a clean sheet of paper, followed by your full name and username
– Includes both your hand that’s holding the sheet of paper and your entire face
– Is well-lit, and is not too small, dark or blurry
– Is attached to your reply as a JPEG file

Keep in mind that even if this account doesn’t include any pictures of you or is used to represent someone or something else, we won’t be able to help until we receive a photo that meets these requirements.

Thanks,
The Instagram Team

 

Very suspicious, right? The email address it was sent from, did not look like something official and I was not convinced that this was the real deal. But after some investigation, I changed my mind and did take that awful selfie with the clean sheet of paper with the code and my name and my username with my hand clearly visibly holding the piece of paper.

Only three hours later I received a response to my picture, from the exact same email asking me to give a brief description of my issue, write my email or phone number that I signed up with and any previous usernames I have had.

Only ten hours later I received another response, same weird email address, asking me to log out of my account everywhere and then click a link to recover my account. First, it only asked me to type in a new password twice. The next step asked me to verify my email address. And the email address that was in the box was “kuzmikow.tolik@mail.ru”, definitely not mine. After erasing it and writing my own email address, I once again had access to my 350 or so posts and 300 followers. Why would anyone even want to steal that account? I was honestly very afraid that my account would be deleted and everything permanently lost. So I am incredibly glad that I got it back. And I got it back real fast too!

 

So, for anyone who gets the same verification email from Facebook (which owns Instagram) asking for a selfie, do it! It’s legit. 🙂

Review of “The Fates Divide” by Veronica Roth

Title: The Fates Divide
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Carve the Mark #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 450
Published: 2018, Katherine Tegen Books
My Grade: 4.5 out of 5 stars

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Fate brought them together. Now it will divide them.

The lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth are ruled by their fates, spoken by the oracles at their births. The fates, once determined, are inescapable.

Akos is in love with Cyra, in spite of his fate: He will die in service to Cyra’s family. And when Cyra’s father, Lazmet Noavek—a soulless tyrant, thought to be dead—reclaims the Shotet throne, Akos believes his end is closer than ever.

As Lazmet ignites a barbaric war, Cyra and Akos are desperate to stop him at any cost. For Cyra, that could mean taking the life of the man who may—or may not—be her father. For Akos, it could mean giving his own. In a stunning twist, the two will discover how fate defines their lives in ways most unexpected.

With the addition of two powerful new voices, Veronica Roth’s sequel to Carve the Mark is a chorus of hope, humor, faith, and resilience.

 

MY REVIEW

Carve ther mark might not have been my favorite book, but I really liked the plot and I knew I would instantly give The Fates Divide a chance when it was released. I waited a couple of months to read it. And I have to say that it kind of felt that Veronica read my previous review and did something about it. It was so much easier to read, the distinctions between the different characters writing style made it easy to see who was in the spotlight at the moment (if you somehow forgot what the chapter name was). The world got more colorful with more and more thorough descriptions. I had no problem seeing everything in my head.

The plot continued in the same way as Carve the Mark left it. Still as good, still not unecessarily twisted or complicated.

It was a great end in this duology and it raises the grade by 1.5 points up to a 4.5 out of 5.

Review of “The Time Paradox” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Time Paradox
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #6
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 391
Published: 2008, Puffin Books
My Grade: 4 out of 5 monkeys

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

After disappearing for three years, Artemis Fowl has returned to a life different from the one he left. Now he’s a big brother, and spends his days teaching his twin siblings the important things in life, such as how to properly summon a waiter at a French restaurant.

But when Artemis Fowl’s mother contracts a life-threatening illness, his world is turned upside down. The only hope for a cure lies in the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur. Unfortunately, the animal is extinct due to a heartless bargain Artemis himself made as a younger boy.

Though the odds are stacked against him, Artemis is not willing to give up. With the help of his fairy friends, the young genius travels back in time to save the lemur and bring it back to the present. But to do so, Artemis will have to defeat a maniacal poacher, who has set his sights on new prey: Holly Short.

The rules of time travel are far from simple, but to save his mother, Artemis will have to break them all.and outsmart his most cunning adversary yet: Artemis Fowl, age ten.

MY REVIEW

Another Artemis Fowl book devoured but different than the rest. I think I was a little bit afraid that all the books would be the same. The young, criminal master mind who was selfish like no other, always coming up with new schemes, the next one more thoroughly thought through than the last. But no. This was what I assume that I thought after reading The Arctic Incident three years ago. I am glad I was wrong and took up this series again. It is really good!

The Time Paradox is kind of obviously about time travel to save his dying mom. And for once, he dives headfirst into this adventure without having a real plan. I am guessing that he is truly stressed about his mom and therefore acts recklessly. It turns out well in the end anyway, obviously, but it takes a while and many events to get there. It was entertaining to read about an Artemis who didn’t have a plan yet still solved everything, after many ifs and buts. I also like how he is developing into a young adult who have feelings.

Even if it was good, it does not quite feel like a five, so it gets a 4.

Review of “The Lost Colony” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Lost Colony
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #5
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 385
Published: 2006, Puffin Books
My Grade: 5 out of 5 demons

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Ten thousand years ago, humans and fairies fought a great battle for the magical island of Ireland. When it became clear that they could not win, all of the faeries moved below ground—all except for the 8th family, the demons. Rather than surrender, they used a magical time spell to take their colony out of time and into Limbo. There they have lived for decades, planning their violent revenge on humans.

Now the time spell is unraveling, and demons are beginning to materialize without warning on Earth. If humans were to find out about them, all faeries would be exposed. To protect themselves, the faeries must predict when the next demon will materialize. But in order to do so, they will have to decipher temporal equations so complicated, even a great brain like Foaly can’t understand them. But he knows someone who can: Artemis Fowl.

So when a confused and frightened demon imp pops appears in a Sicilian theater, Artemis is there to meet him. But he is not alone. Someone else has unlocked the secrets of the fairy world and managed to solve complex mathematical problems that only a genius could. And she is only twelve years old…

MY REVIEW

Goodreads says that The Lost Colony was shorter than The Opal Deception, yet I really got the feeling that this was a longer book. Maybe because it contained so many events and so much action? The other books have so far focused on a few happenings, while this one took place in other dimensions and through time travel. Quite different as well. For once it felt like Artemis wasn’t in control the whole time and is so great to se him develop sympathy feelings and actually becoming a good guy.

As usual, Eoin Colfer is very throrough with details but for the first time I got the impression that he writes, and whenever he stumbles onto something that could be a plot hole, he gives the characters the ability to deal with it. Either the characters are extremely detailed and have a long list each of stuff they can do or have, or Colfer comes up with solutions as he goes. Although, it works and it doesn’t feel like a last resort.

The ending was great and I will start with the next one right away. The Lost Colony gets a 5!

Review of “The Opal Deception” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Opal Deception
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #4
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Published: 2005, Puffin Books
My Grade: 5 out of 5 probes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The evil pixie Opal Koboi has spent the last year in a self-induced coma, plotting her revenge on all those who foiled her attempt to destroy the LEPrecon fairy police. And Artemis Fowl is at the top of her list.

After his last run-in with the fairies, Artemis had his mind wiped of his memories of the world belowground. But they have not forgotten about him. Once again, he must stop the human and fairy worlds from colliding—only this time, Artemis faces an enemy who may have finally outsmarted him.

MY REVIEW

This was a really clever book. A  lot of thought must have been put into it. The whole thing is about Opal Koboi, the pixie who started the goblin rebellion in the second book, and her way to revenge after Artemis stopped her. It constantly looks very dark for the usual gang, but it was fun to read about another mastermind who had everything planned out and seemed to succeed. Spoiler alert! Of course she didn’t, then that would have been the end of the series and we all know that there are several more.

Because it felt so thorough, it actually gets a 5.

Borta bra men hemma bäst

Today was not a long day in Spain, we left the apartment at 6:30 am and left the ground three hours later. I think I was asleep for the whole takeoff. Strangely I wasn’t tired when I woke up, but at the airport it hit me and I slept for a while. Then I was wide awake for the whole flight and read. I finished Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception and started reading Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony basically only because I read part of the first chapter at the end of The Opal Deception and realized that whole chapter was about Barcelona. It was great to see all the places in front of me. Pretty cool and random that the next book on my to read list took place in Barcelona just as I was leaving it, haha!

It was really warm when we landed. Picked up the cats right away and then Jesper and I went out for a small walk downtown and ate dinner out in the sunlight before watching Deadpool 2. A really funny movie, and for all Brad Pitt fans out there, he is in it.

I have now unpacked everything and taken a shower and finally feel clean again after all that sunlotion and sweat for a week. That’s usually not a bad thing, but it definitely feels better if there is also salt in your hair and you know that you spent all that time sweating and stinking at the beach in one way or another. Two days out of a week barely counts.

I think I am ready to go to bed now and back to work tomorrow. I am also ridiculously excited for tomorrow’s games in the series. I think my shoulder feels fine now, so that will be awesome. Hopefully good serves again!