In a world where a small percentage of people have an extreme skill called a Grace, King Leck's Grace allowed him to tell lies that everyone believed.

When Bitterblue became queen at ten years old, she thought her father's murder meant the end of his violent, sociopathic influence.

She was wrong.

Now eighteen and believing her advisers are overprotecting her, Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle at night to walk the streets of her own city, disguised and alone - risking her life as well as her heart.

It's been a while since I've read Graceling and Fire, the first two books in this series-like thingy (I say that because Bitterblue is the sequel to Graceling and the companion to Fire, but both books come together in Bitterblue.). Almost... two years now? So my initial confusion is understandable. Most of what I remembered was Katsa loves Po, Leck is evil, Bitterblue is queen. Yeah.

It was still great, because you don't really need any background information from the first two to read Bitterblue. It was a fascinating story of recovery from a monster so terrible that people don't want to remember.

Bitterblue's curiosity about her city was natural, and therefore I could sympathize with her. Kristin Cashore portrayed her insecurity so well - it was amazing. Although Bitterblue didn't have much personality as a character, her need for reassurance made her such a believable character that I immediately cared about her, which made the story so much more compelling.

Kristin Cashore is an awesome fantasy writer. Her description is sweeping and vivid, her prose elegant. About the settings, and fictional languages, and maps, and other various things - need I say more?

Bitterblue was a beautiful fantasy novel that I encourage you to read - just read the first two first :)
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“What’s for dinner?” seems like a simple question. But do you really know…
  • What happens to a field of potatoes destined to become french fries … or
  • In how many disguises corn sneaks into your food? (Hint: it’s in your soda, your burger, and that Twinkie!)
  • Do you know what that “organic” sticker on your banana actually means … or
  • Where the chicken in your nugget grew up?

Do you know the secrets behind what you eat?
In this book, you’ll go undercover at the supermarket. You’ll delve behind the scenes of your dinner, and by the time you’ve digested the last page you’ll have put together the fascinating (and sometimes disturbing) puzzle of what’s on your plate and how it got there.
--From Michael Pollan's website
What an informative (and slightly disturbing) book! From start to finish, Michael Pollan's journey to find out what's really in our food was masterfully presented. It began as a bit of a let-down as it described the cruelty and destruction that went into an industrial meal. The format of the book was also intriguing - each section ended with a meal eaten in the category that Pollan was describing.

The middle was information packed, and the book ended with a really touching message about "voting with our forks" and making sure old food chains didn't disappear from the earth.

Not much analysis to do, really.
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Inspired by the Rapunzel fairy tale, this one started out as just a head of freakishly long golden hair...

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Yay. This is another bunny-themed piece, another collaboration with Mashimaro.

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When 9 year old Audrey and her best friend, Julianna, discover a tattered note in Audrey's mailbox, they embark on an adventure that will change their lives forever. A missing show dog worth a fortune, two dangerous villains and a series of mysterious clues come together in this first exciting adventure of the Jellybean Club.

It was cute. Really cute. Although I'm not a big fan of the mystery genre in general, I was kind of drawn to the cover. I liked the cover (okay, now I'm being redundant). It was on sale for free, so I got it onto my Kindle. However, it was a bit rushed, but it will appeal to younger readers closer to Audrey's age.

The intro was pretty good overall. The inciting incident, in which Audrey got thinking about her future as a detective, was kind of unrealistic, but then again, she was nine years old. I didn't really get the point of having a younger sister in there, though. Ashley didn't do much throughout the book, and neither did Dani, another character's younger sister. I was confused as to why the author would have bothered to write such useless characters.

At first, I was criticizing the way these kids thought of the money - a $10,000 reward - because I thought they would misuse it. A real, touching motive for getting the money only manifested itself much later in the book, and very suddenly. There was almost no foreshadowing whatsoever, except that Georgette, the girl in need, was always very sad. If there had been more foreshadowing, it would be more justified and believable.

The villains were also introduced far too late. If I'd gotten a sense of what these kids were up against, I might have cared more about the outcome of the story.

I honestly didn't like it all that much - it was too juvenile for me. However, it's cheap and I suppose younger kids will like it. Give it a shot.
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You never would have noticed it just peeking out like a giant pearl lost in miles of white sand.

The second you first touched it though, you knew. You could feel how powerful it really was and how little every tomorrow would resemble its yesterday.

Its strength emanating from an unburdened mind, bringing you a whole world straight to your fingertips. Its voice reaching back through the decades, taking you on a musical sojourn through time. And its face transporting your to your own memories, brought to life through crystal-clear hues and shadows.

All this from something that was, at long last, not only a                 .

*Fill in the blank and finish the story*

My response:

All this from something that was, at long last, not only a flute.

You lifted it up, admiring its flawless craftsmanship. Tentatively, you blew into it, immediately noting the high, clear tone. Superb. In the empty, oddly fresh attic of your grandmother's creaky Victorian house, you felt blessed to find such an amazing instrument. Although you were a flute player in your school band, you had never seen any flute as wonderful as this. You wondered if you could keep it, and made a mental note to ask your grandmother when she woke up from her nap.

Putting it down gingerly, you shivered with the eerie luck of finding a new flute in your grandmother's attic - it seemed to be the only thing not covered in stereotypical attic dust. When you had pushed open the heavy door, it had been just sitting there on an open table. You had sworn you could almost see a halo above its mouthpiece and the cheesy cinematic opera "Aaahhhhh".

Your thoughts returned to the present as you heard your grandmother's light steps wafting up through the echoey house. Scrambling out of the attic, you tried to smile as she passed. It must not have worked, though, because your grandmother frowned and looked you up and down, taking in the dust on your jeans and in your hair. The strangest thought passed through your head - you must look like you have dandruff.

"Have you been in the attic?" she said, her shrewd, bright eyes immediately noting all of the important details. It was actually kind of creepy sometimes, but you loved her anyway. You hung your head a bit; your grandmother had told you not to go into the attic, but it was really your grandmother's cautioning that had driven you to explore the attic of all rooms in your grandmother's spacious house. Plus, you had already peeked into most of the other rooms, and they looked boring. The long, lazy summer days when you were dumped at your grandmother's house would became more monotonous each year as your grandmother became less active and you explored more and more of the house.

You hung your head a bit, though not regretting a thing. "Yes," you said truthfully. Your grandmother despised liars and you knew that if you lied, she would catch you and punish you twice as much. Then you smiled playfully. Your grandmother smiled back, and you knew that she wasn't too angry.

"Did you find the flute?" she asked.

"Yeah, I did."

"It's okay," your grandmother said, giving you a hug. "I just wanted to give it to you at the right time."

"You mean... I can have it?" you asked, incredulous. She laughed, a deep chuckle that made you feel bubbly and happy inside.

"Of course. I had it made specially for you. Happy thirteenth birthday, Lenmana," she replied.

Oh! You had forgotten all about it. It was your birthday, and you were a teenager! The fact that this had completely escaped you surprised you more than a little. With a little squeal, you rushed forward like a five-year-old at Christmas and took the flute that your grandmother was holding out to you.

For the rest of the day, the old Victorian house was filled with the joyful music of you and your flute.

*The writing prompt was taken from a Kindle special offer - a promotion for the HTC One X phone. The original blank was "phone".*

According to the I Write Like software:

I write like
Kurt Vonnegut
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!
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So I found this site called You can make GIF picture stories. Like this:

Reading the ranger's apprentice series


finishing the ranger's apprentice series


finding out that John Flanagan has started a new series


Make gif stories easily: That's So!
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Think you can spot the fake?

Think again. It's going to be a lot harder than you think to pick out the BS. Each entry hides one well-crafted fib among a pair of unbelievable truths. And it's up to you to figure out what's fascinating and what's fabricated on everything from koala bears to Confucius to high-fructose corn syrup.

Was Cleopatra the last Egyptian pharaoh?

Can you really make diamonds out of tequila?

Is the platypus actually poisonous?

A flip of the page reveals whether you're right or wrong as well as more information on the true trivia--and why you might've fallen for the fake fact. You'll really need to know your sh*t if you plan on correctly calling bullsh*t.

Very amusing, and a well-done way to present trivia fun facts. (Buy here.) I like the cover too. This was loaded onto my Kindle when it was being free, so yay. Anyway, it was really cool. I just sort of went through looking at all of the crazy facts. I think I laughed my head off for like a minute straight once or twice. I'm pretty sure I got at least 90% of it wrong. Heh. Heh. 

However, when I checked its page again, it became like what, nine dollars? I'm not sure if it's worth it. 

There isn't much analysis to be had for a book of fun facts. It was funny, it was interesting, and it was cool, but it isn't worth nine dollars, especially since the complete Lord of the Rings is ten dollars. So yeah.
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May it be an evening star

Stars... I remember when you could see the stars at night. Little twinkling lights, blinking at you, and you could imagine you could hear them laughing, a wonderful laugh, like it said in that book, oh, what was it called? Before the smog floated up and the stars went away. Now the night sky is dull and does not laugh, no, not anymore.

Shines down upon you

What a wonderful wish for days past. The light of the stars, a reliable guide in dark times, when you must sail a stormy sea or walk a rough road. A beautiful blessing for times of old.

May it be when darkness falls

Darkness has fallen on our earth now, nothing can save us, no, nothing. Smoke billows into the graying sky; the world is suspended in perpetual twilight. If we ever needed a star to shine down, to light the way, it would be now. A fervent plea rises up towards the heavens in this darkest hour.

You heart will be true

Will it be true? Darkness changes people, twists their hearts. Whispers to them in the dead of night. But I'll hold on to that shred of hope.

You walk a lonely road

All of us do, today and every day. We are so tightly packed together, and yet each to his own thoughts. So alone. No one knows how to reach out anymore, how to comfort, how to smile. In our clumping together we've undergone an ironic separation. And the road stretches out before us, countless miles walked but so many more still.

Oh! How far you are from home

No home for anyone in this world. As we travel we lose that feeling. Of embraces, of a good hearty meal in front of a leaping fireplace. Everyone is far from home, always, to try and get away from feeling trapped. But it's always the same, always trapped. Nowhere for us to run to now.

Mornie utulie (Darkness has come)

Oh yes, ever does the darkness hang over our weary heads. Ever do we yearn for the stars, twinkling in some heavenly garden above. Ever to we look to the skies only to be greeted by a curtain of smoke.

Believe and you will find your way

If only it were true! But no one has the strength to believe anymore. No, no, no hope left. We have almost forgotten the meaning of that word, so cool and strong on our tongues. We have almost forgotten how to speak it in harmonious unity. Maybe if someone had the courage to utter that one word, a shaft of light will break the ceiling of the earth and lead us to a new life where people believe and are happy.

Mornie alantie (Darkness has fallen)

Darkness deeper than the night shrouds our days. We no longer fight to live. Eyes dead, limbs creaking, our heads barely lifting to scan the heavens one last time. 

A promise lives within you now

The only promise I see is that of death, soon, very soon, to relieve our misery. In a ruined world full of shadow, how can a promise glow in the new day? 

May it be the shadow's call

The shadow calls us, everyone, to death, and more go every day. In the unending darkness just like a storm, countless souls float away, throwing themselves into the murky, fast-flowing river. They go all the way out to the salty sea with its stinging water and nasty smell. I hear the water was blue once, but now it's greenish-brown, foul with all the waste of a dying earth.

Will fly away

Some days, I wish a great strong torrent of wind would blow the clouds away so that we could see what the sky really looks like. 

May it be you journey on

Nowhere to walk, nowhere to journey to bring back a casket full of hope and good things. Endless roaming around the earth, once, twice, five times and nothing to bring back with a smile and warm feelings. 

To light the day

I don't even know what light looks like anymore.

When the night is overcome

Only the hateful shadow.

You may rise to find the sun

Where is it?

Mornie utulie (Darkness has come) 
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantie (Darkness has fallen) 
A promise lives within you now

A promise lives within you now

(Song is "May It Be" by Enya - written by Howard Shore, Enya, Nicholas John Ryan, and Roma Shane Ryan)

According to the I Write Like software:

I write like
Neil Gaiman
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!
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Pygmalion is a 1912 play by George Bernard Shaw.
Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. The play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a commentary on women's independence.
In ancient Greek mythology, Pygmalion was the creator of a statue which came to life and was a popular subject for Victorian era English playwrights, including one of Shaw's influences, W. S. Gilbert, who wrote a successful play based on the story in 1871, called Pygmalion and Galatea. Shaw also would have been familiar with the burlesque version, Galatea, or Pygmalion Reversed. Shaw's play has been adapted numerous times, most notably as the musical My Fair Lady and the film of that name.
--From the Wikipedia article on Pygmalion
This was... well, interesting. I'd never heard of it before, and I'd never read a play other than Shakespeare. Needless to say, it was considerably quicker to read, and slightly confusing. The title is a reference to the Greek myth of Pygmalion, a sculptor who created a statue of a woman and promptly fell in love with it. With the help of Aphrodite, she came to life. (You can read the myth here.) The themes of the book are sort of parallel; a phonetician with a Holmes-like talent for knowing where people were raised by their accents who taught a poor flower girl to speak like a duchess treated her as his "creation" and not as an individual. Although the two clashed too much to fall in love, the flower girl eventually did rise somewhat in social class and remained the phonetician's friend

Henry Higgins was the "Pygmalion" in this play. He practiced the obscure profession of phonetics, and taught the wealthy to speak well for a living. Because of this, he was a bit of a snob. Higgins was also extremely moody and condescending. This was part of the reason why he treated Eliza (the flower girl) so unfairly, although in his eyes he "never gave her the slightest provocation". In my opinion, Pygmalion was basically the story of one very messed-up guy and his mistreatment and ultimate resolution with someone who at first appeared less powerful than he was. 

Various other important females in Higgins's life, like his housekeeper and his mother, entreated him to be more reasonable towards Eliza, but he seemed to be unwilling to accept any female advice. He only caved a little when spoken to by a man. Higgins had very strange ideals and outbursts throughout the play. Most modern people would roll their eyes and think, "Anger management problems~" very early on while reading. 

However, it's a pretty quick read and a creative premise. As a classic and free on the Kindle, I'd recommend it.
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When Nikki Murrow lost her first High School debating match she did what anyone would do – she hid in a closet. She found comfort hiding among the mops and cleaning supplies, but she also found two imps – tiny creatures from a magical kingdom who lead her on a strange journey into the Realm of Reason.

There is Fuzz, an imp with a fondness for breaking the rules. And Athena, a model of impish manners, decorum and spotlessly clean clothes. Together they convince Nikki to join them in the battle against the king's evil advisor, Maleficious.

In her debate class, Nikki learned the value of logic and reason, but who knew her ability to formulate a hypothesis would help a mud-splattered Knight redeem his tarnished reputation? Or that her knowledge of logical fallacies would rid the Realm's Haunted Hills of ghosts? 

Maleficious's hold on the king is strong, but Nikki and the imps are determined that the Realm will not fall into his clutches. Will their mastery of logic rid the kingdom of the ignorance Maleficious is spreading, or will the inhabitants of the Realm fall back under the sway of centuries-old superstition?

Huh. Pretty good for a free Kindle book. That's right. It's free (buy here). It's a Phantom Tollbooth-style sort of book that involves a whimsical other-world filled with strange creatures and a desire to spread reason. The thing that's sort of weird/endearing about this book is that it's "educational" (dun dun dun....). It introduces logical fallacies in a way that might be good for.. say... third graders. It was a bit over-simple for my taste, but I'll keep it on my Kindle for its useful information on logical fallacies--I knew about them already, but I'd never heard the formal terminology before. 

Generally, each chapter detailed a different logical fallacy as Nikki and her imp companions traveled throughout the Realm of Reason to eliminate superstition and spread knowledge. I also like that they weren't always successful. Repeated victories against ignorance every single chapter can get really monotonous. The one thing I didn't understand was why Nikki had to be a high schooler. It made her seem extremely stupid not to be applying her knowledge more, almost as if she was just bored and helping these immature imps for fun. If she was, say, a fifth grader, it would have made the story way more plausible and entertaining.

It was a bit more medieval than The Phantom Tollbooth, and the character foils of Fuzz and Athena were fun to read about. Nikki often spoke to the imps like they were first graders, very simply and patiently. However, it's an engaging format for teaching logical fallacies to younger readers. The next book, Castles and Chemistry is about--guess what? Chemistry! A preview chapter is included in Logic to the Rescue in which Nikki teaches Athena what an atom is.

So if you want an introduction to logical fallacies in a simple story, go ahead and download!
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The prompt is from Kami Garcia, and the pic from

The pic is from and the prompt is mine.

The prompt is from and the pic from
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I'm falling. That much I can sense. At first my senses blur in confusion, jarred by the biting speed of my ineluctable path--I'm on a crash course with the pavement. What am I doing here again? The sun is blinking, climbing up over the top of the skyscraper as I ask myself this question. I can almost hear it yawning. So serene, so peaceful. For a moment I'm numb to the searing wind branding marks into my bare wrists, whipping at my jeans. I smile, and think that this might be the most beautiful moment in my entire depraved life.


It comes crashing down on my soul, a tidal wave of emotions and memories burning into my heart. Someone, then another someone, just endless people beating me. Then fists flying, landing solidly, and sirens in the distance. A broken figure. Me, unconscious on a creepily white hospital bed. 

That was when I decided to submit to death.

In the last moments before the sunrise, I struggled to sit up. I was wearing a dress--not one of the party dresses I'd always dreamed of wearing, but a disgusting, old-lady hospital dress. Nevertheless, it was airy and more or less comfortable. In a chair, white like the rest of this uncomfortably sterile room, is a bundle of what looks like clothes and a small slip of paper. I already know what it says. 

"Meet me outside. I have a surprise for you."

Kira thought she was so clever. My best friend in all the world. The only reason I would be sorry to leave it. But today I couldn't go out to her. Because today I was going out to death. Slipping into the clothes that Ki left me, I crept into the hallway of the hospital, my steps echoing through the passage. No one was about this early in the morning. I pressed the up button on the elevator and its cheerful ding! made me smile a little. Just a very little. 

The ladder up to the roof wasn't too hard to find. The slightly thinner air was refreshing after the oppressive, white-lit hospital. I imagined that I could hear the birds chirping, heralding a new day that would start without me. Hearing frantic footsteps behind me, I rushed to the edge of the building's top. With no regrets, I hurtled over. Down, down, down.

A fraction of a second passed. Against the sky that was now splashed with fiery oranges and pinks pushing back the receding night-blue, Kira's face appeared. Words flew from her mouth, but I couldn't hear them. I just smiled up at her. As she realized that this was my own doing, tears began streaming down her face. One touched my cheek as it rushed down, gravity summoning it to the ground. Like rain, I thought as my consciousness splintered.


I'm still falling. I guess I've just jerked awake after a spell of falling unconscious. Sadly, I paint the lines of Kira and me in all of our happy times--the only happy times of the life of Ariana Hatfield, I think sadly. But now I'm in a train, speeding towards the sidewalk, where hopefully there is a light at the end of this despairing tunnel. I can almost hear the clickety-clack of the tracks and the steam issuing from the top. 

I've heard that your life is supposed to flash before your eyes just before you die. I really don't know if that's what's happening to me. All I see is moments, of laughing, of running, of crying myself to sleep. Of darkness, and sunlight. Kira, me, the various abusive foster parents. The social workers. The nurses. Another memory, another smile, another vaguely nostalgic recollection. I decide that I want to close my eyes as I die. I can feel the earth now, rushing up to greet me, to take me to a better place.

Just before I hit the ground, my eyes snap open to a dull thud on the sidewalk beside me. Kira -! She must have thrown herself down when I blacked out. Kira... the light is already leaving her eyes, her bones and body broken. She didn't have to. She didn't have to. Please... no...

But I'm strangely comforted by the thought that, wherever she's gone, I'll soon follow. Then we'll spend the rest of our afterlife in some light-filled place, among what I'm sure will be a glade of many-hued wildflowers, tinkling like fairy bells filled with sunny laughter. My heart warms at the thought of the place that I'm heading to, that I'll find when I finally die in this stupid world. Peacefully, I stare up at the brilliant sky. It really is a beautiful morning. A slight pang fills my chest as I realize I won't be there to live out that pretty summer day. Light glares at me over the metal skyscraper. 

I see Kira's body on the pavement, beside and just below me. Then a violent shove. Unbelievable pain. In the agony I scream, though in that sleepy morning, no one can hear me. Do I really make a sound? Somewhere in all of that suffering, in the crack of my springy bones and long-forgotten bruises hurting again, I clasp Kira's hand and the world, with one last boom that I'm probably imagining, just goes out. I wait for the meadow, the fairy bells. I wait for the same blue sky in another, better place. I wait. And wait. And wait. And that's when it hits me, more painful than hitting the ground:

I'll have to wait forever.

According to the I Write Like Software, in this story

I write like
Arthur Clarke
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!
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This one's a bit different from what I normally do. I know. It was a bit of a collaboration between my fellow artist Mashimaro and myself. But it's cute, right?

Credit Starflower Hunting and Mashimaro!!
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Presenting.... "Drink In The Sky"!!!

Remember to credit me if you use it/are inspired by it!! And comment the link to the product!!!
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The prompt is mine, and the pic is from

The pic is from Wikipedia and the prompt is mine.

This is HP fanart by andells on deviantART, and the prompt is by Sherman Alexie.
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I made a new artwork called I Am The Queen. Remember, you can always use my work as a writing prompt - just comment the link to your result! I'd love to see how my work inspires others. Same goes for my writing prompts... but anyway, here's "I Am The Queen"!

Remember to credit me if you use it!!
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This is another piece of artwork that I made on Procreate.... enjoy "Mountain"!!

Make sure you credit Starflower Hunting if you ever use it!! :)
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I've decided to use one of my own prompts to write a sort of flash fiction. You're welcome to use the prompt and enjoy the story!

People bustle, frantic to finish their business before the rise. Children are hurriedly put to bed. Lights blink out. They have only the nights to live. They are forsaken.

The sky lightens with the first tinge of orange. Talking gets faster. Doors slam. Windows lock. A last goodbye to neighbors, until tomorrow night. In all this rush, a quiet settles. No one dares to break the hush. Floating serenely on its island, the city goes away. The sun peeks out from behind a faraway hill. Already the outskirts of the city threaten to disappear.

Stray dogs bark before becoming no more. A red ball bounces one final time. The curse still holds. The sun rises. The city fades.

According to the I Write Like software:

I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!
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More writing prompts :) :)

The prompt is all mine, but the pic is from

The prompt is mine, but the pic is from slack12 on Flickr.

The prompt is mine, pic is from
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Photo from
Sophia “Soap” Lazarcheck is a girl genius with a knack for making robots—and for making robots explode. After her talents earn her admission into a secretive university institute, she is swiftly drawn into a conspiracy more than a century in the making. Meanwhile and without her knowledge, her cousin Dean wages a two-fisted war of vengeance against a villainous genius and his unwashed minions. Separately, the cousins must pit themselves against murderous thugs, experimental weaponry, lizard monsters, and a nefarious doomsday device. When their paths finally meet up, they will need to risk everything to prevent a mysterious technology from bringing civilization to a sudden and very messy end.
--From Sechin Tower's website

Pretty good for a Kindle book. The premise is... well, interesting, and the whole revolving-around-Tesla thing is cool, since I'd never heard of Tesla before I read Mad Science Institute.

Other than that, it was an okay adventure story with okay characters. I don't really feel like analyzing it further... but if you're really, really bored and are looking for something cheap on your Kindle to keep you occupied, then go for it.
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