Posts By: Bonnie

Bonnie

Lover of tea. Crazed Bibliophile. Daydreamer.
I have a ridiculous love for the written word. I read anything and everything: Adult fiction, YA, Middle Grade, even the occasional Non-Fiction.

When I'm not reading I'm caring for my step-children, drinking obscene amounts of tea and contemplating what life will be like in the impending apocalypse.

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Life’s Too Short | The Honey-Don’t List, Follow Me to Ground, The Starless Sea

December 26, 2019 Bonnie 2019, Book Reviews, Life's Too Short 8 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Life’s Too Short | The Honey-Don’t List, Follow Me to Ground, The Starless SeaThe Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren
Narrator: Allan Corduner, Bahni Turpin, Dion Graham, Dominic Hoffman, Fiona Hardingham, Jorjeana Marie
Published by Gallery Books on March 24, 2020
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Favorite Half-Night Stand, Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating, Love and Other Words, The Unhoneymooners, Twice in a Blue Moon

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Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.
James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.
Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…
From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.
From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

DNF @ 23%

I’ve read a ton of Christina Lauren books and my ratings have gone steadily down with each new release, however, this is my first official DNF. I just couldn’t do it. This one rubbed me the wrong way right from the beginning with how similar the plot was to Chip and Joanna Gaines and their home improvement show, Fixer Upper. In The Honey-Don’t List, they’re Rusty and Melissa, with their home improvement show and their perfect life… except it’s all a lie. I don’t know, for me, it felt like they were just taking something good and wholesome and ruining it. But I kept reading. Until I got to this quote which is referencing Rusty’s extra-marital affairs:

“I know her well enough to get that she doesn’t like my intrusion, but we’re all in this awkwardness together, and there’s no one to blame but Rusty. And to be fair, probably Melly, too.”

Oh, I’m sorry, what was that? We’re blaming Melissa for being the reason Rusty cheated on her?

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Life’s Too Short | The Honey-Don’t List, Follow Me to Ground, The Starless SeaFollow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford
Published by Scribner on January 21, 2020
Pages: 208
Genres: Magical Realism
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads


dnf

A haunted, surreal debut novel about an otherworldly young woman, her father, and her lover that culminates in a shocking moment of betrayal—one that upends our understanding of power, predation, and agency.
Ada and her father, touched by the power to heal illness, live on the edge of a village where they help sick locals—or “Cures”—by cracking open their damaged bodies or temporarily burying them in the reviving, dangerous Ground nearby. Ada, a being both more and less than human, is mostly uninterested in the Cures, until she meets a man named Samson. When they strike up an affair, to the displeasure of her father and Samson’s widowed, pregnant sister, Ada is torn between her old way of life and new possibilities with her lover—and eventually comes to a decision that will forever change Samson, the town, and the Ground itself.
Follow Me to Ground is fascinating and frightening, urgent and propulsive. In Ada, award-winning author Sue Rainsford has created an utterly bewitching heroine, one who challenges conventional ideas of womanhood and the secrets of the body. Slim but authoritative, Follow Me to Ground lingers long after its final page, pulling the reader into a dream between fairytale and nightmare, desire and delusion, folktale and warning.

DNF @ 29%

This is one of those books that’s going to be amazing for a certain kind of reader. I am not that certain kind of reader. This was magical realism with a dash of weirdness but the more you keep reading you realize that the lid must’ve come off and the whole bottle of weirdness ended up in there. The utter strangeness of this reminded me a lot of The Library at Mount Char, so if you were a fan of that, definitely pick this one up. (That one also didn’t work for me. lol) Here’s a quick summary of the weirdness: this girl and her father were both “born from the dirt” or something, her father transforms into a beast at night and eats the local wildlife, they take out the yucky stuff from people that causes them pain/sickness, etc. The writing is lyrical and the only reason I got to 29% but the story is extremely weird. Take this scene for instance:

“First time I tried to lie down with a boy, I didn’t know what I was doing. I lay down and he lay down over me and I held on tight. He went to put it in and there was nowhere for it to go and he got scared and bit me. […] By the time I took Samson inside, I’d grown myself an opening that I’d a dozen names for.”

Image result for the fuck just happened gif

Life’s Too Short | The Honey-Don’t List, Follow Me to Ground, The Starless SeaThe Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Narrator: Dominic Hoffman, Dion Graham, Bahni Turpin, Allan Corduner, Fiona Hardingham, Jorjeana Marie
on November 5, 2019
Length: 18 hrs and 37 mins
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads


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Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.
A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

DNF @ 30 minutes into the audio

I knew quickly that this one wasn’t going to work out for me. I know I didn’t really give it a chance, but I was completely lost and had no idea what was going on and there didn’t even seem to be a freaking plot. It was full of extremely beautiful writing that was always describing something in explicit detail and never actually amounting to much. Maybe this would be better in print but I’m not sure I’ll be giving it that opportunity. Truth is, I DNF’d The Night Circus in print AND in audio (I tried it in both ways just to make sure it wasn’t a format problem) and I’m just not sure Morgenstern is the author for me.

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Happy Holidays 2019

December 25, 2019 Bonnie Holidays 3 Comments

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Top Ten Tuesday | Winter TBR

December 17, 2019 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 5 Comments

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are but it’s definitely a bundle up on the couch with a good book weather here!

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In the last few weeks of the year/decade, I’ve been trying to finally get around to at least a few of those 2019 releases before I become completely inundated with the 2020 books that are already rolling in. Here are a few that I’d still like to finish and a few early 2020 releases I’d like to get a head start on

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan
To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards #2) by Jennifer Estep
Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen | Expected publication: January 14th 2020 by MIRA
Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford | Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Scribner

What are you planning on reading this season?

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of December 16th, 2019

December 16, 2019 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

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Week of December 16th, 2019

The Kill Club by Wendy Heard
Expected publication: December 17th 2019 by Mira Books

The Network (Jack Logan #1) by L.C. Shaw
Expected publication: December 17th 2019 by Harper Paperbacks

A Trace of Deceit (Victorian Mystery #2) by Karen Odden
Expected publication: December 17th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Fatal Accusation (Fatal #15) by Marie Force
Expected publication: December 17th 2019 by HQN

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of December 9th, 2019

December 9, 2019 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

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Week of December 9th, 2019

The Light of All That Falls (The Licanius Trilogy #3) by James Islington
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Orbit

Shatter the Night (Detective Gemma Monroe #4) by Emily Littlejohn
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Minotaur Books

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

All That’s Bright and Gone: A Novel by Eliza Nellums
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Flatiron Books

The Course of All Treasons (An Elizabethan Spy Mystery #2) by Suzanne M. Wolfe
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

The Wicked Redhead (The Wicked City #2) by Beatriz Williams
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by William Morrow

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books

The Book of Science and Antiquities by Thomas Keneally
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Atria Books

Search Heartache by Carla Malden
Expected publication: December 10th 2019 by Rare Bird Books

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Monthly Rundown | November 2019

December 6, 2019 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 4 Comments

Books Read = 19

I finally felt like I found my stride again this month. I only reviewed one but it was a great month of reading and I’m hoping that I’m able to keep it up and finish the year off strong. I’m currently at 117 read going into December so I’m already pleased with my progress. November has already been extremely cold so I’m looking forward to curling up on the couch with a book or three. 🙂

Posted Reviews

Book Review | Memories Become Unreliable in ‘Recursion’

Unreviewed Reads

Best of the Month: Recursion by Blake Crouch ★★★★½
If you’ve been following me lately, you’ll know I’ve been struggling a bit with reviewing. I haven’t been forcing it and only writing when the book actually inspires me to do so (good or bad). Recursion got reviewed this month for all good reasons. 🙂

Least Favorite: The Unwritten, Vol. 3: Dead Man’s Knock by Mike Carey ★★★
I had read the first 5 installments of this series forever ago so I’m re-reading those so I can finally finish it. But installments like #3 make me question my decision because boy, can these be some severely wordy graphic novels. The story itself is interesting but sometimes they lose me.

Biggest Surprise: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black ★★★★
This was an enormous surprise because this was actually my third time attempting to read this, but dammit, I finally succeeded. And really enjoyed the heck out of it. So much that I actually completed the entire trilogy in a single month. Crazy to think what I’d be missing out on if I never gave it another shot.

Biggest Disappointment: Meet Cute by Helena Hunting ★★★
Like many before me, I was fooled by the cuteness of this cover. I’m not sure why this was the chosen cover (nothing wrong with the actual cover) but the insides don’t even come close to matching it. The story itself is much more serious and definitely lacking in “cute”. The whole thing was unfortunately pretty predictable too.

What were some of your favorite reads from November?

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of December 2nd, 2019

December 2, 2019 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

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Week of December 2nd, 2019

Wicked Hour (Heirs of Chicagoland #2) by Chloe Neill
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Berkley Books

Blood of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #3) by Brian McClellan
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Orbit

Where Gods Fear to Go (West of West #3) by Angus Watson
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Orbit

Dead Astronauts (Borne #2) by Jeff VanderMeer
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by MCD

Joe Hill: The Graphic Novel Collection by Joe Hill
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by IDW Publishing

Down Among the Dead (The Farian War #2) by K.B. Wagers
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Orbit

The Revisionaries by A.R. Moxon
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Melville House

Cypher (The Violet Wars #2) by Rich Larson
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Orbit

Just Watch Me (Riley Wolfe #1) by Jeff Lindsay
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Dutton

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Berkley Books

Winter Grave (An Embla Nyström Investigation #2) by Helene Tursten
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Soho Crime

The Sacrament: A Novel by Olaf Olafsson
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Ecco

How the Dead Speak (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #11) by Val McDermid
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Atlantic Monthly Press

Reputation: A Novel by Sara Shepard
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Dutton

Trace of Evil (Natalie Lockhart #1) by Alice Blanchard
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Minotaur Books

Thin Ice: A Mystery by Paige Shelton
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Minotaur Books

Genesis (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery #12) by Robin Cook
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Ghost of a Flea (Lew Griffin #6) by James Sallis
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Soho Crime

Lost Tomorrows (Rick Cahill #6) by Matt Coyle
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Oceanview Publishing

Treachery: A Novel (Giordano Bruno Thriller #4) by S.J. Parris
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Pegasus Books

Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar (A Laetitia Rodd Mystery #2) by Kate Saunders
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Now You See Them (Stephens & Mephisto Mystery #5) by Elly Griffiths
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This Is Happiness by Niall Williams
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Berkley

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Berkley Books

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of November 25th, 2019

November 25, 2019 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 1 Comment

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Week of November 25th, 2019

The Rise of Magicks (Chronicles of The One #3) by Nora Roberts
Expected publication: November 26th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

Lady Takes the Case (Manor Cat Mystery #1) by Eliza Casey
Expected publication: November 26th 2019 by Berkley Books

Under Occupation: A Novel by Alan Furst
Expected publication: November 26th 2019 by Random House

Sword of Kings (The Saxon Stories #12) by Bernard Cornwell
Expected publication: November 26th 2019 by Harper

Spy by Danielle Steel
Expected publication: November 26th 2019 by Delacorte Press

Scarlet Fever (“Sister” Jane #12) by Rita Mae Brown
Expected publication: November 26th 2019 by Ballantine Books

Tiny Love: The Complete Stories of Larry Brown by Larry Brown
Expected publication: November 26th 2019 by Algonquin Books

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of November 18th, 2019

November 18, 2019 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

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Week of November 18th, 2019

Sabbath by Nick Mamatas
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by Tor Books

False Value (Rivers of London #8) by Ben Aaronovitch
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by DAW Books

Upon the Flight of the Queen (The Ring-Sworn Trilogy #2) by Howard Andrew Jones
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

The Lights Go Out in Lychford (Lychford #4) by Paul Cornell
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by Tor.com

A Minute to Midnight (Atlee Pine #2) by David Baldacci
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by Grand Central Publishing

Impossible Causes by Julie Mayhew
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing

The Second Sleep by Robert Harris
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by Knopf Publishing Group

Wyoming by JP Gritton
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by Tin House Books

Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

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Book Review | Memories Become Unreliable in ‘Recursion’

November 12, 2019 Bonnie 2019, Adult, Book Reviews 10 Comments

Book Review | Memories Become Unreliable in ‘Recursion’Recursion by Blake Crouch
Published by Crown Publishing Group (NY) on June 11, 2019
Pages: 336
Genres: Sci-fi, Time Travel
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads


four-half-stars

Memory makes reality.

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

That's what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. 

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

re·cur·sion /rəˈkərZHən/: the determination of a succession of elements (such as numbers or functions) by operation on one or more preceding elements according to a rule or formula involving a finite number of steps

The year is 2018 and we’re introduced to an NYPD officer named Barry who is responding to a call of a potential suicide. The woman’s name is Ann Voss Peters and she says she has False Memory Syndrome. About a month ago, Ann was suddenly filled with memories from a different life where she had a husband and a son where they lived in Vermont. She remembers everything from their life in excruciating detail and it’s a life with everything she could possibly want but nothing she’ll ever have and it leaves her broken. Her death leaves Barry to contemplate the mystery behind Ann and the prevalence of False Memory Syndrome and he manages to uncover enough truth to believe it’s possible that the strange memories that flooded her brain at random are actually real.

The year is 2007 and we meet a scientist named Helena who is studying how a brain processes memories. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and she hopes to create something to help her from the disease that’s destroying her mind. When one of the richest men in the world, Marcus Slade, makes an offer to fund her continued research she realizes she’ll never get a better opportunity. She spends years perfecting her research, but her own intent for the research becomes slowly overruled by Slade and by the dark direction he wishes to take things. Helena realizes far too late that the good thing that she tried to create has become a terrifying weapon with potentially horrifying ramifications.

“Because memory…is everything. Physically speaking, a memory is nothing but a specific combination of neurons firing together—a symphony of neural activity. But in actuality, it’s the filter between us and reality. You think you’re tasting this wine, hearing the words I’m saying, in the present, but there’s no such thing. The neural impulses from your taste buds and your ears get transmitted to your brain, which processes them and dumps them into working memory—so by the time you know you’re experiencing something, it’s already in the past. Already a memory.”

There’s something about time travel that sings to my soul. The concept of being able to go back (or forward) to a time you had only ever read about in history books (or knew that you’d never live to see) is fascinating. Of course, each iteration of time travel has its own set of rules, some don’t make sense and some do. Crouch’s approach to time travel is truly mind-boggling and I can only imagine that him trying to brainstorm this plot to make everything work looked something very close to this:

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Or maybe that’s just me, trying to figure out if his rules actually work. After a while, I stopped trying to contemplate the logistics and took a step back just to enjoy this truly imaginative and well-written story. Crouch very easily could have bitten off far more than he could chew but he somehow transformed this chaotic plot with multiple points of view and multiple timelines into something shockingly streamlined. But Recursion is more than just your standard time travel story. Rather than a story about time travel and how to scientifically make this happen, he takes it a step further and forces us to think responsibly, to think along the lines of the butterfly effect. Would you go back in time, knowing all that you know now, to change something that you’ve always wished you could change? Would you still do that if you knew your changes could have catastrophic consequences?

What makes this even better is his inspiration for this story, an article from The Smithsonian about scientists that figured out how to implant fake memories into a mouse. Incorporating the time travel aspect into that, essentially traveling back through memories instead of time, was pretty freaking brilliant. If you’re looking for more time travel goodness, make sure to watch Dark on Netflix. If Recursion’s time travel rules don’t blow your mind, Dark will help finish it off. I can’t wait to see what zany goodness Crouch comes up with next.

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