In the Eye of the Storm. Storm and Silence #2. Robert Thier.


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In the Eye of the Storm by Robert Thier

My rating: 4.5 stars

Many thanks to the author for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Released August 3rd!

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4.5 stars (Is it possible to make these numbers bigger?!?!)


Initial thoughts

I really wish I wrote this as soon as I finished it.
But I was on a train….
With not enough to time to write out a frenzied review….. -_________-

(Originally written in July 2016)

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You know, I had my ups and down with this book. Initially I was really excited to receive the ARC from the author, since I found myself loving Storm & Silence for all the reasons I listed in my review. But with In the Eye of the Storm, it was a little different. I came at it full force, with lots and lots of expectations and also, ideas I of what I didn’t want, and yet…this…surprised me more than anything.

Like S&S, I finished this quicker than I expected.

What I love about Thier’s books so far is that they’re ALL fast paced. Every chapter has a climax (of sorts) that leaves you hanging for the next chapter. And when you pass the 50% mark, the rest is free fall. Meaning. Just hang on tight and go for the ride.

And like with S&S there’s everything from steamy kisses to being shot at to who knows what’ll happen next!

Oh yes, and did I mention the fake marriage? The Captain Lilly keeps running into? The poor Old Lady whose holiday was cut short because of Lilly’s lies? A conversation between Rick and Dick?? Oh and Mr Ambrose?


PROS – yes, the things YOU’LL DEFINITELY want to read

1) Mr Ambrose! He is my favourite character (but only because Karim didn’t get so much page time this time….) in this sequel. He was an ass a lot of the time to Lilly, but then Lilly was also being a bit of a stubborn donkey. Mr Ambrose was always relatively reasonable, and I think, despite the fact that we don’t know much about his history yet (a thing I am dying to know more of), he is still very well rounded as a character with evident likes and dislikes. Even better crafted all round than Lilly who is the main protagonist. I mean really…what kind of man would walk through a sandstorm just because it’ll waste time to camp? But it’s the fact that he’s a logical city man, that he makes his decision, which realistically, makes alot of sense. Even more so since Mr Ambrose gives orders, and takes his own advice……..including….

      He gave me a look. One of those looks. ‘Do you know the size of an average grain of sand?’
‘No,’ I had to admit.
‘It is between 0.0024803 and 0.08 inches. Now, think carefully for a moment. Do you think I am going to let myself be stopped by something smaller than the tenth of an inch?’
‘Um… no.’
‘Indeed, no.’ (Kindle Locations 5484-5489).

2) The always obedient Lilly Linton and her feminist mindset😀. I love it when she goes all out feminist, specially during the second half. Lilly’s not a girl to be left behind, nor is she is a damsel in distress! For the first half of the book though, I wanted to shake her – specially when she’s pretending to be Mr Ambrose’s wife (it was so nice to see her in a dress again!) – because she was acting so……STUBBORN. There were a lot of things she did which she could have done without well, making Mr Ambrose look like he did. But at the same time, she was just sticking to who she is!

3) Every conversation between Lilly Linton and Mr Ambrose. There wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t thinking not to laugh. Both of them have a really good dynamic with each other. As stubborn as a donkey, and yet logical and willing to compromise! Such as…a conversation about appropriate husbandly names for Rikkard Ambrose:

      I thought about it for a moment, rolling the name around my tongue. Then, suddenly, an idea came to me, and a grin spread over my face. ‘I’m sure there are other abbreviations for your lovely name. How about “Dick”?’
He gave me a glare that sent shivers down my back. But my smile only widened. Inside, I was rolling on the floor with laughter, gasping for air. Ha! Payback time!
‘It’s “Rick”, Miss Linton! No discussion!’
‘Just as you say,… Dick.’
His glare cooled another dozen degrees. ‘I’m your employer, Miss Linton! You are obligated to follow my orders!’
In return for his ferocious glare, I gave him back a cheerful smile. ‘Apparently, you’re not my employer. You’re my husband now, Dick. Haven’t you heard?’
(Kindle Locations 2858-2864).

4) THE ACTION – while the beginning contains less action, this book is filled with it. From beginning to end. There is every single moment in it worth waiting for. But my favourite part, is the end😉.

5) The little old deaf lady! While in the end the joke got a tad bit old, she was a cracker. Poor woman, being tied into Lilly’s work by accident!! And strangely, I was waiting for the moment where she says ‘I’m sorry to hear that’ and actually has all of her hearing! But then, it didn’t happen, and yet, she was still a fun character😀.

6) The setting. To some degree, it’s pretty vivid. Thier has expected social customs down to a pat, so it makes it clearly to visualise without great detail in the description of the world. So in a way, this makes his plain but humorous style of writing really engaging and quick to read. The worldbuilding is built into the conversations, into the scenes of action, and through the characters interactions with each other!

7) This sequel actually reminds me of the kind of series where in each book the characters encounter a new problem that they have to solve while still remaining their somewhat ambiguous yet high in chemistry relationship!

8) THE ENDING IS NOT FAIR. I was expecting, expecting some kind of IDK and then it ended, with Lilly returning to work, and………..where is my Mr Ambrose and Lilly Linton moment?!?! Or SOMETHING. ANYTHING.


CONS – yes, no book is free of cons!

1) The plot felt a bit scattered and a bit weak, at the same time, it was simple, with one motivation in hand. HOWEVER, because there was only one motivation, the ending thus, seemed a bit abrupt, which left me mourning :(((( and wondering what might happen to Lilly and Mr Ambrose next!

2) VERY romance focussed for the first half. I actually really liked the development of Mr Ambrose and Lilly’s relationship in S&S but In the Eye of the Storm, their relationship takes another level while still remaining in the same position.

3) LILLY LINTON WHAT ARE YOU DOING HALF THE TIME?! Especially the first half. Even though I understand everything you do, I still have to con you! Because sometimes I wanted to shake you so badly. It wouldn’t kill you to behave for at least one or two of your acting scenes with Mr Ambrose, would it?! But then, actually, with the way you’re written, it also makes more sense, since later on, the scene where you’re obedient is actually a little bit more touching!

4) Lilly finds excuses wayyyyy too easily to escape from her home. It makes me wonder sometimes if it’s in the 1920s instead of earlier, considering how chaperoning was more serious and her aunt really doesn’t seem to care much at all ^^”. Then again, Lilly’s family isn’t excessively rich….but well! Logically, it does all work out, I kind of look forward to the moment when her lies/secrets are exposed!


CONCLUSIONS

(Yes, lovelies, I’m awfully aware that I am not writing an essay lol.)
A lovely sequel to S&S. I loved it for the action, for the fast paced, and also for most of the Mr Ambrose and Lilly moments. Goes well with a plain cup of tea i.e. a boring day. Robert Thier is also very humourous in his writing, so there’s not really a chapter where you’re wondering if you’re going to be bored (if you followed my statuses, and wondered what I was referring to around the 50% mark, I was mostly complaining about the romance part, since it was getting a tad tedious but then the WALL exploded and BULLETS were flying and MR AMBROSE was rescuing a DEAF OLD LADY and Lilly at the same time, even though moments before they were kissing like mad – er Lilly and Mr Ambrose, not Mr Ambrose and the Old Lady lol.) If Thier writes another book, I will definitely be reading it. Oh Yes, because the ending of this one is UNSATISFACTORY. GIVE ME MORE MR AMBROSE.

And on a final note there was a lovely surprise at the end of this book with additional chapters from Mr Ambrose’s POV which I LOVED. It was sooooo nice to read from his POV. I actually would love to see chapters from his pov. Mr Ambrose has such an interesting mind after😛.

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I Think

I think
Therefore I am
But I think
About the am
That I have become
And wonder if
Perhaps
Maybe
Just a little
This am
That I am
Is not the am
I have always been looking for.
I think
Therefore I am
But this am
Does not really think
Not the way am
Should think
In this world
Of poisonous
Splashtastic
Aesthetic
Trends
That still the spotlight
And overshadow
The simplicity
Of beauty
Stripped back
And bare
Plain as can be
A canvas–appreciated
No need to be created.
I think
Must think
And break
Away from this
Suffocating existence
Of trend
After trend
Of fashion
Over
style
And yet…
I am one
Who cannot run away
From this decorating phase
Who itches to change
And beautify
What is…
Beauty
As is.
I think
Therefore I am
When I can bear
To strip away
From the mainstream flows
Of peacocks
And roosters
Vibrant and beautiful…
And appreciate
The simple
Gentle
Plain beauty
Of basic white.

(Sorry guys I disappeared! You know I’ve been reading over some of my old poetry and truly, I love them a lot more than the ones I write now. They say ‘writing is a way of knowing’ (quoted from Gloria Park an academic in language studies who quoted from a man called Ivanic I believe) and right now I think I’m desperately clinging on to the thoughts I had in this poem: Voices of Yesterday at the same time, I think I’m just evolving. What do you think? I’ve been through some roughish patches and life’s gotten busy and even though I want to express something, I think…I just need the time to think. I miss the dreams of my older poems oh wow there’s a title for another poem! But will it work? Haha thanks again for dropping by for a read! )

Winter is coming.

Winter is coming,

I can feel it in my bones—

That definite chill

That clings to the air

And the ominous disappearance

Of the blue, blue sky.

Mornings are cold,

So much chillier

Than before.

The frigid air that wraps

Around the blanket cocoon

That keeps me warm

In the safety

Of the dreamscape

Where summer still exists.

I dread the early mornings

The same one every day

That is no different

But for the time of the year

And the sun

Yet to rise.

I wake up every morning

And sigh that heavy sigh

Wishing the summer

That had left

With all its

Horrid,

Inescapable heat,

Would come back

And warm my bones again

In a way that hot cocoa

Only achieves

For the space of twenty minutes.

Sometimes I just pretend

That autumn is still here

That it isn’t just an imagined phase

Of seasons

That this year chose

To skip over

And throw me into

The depths of winter

And its chilly hell.

There is an unidentifiable itch

At the back of my throat

Coupled with the later

Morning

Wake ups

And the constant need to

Moisten

The dry fields

Of parched land

At the back of my throat.

I sigh and think

With a heavy reluctance

Reaching for that

Soothing

Miracle—

The cough drop—

That maybe,

Just maybe,

I should accept

The chill that clings to my bones,

The midnight mornings,

And hot cups of comforting cocoa,

And maybe, just maybe

Winter is here.

Shadow Study. Maria V. Snyder.

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Shadow Study
by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

(This review was actually done last year and chronicles my reading experience!)

F I R S T  I M P R E S S I O N S

Omg so it’s true, there are three more books! Well, I can’t say that I’m not excited, because I am, and because I really love the original three, but will they live up to my expectations? Yelena and Valek are my favouritest couple ever! I guess I’m excited?? But expectations…are hard to live up to sometimes.

update–16th Nov 2015 at 00:15am
loveeedddd this! missed this world so much!! Yelena, Valek, ari, Janco, everyone and everything!

more detailed review later!

U P D A T E
– 11am 16th Nov 2015

So technically it’s 4.5 stars but in this case, the rating doesn’t really matter because as a long time fan of this series, I loved this installment a lot! And my expectations weren’t disappointed (mainly because I really was soooo in the mood to read this).

Welcome back Yelena and Valek, and all the crew of the Study series. This time though, rather than simply being told from Yelena’s perspective, the story is alternated between Yelena, Valek and Janco. This was a nice change, and while I usually have reservations about one character being told in first person, and the others in third, Snyder blended it in pretty nicely. In many ways, Shadow Study is more Valek’s story than Yelena’s, as we learn so much about him than we ever had in previous books.

It never ceases to amaze me how easily I can slip into the Study series’ world. Comprised two countries: Ixia and Sitia, one North, the other South, one organised like a military with a Commander as its head, the other more relaxed and functioning with a Council and full support for the existence of magicians. Snyder doesn’t bog down the writing with long and winded, detailed and sometime painfully irritating descriptions of the world. Yet, somehow, it’s so very easy to imagine her worlds. Her details are brief yet somehow, oddly vivid. In a way, it helps that the original trilogy was written in first person, because it does, I feel, help the reader become immersed into the world a lot easier. Plus, Snyder had a nice way of providing info without the usual infodumping (in the lessons Yelena had with Valek way back in Poison Study).

This book is set across both lands. Which is great, though still, predominantly in Sitia, I was happy to see more of Ixia, since I missed seeing it in Magic Study and Fire Study.

Yelena, Valek, Janco, Ari, the Commander, the Master Magicians are all back! Along with more familiar faces! Good guys and bad guys alike!

The only difference though, is that it’s been eight years since the events of Poison Study. And it was both odd and normal to see Yelena as a 27 year old woman. It was a little strange, mainly because she didn’t sound any different or act any different to the original trilogy, yet, she is definitely older. Though, still, sometimes as immature as before (specially when she’s around her brother Leif). I liked that she was familiar, it made it all the more easier to re-engage with this series.

Valek. Oh Valek! I learnt so much about you this time. It was really nice to see your life before Yelena, and I like also, seeing your development, after all, we never really got to get to know you before not like this. Still, I really wonder how you’ll deal with all the problems you’re facing, and are coming at you next! And not to mention the cliffie at the end of this book.

Janco–I totally didn’t expect to read from his perspective, but that was interesting! But unlike Valek’s part, Janco’s is written like Yelena’s in the sense that it was action orientated rather than character building. Though, told from third pov perspective. As one of my favourite characters always simply because he has such a big mouth and is unable to ever sit still, it was nice seeing how he thought, and his attitudes to people.

Ari, more of a support than main, poor guy he didn’t get his own personal pov, but that’s alright! The little snippets of him and Janco were, like always, absolutely hilarious. They really make a great pair, and are one of my favourite comedy relief characters, such a good broship.

Other supporting characters: Opal and Devlen return, they were great to see! Opal is so mature and nice, I’d forgotten that. Devlen is still growing on me. Leif was the best! I mean someone really needs to figure out how to plug his stomach up. The Master Magicians, helpful but had a really small role. And the Commander. Oh, the Commander, what are you planning?

This was actually quite straightforward, and a little predictable, but it has that classic Snyder flavour of twists and turns, and sudden surprises. All the study books have a focus on mystery, so I’m not surprised that the majority of this book was also focussed on a problem that’s affecting both Ixia and Sitia.

Valek’s job, while he has always cherished it, since meeting Yelena, has thought about retiring. And while he’s always been challenged, there hasn’t been a challenger quite like this one. So while he’s worried about Yelena, he must also figure out the challenger, the Commander, and figure out what’s going on behind the smuggling operation.

Yelena’s magic is suddenly blocked, why? She doesn’t know, but for the book, she’s vulnerable. This plot development early on actually gave me the chance to see a side of Yelena I hadn’t seen before. It’s funny because the last time she had no magic was back in Poison Study, and for her to revisit that feeling, it’s such a scary thing for her. Yet she remains strong, even though for the most of this book, she feels lost. So while she’s trying to figure out what secret is lurking behind the recent breakout of a notorious prisoner, and trying to figure out what happened to her powers, she’s vulnerable to anything.

Very easy to read. Colloquial and not dense at all. Descriptive without being overly so! And Snyder has a nice way of leaving each chapter ending with a hook to make you keep reading! It’s also high fantasy. Definitely YA even though the main characters are beyond YA ages, however the writing and storyline is very YA. Complex enough for the genre, but not as complex and in depth like an adult novel.


Really enjoyed this installment–my opinion ladies and gents is unfortunately very biased based on the fact that I’ve loved this series for ages! If I was’t so biased, I might have rated this lower, maybe 4 stars, maybe 3.8 because although there was a lot going on, and although Snyder does a brilliant job with switching povs, there felt like something missing. But it was only such a slight small thing (I don’t know what it is), that I guess it doesn’t matter to me!

It’s a great YA high fantasy splashed with mystery. It has one of my favourite OTPs too. And it’s got a nice mix of serious characters and humorous ones so it doesn’t feel so heavy.

View all my reviews

Quarterly Book Club Updates!

Quarterly Reads 3

Ladies and gentlemen, it is official! The primary Book Reads for the next Quarterly Read (April/May/June) are well, quite interesting!

All Our YesterdaysOmen (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, #2)Firefight (Reckoners, #2)Ready Player One

The top favourite poll read is All Our Yesterdays while in second place, we have Owen (Star Wars Fate of the Jedi #2), Firefight(Reckoners #2 by Brandon Sanderson), and Ready Player One (by Ernest Cline). Since we have 3 books score second place on the poll list, it seems dear members, you get to have a choice!

If you’re on our Goodreads Group then remember: The top two will be the selected reads for the Quarter. In addition, you may select two other books from the poll to read to make the 4 books total required for the Quarter.

When you finish reading the books/your choice books during the Quarter, you can go discuss it here:

All Our Yesterdays
Second Read
Your Choice Books discussion thread

Thank you guys to those who have been participating in the Quarter Reads so far!

Lastly, in preparation for this Quarter, don’t forget to make a challenge! Which you can do here:

Quarter 2 Challenge.

Thank you also to those who voted on our opinion! It seems that of those who voted, you would like another Freebie Reads Quarter sometime!

[A Further Note] We have a new feature on the Quarterly Book Club! Starting from today Sam and I have agreed, on the suggestion of one of our beloved group members, to open a thread for member reviews! This’ll be in a way, a trial run for now, but essentially this thread will allow any group members to share their reviews of any books they really liked or disliked :)). Follow the link:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/…

And that’s it Booklovers!

Good luck for this Quarter! Sam and I look forward to discussing this Quarter’s books you all!

Have a lovely week book lovers!

P.s. If you’re not on our Goodreads Group but would like to join in on the Quarterly Read with us, then just join!  Let Sam or I know by commenting, and just keep us updated.  

The Quarterly Book Club is designed for the busy reader, with Quarterly reading challenges as well as Yearly challenges for flexibility. It’s also a place for personal reading challenges, book discussions, and essentially sharing your book tastes with others of similar tastes. Although we mainly focus on YA novels, that does not mean that we don’t read Adult or Middle Grade novels.
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Brought to you and hosted by Sam @ A History of Books and Nina @Words that Flow Like Water
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Hopefully we’ll see you there 🙂 Sam and I will be posting the challenges that we do over on the group here on wordpress and post any book related posts in our group.  We Hope You Can Join Us!!!  We really would love to see you there!

Top 5 Favourite Book Covers

Another totally random post!  I love the Top 5 theme, but as for the topics, I suppose I’m still figuring out whether I want to stay Books Only, or branch out to other favourites – so we’ll see!

Today’s topic is favourite book covers – this is so hard!!  I don’t even know where to start, but I suppose this top 5 will be my favourite standout book covers ever (and I think I’ll avoid repeating any covers noted in the other top 5 post for now!)

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Undoubtedly one of my absolute favourite book covers is A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.  I also love the other covers in the series – they’re just as gorgeous.  I actually bought this book based on the cover, and also based on Sam’s (over at A History of Books) recommendation.  I’m really looking forward to reading this when I get round to it, which will probably be around the time when the third and final book comes out.  What I love about this cover is the blend of colours.  I really love the colour scheme here.  I love the watercolour texture – particular the way it makes the images of the two cities (the bottom more than the top) look as if they’ve been painted.  And I really love the simplicity of the font.

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Omg, yes.  The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is beautiful.  It truly is a very beautiful cover.  And I love it a WHOLE lot more than the new covers -> HERE.  I am a bit biased though because I read the books with the original (above) covers.  And when I think of Kestrel, I see a girl like the one in the cover.  The new covers ARE truly pretty and I think they’re awesome BUT I don’t think it represents the story.  In fact, I feel like they misrepresents the Winner’s Trilogy.  Kestrel is kickass, but it’s with her mind.  She just isn’t like the girl on the new covers.  The new covers make her look like an assassin, but the old ones give a sense of gentle distress, of silent conflict, and of a world of power and politics – the dress seems to represent to me a world of fashion, polite society.  I absolutely cannot wait until I read The Winner’s Kiss! 

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3.13574417

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Alienated by Melissa Landers is a cover that really attracted me.  I think what I like about it most is the composition.  Then the sky in the centre, and then lastly the position of the people.  I think the name of this book also captures my attention. And there’s a sense of alienation between both the people on the cover.  This was a cover that made me really want to buy it, and I have plenty of plans to do so soon!

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4. 18284908

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Undeniably one of my favourite covers for the dress.  Look at that dress!  I love they way it just billows about, green amongst the sea of stars.  It’s really pretty!  I really love the blue of the starry sky.  The cover too really matches the story even though most of the story is actually situated on a deserted planet.  What I loved most about this story was the way both Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner approached the possibility of life beyond Earth.  And not just your usual humanoid life, but something that well, gave me a bit of the creeps.  The cover though, doesn’t quite translate that part into it, but on the whole symbolises the need that both the main characters had and needed from each other.

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And lastly, for now, is this beautiful cover.  I bought this book in part because of the cover, and on the other part, because of the story.  I’ve heard only good things about this story!  And it’s like a scientific approach to reincarnation.  From the premise on Goodreads, I also get the sense  of All Our Yesterdays (time travel).  I can really see the whole time after time thing in the cover, and I’m really excited to read this.  I think whoever designed it was and is a genius.

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And those are my top five favourites!  What about you?  What are some of your all time favourite book covers?

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Oh and to wrap up – some honourable mentions!

  • Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) by Lauren DeStefano Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2) by Lauren DeStefano Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3) by Lauren DeStefano – The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano
  • The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass The One (The Selection, #3) by Kiera Cass The Heir (The Selection, #4) by Kiera Cass The Selection Stories The Prince & The Guard (The Selection, #0.5, 2.5) by Kiera Cass The Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass – The Selection Series by Kiera Cass (though I dislike the Crown cover, because the dress looks way too big! The colour is nice though)
  • Matched (Matched, #1) by Ally Condie Crossed (Matched, #2) by Ally Condie Reached (Matched, #3) by Ally Condie – Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie
  • Eon (Eon, #1) by Alison Goodman Eona The Last Dragoneye (Eon, #2) by Alison Goodman – Eon Duology by Allison Goodman
  • Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) by Sarah J. Maas – Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas
  • Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) by Jodi Meadows Asunder (Newsoul, #2) by Jodi Meadows Infinite (Newsoul, #3) by Jodi Meadows – Newsoul Trilogy by Jodi Meadows
  • The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1) by Jodi Meadows The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen, #2) by Jodi Meadows – Orphan Queen duology by Jodi Meadows
  • And more!