Book Review: The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan

 

The Demigod Diaries (Heroes of Olympus) by Rick Riordan

Pirate Princess’s Review

DESCRIPTION: ”

What dangers do runaway demigods Luke and Thalia face on their way to Camp Half-Blood? Are Percy and Annabeth up to the task of rescuing stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn’t take kindly to intruders? How exactly are Leo, Piper, and Jason supposed to find a runaway table, dodge a band of party-loving Maenads (who just might be a little psychotic), and stave off a massive explosion…all in one hour or less?

With his trademark wit and creativity, Rick Riordan answers these questions and more in three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson books. Original art, enlightening character interviews and illustrated profiles, puzzles, and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection that is sure to delight legions of loyal fans.”

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (August 14, 2012)

RATING 5 STARS

LOOOOOOVED IT! <3! 😀 This book was amazing. Percy returned in one of the short stories in this book, along with Annabeth, Luke, Thalia, Leo, Jason, and Piper. Though, they weren’t all in the same story.

The Demigod Diaries has four short stories in it: Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes, The Diary of Luke Castellan, Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford, and Son of Magic.

In Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes, it’s Percy and Annabeth’s 1 month anniversary. It was hilarious!

‘I gave her a smile that I hoped conveyed something like: Hey, you know I’m on your side. Gods are suck jerks! But what can you do? Probably my expression actually conveyed: It’s not my fault! Please don’t kill me!

Lmho, right? 😉 I loved reading from Percy’s point of view again, and since it was a date with Annabeth, that made it more awesome. 🙂 I also learned that Hermes may not be the safest delivery god. Why? Here’s why:

‘Hermes and I sat in the back of the truck on a couple of boxes labeled TOXIC SERPENTS. THIS END UP. Maybe that wasn’t the best place to sit, but it was better than some of his other deliveries, which were labeled EXPLOSIVES, DO NOT SIT ON, and DRAKON EGGS, DO NOT STORE NEAR EXPLOSIVES.’

-_- Yeah……Hermes isn’t the safest UPS guy. Oh, and it has a fire-breathing giant. Did I forget to mention that?

In The Diary of Luke Castellan, Luke writes from his point of view, part of his adventure with Thalia before camp. Which involved a magic goat with udders that gave out Pepsi and Free Ice. We also learn Luke’s first weapon was destroyed. The one he uses in the story is…..Dun, dun, dun! A golf club. Lol! I loved the magic goat/soda machine. 😛 Thalia was cool, as always. Luke was funny. Funny where I had tears coming out of my eyes. I now love Luke in this story. 🙂 My favorite part was, you guessed it, the soda/magic goat! 😀

Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford. I was laughing so hard while I read it this one. It was awesome! Leo returns, along with Jason and Piper! You can tell this story is awesome because the first sentance in it is,

‘Leo blamed the Windex.’

😀 Awesome, right?! 😀 Buford is a walking table that, other than hates Windex, holds something important. Can’t tell you what because I you have to read it. 😛 Haha! It has insane chicks, a walking table named Buford, and of course, Leo Valdez! Also known as Repair Boy. Hehehe. There’s an awesome party too, and the Hokey Pokey.

The Son of Magic, the last short story in this book, was written by Rick’s son, Haley. It’s about a son of Hecate who fought for Kronos in the second titan war. We read the story from the point of view of Claymore, an author. The only thing I can tell you about this one without going into spoiler mode is Claymore is apparently really, really, aggnorant (And stubborn in my opinion). This one needed a bit more humor, other than that, cool-O!

The reading age says 10 & up, but I think 8, possibly 7-year-olds will be able to handle these stories. If you’re uncertain about it though, but you’re kid is a Percy Jackson fan, just make sure they don’t read The Diary of Luke Castellan if you buy it.

Altogether, five stars! Well done! I loved seeing my favorite characters again in this book of stories and games. Congrats to Rick Riordan and his son, Haley Riordan! 🙂

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I recommend to ages 8(Possibly 7)-Adult (Look at second to last paragraph if you’re concerned about age). If you’ve read his Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief series, or enjoyed Heroes of Olympus (Book #1), you will LOVE this.

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Book Review: False Memory by Dan Krokos

False Memory (False Memory #1) by Dan Krokos

Pirate Princess’s Review

DESCRIPTION: ”

Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.

Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.

Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter…when there may not be a future.

Dan Krokos’ debut is a tour-de-force of non-stop action that will leave readers begging for the next book in this bold and powerful new series.”

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (August 14, 2012)

RATING 5 STARS

I loved this book very much. 🙂 It takes place, well, in America basically. The beginning and end take place in Cleveland. Other than that, they travel.

The main character is Miranda North, and she has a pretty big problem. Miranda has no memory. Stinks, huh?

Well, here I would say the main conflict, but I basically already did. Miranda has no memory. The other part of the main conflict is there’s someone they need to stop. Someone bad(Duh). But I can’t say who.

I would compair this book to Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. The writing style in my opinion is very similair. They both made me laugh and smile. They both made me want to punch someone an uncountable number of times(Noah for this book.)

The ending of this book was good, but it almost, barely though, reminded me of the Inheritance ending(The last Eragon book), which I did not really think was a good ending. It was good, it was a cliffhanger (*silence*), and I will read the second book. I just think it needed to be better…written.

What I wasn’t a fan of in this book, was the tense shifts. They were, just, ugh. One page it would be present tense, how it’s supposed to be, two pages later it would be past tense when it wasn’t even a memory. -_-

I loved, LOVED, the action scenes. They were so well written and I just plain loved them. There was enough description for me to imagine it, but not too much where it’s mostly words. I craved these moments of the book. They were my favorite.

5 stars, books are better, book reviews, best in YA books, best YA novels

I recommend it to 11-Teen, even though the reading age says 12 & up. I think some adults would like this too. Fans of Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment should read it. People who also enjoyed Artemis Fowl should check this out. 😉

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Book Review: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8) by Eoin Colfer

Pirate Princess’s Review

DESCRIPTION:

“Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi. In The Last Guardian, the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis’s little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don’t seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died is long over. Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand?

New York Times best-selling author and comic genius Eoin Colfer will leave Artemis Fowl fans gasping up to the very end of this thrilling finale to the blockbuster series.”

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (July 10, 2012)

RATING 5 STARS

:O That’s the first thing I’m gonna type in this review other than this sentence. :O

Eoin Colfer has worked his magic again in this book! Artemis, Holly, Mulch, Butler, and Foaly all return! Sadly, along with our most wanted super-crazy-villain.

This book takes place at the Fowl Estate most of the time, in Dublin(Pretty sure it’s Dublin….). If it’s not at the Fowl Estate,then it’s in the the Lower Elements under the earth’s crust. Opal Koboi is back and needs to be stopped.

The main conflict you ask? Opal has risen warriors from the earth, and Artemis and the gang have until sunrise to return them back to the earth unless they want Opal to succeed and take over. ‘That crazy pixie’.

I loved the laughs in this book. Mulch was awesome! I loved reading his parts because I giggling, and giggling. Most of the time I was reading, crazy giggling could be heard, or complete silence because I was sucked into the book. 🙂 Artemis was awesome, as always. Holly was Holly and naturally did what she thought. 🙂 Foaly is the best centaur I’ve read about(Actually is the only centaur I’ve read about besides the one in Narnia). The book had enough action to even out the laughs and sad spots.

I admit though, I expected the ending. I seriously did. I thought it would happen a different way, but still, I expected it. I feel like he might have left it a little unfinished. He made it so more adventures could happen, he didn’t say any of the characters’ futures. 🙁 I just hope a spin-off series will bring our famous Artemis Fowl back.

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I recommend to people who have read the previous Artemis Fowl books, like/love adventure and comedy books, and people who like a good twist in their books. If your child can take a little blood and near death too, they would like this. Altogether, ages 8-Adult, 8-year-old depending on if they can hadle blood and near death. If you’ve read Percy Jackson and The Olympains, Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, Son of Neptune, or The 39 Clues: Maze of Bones, you’ll LOVE this. 😉

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Sneak Peek: Crimson Crown (7 Realms Series) by Cinda Chima

OMG.  I cannot wait for this book!  <3 Han!

The chapter 1 sneak peek went up yesterday.  Click here to read.

Eeep!  Can’t wait!!!!

 

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

*TOP 10 OF 2012*

Marie’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.”

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 29, 2011)

RATING 4 STARS

I read Legend right after reading The Grey Wolf Throne.  The two books complimented each other.  It was really interesting, because I really like Han in the other series.  Day is a similar character. He’s poor with a tormented past.  He’s on his own and will do anything to survive.  One difference is that Han seems to be a bit of an egoist while Day is still trying to act within his own moral code.  Day hasn’t killed anyone.

And that’s what spurs this book.  Although he’s caused the Republic lots of problems, he hasn’t killed anyone.  Then one night things go horribly wrong and he’s accused of killing June’s brother.  The story unfolds beautifully, not too fast, not too slow.  We learn what happened to June’s family and the clues her brother left for her.  June hunts Day with the intention of killing him.  She’s the Republic’s golden child.  She’s smart, cunning, and merciless.  She’s the youngest solider and the smartest.

I LOVED this book.  It was dark and intense, with reasons that resonated with the reader.  You were routing for June and then hoping she’d fail, because you are routing for Day, too. Their two worlds collide and the story is just awesome!  I can’t say enough about this book.  It wasn’t on my short list of books because I hate the cover.  Yeah, I’m a girl and it’s an ugly cover.  Anyway, Legend is in my top 10 books read in 2012.  So why’d I give it 4 stars?

Lemme explain.  There is only one reason why I didn’t give it 5 fricken fab stars – the formatting.  Printing things in bold, weird colors was a gimmick that this book did NOT need.  Instead of lending to the book, these issues made Legend difficult to read from major headaches and eyestrain.  Publisher of Legend, I have one thing to say to you: I hope you print the next book normal so I can read it.  I completely hated the publisher’s guts while I was reading this book.  Doing anything that makes it more difficult for a reader to read a book is STUPID.  You might as well be shooting Chinese stars out of the pages at my eyeballs.  Majorly annoyed about that.

To the author: Your book was so good, I endured the migraines to finish it.

4 star book review

If you liked DIVERGENT, SHATTER ME, or 7 REALMS SERIES then you’ll like this.  Weird cross over on that last one, but I stand by it.  Han and Day are both awesome.  <3 <3 <3

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Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.”

Paperback: 320 pages
Recommended Age: Older Teen
Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (July 3, 2012)

RATING 4 STARS 

I almost walked away from this one a few times… But, I kept picking it up anyway and, eventually, it was worth it.

Anna Dressed in Blood has a great premise – and that’s what kept me from giving up on it. It’s not vampires, love triangles, and teenage angst (at least not entirely.) It’s a ghost story. A really creepy ghost story at times.

The problem, at least for me, was how slow it was to take full advantage of the premise. I was almost half-way through the book before the plot itself was gripping enough to keep me turning the pages. In and of itself, that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker. But, during that down time there wasn’t anything to balance out the lack of excitement. Every time it felt like it was about to kick into gear, it still managed to meander of pretty quickly.

I would really have liked to see more character depth from the beginning. More relationships. More conflict. More to keep me reading, and building the suspense, while waiting for the “ghosty” parts. Heck, I really wouldn’t have been upset to see any of the characters suffer a horrible death for the better part of half the book. That’s a problem.

As the story goes on, I never really fell for the protagonist, Cas, but there was still enough there to keep me hooked. Maybe that was the problem – the bulk of the beginning was supposed to be introducing Cas… and I just never really grew to like him during that time. At times I actually disliked him. If nothing else, how do you have a “ghost hunter” who seems so weak at times.

I normally would have rated this around three stars. But, my rule is that if I’ll pick up the next book in the series it’s worth 4. And, I just may grab the next one. Maybe. This book actually ended on a note that strongly reminded me of Demon Kissed – and that’s a great series.

***Although YA, my twelve year old will have to wait for this one… Otherwise I foresee a lot of nightmares in the near future. Just an FYI – maybe your kid is made of stronger stuff. But, I was creeped out at times, and I’m old enough to know the bogeyman isn’t under the bed.

4 star book review

Recommended for people who read YA Horror, Ghost Stories, and like a good creep-out.  Need a spooky read for Halloween?  This is it.  Anna Dressed in Blood is followed by Girl of Nightmares (release date Aug 7, 2012).

Grab Anna Dressed in Blood on Amazon now. It was only $2.99 when I grabbed it!

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Book Review: Valkyrie Rising by Eric C. Currie

Valkyrie Rising (Warriors Wings #2) by Eric C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: Two years after the initial invasion of Hayden’s World, the newly reinforced Hayden Militia is in a state of stalemate with the remaining enemy forces but neither side is content to leave things at that.

The alien alliance has dispatched their varsity to clean up the resistance on Hayden while the USF has officially activated Task Force V, the latest and most advanced combat ships built by humans.

In the end there are some things you decide in the skies, but some can only be settled in the mud.

Print Length: 255 pages
Age: Adult Sci-Fiction
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services

RATING – 4 STARS

This is the sequel to “On Silver Wings,” and from the author of “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” If you’ve read my reviews of those, you’ll know that I’m already a big fan.

With “Valkyrie Rising” we get the return of our protagonist. Sergeant Aida is back. But, this time she’s in her element as part of a larger force. And as readers, we’re no longer just focused on the conflict evolving on a lone world, but we’re also exposed to a much larger epic. So while keeping tabs on Aida, we’re also able to see the greater story unfold where she plays but a small role. It’s a great way to keep the comforting intimacy of the characters we know, while expanding the scope of the story into something bigger – bigger conflict, bigger stakes, bigger cast, bigger!

Somehow, Currie has managed to keep each book intense, and full of conflict – but still end on a really satisfying, fulfilling note. Instead of following the “Star Wars” formula (introduce the conflict, dark episode, vindication of the good guys), he’s made each book a complete story arc. Personally, I find that a much funner and more satisfying way to read a series.

Looking forward to the next book…

4 star book review

Recommended to Sci-Fi readers.

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Book Review: On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION “In the future, mankind has colonized other worlds, mined asteroid belts, and sent ships so far into the blackness of space that light from their drives won’t reach Earth for centuries. Through it all, life has been found in almost every system we visited and yet we’ve never encountered another intelligent species.

Until now. When the Colony on the planet known as Hayden’s World stops transmitting on their CASIMIR FTL system, a Solari Fleet Task Force is sent to investigate. When they arrive there are enough oddities in the situation that they in turn send in a special operations unit to contact the colonists and determine what happened. Only one of those operators survives to make planet fall. Sergeant Sorilla Aida finds herself against an alien force of unknown power and capability. Her only assets?

A depleted suit of power armor, her rifle, basic kit, and a few hundred Hayden born civilians looking to take back their home. Just what she was trained for.”

RATING 4 STARS

I picked this up after reading Currie’s “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” That was a great read, and I was anxious to see what else he’d done. I wasn’t disappointed.

As opposed to a lot of science fiction, here we’re given a great female protagonist. And instead of a utopian future and amazing tech, you’ll find a universe that you can easily relate to. Humanity is still the same. And so, when the protagonist is dropped into truly alien experiences, you’re along for a great ride.

The pace is quick. But character development and relationships aren’t sacrificed for plot. I wish my daughter read more action/adventure and sci-fi, because there are so few great female characters out there. Here’s one where the fact that the story centers on a female marine is simply taken for granted. It’s a non-issue, there’s no pandering, and the story tears along dragging the reader with it.

Since this isn’t a space epic, the scale is much more local – and it works. That alone would be a nice change of pace, but the fullness of the story and the great characters make it a 5-star book.

4 star book review

Recommended for Sci-fi readers and anyone who likes a solid cheap kindle book.

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Book Review: The Selection by Keria Cass

The Selection by Keira Cass

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 24, 2012)

RATING 5 STARS OF AWESOMENESS!

AWE-SOME! It’s not even just some part awesome, it’s all awesome!!! 😀

♄♄♄ed it!!! America Singer is the main character int his book and is-may I say?-AMAZING! The other main character is Prince Maxon, whom America meets when she ends up in the Selected 35 girls that the Prince will meet and converse with to see which one he will marry.

I had covered my mouth to keep from yelling, “I knew it!” when she ended up a Selected. The main conflict in this book is something like this: America thought what she wanted, but now she’s having second thought. I know it’s not a question, but that’s the main conflict, at least how I see it.

The book was a fun mix of competition, questions, and excitement! I love excitement!!! The book is not dystopian, of course, unless you count attacks (I don’t count that.). The book had lots of laughs that I loved and parts that made me go, “Oh no she didn’t!”. The moment I read about Aspen and America together, I loved it. I wanted them together. But then I met Prince Maxon and I knew they would be together a lot. When Aspen did what he did, I called him a jerk.I officially don’t like Aspen. Hmph.

The end of the book was very good (I want mooooore!!!). I. Can’t believe how long I have to wait for the next book!!!

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Recommended for readers who enjoyed Matched, Shiver, YA, Paranormal, and lighter dystopian books. Related posts: MATCHED & SHIVER reviews.

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Book Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi

Redshirtsby John Scalzi

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION:

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship “Intrepid,” flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy belowdecks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what thestarship “Intrepid” really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives

Print Length: 318 pages
Age: Adult Sci-Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
Sold by: Macmillan

RATING: 2 STARS – WISHED IT WAS BETTER

I love John Scalzi… Android’s Dream, Agent to the Stars, Old Man’s War, Ghost Brigade, and more are all awesome reads.

That said, I was incredibly disappointed by Redshirts. The idea was brilliant – and it starts out with great potential. But, it quickly drifts from being a great parody into murky meta territory.

Maybe I was the problem… I couldn’t quite follow when I was supposed to be taking the story seriously. Maybe there were some transitions in there that I missed. But, I think it’s more likely that I just can’t bring myself to appreciate what Scalzi was trying to do.

If you’re just discovering Scalzi, pick up any of his older works first. You won’t be disappointed. Once you’re a fan, maybe you’ll want to give Redshirts a chance. Go into it with an open mind, no preconceived notions, and see what you think. It’s original. It’s fresh. It just wasn’t for me.

Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, general adult fiction, and Scalzi fans.

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