Top Ten Tuesday // Most Anticipated Reads for the Rest of 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hello and welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday in quite some time. I thought that this would be an easy topic to start back up with, but I then I spent like two hours scrolling through Goodreads, internally screaming WHAT DO I DESPERATELY WANT TO READ?! I think that since I was last blogging regularly, my tastes in books have changed and now I don't even know what I want to read anymore.

So, this ended up being harder than I ever would have expected it to be, but I discovered some cool new books on Goodreads in the process, so whatever.

If you are unfamiliar with Top Ten Tuesday, you can find more information or prompts here.

Anyway, here is my carefully curated list of books I am very excited about for the rest of the year.


1. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
The Never Tilting World #1


After reading (and endlessly adoring) The Heart Forger last year, Rin Chupeco easily became probably my #2 auto-buy author. I am so excited for more Chupeco books and even more excited that I will get TWO of her books in one year. #blessed


2. Rage by Cora Carmack
Stormheart #2


Despite the fact that I thought that the romance in this book was kinda gross and icky, I am very excited for this sequel to come out this year. I think the storm magic in this book is so interesting and I am jazzed to see what happens next.


3. The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys


I love the way that Ruta Sepetys writes about little known pieces of history. Like, a year and a half ago now, I think, she came to South Dakota to speak at a college and I went and listened to her talk about Salt to the Sea and all the research she does for her books is so fascinating. I've only read one of her books so far, but I will buy anything she puts out.


4. The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I didn't really like this author's last book that I tried reading, but since I am absolute trash for books about reanimated corpses, I am hopeful that this one will be good. I hope that it is good because I am EXCITED and I really like the cover.



5. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Ninth House Series #1


Leigh Bardugo is another author where I will buy everything she writes. I am excited to read an adult book by her. Also, the hype for this one is REAL.


6. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
The Folk of the Air #3


I am so glad that this finale got pushed up to November because I have a mighty need to know what happens next. I think it's funny that this book ended up on my most anticipated reads list when the first book was one that I was vehemently against reading. I only picked it up because of a combination of the hype and also the fact that that particular day in Barnes and Noble is was looking at me from E V E R Y young adult book display in the whole store and I was like FINE, I WILL READ YOU. 


7. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
Dreamer Trilogy #1

The Raven Boys was another book series that I was very surprised to have actually liked. It didn't sound like my cup of tea at all, but here I am... eagerly anticipating being able to go back to that world.



8. Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
Stalking Jack the Ripper #4

I am so sad to see this series end! I have loved following Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell, but I am excited to see how it ends. I am excited about the particular serial killer they are hunting in this book! I can't wait to see what Kerri Maniscalco will come out with next.



9. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
The Ninth House #1


I don't really know all that much about this book, but I have seen a lot of people talking about this one. I briefly glanced at the synopsis, but I SLAMMED that Want To Read button just as soon as I saw the word necromancer. And I think it's about lesbian necromancers!


10. Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis
Give the Dark My Love #2


I didn't LOVE Give the Dark My Love, there were a few things that I didn't like that much about it, but you bet your britches I am excited to see how it concludes. I almost forgot that this book was a thing! I haven't heard anything about it at all. Didn't know it even had a title, cover, release date til I just barely remembered it's existence before I finished this post. But like I said before... TRASH for books about reanimated corpses.

So, that concludes the books that I am excited for for the rest of this year! What books are you looking forward to? Are we looking forward to any of the same ones?

What I've Read Recently // #1

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Hello everybody! I feel like I have been a super bad blogger for a super long time. I think it's been like 2 years since I have been consistently posting on here or having any real desire to keep picking up books beyond the feeling of obligation. And not even that was enough to get me to pick them up sometimes.

Don't hold your breath or anything, but I feel like I may be on the verge of wanting to do this more again??? I have been participating this month in the OWLs Magical Readathon and I've had all the mandatory courses for the both of the careers I am eyeballing done since the 11th. And I have just been picking up other books to fill in other course prompts since then. Like.. actually wanting to. This is probably the most productive readathon I've ever participated in because I'm actually sticking with it.

And I will say, I have had a lot of snow days this year so far (3 just this last week!) and those have been my most productive reading times lately. It felt like there was no better time to pick up a book than when the snow is up to your knees and the wind is blowing so hard outside that you can't even see the barn.

So, I am just going to go through what I have been reading so far this year, doing a wrap up of sorts.  I have had a really good reading year so far in terms of picking up books that I have been really enjoying. I feel like a lot of the reason I haven't had a TON of reviews go up this year yet is because I have been doing kind of a lot of rereads (at least for me).

So, without further ado, here is what I have been reading lately.

          

1. First up is Lion Cub by JP Harker. This is the third book in the Caledon Saga which I have been thoroughly enjoying. It's very different from the books I usually pick up in terms of writing style, but I like it. And I am very excited, but also scared for him to finish the fourth book because I'm nervous for all of my favorite characters.

2. I reread The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken next. I wanted a refresher before I went into The Last Life of Prince Alastor. I feel like this was where my reading took a nose dive this year (which is sad because it was only the second book and it's by my favorite author). It was nothing against the book or anything, I feel like it just was NOT what I wanted to read at that moment and it took me like a month to finish it.

3. Then I finally read The Last Life of Prince Alastor, which I had a much easier time getting through and really enjoyed.

          

4. I reread The Bone Witch and physically read it for the first time. The first two times I read it, I listened to the audiobook. I love this series so much and I love the characters and I am so sad that it came to an end this year.

5. Then I reread The Heart Forger and it was just as AH-MAZING as it was the first time. These characters are "squad goals".

6. Then I read The Shadowglass finally. Oh my goodness, that ending, I cried like a baby. I would sell my first born for more from these characters.

          

7. The Wicked King by Holly Black was my Potions book (a sequel) for the OWLs Magical Readathon. I'm pretty stoked that I don't have to hide from spoilers for this one anymore. And my body is so ready for the last book!!

8. How to Die Alone: The Foolproof Guide to Not Helping Yourself by Mo Welch was my Care of Magical Creatures book (a book with a land animal on the cover). This one was a really fast read. I requested this one from Workman Publishing and they sent it to me (thank you!!). Unfortunately, it wasn't as funny as I thought it was going to be, but it was a quick, fun read.

9. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid was my Charms read (an adult work). Like I said in my review, I was not charmed by this book. I didn't really like.. actively dislike it, but I wasn't as impressed with it as I felt like I should have been based on the huge amount of hype surrounding this book. I was expecting the ending to be so good, but it wasn't anything that I couldn't see coming for half the book. Definitely my most disappointing book of the year so far.

          

10. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer was my book for Herbology (plants on the cover) and was the last book I needed to read to qualify to do my NEWTs for either Herbologist or Magizoologist. Beauty and the Beast has been one of my all time favorite movies since I was little (I used to watch/rewind the VHS repeatedly until my mom mad me go do something else) and I LOVED this retelling of the story. I loved Harper, Rhen, and Grey! I was really unsure of this book for awhile for a couple reasons. One is because I didn't know it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling right away when I heard about it. And the other reason is that I don't really like books that take place partially in a fantasy world and partially in the real world, but the parts that take place in DC are very few and far between so I was super pleasantly surprised by this.

11. I read Speak for History of Magic (a book published 10+ years ago). I read this book in one sitting, I loved it so much. I just read this one this weekend and I haven't put together my thoughts about it yet, so not too much to say.

12. Monstress vol. 2 - The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

I read this one for Arithmancy (a book by more than one person). I love the art style of this graphic novel series and I think the story is interesting, but I'm not sure how much I like reading graphic novels. I feel like I have a hard time focusing on reading the words AND looking closely enough at the pictures and it makes me finish the book feeling like I haven't gained anything. I haven't had this problem yet with manga because I have really only been reading mangas for anime I've already watched so I kinda know what's happening even if I don't pay close enough attention to one or the other. But maybe I will just have to do a reread in the future and that will probably help.

     


Currently I am listening to the audiobook for Six of Crows (which is a reread for me) so I can FINALLY read Crooked Kingdom and hopefully avoid more spoilers and physically I am reading The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski for Transfiguration (a red cover or sprayed edges).

Are you participating in the OWLs Magical Readathon? Have you read anything amazing this year so far that you want to talk about?




Review // Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Monday, April 8, 2019


Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Purchase
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 368

Summary (from Goodreads):

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

I read Daisy Jones & The Six for the 2019 OWLs Magical Readathon for the Charms prompt. Unfortunately, this book didn't charm me.

I think this was a case of being letdown by the hype. I have seen so many people flailing about this book and that combined with the hype for Reid's last book, I was expecting this book to be amazing.

The book is told in an interview format with the members of the bad plus a few other people that were important to the band or the creation of the music. They are telling the story of what happened around 30 years ago when their band split up. I liked the way this story was told. I don't usually like interview format stories, but I think that was the best way to get all the information from all the characters.

So, what I did like about this book was getting to see the process of the band coming together and the making of the album. That was interesting. I liked the character interactions and relationships, but I didn't particularly feel attached to any of the characters. I think I would have to say that my favorite character was probably Billy. I liked seeing his internal struggle with his addiction and trying to be the best man that he can for his family. I think he was probably the most interesting character to me.

But I didn't really feel like this book was very exciting. I did read this whole book in one day and it was interesting enough to keep me wanting to go on, but the whole time it was just okay. And I think I kept going so hard because I wanted to get to the end because I was expecting it to be so good. But when I got to the part where it explains why the band broke up, I found it to be super anticlimactic and not really anything that I hadn't seen coming.

Overall, this book was really just meh for me. It never really hooked me. I didn't actively dislike it, but I also kind of wish I could have those hours back. If you want to read a book all about sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, you ought to give this book a try.

Have you read Daisy Jones & The Six yet? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour // Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan Excerpt

Monday, April 1, 2019


Hello everyone and welcome to my tour stop for Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan! I am happy to be presenting you with an excerpt from this book! This post was supposed to be a review as well, but work and life have been busy and I haven't been able to finish yet, but I have loved what I have read so far! If you want a little taste of what you're in for with this book, then read on!


Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Pages: 400

Buy The Book:


About the Book:

“Prepare for a snow-frosted, blood-drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare.” - Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

“This book destroyed me and I adored it.”- Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

Excerpt:

4

N A D E Z H D A

L A P T E V A 

Horz stole the stars and the heavens out from
underneath Myesta’s control, and for that she has
never forgiven him. For where can the moons rest if
not the heavens?

—Codex of the Divine, 5:26

“It’s certainly not my fault you chose a child who sleeps so deeply. If she dies it will very much be your fault, not mine.”

Startled by bickering gods was not Nadya’s preferred method of being woken up. She rolled to her feet in the dark, moving automatically. It took her eyes a few seconds to catch up with the rest of her body.

Shut up!

It wasn’t wise to tell the gods to shut up, but it was too late now. A feeling of amused disdain flowed through her, but neither of the gods spoke again. She realized it was Horz, the god of the heavens and the stars, who had woken her. He had a tendency to be obnoxious but generally left Nadya alone, as a rule.

Usually only a single god communed with their chosen cleric. There once had been a cleric named Kseniya Mirokhina who was gifted with unnatural marksmanship by Devonya, the goddess of the hunt. And Veceslav had chosen a cleric of his own, long ago, but their name was lost to history, and he refused to talk about them. The recorded histories never spoke of clerics who could hear more than one god. That Nadya communed with the entire pantheon was a rarity the priests who trained her could not explain.

There was a chance older, more primordial gods existed, ones that had long since given up watch of the world and left it in the care of the others. But no one knew for sure. Of the twenty known gods, however, carvings and paintings depicted their human forms, though no one knew what they actually looked like. No cleric throughout history had ever looked upon the faces of the gods. No saint, nor priest.

Each had their own power and magic they could bestow upon Nadya, and while some were forthcoming, others were not. She had never spoken to the goddess of the moons, Myesta. She wasn’t even sure what manner of power the goddess would give, if she so chose.

And though she could commune with many gods, it was impossible to forget just who had chosen her for this fate: Marzenya, the goddess of death and magic, who expected complete dedication.

Indistinct voices murmured in the dark. She and Anna had found a secluded place within a copse of thick pine trees to set up their tent, but it no longer felt safe. Nadya slid a voryen from underneath her bedroll and nudged Anna awake.

She moved to the mouth of the tent, grasping at her beads, a prayer already forming on her lips, smoky symbols trailing from her mouth. She could see the blurry impressions of figures in the darkness, far off in the distance. It was hard to judge the number, two? Five? Ten? Her heart sped at the possibility that a company of Tranavians were already on her trail.

Anna drew up beside her. Nadya’s grip on her voryen tightened, but she kept still. If they hadn’t seen their tent yet, she could keep them from noticing it entirely. But Anna’s hand clasped her forearm.

“Wait,” she whispered, her breath frosting out before her in the cold. She pointed to a dark spot just off to the side of the group.

Nadya pressed her thumb against Bozidarka’s bead and her eyesight sharpened until she could see as clearly as if it were day. It took effort to shove aside the immediate, paralyzing fear as her suspicions were confirmed and Tranavian uniforms became clear. It wasn’t a full company. In fact, they looked rather ragged. Perhaps they had split off and lost their way.

More interesting, though, was the boy with a crossbow silently aiming into the heart of the group.

“We can get away before they notice,” Anna said.

Nadya almost agreed, almost slipped her voryen back into its sheath, but just then, the boy fired and the trees erupted into chaos. Nadya wasn’t willing to use an innocent’s life as a distraction for her own cowardice. Not again.

Even as Anna protested, Nadya let a prayer form fully in her mind, hand clutching at Horz’s bead on her necklace and its constellation of stars. Symbols fell from her lips like glowing glimmers of smoke and every star in the sky winked out.

Well, that was more extreme than I intended, Nadya thought with a wince. I should’ve known better than to ask Horz for anything.

She could hear cursing as the world plunged into darkness.

Anna sighed in exasperation beside her.

“Just stay back,” she hissed as she moved confidently through the dark.

“Nadya . . .” Anna’s groan was soft.

It took more focus to send a third prayer to Bozetjeh. It was hard to catch Bozetjeh on a good day; the god of speed was notoriously slow to answer prayers. But she managed to snag his attention and received a spell allowing her to move as fast as the vicious Kalyazin wind.

Her initial count had been wrong; there were six Tranavians now scattering into the forest. The boy dropped his crossbow with a bewildered look up into the sky, startling when Nadya touched his shoulder.

There was no way he could see in this darkness, but she could. When he whirled, a curved sword in his hand, Nadya sidestepped. His swing went wide and she shoved him in the direction of a fleeing Tranavian, anticipating their collision.

“Find the rest,” Marzenya hissed. “Kill them all.” Complete and total dedication.

She caught up to one of the figures, stabbing her voryen into his skull just underneath his ear.

Not so difficult this time, she thought. But the knowledge was a distant thing.

Blood sprayed, splattering a second Tranavian, who cried out in alarm. Before the second man could figure out what had happened to his companion, she lashed out her heel, catching him squarely on the jaw and knocking him off his feet. She slit his throat.

Three more. They couldn’t have moved far. Nadya took up Bozidarka’s bead again. The goddess of vision revealed where the last Tranavians were located. The boy with the sword had managed to kill two in the dark. Nadya couldn’t actually see the last one, just felt him nearby, very much alive.

Something slammed into Nadya’s back and suddenly the chilling bite of a blade was pressed against her throat. The boy appeared in front of her, his crossbow back in his hands, thankfully not pointed at Nadya. It was clear he could only barely see her. He wasn’t Kalyazi, but Akolan.

A fair number of Akolans had taken advantage of the war between their neighbors, hiring out their swords for profit on both sides. They were known for favoring Tranavia simply because of the warmer climate. It was rare to find a creature of the desert willingly stumbling through Kalyazin’s snow.

He spoke a fluid string of words she didn’t understand. His posture was languid, as if he hadn’t nearly been torn to pieces by blood mages. The blade against Nadya’s throat pressed harder. A colder voice responded to him, the foreign language scratched uncomfortably at her ears.

Nadya only knew the three primary languages of Kalyazin and passing Tranavian. If she wasn’t going to be able to communicate with them . . .

The boy said something else and Nadya heard the girl sigh before she felt the blade slip away. “What’s a little Kalyazi assassin doing out in the middle of the mountains?” he asked, switching to perfect Kalyazi.

Nadya was very aware of the boy’s friend at her back. “I could ask the same of you.”

She shifted Bozidarka’s spell, sharpening her vision further. The boy had skin like molten bronze and long hair with gold chains threaded through his loose curls.

He grinned.

About the Author:






EMILY A. DUNCAN works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. Wicked Saints is her first book. She lives in Ohio.

Instagram: @glitzandshadows
Tumblr: http://glitzandshadows.tumblr.com/





Have you read Wicked Saints yet? Are you excited for it?

Review // The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco

Thursday, March 28, 2019


The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco
The Bone Witch #3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Emma @ Miss Print
Format: ARC
Pages: 449

Summary (from Goodreads):

In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance.

Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea's quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart.

Tea's black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience...

The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco was easily my most anticipated book of 2019 (which I think says a lot considering there was already an Alexandra Bracken release this year). I adore this series with my whole heart and this finale absolutely lived up to the hype I made for it.

This book is told in the dual timeline format again with the bard in the present and then Tea's story leading up to how he found her on the Sea of Skulls. In the bard's perspective, Tea has just finished up her business in Daanoris and is leading her army of daeva toward Drycht to finish what she started. She won't take him along because of the danger to him so she gives him a stack of letters to complete her story.

In her story they are learning more about the blight that is causing people to turn into daeva-like creatures and trying to figure out what secrets the elder asha are hiding regarding the Dark asha and what they can actually do.

This book was a RIDE, let me tell you. This book has everything. There's betrayal, there's an air of mystery, there is crushing heartbreak. There are wonderful friendships and wonderful romances.

I literally just want to reread this series over and over and over. I loved it so much. If The Heart Forger hadn't landed Rin Chupeco on my auto-buy author list, this book would have definitely cemented her spot.

I love all of the characters in this series. Tea and Kalen. Fox and Inessa. Likh and Khalad. Shadi and Zoya.

I love Tea and Kalen's relationship. They are kind of enemies-to-lovers. They are like... fictional couple goals, in my opinion. Like, they have their disagreements, things aren't always wonderful for them, but there isn't like a big fight or some other circumstance that separates them in the book at any point, which is something I like. I hate when couples have big misunderstandings that are blown out of proportions or are separated for huge chunks of the book. I love me a power couple that can work through their problems and still adore each other through it all.

Like I believe I mentioned in my review for The Heart Forger, there is the f/f pairing of Shadi and Zoya (who I don't recall being a huge part of this particular book, it has been a few days since I finished this book because I just needed to bask in its gloriousness).

I believe I mentioned in that last review also that there was the m/m pairing of Likh and Khalad, but that is not correct. In this book, Likh gets to finally become a full fledged asha apprentice and is frequently called Lady Likh, she always corrects people when they say that. But in this book Tea reads in Likh's heartsglass that she would like to be Lady Likh and from that point on Likh is referred to as she/Lady Likh and there are no more corrections or anything like that.

Anyway, I love Likh and Khalad, they are/were both so clueless about how the other felt about them. I don't remember at what point in the series they finally got their act together and realized how the other felt because I binged this whole series over the course of several snow days and I don't know where one book ends and the other begins at this point.

I could sit here and gush about this book and its characters for DAYS, but I think you should just go read the series for yourself and then come flail with me!

For real, I have been WAITING for the resolution to this series since I started the first book! I finally have all the answers to my questions I had since the beginning! WHO is in the grave on the Sea of Skulls and WHAT happened to them?

This series has definitely made my top three favorite series ever. If you like necromancy and squad goals, you will probably like this book too.

Have you read this series yet? What did you think of it?
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