Wednesday, August 5, 2020

I have moved!

Hello everyone,

After a great deal of though, I've decided to move everything on this blog over to Wordpress. This blog will stay up, but no new content will be added.

If you would like to follow me over there, the link is

I hope to see you there.

August Book Haul

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Image result for book stacking

I kinda have a little bit of a problem. No matter how hard I try, I can never buy just one book. Even if I go onto a website thinking "I'm only buying the book I came here for", I can't do it. One book becomes two, which then becomes at least four. With that being said. I went a little crazy last week and bought a bunch of books. Now, much like a dragon, I want to pour over my haul and excitedly try to decide what I should read.

The Dragon Reborn: Book Three of 'the Wheel of Time'

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan || Genre: Fantasy || Amazon / Bookshop

Blurb: The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Winter has stopped the war--almost--yet men are dying, calling out for the Dragon. But where is he? In the Heart of the Stone lies the next great test of the Dragon reborn.

Why I Want to Read It: I'm making my way through the Wheel of Time series, so it only makes sense that I bought the third book after I finished the second one. I'm excited to see where this story goes.

Batman, Volume 2: The City of Owls

Batman The City of Owls by Scott Snyder || Genre: Comics || Amazon // Bookshop

Blurb: For over a century, the Court of Owls has ruled Gotham City in secret—their reach inescapable, their power unstoppable.

Until they battled the Batman.

Gotham's vigilante protector managed to escape the talons of the Court with his mind and body barely intact. The Dark Knight managed to win the battle with his deadly new aggressors, but certainly not the war. Batman was just the first part of their conquest. Now they have their sights set on something much bigger: Gotham City.

Why I Want to Read It: Let's be honest. Who couldn't use more Batman in their life?

The Shadows

The Shadows by Alex North || Genre: Thriller || Amazon // Bookshop

Blurb: You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile--always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet--and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree--and his victim--were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It's not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there's something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn't just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again...

Why I Want to Read It: I've been trying to get more into thrillers. A friend of mine who loves thrillers really recommended this author and I thought I might as well give his work a try.


Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan || Genre: Fantasy || Amazon // Bookshop

Blurb: Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most demeaning. This year, there's a ninth. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after -- the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, she does the unthinkable -- she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

Why I Want to Read It: First of all, the cover is beautiful. Second, the blurb has me hooked and I want to know more.

Endless Apocalypse Short Stories

Endless Apocalypse Short Stories || Genre: Science Fiction || Amazon // Bookshop

Blurb: Stories of the end of civilized life have always fascinated us, from the mythological world endings, Armageddon to Ragnorok, to the flood stories of across the Ancient world. They make us wonder what we would do if all around us came to an end: no transport, no fuel, no communications: a retreat into the desperation, the onslaught of disease, how would we survive?

Why I Want to Read It: This might be weird, but I like stories about the end of the world. Reading different authors' takes on the end of the world, and what might come after, has always appealed to me.


T-Rex Trying by Hugh Murphy || Genre: Humor || Amazon // Bookshop

Blurb: Poor T-Rex. It’s hard to be the Lizard King when you can’t even change a light bulb.

Drawn from Hugh Murphy’s wildly popular Tumblr feed of the same name, T-Rex Trying depicts the stubby-armed tyrant in a range of hilarious—yet pathos-inducing—activities that we humans take for granted.

Why I Want to Read It: This just looks cute and funny. Sometimes, I need a break from serious, hard-hitting things.


The Black Prism by Brent Weeks || Genre: Fantasy || Amazon // Bookshop

Blurb: Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.

But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

Why I Want to Read It: The Lightbringer series has been on my list for a while. When I saw that it was on sale, I took that as a sign that I should buy it now and start reading the series.

A Girl Called Ari

A Girl Called Ari by P.J. Sky || Genre: Science Fiction || Amazon

Blurb: In a distant future… A world divided… A walled city in a devastated wasteland…

For Starla, a struggle for power becomes a struggle to survive when she finds herself on the wrong side of the wall. Lost in the wasteland, she faces warring factions, bloodthirsty creatures, and the endless burning sun. And then there’s Ari… who is she really? And can she trust this girl from the wasteland to lead her back to the city gates?

One thing’s for sure, Starla’s once privileged life will never be the same.

Why I Want to Read It: The premise sounds interesting. I've also been trying to read more science fiction recently and this book called to me for some reason.

The Orphanage of Gods

The Orphanage of Gods by Helena Coggan || Genre: Fantasy || Amazon // Bookshop

Blurb: Twenty years ago, the humans came for their gods.

In the bloody revolution, gods were all but wiped out. Ever since, the children they left behind have been imprisoned in an orphanage, watched day and night by the ruthless Guard. Any who show signs of divine power vanish from their beds in the night, all knowledge of their existence denied.

No one has ever escaped the orphanage.

Until now.

Seventeen-year-old Hero is finally free - but at a terrible price. Her sister has been captured by the Guard and is being held in a prison in the northern sea. Hero desperately wants to get her back, and to escape the murderous Guardsmen hunting her down. But not all the gods are dead, and the ones waiting for Hero in the north have their own plans for her - ones that will change the world forever...

As she advances further and further into the unknown, Hero will need to decide: how far is she willing to go to do what needs to be done?

Why I Want to Read It: It's hard to beat a premise like "humans have deposed the gods". Adding in the other aspects of the plot shown in the blurb, I just couldn't resist.

Have you read any of these books? Would you recommend them? Are there any books you recently purchased that you'd recommend?

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Monday, August 3, 2020

Heart of Fire

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Heart of Fire (Haven Book 1)

Heart of Fire is a 2020 young adult science fiction novel by Jessica Roe. It was self-published by the author and released in March 2020. The novel can be purchased from Amazon here.

The novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and follows a teenager named Talin. A year prior to the start of the novel, aliens, the Jhenn, invaded Earth and killed two thirds of the population. The day of the invasion Talin developed a strange power that makes her a threat to the hostile force. After she and her friend Nat are attacked, Talin is taken by the resistance and offered the chance to fight. While facing new enemies and meeting new allies, Talin begins to learn new things about herself, her heart and her powers which may change the course of the war.

Talin is the main character of the story. While I liked her character overall, because she was feisty, she asked a lot of questions and didn't let people walked all over her, sometimes, she could be a bit too much. There were a few scenes where comments she made were supposed to be funny, but they didn't really work and I found it more annoying than anything else. While she got on my nerves at times, I enjoyed her overall journey as she joined the resistance and learned how to become a warrior. Nat, Talin's best friend, can be described almost in the exact same way as Talin can. She's a little less confrontational and their strong friendship helped bring a sense of realism to the story, but there's not a lot I can really say about Nat. Upon being taken by the resistance, Talin meets both David and Makail. David is a human soldier who becomes a friend of Talin's, while Makail is a member of the Vorstoffen, an alien race from the same planet as the Jhenn who are helping the humans mount a resistance. Makail begins as Talin's trainer as she learns to use and control her powers and is rather cold and no-nonsense when first introduced. This novel doesn't have a "main" antagonist, as the Jhenn collectively are the enemy, but the closest thing to a "bad guy" seen in this book is the Jhenn Uren who attacks Talin early in the story and shows up again at the climax.

One thing that I enjoyed about this book is that it's not mainly about the war against the Jhenn. The war is an underecurrent with all of the events that are taking place, but it's not the main focus of the story. The focus is instead on Talin, her learning to control her powers and life within the resistance. Some of this is done to develop the romance in the story, but it was refreshing to read a book about an alien invasion that focused less on the battles themselves. I also appreciated this because the reader got to see Talin fail. She had to struggle, she had to learn and adapt. I don't like books where a character learns how to sword-fight in three pages or masters a power in a single chapter. The character dynamics that develop between Talin and some less-than-friendly members of the resistance are also great. The fact that there were a number of people who didn't fully trust Talin because of her powers, who didn't like her, while still being on the same side as her was unexpected and I liked it. I also enjoyed the fact that, while the Jhenn are the main antagonists, they weren't working alone. Other humans were helping them. A lot of alien invasion stories don't show humanity itself being divided about the invaders. Last, but not least, Talin's powers were unique. Some Vorstoffen characters had abilities that were a little more standard for science fiction or fantasy, but her powers and the way they were displayed  were used creatively in the story.

This novel is very character-driven, and as a result, there isn't a lot of plot taking place. I liked see characters grow closer and improve as people, but as a result, the pacing is a bit weird. Like many character-driven stories, there is a fast-paced beginning, a slow middle and a fast-paced end. While this isn't my favorite type of pacing, it worked for this story. A big part of this story is the romance, and budding love triangle between Talin, David and Makail. I don't really like love triangles, however it doesn't actually become a love triangle because one character realizes the relationship wouldn't work. If this becomes a series, I hope it stays that way. I also felt like the romance itself was kind of predictable. I'm not mad about it, but it felt worth mentioning. My final and my biggest issue with this book has to do with the climax. This novel does discuss and depict torture, but it's not unnecessarily graphic. My problem is that the physical torture turns into threats of sexual assault and I have a problem when sexual assault is made into a plot device. It makes me very uncomfortable and as a result, I lost some of the enjoyment I had while reading.

 Heart of Fire is a pretty good book. It's a quick read with a lot of good character moments and a unique story to tell. The journey that the characters go on over the course of the story is both engaging and at time exciting. It's a great character-driven science fiction story. The romance wasn't to my taste, but I'm not a romance person. I struggled with the pacing and a few tropes/plot devices used in the climax. On the whole, however, Id' recommend the book to young sci-fi fans. I hope this author continues the series, as there's clearly a lot more story to tell.

Rating: 3.3 Stars

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

July Wrap-Up

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Image result for book closing

It's the end of the month, which means it's wrap-up time. I didn't expect to read as much as I did in July, nor was I expecting to have such a wide array of genre. Now, let's get into the books.

Books I Read and Reviewed

God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert- 1.6 Stars

The Unblessed Child by R.J. Kaldanis- 3.2 Stars

Before the Broken Star by Emily R. King- 1.5 Stars

Sea Witch* by Sarah Henning - 3.4 Stars

Books I Read, Only Reviewed on Goodreads

The Eye of the World* by Robert Jordan- 4 Stars (Goodreads review)

When I Was You by Minka Kent*- 2 Stars (Goodreads review)

Android Chronicles: Origins*- 3 Stars (Goodreads review)

Midnight Wings by Arielle Sieling- 4 Stars (Goodreads review)

Dudley and Friends: Nouns by Lori Brown- 4 Stars (Goodreads review)

From Here to Infinity* by John Gribbin & Mary Gribbin- 3.5 Stars (Goodreads review)

A Small Fiction by Mark James Miller- 3 Stars (Goodreads review)

Chronicle of A Death Foretold* by Gabriel Garcia Marquez- 3.5 Stars (Goodreads review)

This is How You Lose the Time War* by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone- 4.5 Stars (Goodreads review)

Polar Bear and UFO by Cynthia C. Huijgens- 5 Stars (Goodreads review)

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer* by Fredrik Backman- 5 Stars (Goodreads review)

Genres Read

Fantasy: 3

Science Fiction: 5

Thriller: 1

Children's: 2

Classics: 1

Non-Fiction: 1

Anthology: 1

Literary Fiction; 1


Number of DNFs: 0

Total Books Read: 15

Pages Read: 3,740

Average Rating: 3.4 Stars

What did you read in July? Any recommendations? Did you read any of these books?

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Sea Witch

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Sea Witch (Sea Witch, #1)

Sea Witch is a 2018 young adult fantasy novel by Sarah Henning. It’s the first book in the Sea Witch series. The novel is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. It can be purchased here from Amazon or here from

The novel follows a teenager named Evie, an outcast in her small fishing town. Since the death of her best friend Anna, she’s been overcome by guilt. After her other friend, Crown Prince Niklas, nearly drowns, she spots a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appear on the shore. The girls befriend one another, but her new friend harbors secrets of her own. In order to help her new friend stay, Evie must make a sacrifice and the price is higher than she ever could’ve imagined.

The novel has four characters worth discussing: Evie, Niklas, Annamette, the girl Evie meets early on in the story who reminds her of Anna, and Iker, Niklas’s cousin. Evie is the main character and narrator. She begins the story as an outcast in her village, both because she’s seen as unworthly of Nik’s friendship, since she’s a fisherman’s daughter, and because many blame her for Anna’s death by drowning a few years before the story starts. She also hides the fact that she’s a witch from the unaccepting town. Her arc is about finding her place in the village and coming to terms with Anna’s death. Annamette is the mysterious stranger who comes to the village, looking remarkably like Anna, with a secret. Her characterization, unfortunately, wasn’t consistent throughout the novel. The way she’s written for the first half to two-thirds of the book doesn’t make sense with the way she’s written in the last third. There was potential for the two very different sides of her to work, but the character the reader is first introduced to isn’t given enough depth or nuance to make such a change work well. Niklas and Iker are the love interests for Annamette and Evie respectively. I can’t really say much about either of them, because they are pretty much the same character, with Iker being slightly more skeptical of Annamette and her story. While I did enjoy these characters, I wouldn’t say that this book has especially strong characters or character work.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style. She did an excellent job of setting a scene and keeping my attention focused on what was happening. The story itself feels very atmospheric and during the course of reading, I could see how deeply infused the sea was within the story. The inclusion of so much from Danish history was appreciated and gave the story a feeling of being more grounded in reality. I chose to read this book because I wanted to read a book about mermaids, and this book delivered. I enjoyed the mermaids, the magic and how it all fit together in the narrative. The conclusion was by far my favorite part of the novel. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the overall pacing of this book, the ending really tied all of the elements together and fulfilled what the author set out to create with this story. As mentioned above, this novel is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, but this isn’t Ariel’s story, it’s Ursula’s. Henning did a spectacular job of creating a compelling and believable villain origin story. Also, and this one is the least important aspect of this review, the cover art is gorgeous and I want to see more by this artist.

While I enjoyed the writing itself and the ending of the novel, there are a few criticisms that I have. My biggest issue with this book is the pacing. The plot moves incredibly slowly for the first two-thirds. There’s a lot of focus on the culture and traditions of Evie’s village and discussing maritime practices, which wasn’t very interesting to me and I ended up skimming those parts to get back to the main plot. There are flashbacks to Anna’s death, spread throughout the book, focusing on a few different characters and their actions on that day. While I don’t have an issue with flashbacks, some of them felt unnecessary. The last criticism I have is in regards to foreshadowing. The novel’s antagonist isn’t shown to have ulterior motives or even that they can’t be trusted until very close to the end of the story. If there had been some suspicious behavior, or moments that stuck with me as odd, then the reveal would’ve worked better. As it stands, the antagonist’s goal, when compared to their actions before the “big reveal”, don’t fit together the way that they should. As a result, the plot overall isn’t as coherent as it could’ve been.

Sea Witch was not quite the book I was expecting it to be. I enjoyed the magic and the writing itself, but the pacing and some of the characterization didn’t quite work for me. As a villain origin story, this is good one, not great, but not terrible. The conclusion is by far the strongest part of the novel overall, and I wish the author had taken more risks earlier on to match the excitement of the climax. I haven’t decided if I will read the second book in the series yet. If anyone is thinking of reading this novel, I would recommend it, but caution that it’s not quite the story they think it is.

Rating: 3.4 Stars

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