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Month: July 2018

The Blood of Whisperers (The Vengeance Trilogy, #1)

The Blood of Whisperers (The Vengeance Trilogy, #1)

The Blood of Whisperers (The Vengeance Trilogy, #1)The Blood of Whisperers by Devin Madson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A thoroughly engaging Asian-inspired fantasy and a super underrated debut.

I’m a man of habit; I usually always plan my TBR. But Devin Madson’s books shot up my TBR and ruined my plans immediately the moment I finished her award-winning novella, In Shadows We Fall, three weeks ago. From the moment I finished the novella, I knew I simply needed to read more set in this world and I’m damn pleased I followed that notion.

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The Chemist

The Chemist

The ChemistThe Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I honestly had no intention of reading.

I really enjoy Meyer’s YA books. They’re a little trashy, but they’re fun and addictive in a teenage soap opera kind of way. Twilight will always be one of my guilty pleasures. But I honestly didn’t think she could handle writing an adult spy thriller. I mean, it requires so much more research and finesse than a vampire/werewolf love triangle, right? The foreshadowing that was so present in the Twilight Saga would have to be done away with, because a thriller with no surprises isn’t really a thriller. The characters would have to be radically different from those she’s known for. I didn’t think she could do it.

I was wrong.

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The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy, #1)

The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy, #1)

ARC provided by the publisher—Orion Publishing Group (Gollancz)—in exchange for an honest review.

The Ember BladeThe Ember Blade by Chris Wooding
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Wooding strikes a magnificently fine balance between classic epic fantasy and grimdark fantasy, making this a new amazing start to a new trilogy.

To be honest, I feel like the love for classic fantasy has started to dwindle these days and has been replaced with a thirst for grimdark or fantasy with darker tones; most likely due to the fame garnered by the Game of Thrones TV show. This isn’t actually a bad thing, and I have to say that I kind of feel the same. The reason behind this is that classic fantasy is starting to feel too familiar with the majority of books following the same kind of good versus evil structure that’s getting more and more predictable. Reading classic fantasy now is in my opinion like coming home to something incredibly well known; it’s always comfy and you’re highly familiar with it. Readers want new adventures, something unpredictable and fresh, not the same kind of adventures they’ve already experienced time and time again. This is where The Ember Blade will come in and change your mind. Rooted heavily in classic epic fantasy but imbued with the element of the morally grey character found in grimdark Wooding has created a hybrid in this book and the result was amazing. Imagine coming home and there are pleasant surprises to be found; you open your fridge, crack open an egg and you get two yolks instead of one. That’s how it felt reading this book.

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City of Stairs (Divine Cities #1)

City of Stairs (Divine Cities #1)

City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1)City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Time renders all people and all things silent. And gods, it seems, are no exception.”

I have a confession to make. I purchased this trilogy in February of 2017, even preordered the final installment though I hadn’t read the first two. I just knew that it was a trilogy that I would love based off of the synopsis. There is nothing in the realm of fiction that I love more than unique religions and overt philosophizing. While setting and characterization and plot and prose are what make a book function, the books that make me happiest are those in which religion and philosophy play a vital part. However, even though I was almost positive that I would love Bennett’s trilogy, I kept putting it off for some reason. Petrik finally convinced me to give in and read it, and I’m so thankful that he did. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

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The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not a review. This is a story, a story about a man who opened the first pages of Mistborn: The Final Empire.

Back in August 2016, there was a man who lived in emptiness. He was probably clinically depressed, but he would never know; he didn’t get himself checked. His heart didn’t ache, his smile was freely given, but he was never happy; he felt empty every day. Damages were added when he realized his hobbies didn’t interest him that much anymore, which resulted in reluctant social interaction with his friends. His insomnia was so acute that he couldn’t sleep without alcohol so he drowned in it every night. These symptoms were most likely the aftermath of cumulative mental damage afflicted by those closest to him. His best friend spread lies about him, his closest cousin stole tons of money from him, and then he lost his job and his then girlfriend dumped him. He was alone. He told himself, this can’t be it. There’s always a way to come back stronger. He decided to do something new; he decided to fully immerse himself in reading novels. There were countless choices out there and he didn’t know what to choose first, but on the 1st of September 2016, he dived into the mist and hope was born.

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Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1)

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1)

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1)Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Representation is so important in fiction.. It’s much easier to sink into a character’s story when they resemble you in some way. For centuries there was very little healthy representation of anyone outside of heterosexual white males of European descent. Characters who fell outside of these restrictions tended to be only secondary characters, and were often portrayed as two-dimensional caricatures of the race or sex or religion they represented. There were exceptions, of course, but they were few and far between, and were often authored by women using male pseudonyms. That still left many groups utterly unrepresented, though. Thankfully, in the past few decades this lack has been addressed, and the variety of representation in literature has skyrocketed.

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Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy, #2)

Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy, #2)

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy, #2)Paternus: Wrath of Gods by Dyrk Ashton
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Paternus: Wrath of Gods is a brilliant concoction of mythologies, cultures, and fantasy that fans of urban fantasy definitely must read.

First of all, how awesome is that cover? In my opinion, it’s one of the best indie cover art I’ve ever seen. Then let me proceed by expressing my gratitude to the author for including a RECAP of the story and a list of characters from the first book at the beginning of this sequel. If it weren’t for this, I doubt my experience of reading this book without rereading the first one would be as good. Seriously, I still don’t get why traditionally published authors—except Mark Lawrence and Michael J. Sullivan—don’t do this more often; it is only a few pages long, and is so useful in enabling readers to acclimatize themselves to the world and characters again. So yes, even if it’s been a while since you’ve read the first book, you don’t have to worry about feeling lost.

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Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s sad when a perfectly decent story leaves you disappointed, but that’s how I feel about this little novella. I absolutely loved Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. They were both deep and meaningful and had important things to say about accepting yourself no matter how different you are and finding your place, whether it’s in this world or another. They spoke about how adults don’t see children as their equals, and undervalue their experiences and opinions and value just because of their age.

Because I was so moved and inspired by the first two books, I was expecting some of the same from this third installment. But that’s not what I got.

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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


A slow paced book containing an utterly powerful climax sequence; a spectacular middle book for the Mistborn trilogy.

When I first read The Well of Ascension, my experience was that I thoroughly loved it. It’s not until later that I discovered that apparently, a lot of people found the book disappointing. Because of this, I was scared that my reread experience would be ruined. Apparently, there’s nothing to worry about. Yes, it’s slightly an inferior book in comparison to The Final Empire but my overall experience of this reread is that I found the book almost as good as the first time I read through it.

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My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2)

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2)

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies, #2)My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so much.

Seriously. So. MUCH.

There aren’t enough comedic novels out there that don’t edge irritatingly into silly. This book, and the preceding book, are two of the funniest things I’ve ever read. They don’t take themselves too seriously, but the humor doesn’t overwhelm the plot. Both have made me laugh out loud with their pop culture references and plethora of awkward moments. I hope the authors write one of these on every famous Jane from history and literary, and that they move on to another first name from there. Maybe Elizabeth or Lucy or Alice or something. I wish that, some day, there would be dozens of these books, just lining book shelves and waiting to brighten someone’s day.

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