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Chemistry (Stella Blunt, #1)

Chemistry (Stella Blunt, #1)

Chemistry by C.L. Lynch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you put Warm Bodies and Twilight in a blender and add a heaping helping of sarcasm, you would end up with Chemistry. It’s billed as a “sassy, body-positive, snarky twist on Twilight,” and it is absolutely the truth. I love the Twilight Saga and probably always will; it’s incredibly addictive and one of my ultimate guilty pleasure reads, even though I know it’s problematic on multiple levels. But Lynch added an element to her parody that was missing in the original; humor in droves. While Twilight might make you giggle or roll your eyes in places, it never made me physically bust out laughing, which this book did countless times.

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Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

So far, 2018 has been a wonderful reading year for me. I’ve found new favorite authors, and had the opportunity to read new work from authors I’ve loved for years. Of the 93 books I’ve read and reviewed this year, I gave 76 of those at least a 4 star rating on Goodreads. The books I’ve chosen have been overwhelmingly successful for me. When Petrik mentioned each doing a Top 10 from the books we’ve read so far this year, I jumped at the suggestion. But now, looking at the books I have to choose from, I’m regretting my decision. How on earth am I going to choose just ten out of the dozens of fantastic books I’ve read so far this year?! All I can do is my best, right?

To help narrow things down, I’m going to follow the same rules Petrik used for his list:

  • Rereads don’t count.
  • One book per author.
  • Not every book was published this year.
  • Other than the top spot, these are in the order I read them instead of any ranking.

Every book below is one I rated 5 complete stars. Links to my full Goodreads reviews will be provided within each mini-review. Without further ado, here are my favorite books of the year to date!

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City of Blades (The Divines Cities, #2)

City of Blades (The Divines Cities, #2)

City of Blades (The Divine Cities, #2)City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Dying nobly is preferable to living savagely.”

I’m completely blown away by Bennett’s world building. City of Blades thrilled me and surprised me and cut me to the quick with its rich character development and lore. I cared so much about the characters, and felt every emotion they felt as I read. Bennett’s world is unlike any I’ve ever come across; he absolutely excels at creating both empathetic characters and compelling mythology and history to add a depth and uniqueness to his writing that I believe to be rare.

“O, the things we kill for our dreams, forgetting all the while we shall wake up to find them naught but dust and ash!
What fools we are to pretend that when we walk to war we do not bring our loved ones with us.”

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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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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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American Gods

American Gods

American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mythology has always entranced me. Greek or Egyptian, Norse or Celtic, any myth I’ve ever come across has interested me, especially considering what each myth says about the culture it stems from and how said culture sees the world. Myths are man’s way of explaining the world and its phenomena to himself. How the world was created, why there are droughts and floods, how the tiger got its stripes or the elephant its trunk, are all things that man has attempted to explain through myths.

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