Friday, August 31, 2018

Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge - August Update: Retribution Rails & Who Fears Death


It's already the end of August - meaning 16 of the 24 tasks for Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge are complete!  The tasks I completed required me to read a western and a book of colonial or postcolonial literature.  For the tasks, I selected Retribution Rails (Vengance Road #2) by Erin Bowman and Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor respectively.  Read on to see my mini reviews and what's next for September:


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Retribution Rails, a companion piece to Vengeance Road, is fantastic and I'd even say it's better than the original. It has everything I could have asked for in a gritty western adventure from train robberies and stagecoach chases, shootouts and gunfights, to outlaws and bad men. Plus, I love that Bowman does her own thing with thing with the genre - it's so much more than just those tropes. Her world-building is absolutely outstanding - as far as I'm concerned i was really there in the Arizona Territory of 1887. She also does a marvelous job creating two very distinct characters with Charlotte and Reece and you can't help but root for the both of them along this ruthless journey. I was also so pleased to see Kate and Jesse feature in this companion ten years on down the line. I definitely need to try more of Bowman's work in the sci-fi and dystopian genres, but I would love to see her write another western. I think I'd just love to see more YA Westerns handled as deftly as this to be honest.

I read this book from August 16 - 23, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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Who Fears Death is the first book I've ever read by Nnedi Okorafor. I don't know why I've never read her work before now, but I'm glad I finally tried her work. I can officially say now that I need more of this author! This is a complex yet straightforward, harsh, and unflinching story set in an incredibly vivid post-apocalyptic dystopian world. The world building and the characters are incredible. If you haven't read this yet, I highly recommend it.

I read this book from August 23 - 29, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Next Up For September:

An assigned book you hated (or never finished) 


My choice: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - I didn't exactly hate this assigned book, but my high school teacher didn't do a good job of presenting it to our class.  This was actually my first Morrison book, and I'd love to give it another shot now since I've tackled more of her works.

An Oprah Book Club selection


My choice: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey - Remember all the controversy surrounding this "embellished" memoir?  I sure do - and that's mostly because of the author's connection to my college alma mater.  Anyway, I've been putting this off for awhile now, and this challenge gives me the perfect excuse to check it out.


Are you taking part in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge, or have you ever in the past?  Have you read any of these books that I read this month, or plan to read next month?  As always thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2) by Gail Carriger + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.





This week I'm spotlighting one of my current #BeatTheBacklist reads, Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2) by Gail Carriger.  I've only read two novels by this author, Soullles and Etiquette & Espionage, but I love her style and I'm particularly looking forward to continuing Alexia's story.  I don't know about you, but I think this series would make a cool crossover with The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare - I think Lord Akeldama and Magnus Bane would make a great team.

Beginning:

"They are what?"

Lord Connall Maccon, Earl of Woolsey, was yelling.  Loudly.  This was to be expected from Lord Maccon, who was generally a loud sort of gentleman - the ear-bleeding combination of lung capacity and a large barrel chest.

Alexia Maccon, Lady Woolsey, muhjah to the queen, Britain's secret preternatural weapon extraordinaire, blinked awake from a deep and delicious sleep.

56:

"You left me with an entire regiment encamping on my front lawn," she finally remembered to accuse.

50/50 Friday: Favorite/Least Favorite Intended Audience Genre


Least favorite - NA - The New Adult titles I've read tend to focus more on romance than I care for.


Favorite - YA - If you've spent any time around this blog, you can probably tell I have a soft spot for Young Adult.

What are you reading this weekend?  What's your favorite age group to read?  As usual, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan (ARC) - Review


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Everyone in the universe knows the outlaw Ia Cocha and fears him. One thing they don't know is that Ia is actually a seventeen year old girl. In reality she is a top notch pilot and a criminal mastermind who has spent her entire life terrorizing the imperalist Commonwealth that destroyed her home. When Ia gets caught by the Commonwealth, they see the truth of her identity as an opportunity. They will force her to serve them and prove once and for all that no one beyond their control. Before long, Ia is stuck plotting her escape at a Commonwealth military academy. Her new acquaintances, though, Brinn and Knives, cause Ia to begin to question her own alliances.

Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan is a YA sci-fi debut and promising series opener. I was really hoping to love it - I mean, the cover and the blurb definitely hooked me. While I liked it well enough, it didn't quite distinguish itself enough for me. There's a lot to like from Ia and Knives, exactly the sort of characters I like to read about, the fast pace, the action, and just how timely the story feels in terms of refugees. Overall, though, the way the story played out didn't impress me in part because it feels very familiar. I couldn't help but compare it to The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, but it never quite reaches those heights. In part, I think that's because there's not a whole lot of world-building. I usually like being thrown into the action right away, but I don't think we ended up with enough to make up for it later on. Looking back on it, I doubt I could go into much more detail about the setting aside from coming up with space or military academy. Finally, I wanted to mention the three perspectives used to tell the story - Ia, Knives, and Brinn. I preferred the Ia and Knives sections to Brinn by far. Brinn's perspective didn't flow as well as it could have and it bogged down the storytelling a little too much.

Overall, Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan is a decent YA sci-fi debut. I had really high expectations going in and it didn't quite live up to them. All things considered, though, it's a great first effort and I have a feeling the sequel could be truly great. I have a feeling you'll want to pick up Milan's new novel if you like Marissa Meyer and Amie Kaufman. Thanks again for this opportunity, NetGalley!


I read this ARC from August 28 - 29, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsIgnite the Stars (Ignite the Stars #1) by Maura Milan will be released on September 4th, 2018.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

ARC Mini Reviews: Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by Mary Amato & Trapped in Room 217 by Thomas Kingsley Troupe


Happy Wednesday everyone!  Today I'm sharing two ARC mini reviews (I received the ARCs from NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews): Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by Mary AmatoTrapped in Room 217 by Thomas Kingsley Troupe.  Both of these stories will be available on September 1st and both are ghost stories.  Read on to see my thoughts:


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Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by Mary Amato is a YA paranormal fantasy story told in the format of a two-act stage play. If you like a good ghost story, you're going to have to try this tale because there is so much to like about it. It's a darkly humorous and quirky, features a fantastic variety of characters (including Edgar Allan Poe himself), and it asks intriguing questions about life and death. It did leave me wanting a little more, especially about the wider ghostly world though as this is set entirely in one cemetery. The story is very visual and could be fun to actually see as a stage play (or a movie), but I think I would have preferred this to be in regular novel format. I didn't know it wasn't a regular novel before I started reading actually. Personally, I think I was expecting a little bit more Beetlejuice, but overall it would certainly fit in with Tim Burton's oeuvre.


I read this ARC from August 27 - 28, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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Trapped in Room 217 (Haunted States of America series) by Thomas Kingsley Troupe is a quick, fun, and spooky MG horror story. I love the idea for this series as each story features ghost stories and creepy mysteries from each state. This installment tackles The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado which was the inspiration for The Shining by Stephen King. I liked it well enough as we learn about the background of the hotel and get to know the kids at the heart of the story. After all the build up, though, I was just a bit underwhelmed by the ending which didn't quite seem to be on the same level as the rest of it. The story is meant to have illustrations sprinkled throughout, but the ARC just includes a gap for the place they're supposed to be. I wish I could have had the opportunity to see them while reading if they'll be as great as the cover. Finally, I'm think going to have to keep an eye on this series to see where Ohio's installment will be set - my guesses are for the Ohio State Reformatory, the Buxton Inn, the Athens Lunatic Asylum, and the Ceely Rose House at Malabar Farm.


I read this ARC from August 26 - 27, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Fiction Books I Want To Read


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is a Back to School/ Learning Freebie which gives me quite a bit of options as to my topic.  Since I don't often talk about nonfiction books, I'm sharing some nonfiction titles I'd like to read.  Without further ado, here we go in alphabetical order by title:


Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox - True crime featuring the creator of Sherlock Holmes - I need this in my life.


Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson - I was really impressed by The Devil in the White City and I'm going to have to read more of Larson's worth.


The Devil & Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness & Obsession by David Grann - I loved The Lost City of Z and as soon as I heard that Grann had written a true crime book featuring a connection to Holmes I knew I had to pick it up.


Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn - I've seen this come and go across my desk at the library and it sounds like a fascinating read, especially since I'm so interested in the Roosevelt family.


From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty - I'm hooked on this author's YouTube channel called Ask A Mortician and her first book, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.  At this point, I think I'll read just about anything she writes.


Jell-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom - I've seen this one come across my desk at the library - unexpectedly, this sounds like a fascinating memoir of the women in the family behind the Jell-O brand.


Ruthless Tide: The Tragic Epic of the Johnstown Flood by Al Roker - After having visiting the town in Pennsylvania years ago I've been interested in learning all I can about the event.  Totally unexpected that Roker of all people would have released a book on the topic, but I need to try it.


The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester - I don't know about you, but I want to read this just because of that title!


Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul by Karen Abbott - I just happened to find a copy of this a yard sale not too long ago and it sounds like a fascinating look at the history of Chicago.


The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfictionby Neil Gaiman - Gaiman is one of those authors that I'll read anything they write.  I'm actually not quite sure why I haven't read this one yet.

What are your favorite nonfiction books?  Have you read any of the books on my list?  Which one should I start first?  As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Irontown Blues by John Varley (ARC) - Review


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Christopher Bach was a cop in one of the largest Lunar cities when the Central Computer suffered the Big Glitch, and became a war larger than anyone expected. Since order has been restored, Bach's life hasn't been the same. Now he is a private detective a la his favorite hard boiled and noir characters and his partner is his dog Sherlock, a genetically enhanced and super smart bloodhound. His newest case will require him to track biohackers to the infamous Irontown, if he wants to catch the people who afflicted his client with an engineered virus. If he can get in and out in one piece that is.

Irontown Blues is my first John Varley book, and I enjoyed it so much that I highly doubt that it will be my last. This new sci-fi noir novel is set in the same universe as his Eight Worlds series, but you don't need to be familiar with it to follow this all new story. Honestly, all I needed to hear was sci-fi noir since I have a soft spot for noir and the right combination of those two genres can be great. I didn't really have any expectations though since I'm not at all familiar with the author, but I thought this was such a cool twisty story. I didn't know exactly how much I needed this book. As much as I liked Chris's story and learning about his background, I have to admit I was the most invested in Sherlock's story and his version of events. It's quite creative how Varely translates the super smart Sherlock's thoughts to the page - and Sherlock gets some of the best moments. Usually I read dogs to sound like either Dug from Up or Manchee from Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness, but for some reason, I totally had Korg from Thor: Ragnarok in in mind when it came comes to Sherlock here. Finally, I have to mention how much I loved all of the references to classic noirish books and movies, especially when it comes to His Girl Friday.

Overall, Irontown Blues by John Varley is a fun genre mashup of a couple of my favorite classic styles. I love that the author is so expertly able to blend key elements of the genre together and still keep it fresh. I don't know about you, but I would love to see more of these characters in the future, particularly Sherlock the bloodhound. If you like classic noir novels and/ or movies adaptations like The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, and Double Indemnity as well as movies like Minority Report and Blade Runner, I have a feeling you'll like Irontown Blues. I'll have to check out more of Varley's work in the future, especially the first story set in the Eight Worlds series, The Ophiuchi Hotline, to see what started everything.



I read this ARC from August 23 - 26, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsIrontown Blues by John Varley will be released on August 28th.

Music Monday: Lilo & Stitch and Enchanted


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.


This week I'm sharing some more of my favorite Disney songs.  This week I've picked "He Mele No Lilo" from Lilo & Stitch (2002) and "That's How You Know" from Enchanted (2007).  I love that opening number from Lilo & Stitch in Hawaiian.  What reminded me of it - I just heard a 5 year-old kid belting this song out, mostly word for word, at the library as his family returned the movie.  I wonder how many times he had to see the movie to memorize a song in another language!  As for Enchanted, this hybrid live-action/ animation movie is just so much fun and this song is my favorite of all of them.






Friday, August 24, 2018

Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books, Illustrated by Karina Shor (ARC) - Review


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I received a free ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Larry was just your regular caribou, who was cruelly excluded from his crew. He and his kin happened to be the sole Jewish reindeer in the North Pole. Larry was bullied and treated the worst way, until his plan saved one Christmas Day.

Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish Reindeer is the newest release by EXO Books.  It's a 60 page holiday book that is illustrated by Karina Shor.  It's a modern and refreshing take on the classic Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Usually, I'm not all that interested in holiday themed stories (and it's so early in the year), but I particularly enjoyed the voice and style of the author in their previous sci-fi novel, The Last Day of Captain Lincoln which I read during Sci-Fi Month back in 2016.  Although, the two couldn't be much different on the surface both have a great heart and provide intriguing social commentary with a touch of humor.  This tale, like that Christmas classic and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, also rhymes - you can get a bit of a sense in the summary.  While the rhymes may not quite roll off the tongue throughout, none of them feel forced or out of place.  This seasonal story also features fantastic full color art which I personally enjoyed a bit more than the style used in the author's previous release.  The art here certainly fits the tone and the little details throughout make it quite special to explore.  Overall, if you're looking for an illustrated Christmasy story with more of an adult tone, you may want to give this quick read a try.  Thanks again to EXO Books for this opportunity!

I read Schmuck the Buck on August 23, 2018 and it will be released on September 1st.

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Who Fears Death (Who Fears Death #1) by Nnedi Okorafor + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.




This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads for Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge, Who Fears Death (Who Fears Death #1) by Nnedi Okorafor which will fulfill the task to read a book of colonial or post-colonial literature.  I'm not all that far into it yet, but I've already been hooked by this post-apocalyptic fantasy set in post-colonial Africa.


Beginning: 

My life fell apart when I was sixteen.  Papa died.  He had such a strong heart, yet he died.  Was it the heat and smoke from his blacksmithing shop?  It's true that nothing could take him from his work, his art.  

56:

After that day, it seemed I saw Mwita everywhere.  He often came to our house with messages.

50/50 Friday: Ugly Cover With the Best Story/ Gorgeous Cover With the Worst Story


Gorgeous Cover with the Worst Style - Firstlife (Everlife #1) by Gena Showalter - This cover is so cool and detailed, but the story flopped so hard for me that I ended up DNF'ing it after the second chapter.


Ugly Cover With the Best Story - Dairy Queen (Dairy Queen #1) by Catherine Gilbert Murdock - This is an excellent YA contemporary, but I have no idea what's going on with that cover!  None of the covers for this book or the series do the story any kind of justice.


What are you reading this Friday?  Have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood (ARC) - Review


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft is a YA anthology of short stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era. History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations - bold, powerful, and rebellious. From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together - magically or mundanely - has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. This collection delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.

I was so excited when I was approved for this YA short story anthology all about witches. I mean, it's edited by Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood and features stories by them as well as Brandy Colbert, Zoraida Córdova, Andrea Cremer, Kate Hart, Emery Lord, Elizabeth May, Anna-Marie McLemore, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Lindsay Smith, Nova Ren Suma, Robin Talley, Shveta Thakrar, and Brenna Yovanoff. I'm familiar with the work of some of these authors, but others are entirely new to me. Either way, I've had quite a bit of good luck lately with YA short story collections even though they aren't my go-to and I was hoping that would be the case here, too. Unfortunately, I found this to be slightly underwhelming as a whole. The first couple of stories weren't quite my thing, so it took me a bit longer than I was hoping to get into the swing of the anthology. I will say, though, that I particularly enjoyed the following stories: "The Legend of Stone Mary" by Robin Talley, "The One Who Stayed" by Nova Ren Suma, "Divine are the Stars" by Zoraida Corova, "Daughters of Baba Yaga" by Brenna Yovanoff, "The Well Witch" by Kate Hart, and "Why They Watch Us Burn" by Elizabeth May. Of those favorites, May's story is easily the standout of the entire collection.

Finally, Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft is a unique YA witchy anthology featuring complex and diverse characters. While I wasn't the biggest fan of every story, there were still some truly great tales in this collection. Some of these stories really gave me a great taste of the author's work and have made me want to try more of their writing, and perhaps wish that some of these stories were expanded into a full novel. If you are interested in bold witches of YA, you may want to give this collection of stories a try.


I read this ARC from August 21 - 23, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsToil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft will be released on August 28th, 2018.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett (ARC) - Review


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sancia is a thief and the heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, her new target, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. Sancia’s been sent to steal a powerful artifact that could totally revolutionize magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic which uses coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience and the ability to break the laws of physics and nature--have already used it to transform the city of Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. If the Houses get their hands on this artifact, they will be able to rewrite the entire world. Now someone wants Sancia dead and to keep the artifact for themselves - and no one in the city stands a chance against them. If Sancia has any hope at all of surviving what's coming she'll have to marshal unlikely allies and figure out how to handle the artifact's power for herself.

Foundryside is my first novel by Robert Jackson Bennett, but it certainly won't be my last. I've fallen hard for his unique style, awesome characters, world-building, and magic system. I've read a lot of great books this year, but I think this book has just shot to the top of my list of favorite 2018 releases. Although it's 512 pages long, it's compulsively readable - I read it over the course of three days, but I probably knocked the most of it out in one day. I literally didn't want to put it down - I just had to know what was going to happen. The best way I can describe it is probably an epic fantasy take on The Matrix with a dash of Ocean's Eleven. I don't know about you, but I'd pick it up for just that comparison alone.

This story has so much going for it from the cast and world, to the unique industrial magic. Each element comes together seamlessly to make for a wonderful reading experience. Now that I've met Sancia, I can officially say that she's easily one of my new favorite characters in fantasy. Let's just say she get's a really cool, and moving arc and that the development her character takes from the first moment we meet her to our last is awe inspiring. There are so many other characters to love here, but I just want to mention how great, and unexpectedly funny, Clef is. I'd say more, but I'd rather not spoil anything for you. As for the world of Tevanne, it's so highly detailed it feels like a real place. The setting is practically a character in it's own right. There's so much to learn about the location in this novel, but we've only just scratched the surface of the city and the wider world. Finally, I just want to mention how unique and intricately complex the idea of scrivings are. There's so much that can be done with it - and we get to see them in action some of the coolest ways you could think of in this story.

Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett is easily one of the most impressive fantasy novels I've read all year long. I know my review doesn't do it justice (there's so much I want to discuss regardless of the spoilers), but this series opener comes highly recommended from me. If you like dense, yet high-octane fantasy that makes you think, Ocean's Eleven, and The Matrix, you need absolutely need this novel in your life. I can't wait to see where this series goes from here. I will certainly need to look into Bennett's previous novels and keep an eye on his future projects.



Thanks again, NetGalley!


I read this ARC from August 18 - 21, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsFoundryside is now available for purchase. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (ARC) - Review


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I received an ARC of this novella from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Creeper is a scrappy girl who lives on the streets of post-Civil War New Orleans, but she has big plans. She plans on gaining passage on the smuggler airship Midnight Robber by earning the trust of Captain Ann-Marie. She'll do just that by sharing a secret of a kidnapped Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon called The Black God’s Drums. Creeper has her own secret: Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, speaks inside her head and grants her divine powers. And Oya has her own priorities.

I was so excited to when I learned I was approved for The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark. Since I'm a fan of alternate history and steampunk as well as Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, this novella sounded like an absolute must read. Luckily, this story was absolutely brilliant - and one of my favorite reads of 2018. Although it only clocks in at 110 pages and the plot moves quickly, the author's world-building and complex character development skills are top-notch. It hooked me from beginning to end and I loved just how original and unique it all is. In short, this novella is a real treat for fans of alternate history and a must read for fans of innovative fantasy. I need to read more of Clark's work in the future and I would love to return to this steampunk world.

Thanks again, NetGalley!


I read this ARC on August 21, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.  The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark is now available for purchase.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump.  The books I'm sharing below are recent releases that are all absolutely addicting for one reason or another.  Here we go, in alphabetical order:


The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


Cadaver & Queen by Alisa Kwitney


Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi


Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles


The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert




The Point by John Dixon


Scream All Night by Derek Milman


Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Have you read any of these books?  What books have helped you get out of a reading slump?  As always thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!