Monday, September 30, 2019

Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques (ARC) - Review


❋ ❋  

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

Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground, but Below is no safer than Above. Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what. The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world. And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.

I'm so thrilled to have had the opportunity to read Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques! It's a pretty fantastic series opener. It's unique concept and luckily it really delivers. It was my first novel by Jacques, but it certain won't be my last. The fantasy dystopian world-building for both Below and Above is darkly lush and atmospheric. In regards to the cast of characters, I particularly appreciated the relationship between siblings, Azzy and Armin. Their journey is really something else, isn't it. The supporting cast is also quite intriguing as well. My only gripe is the multiple third person perspective. I would have preferred that aspect narrowed down to just one or two characters.

Overall, Marrow Charm (The Gate Cycle #1) by Kristin Jacques is a brilliant dark YA fantasy dystopian novel that stands out from the crowd. If you're interested in dark fantasy or dystopian worlds, I highly recommend this author's unique new story. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next this series with Skin Curse which is due to be released next May. Thanks again, NetGalley!


My review can also be found on Goodreads.  Marrow Charm (The Gate Cycle #1) by Kristin Jacques is available on October 1, 2019.

Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge - September Update: Watership Down & My Beautiful Enemy


How is it almost October?  Where's the time going?  Anyway, now that means that I've completed 18 out of 24 books of Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge!  The tasks I completed  this month required me to read a book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character and an historical romance by an AOC.  For the tasks, I selected Watership Down by Richard Adams and My Beautiful Enemy (The Heart of Blade Duology #2) by Sherry Thomas.  Read on to see my mini reviews and what's next for October:



❋ 
I must be in the minority in my thoughts on Watership Down by Richard Adams. I didn't really like it all that much. The first hundred pages were good, but it started losing my attention afterwards. Why did this have to be 500 pages? I can appreciate fleshing out rabbit and animal society, culture, language, lore, and religion, but here it bogged the story down. I liked the descriptions of nature, but I didn't connect to and wasn't interested in any of the characters. I like Animal Farm, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Lord of the Rings, but Watership Down by Richard Adams just wasn't for me.

My review can also be found of Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ 

I'm so glad I finally picked up the second half of this duology, My Beautiful Enemy (The Heart of Blade Duology #2) by Sherry Thomas.  If you like your romance with a major portion of wuxia action and adventure this might just be for you!

My review is also on Goodreads.


Next Up For October:

A cozy mystery


My choice: Elementary, She Read (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1) by Vicki Delany - All I had to hear was Sherlock Holmes and bookshop!

A business book


My choice: #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso - I'm not familiar with the author of this, but it certainly sounds intriguing.


Have you read any of these books?  Are you taking part in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and possibly even commenting down below!

Music Monday: Matias Puumala


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.

Happy Monday everyone!  This week I'm spotlighting some of my favorite Matias Puumala songs.  I've been hearing some of his epic music on the classical Pandora radio station and since then I've been listening to him on YouTube.  Some of my favorites are The Art of War, Rebellion, The Awakening, The Wind is Calling, Renegades, and The Claw.













You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Funday: LOHF Anniversary Readathon - Wrap Up & Mini Reviews


Happy Sunday everyone!  Today I'm sharing my wrap up and mini reviews for the LOHF Anniversary Readathon hosted by Ladies of Horror Fiction and Alex @ Hey Little Thrifter in celebration of the Ladies of Horror Fiction's anniversary which will run for the entire month of September.  You can check out my TBR post here.  I just managed to complete all of the books I had on my TBR and for the most part I enjoyed what I read.  Read on to see my thoughts on these books:



By an indie author


❋ ❋  

The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste is an incredibly atmospheric Cleveland set horror fantasy.  The way the author explores decay in its many forms is fascinating as is the transformation from girl to woman and even other.  I'm going to have to read more from this fellow Ohioan in the future.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


By an LGBTQ+ Author


❋ ❋  

Caitlin R. Kiernan certainly has a way with words, doesn't she?  Wow!  It took me a minute to get into the swing of it, but I'm so glad I kept going.  If you like Neil Gaiman's style, I have a feeling you'll love The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan.  I need to read more of this author's work in the future.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


By a POC Author



❋ ❋  

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of the most unique vampire books I've ever had the opportunity to read.  And, it's exactly the kind of book I've been looking for.  I need more from this author and this world.

My review can also be found of Goodreads.


A YA/ MG Novel - I'm reading one of each!



 

I really wanted to like The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring, a debut YA Horror novel since the concept sounded like it had so much potential.  Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me overall.  What I did like was all of atmosphere and the author's style in the beginning especially.  Of the two perspective characters, Mavi was the only one I was particularly intrigued by.  As this overly long novel progressed I wished that we didn't have split POV chapters.  Also just a fair warning about the ending - the twist really comes at you from nowhere and a lot of readers are probably going to find it to be very polarizing.  I, for one, am firmly in the what-kind-of-ending-was-that camp.

My review is also available on Goodreads.



 ❋  ❋  

Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab is an excellent sequel to City of Ghosts.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, Schwab is brilliant and I love her style no matter what she's writing.  I loved getting to explore the world of the Paris catacombs with Cass and Jacob.  The author's world building is very atmospheric and perfectly spooky.  Her characters are just as engrossing as any - Cass is such a Gryffindor and we also get to learn a bit more of about Jacob as well.  Overall, I highly recommend this Middle Grade paranormal fantasy with a perfect dash of horror.  I'm can't wait to see what's next for Cass and Jacob in Bridge of Souls!

My review is also on Goodreads.


A Translated Book or a Book Set in Another Country



 ❋  ❋ 

The concept of The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club #1) by Theodora Goss sounded so cool and I had very high hopes for it.  Luckily for me, this series opener was exactly up my alley and is one of my favorite reads of 2019.  It might even been a new all-time favorite.  I'm thrilled at how successfully Goss was able to combine so many classics (and my favorites) - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Frankenstein, Rappaccini's Daughter, and Sherlock Holmes.  The only one I wasn't familiar with was Nathaniel Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter which as it turns out helped to inspire DC's Poison Ivy.  Anyway, this historical fantasy was an absolute delight and I can't wait to read the sequel.  I can't recommend this novel enough - if you haven't already read it, what are you waiting for?

My review can also be found on Goodreads.



I love this series so much and Grave Importance (Dr. Greta Helsing #3) by Vivian Shaw is hands down the best installment.  I just wasn't ready for the trilogy to end here.  Shaw's style is brilliant and I truly became invested in Greta, Ruthven, Varney, and Fastitocalon.  I hope we get to see more of them again in the future - perhaps a spinoff of some kind.  I highly recommend this series to fans of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and Supernatural.  I can't wait to see what Vivian Shaw does next!


My review can also be found on Goodreads.



 ❋ 

I really wanted to love Grim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies #1) by Megan Shepherd since the premise and setting sounded so interesting, but it never quite worked for me.  This series opener never hooked me and reeled me in.  As our lead, Anouk wasn't my favorite either - I was kind of bored with her to be honest. 

My review can also be found on Goodreads.



 ❋  

The Mortification of Fovea Munson by Mary Winn Heider was a fun and very unique middle grade novel. The sense of humor was exactly my style.  As a fan of classic monster movies this was a breath of fresh air.  I need to read more by this author in the future.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.



 ❋  

Cat Winters is a fantastic historical fantasy who has quickly become an all time favorite.  I enjoyed getting to meet these two sisters.  The story is all about family and it was marvellous to meet theirs even if it is a little broken.  Each voice was quite distinct and both were very fleshed out.  I was also quite pleased to see such great disability representation. Tru had polio at age two and now she walks with a cane and a leg brace and sometimes she uses wheelchair as well.  If you're a fan of Supernatural and are interested in the Wayward Sisters (if it would ever get off the ground), Odd & True by Cat Winters is definitely one for you.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.



 ❋  

Wilder Girls by Rory Power by is absolutely addicting.  Once I got started in on it I didn't want to put it down.  The author's prose really make the cast and the horrific post-apocalyptic world of the Tox on the island.  The atmosphere totally had me on the hook.  I can't wait to read more from Rory Power in the future.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


Did you take part in this readathon?  What are you planning to read to get into the autumn and Halloween spirit?  As always, thank for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Devour Your TBR - OWNtober TBR

Happy Saturday everyone!  This year I'm taking part in Devour Your TBR which is hosted by Kathy @ Books and Munches and destiny.  Each month the Goodreads Group for the challenge dedicated to knocking out our ever growing TBRs comes up with a themed challenge. October's theme is OWNtober which is dedicated to books that you own - and to get in the spirit of Halloween I'm focusing on horror and urban fantasy novels.  Keep reading to see my potential TBR for October:


For a Few Demons More (The Hollows #5) by Kim Harrison - This Cincinnati set urban fantasy series is so addicting.  I can't wait to see what Rachel and company get up to this time.

Drake (The Burned Man #1) by Peter McLean - I've been sitting on this one for way too long since it sounds exactly like the kind of urban fantasy noir that I'd enjoy.

Night Terrors (Shadow Watch #1) by Tim Waggoner - I don't know about you, but I was sold at Men in Black meets The Sandman.  Plus, Waggoner wrote a really great Supernatural tie-in novel called Carved in Flesh that made me want to try more of his work, so my fingers are crossed.

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson #2) by Patricia Briggs - It took me way to long to start in on this series, so at least I'll have plenty to keep me busy for awhile.

Deadly Curiosities (Deadly Curiosities #1) by Gail Z. Martin - I've been wanting to try this author for ages, and to be honest I was sold when I saw Cal Leandros from Moonshine himself on the cover!

Grave Sight (Harper Connelly #1) by Charlaine Harris - I looking forward to reading more of Harris's work especially since I've completed Midnight Texas (the book and tv series) and I've heard that Manfred is actually introduced in this series.

Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1) by Daniel José Older - I've really enjoyed his YA urban fantasy Shadowshaper books, so I'm really looking forward to picking up his adult UF as well.

Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim #1) by Richard Kadrey - I've heard a lot of exciting things about this urban fantasy horror series and I think this month is a great time to dive in.

The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores (The Merciless #2) by Danielle Vega - I devoured the brutal book one which was a combination of The Exorcist meets Mean Girls and I think I'm brave enough to keep going with the series.

The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1) by Virginia Boecker - After reading Boecker's An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason, I now know that I have to read everything she writes.

Dirty Magic (Prospero's War #1) by Jayne Wells - I do enjoy a procedural in an urban fantasy world, so I think this series opener might just be for me.

Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain #2) by Amanda Carlson - It feels like it's been ages since I've read book one, but I need to continue this action-packed werewolf urban fantasy series and it looks like I've got a few to catch up on.


Have you been taking part in this challenge this year?  Have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Carpe Jugulum (Discworld #23) by Terry Pratchett + 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 Beat the Backlist reads that I just finished up, Carpe Jugulum (Discworld #23) by Terry Pratchett.  It was great to be back in Discworld - and to have crossed off one of my backlist titles.

Beginning:

Through the shredded black clouds a fire moved like a dying star, falling back to earth-
-the earth, that is, of the Discworld-
-but unlike any star had ever done before, it sometimes managed to steer its fall, sometimes rising, sometimes twisting, but inevitably heading down.

56:

Nanny grabbed her cat off the throne.

50/50 Friday: Character Most/Least Likely to Join a Motorcycle Gang



Most - The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - They're already their own gang!


Least - Aziraphale from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - I can't even imagine Aziraphale doing this at all.  Crowley on the other hand though is a different story.

What are you reading this weekend?  Have you read either of these books?  Do you agree with my picks for this week's 50/50 Friday prompt?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books On My Fall 2019 TBR.  All of the books I've listed below are ARCs I'm looking forward to reading, part of my Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge, or Beat the Backlist Challenge.  Here we go, in order alphabetical order by title:


Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood



The Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock #4) by Sherry Thomas


Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake by Frank W. Abagnale with Stan Redding


Elementary, She Read (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1) by Vicki Delany


The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan


The Girl with No Face (The Daoshi Chronicles #2) by M.H. Boroson


In the Hall with the Knife (Clue Mystery #1) by Diana Peterfreund


Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz


The Scalpel of Scotland Yard: The Life of Sir Bernard Spilsbury by Douglas G. Browne and E.V. Tullett



Are you looking forward to any of these, or have you read any of them already?  What are you planning on reading this Fall?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Music Monday: Welsh Songs


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.

Happy Monday everyone!  This week I'm spotlighting a couple of songs I've recently heard in Welsh that I've absolutely fallen in love with.  I started studying the language on Duolingo and it definitely helps me to hear and see media in the language just like learning any language.  My first pick is a Welsh folk song called Dacw 'Nghariad by Eve Goodman and also Let It Go from Frozen translated and sung in Welsh by Jodi Bird both of which are beautiful and haunting especially when it comes to the first choice.






You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia + 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 LOHF Anniversary Readathon reads, Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  I've already completed it, but I absolutely loved it.  To be honest, I'm always ready for more unique vampires!

Beginning:

Collecting garbage sharpens the senses.  It allows us to notice what others do not see.

56:

Domingo blinked.  His head felt like it was about to explode.

50/50 Friday: Character/ Most Least Likely To Start A Band


Most likely - Sam from Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - He's already a musician isn't he.


Least likely - Grace Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - I expect she'd be listening in the audience at his concert.


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

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Things to Eat/Drink While Reading


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Favorite Things to Eat/Drink While Reading (submitted by Jana’s mom).

Apples

Arnold Palmer Half and Half

Grapes

Orange Vanilla Coke

Popcorn

Pretzels

String cheese

Swedish Fish

Toast

Tortilla chips


What are some of your favorite snacks and drinks to have while reading?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Music Monday: oneboredjeu Mashups


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.

Happy Monday everyone!  This week I'm spotlighting a couple of oneboredjeu Mashup videos that really work together more than you might expect - It's A Little Complicated which is a mashup of Complicated by Avril Lavigne and High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco & Old Crown Road which is a combo of you should see me in a crown by Billie Eilish and Old Town Road (Diplo Remix) by Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus.  What are some of your favorite mashup songs?





You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday Funday: Mini Reviews - Craven Street (ARC), The Witchkin Murders (ARC), & Dark Magic



Happy Sunday everyone!  Today I'm sharing three mini reviews with you: Craven Street (Whitechapel Paranormal Society #0.5) by E.J. Stevens (released June 25th, 2019), The Witchkin Murders (Magicfall #1) by Diana Pharaoh Francis (available June 7th, 2019), and Dark Magic (Online Kingdom #2) by Jakob Tanner (released February 5th, 2019).  Thank you very much to NetGalley for providing me with ARCs of Craven Street and The Witchkin Murders and Jakob Tanner for Dark Magic in exchange for my honest reviews.  Read on to see my thoughts on these two books:


❋ ❋ 

Craven Street (Whitechapel Paranormal Society #0.5) by E.J. Stevens is a good little novella for fans of gothic mysteries with a dash of fantasy. It goes quick and the world that Stevens has created is very atmospheric, but I have to admit I felt somewhat out of the loop. There's much more I'd like to know about the world the characters inhabit. This is my first time reading anything by the author and this has gotten me interested enough to come back for more in the future.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.



❋ ❋  

The Witchkin Murders (Magicfall #1) by Diana Pharaoh Francis is a cool urban fantasy series opener. I especially loved getting to know the new rules of our world since the event called Magicfall when the supernatural world declared war on humans and rained down magic on them changing everything up in a massive way. Kayla used to be a great detective, but now she is a scavenger and a witchkin who's no longer quite human. The magic system that the author has created is very cool and I liked seeing how it blended into the human world, especially when it comes to the technomages. Overall, I couldn't get enough of this addictive series opener. It's my first book from Francis and it certainly won't be my last.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.



❋ ❋  

Dark Magic (Arcane Kingdom Online #2) by Jakob Tanner is a great follow up to The Chosen. I'm so glad I started this LitRPG series because Clay's story has really hooked me. This installment takes up right after book one ends and it does a good job of expanding the world of the game that Clay now calls home particularly through the quests he, Serena, and Shade take on for the king. It's quite similar to book one, but we begin to learn more and more background on the game itself and its developers. Overall, though, the author's style flows a little better and we already know the cast and the key points of their world. If you enjoyed The Chosen, Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel, and Aaru by David Meredith, you'll have to continue this series. I can't wait to read continue this The Fallen City after that ending. I can't wait to see where it's going to all go. Thanks again, Mr. Tanner!

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


Have you read any of these books, or have I piqued your interest?  What did you read this weekend?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!