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Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge - October Update: Labyrinth Lost & The Magpie Lord

It's already the first of November - and if you've been following my progress this year for Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge, you'll know it's time to find out how I did in October!  Well, this October I completed tasks nineteen and twenty which required me to read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey (From Daniel José Older, author of Salsa Nocturna, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, and YA novel Shadowshaper) and read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (From Sarah MacLean, author of ten bestselling historical romance novels).  For the tasks, I selected Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Cordova and The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1) by KJ Charles respectively.  Read on to see my mini reviews and what's next for November:

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I had pretty high hopes for Labyrinth Lost, the first book in the Brooklyn Brujas series, and while it was good - it just didn't end up being quite as amazing as I was hoping.  In fact, I was pretty invested in Alex's world, the magic system, and the creatures from the beginning.  I loved the way that Latinx culture is worked into the story, and the importance of the family dynamic between Alex, her mother, and her sisters.  Unfortunately, I wasn't all that interested in Alex and she fell a flat for me at times.  I was also hoping to like Rishi, Alex's best friend and love interest, more than I did but I wasn't all that interested either - although, I could appreciate the representation of an F/F relationship - I'd definitely like to see more LGBTQIAP+ representation in YA, especially fantasy.  Anyway, the one character who makes this book, in my opinion, is Nova.  He's the real standout - he's a little more complex, likable, and fun to read.  While this wasn't quite a great read for me, it's still a lot of fun to get immersed Alex's world and the land of Los Lagos.  Like the sound of Alice in Wonderland with a Latinx flavor, then you may want to try Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova.  I will definitely want to see where Alex's story goes in the sequel, Circle Unbroken.

I read this novel from October 5 - 6, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.  Plus, this novel also fulfilled the Witches square on my Fall Bookish Bingo


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I remembered seeing this short historical fantasy M/M romance novel on a few blogs last year, and it really caught my eye.  Romance isn't really my thing - I usually prefer books to have plenty of other stuff going on with maybe a dash of romance, if that. What really caught my eye about this is that is described as being for fans of Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell also, which is one of my favorite things (the book and the tv adaptation).  Luckily the Romance (with a capital R) didn't completely derail the story here between Lucien Vaundrey, the new Lord Crane, and Magician Stephen Day and the dangerously evil plots they find themselves facing off against.  I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked getting to know these guys and their world - the historical fantasy elements are really cool.  I'm definitely going to have to try book two in the A Charm of Magpies series, A Case of Possession.

I read this novel on September 29th, 2017 (my library hold came in quite  bit sooner than expected!) and my review is also on Goodreads.  This novel also fulfilled the LGBT square on my Fall Bookish Bingo.

Next up for the November portion of the Challenge:

21. Read a book published by a micropress. (From Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Ayiti, An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, Marvel’s World of Wakanda, and the forthcoming Hunger and Difficult Women)

My choice - Warhead by Ricardo Delgado - This is put out by Reliquary Press from Atlanta, Georgia and is described as a neo-noir for fans of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, so it sounds like it could be right up my alley.  By the way, I just happened to stumble upon my copy of this book at a local new and used bookstore.

22. Read a collection of stories by a woman. (From Celeste Ng, author Everything I Never Told You and the forthcoming Little Fires Everywhere) 

My choice - St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell - I loved Vampires in the Lemon Grove and it's about time I try her debut with this book of short stories.

Congrats if you made it this far!  Have you read any of these books or have you taken on Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge before?  Thanks as always for visiting my blog, and perhaps even commenting down below!


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