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Magical Readathon: Orilium - Old Favour Pass & Reindeer Readathon 2022 - Wrap Up & Mini Reviews

Happy Saturday (and Christmas Eve) everyone! Today I'm featuring my wrap up and mini reviews for both Magical Readathon: Orilium - Old Favour Pass & Reindeer Readathon 2022!  Old Favour Pass ran from Friday, December 9th through Sunday, December 18th and as part of the Magical Readathon is hosted by G. @ Book Roast.  My goal was to read at least one and of the five books on my original tbr, I managed to finish two of them.  As for the Reindeer Readathon, I completed all nine of the books on my original tbr which includes the bonus points opportunities earning a grand total of 265.  That said I had a pretty great reading month.  Without further ado, let's get to what I read and my mini reviews:

Smith & Friends & Sons Arcane Goods & Such - Read A Contemporary Book

 ❋  

The Burning by Laura Bates is a well written YA contemporary novel that is an absolutely brutal read. It tackles topics such as sexism, misogyny, harassment, and bullying. It's one of those books that makes you see red because what the main character, Anna, is facing makes you so angry especially because you know something just like that happens on a regular basis around the world. It also features a compelling story that had been lost to history of a local woman that was tried as a witch in the 1600s that Anna is researching for a school project. By the way, Glenn, the man helping Anna with her research, is easily the best character in the novel. I also really appreciated what Anna's mom does to stand up for her daughter at the school. That was a real punch the air moment if there ever was one. I also liked Anna's moment at the end there as well as she stands up to the bullies, as others stand with her. I wasn't as big of a fan of the very ending although I get the sentiment.  Overall, this is book is well worth your time, especially if you're a fan of The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis.

My review is also on Goodreads.


Occult Premonitions - Read A Science Fiction Book

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The Red Sky (Perseverantia Book #2) by Timothy D. Minneci is a great follow up to The Black Sky.  I'm so glad I've had the opportunity to read the sequel and I can't wait to see what's coming in the final book in the trilogy.  I wish I didn't have such a gap in reading times between this book and its predecessor, but it was still easy to jump right back into this post-apocalyptic dystopian sequel even though there are a lot of characters to keep track of.  The author kind of eases us back in before dropping us and the characters further into the deep end.  I'm glad we got to see more of the wider world, no matter how brutal and depressing it is.  I appreciated it very much that we did get to see some bright spots and good people that are trying their best.  It might be weird but one of the small things that was a real highlight for me was just seeing Columbus, Ohio pop up.  I rarely if ever get to see it in any way in fiction so that was nice.  Overall, I highly recommend this series if you love the style of Robert Ludlum or John Carpenter.  I hope the third book will come soon because I need to see more of this world.  

Thanks again for this opportunity, Mr. Minneci!


My review is also on Goodreads



DASHER - 15 PTS - Finish a series or pick up a book that you started and put down.  If neither of these are options, a short story/ novella.

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Greywaren (Dreamer Trilogy #3) by Maggie Stiefvater is a book I tried to put off as long as I could withstand.  I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to everyone from this world.  It was a great send off.  I will miss Stiefvater's world and Ronan, Adam, and the rest of these characters so much.  I especially appreciated that prologue featuring a younger Ronan's father and the epilogue. That was the perfect way to wrap everything up - it was good to see the rest of The Raven Cycle crew even if for a moment.  The author's writing style is perfect for this world.  That said, I do wish we got to see more of Ronan in action.  Plus, I'm still surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Declan's part in this novel and the wider series.

My review is also on Goodreads.


DANCER - 10 PTS - A book with a cursive/ flowy/ elegant font on the cover + Bonus: Christmas Carols - Audiobook - 20 PTS

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A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 by James Shapiro is a must read if you're looking for an intriguing Shakespeare biography as well as a deep dive into one year of his life.  It's a fascinating read and I'm so glad I decided to listen to the audiobook production.  The author does a good job narrating the story, and it even includes a few excerpts from the plays the Shakespeare wrote  in 1599.  The author does a fantastic job analyzing real world events and how they influenced the author and his immortal stories.  I appreciated the level of detail that went into putting all of this together.  What a year!  I'll have to check out Shapiro's The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 in the future as well.

My review is also on Goodreads.


PRANCER - 20 PTS - A book with your favorite season on the cover or the book cover has colors from your favorite season on it.

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Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey was one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2022.  Sarah Gailey has quickly become one of my favorite authors, but I'd say that this is probably my least favorites of everything I've had the chance to read by them so far.  That said I still really enjoyed it.  Their style is marvelous as usual and I found myself incredibly into it right off the bat.  It's so creepy in the best way.  The cast, and the house itself, feel like they could all jump right off the page.  My only complaint was the ending - it wasn't quite where I would have liked to have seen it go (and it goes a bit more off the rails and gets a bit weirder than I was hoping for).  Either way, I still loved it.  Overall, I highly recommend this novel if you're a fan of Sarah Gailey's style.  I have a feeling you'll also get a kick out of them if you're a fan of the tv series Prodigal Son.

My review is also on Goodreads.


VIXEN - 15 PTS - A book you want to read but think it might be overhyped Bonus: Christmas Lights - Ebook- 15 PTS

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The Girl From the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag is really dang cute.  The art style isn't one of my favorites, but I loved the bright color palette.  I also wish certain elements of the story and the characters were expanded.  I didn't care all that much about any of Morgan's friends which bugged me considering how important they're supposed in her life.  Plus, I wouldn't mind seeing more of this world with a prequel featuring *those* characters.  If you're a fan of Luca, I have a feeling you'll love this too.  I think I'll be trying more of Ostertag's work in the future.

My review is also on Goodreads.


COMET - 25 PTS - A book with an astronomical word in the title.

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Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown was such a pleasant surprise. I'm glad I just happened to stumble on this middle grade novel at a thrift store.  I'd never heard of it before at all, but if you're at all interested in MG contemporary stories and/ or space it is a must read.  I found myself invested in this cast, even though the novel might have been slightly overlong.  Arty's Fun Facts About Mars at the very end can't be missed.

My review is also on Goodreads.


CUPID - 15 PTS - A book with a favorite trope in it.

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The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab is a series opener that I'd been putting off for way too long.  Victoria (V.E.) Schwab is one of my all time favorite authors and I'm glad I finally decided to start in on a new series from her.  This YA novel isn't quite what I was expecting but still a great read.  I really loved how the book opened.  The author has quite a way with words and the world-building is especially a highlight.  I can't wait to read the sequel, The Unbound.  I'm not going to wait so long before I get to it!

My review is also on Goodreads.


DONNER - 20 PTS - A book that you want to read but are not a fan of the cover.

 
Paws-itively Guilty (The Saucy Lucy Mysteries #2) by Cindy Keen Reynders has one of the worst covers I've ever seen in person.  I spotted it at a friends of the library book sale where you could fill up an entire bag for only $5, so I thought I'd give this cozy mystery a chance.  As it turns out, it's only slightly better than the cover let on. Slightly, but that's not saying much.  I know this is a sequel and I've never read the first book, but I'm not interested in tracking down its predecessor.

My review is also on Goodreads.


BLITZEN - 20 PTS - Use a random number generator to find a number between 0 and 9 and find a book that ends in that page number.

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Like A River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson is a marvelous YA historical fantasy western.  It's been way too long since I read the first book in this trilogy, but it was just as easily to jump right back into.  I really appreciated the inclusion of the cast list and the map. Obviously, there are some differences with real life history versus what we see in the novel, but that didn't bother me here.  The author's note at the end is well worth reading if you'd like to learn a little more about the real world from that time period.  I wish there were more YA historical (fantasy or westerns) set in this time period whether that's specifically the California Gold Rush or otherwise.  I'm going to have to finish this trilogy with Into the Bright Unknown as soon as possible.

My review is also on Goodreads.


RUDOLPH - 15 PTS - Start a new series + Bonus: Christmas Star - 500 + Pages - 25 PTS.

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Forging Silver Into Stars (Forging Silver Into Stars #1) by Brigid Kemmerer was a YA fantasy series opener that I was really looking forward to reading.  Luckily, this spinoff was a pretty great return to the world of the Cursebreakers. It was good to see a few familiar faces and of our new characters, Jax was easily the most compelling to follow.  It took me a bit longer to get into Callyn's story that I would have hoped.  Overall, the novel doesn't need to be so long as at times it can start to drag, but if you're a fan of the Cursebreakers series you'll have to give this one a try.  I can't wait to see what's next for these characters.

My review is also on Goodreads.


SLEIGHING IT - 50 PTS - If you have completed all of your prompts and the Christmas Star, Christmas Lights and Christmas Carols bonus prompts, you can redo one prompt of your choice for extra points.

 
Well, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare (Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1) by Casey Nowak was a disappointing let down. I'll admit that I had high expectations for this, but even still. The description sounded tempting, but it didn't live up to it at all for me at least. A Heckmouth? Seriously? And the vampires when staked turn into a bunch of vampire bats? It makes some classic Buffy references but doesn't do much of anything with them. I know this is an MG graphic novel, but still the fights could have felt like they have at least some stakes if you know what mean. Also for a story set in the present, the 1990s slang and Buffyspeak mostly stands out like a sore thumb rather than working in the dialogues favor.

My review is also on Goodreads.


Did you take part in these challenges or have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Comments

  1. Looks like a solid bunch of reads, except for a few duds. Too bad about the Buffy book!

    ReplyDelete

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