O.W.L.S. Week 3: Two Books Finished!

This read-a-thon was much needed because I was having trouble finding books that lit that reading fire. I have been reading books that I was mildly interested in and found some new authors. I am so happy I decided to take part in it.

April 16, 2020

I finished THE RAGE OF DRAGONS and it was such a good book! Tau is a fantastic character as he grows into something blessed by the goddess and fights to avenge his father’s death. This vengeance leads him down a path of dedication to becoming a warrior who can best a royal who is superior in size, strength and ability. All his life he’s been told he is inferior and when he enters training he is told with hard work he can become more. I really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait until July when the second book is released.

April 17, 2020

I’ve been reading WHITE HOT KISS and I’m really enjoying the story so far. It’s the hate to love trope but the author does it very well. After I finished RAGE OF DRAGONS I decided I wasn’t going to borrow any more audiobooks until after the read-a-thon. But I got caught up on all the podcasts I listen to and needed something to listen to when I walked Libby. So I borrowed BURNED by Benedict Jacka. It’s book 7 in the Alex Verus series. It’s really good so far. So much for resolutions!

April 18, 2020

WHITE HOT KISS is a good book and I really love Layla. She has so much going against her and yet she doesn’t instantly change. She is slowly coming to realize her world is changing. 

April 19, 2020

BURNED is really, really good. How is Alex going to get out of this? I decided with the time I have left I’m going to use BURNED as my book with witches and or wizards. Alex is a mage which is sort of a wizard and it’s such a good book. WHITE HOT KISS has gotten very good. I don’t know what Layla is going to do next. I also don’t know which of her love interests she’s going to choose because it really is a choice between good and evil; light and dark. And since she has a part of both in her the question at this point is not only which boy she’ll choose but which part of herself she’ll choose as well. 

April 20, 2020

I finished BURNED and it was an excellent book. I have always loved the main character, Alex Verus, and I also really like the supporting characters. In this book Alex is put under a death sentence by the Light Counsel and has to protect his friends before he runs out of the country. I have to say this is my favorite of the series so far. The book ended on a bit of a cliff hanger and I can’t wait to read the next one. So, this means three of four books for the read-a-thon are completed. I am 50% of the way through WHITE HOT KISS and it is really good. I hit the turning point in the story and it took a turn I didn’t expect. The main character, Layla, just turned seventeen and now demons are hunting her. I won’t say much more because I don’t want to give away too much. I think this would be a New Adult book and so far it’s been steamy but not too much. I am really looking forward to what happens next. I also started a new audiobook based on a recommendation by Peruseproject on YouTube. BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE by Evie Dunmore is an adult historical romance novel and is just what I need right now. I’ve been reading some pretty heavy books and something light and romantic will clear my palate.  

April 21, 2020

I am at the 50% mark in WHITE HOT KISS. I still have plenty of time to finish up. Honestly I didn’t realize I had read as much one night because I got so caught up in the story. Layla has had an experience that surely will change everything for her. I’m also listening to BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE and really enjoying it so far. Annabelle Archer has been offered a stipend to attend Oxford, where the first female students have been accepted. The story takes place in England in 1879 and the women’s suffrage movement is paying for her scholarship in exchange for her support. Sebastian Devereaux is the Duke of Montgomery and has been tasked by the Queen to support the Tory party who do not support women’s rights. The two meet formerly in his home when his brother invites her to a party. The story so far is really good and what I thought would be your typical romance novel is turning out to be a little deeper. I am really invested in the two main characters and want to see them get together. In this case, the journey is what is important.  

So far I feel like I’ve made some really good progress. I have changed the books I initially said I was going to read but I think that’s ok. The point of the read-a-thon was to pick books that met the categories for the O.W.L.S. and I’ve done that so far. Libby has been kind of bored this week. Heck, who am I kidding we’ve both been pretty bored. In my state the stay at home order is supposed to end April 30th. I know I’m ready for some human companionship. I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy and finding things to fill in the hours. Until next week my friends.

Therese

O.W.L.S. Week 2: Finished A Book!

I am making some progress in this read-a-thon. I’ve been enjoying myself and I’m glad I made the changes in the books I decided to read. 

April 9th – April 12th, 2020

I spent the time reading THE FIFTH SEASON by N K Jemisin and it is a very good book. I will admit that I had to look up a summary at about 75% to figure out what was going on with the three female characters. I honestly didn’t get what was happening and would have never guessed. Maybe it was meant to develop as the story progressed and I was being impatient. But by the end I was satisfied and am looking forward to the next book.

April 13, 2020

I have started listening the THE RAGE OF DRAGONS by Evan Winter which is good. It starts out with a race of people fleeing to a new land and fighting the native people, who are savages; at least to them. This happens in the prologue and we do see a dragon as well. I was a little worried I would have to wait. The main character, Tau, is destined to be a warrior and isn’t sure this is the path he wants to take. But an event causes him to seek revenge. The narration is very good and Prentice Onayemi does a wonderful accent that fits with the culture of the people. I’m currently on chapter 6 and hope to finish this week. 

I also found a book to cover the transfiguration requirement. The book I initially chose didn’t have that in it at all. So I started reading “WHITE HOT KISS” by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It pulled me in right away and it is the book that has taken me out of my reading slump. The story is about a girl named Lyla who is half demon and half gargoyle. The gargoyles are wardens and keep demons, who have found a portal into our world, under control. The wardens are stone gargoyles during the day and human at night when they hunt demons. Hence, transfiguration. It’s a really good story so far. I’m about 14% of the way in and so far I’m hooked. I had to borrow the book from the library via the Libby app and read it on my Kindle. Not good on the eyes but I read in short stints so it’s all good. So I’m back to wanting to read even if it does take time away from Animal Crossing lol.

April 14, 2020

I am almost done with THE RAGE OF DRAGONS. I’m at 86% and I’m at a very exciting part of the story. All in all I’ve enjoyed this book. I love the friendships, I love the world building and I even have enjoyed the militaristic storyline. And it is very military heavy so if you read this book be prepared. But it’s all very well done. I’m also on chapter 7 of WHITE HOT KISS. I know, I know is this a romance book? Yes and no. It does have romantic angst, teenage crushing, and a love triangle. Don’t let that deter you because this is a very well written book and it catches you from the first page. Layla is an extremely likable character and she is portrayed with heart and strength. I am totally hooked on this book. I’m hoping to finish THE RAGE OF DRAGONS by the end of this week and also complete WHITE HOT KISS by mid-next week. That’s the plan!

April 15, 2020

I spent my morning walk with Libby listening to THE RAGE OF DRAGONS but still haven’t finished. Libby didn’t want to walk far and I had a bible study to watch on Facebook. I think I can finish tomorrow for sure. I only have about 2 hours left. WHITE HOT KISS is still my obsession right now and I want to finish it by this weekend. I think that’s doable for sure. 

That’s been my second week for the read-a-thon. I’m really enjoying it so far and I am making good progress considering I started with a reading slump. I’ve finished one book so far and I’m close to finishing a second so I’m happy with where I am right now. Libby is being very patient while I read. She just jumps up on the couch and falls asleep. I think she likes the fireplace app on the tv because it’s soothing. I’m looking forward to the upcoming week so until next time my friends. Stay safe and stay healthy.

Therese

The O.W.L.S. And A Reading Slump

April 2, 2020

Well, this can’t be good is what I said to myself the second day of the read-a-thon. I started reading “The Cruel Prince” and it is ok but not great. It’s very dark and the state the world is in right now the book just isn’t appealing. Honestly it is the cruelty (which is in the title) to two children who are the main focus that turns me off. I think I’ve said it before, I don’t like this type of violence. The book has to be something truly spectacular to get me to read the book in spite of the violence. Now I need another book with a white cover to replace The Cruel Prince.

April 5, 2020

I started listening to “The Fifth Season” by N K Jemisin. It sort of has a heart shape on the cover so it is a replacement for the other book I was going to read. It’s pretty good so far. It’s different than I thought it was going to be. The world building is wonderful and the characters are interesting enough that I want to know what happens next. I should be able to finish it this week. I hope.

April 7, 2020

I think the social distancing is starting to take it’s toll. I’m bored and unable to read anything. I do continue to listen to “The Fifth Season” which is pretty good. At first I didn’t know if I was going to like the book but as time has gone on I’ve started to care about the main characters. I think the author is setting up a different type of world. The continent, known as the Stillness, is in the middle of a time where the land is unstable. The characters are being put into place to deal with bigger issue with the land. 

April 8, 2020

I am 50% of the way through “The Fifth Season” and it is still holding my interest. I find myself wanting to listen to the story to see where this is all going to go from where I am right now. I’ve also changed my book with a white cover to “Rage of Dragons” by Evan Winter which is a book that’s been on hold on the Libby app for about a month.  So that is what I’m starting this upcoming week. I’m hoping it helps get past my reading slump. 

I’m still planning on a reread of “The Sorcerer’s Stone” as my witches/wizards book so I’m looking forward to that. 

That’s the update for the past week. I hope you’re all doing well in this challenging time. I am struggling a little bit but having my dog, Libby, with me does help a lot. We take a long walk each morning, which gets me out of the condo and into the fresh air. This is a good thing. I will freely admit this week has me a little worried as things are supposed to peak. I have to go get my weekly meat so I’m planning to go early hoping there won’t be as many people. That is just a little slice of my life. So, until next week my friends.

Therese

O.W.L.S. – Getting Started

Well today I begin the O.W.L.S. Read-A-Thon. I’m starting with the Cruel Prince by Holly Black. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while. I’ve read some reviews and they are really mixed but I also read mixed reviews of The Darker Shades of Magic and I loved that book so I’m going to approach this one with a positive outlook.

So here’s the plan. This entry is the first one for the week and is more introductory. I’ll post more of my reading progress next week. A little change. Instead of rereading the Harry Potter book I’m going to read “Windwitch” by Susan Dennard. I’ve been wanting to read the second book in the series and the audiobook just became available from the library. 

I did start “The Cruel Prince” this morning and at the time of this writing I’m at page 34. I’ve only been reading for a short time but so far it is holding my interest enough that I want to see how this story is going to progress. So, I have the fireplace app on my cable box turned on, Libby is snoozing on the couch (she snores) and I’ve settled in to this story. Onward!

A Little Review

Over the past week I listened to Tempest and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce and it was really good. It’s the story of Arram Draper a 11 year mage who is attending the Imperial University of Carthak, which is a magic school. He meets Varice and Orzorne who become his best friends. 

The book is a series of events that take place over the school sessions. One such is when Arram is called upon to accompany a Master, who is a healer, to assist him in administering to those afflicted by a plague. Many such events help to shape him as a mage and as a person. 

Arram’s character development is slow but real and we watch as he struggles through some pretty horrific circumstances. The author doesn’t hold back. Also the world building is genuine and it isn’t always a good place to live given there are gladiators who are slaves and are forced to fight in the arena. The magic system is unique in that each mage or witch draws on a power that lives within them. Arram’s struggle to control his magic is central to the story.

This book does have a lot of violence and some graphic scenes and even though the main character is so young it doesn’t hold back. Arram struggles with his own views on slavery and places his hope in Orzorne who is heir to the Emporer’s throne. The relationship between the two friends is something that is real and touching even with their differing opinions. 

I loved this book. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Adriane Meyers, is wonderful. She brings life to all the characters and you always know who is speaking. If you get the opportunity listen to the audiobook I can say you will enjoy the performance. I give this book a 5 out of 5.

Next week look for my review and progress on The Cruel Prince. Please stay safe and I pray you all remain healthy. Until next week my friends.

Therese

O.W.L.S. Read-a-thon

I normally write about what I’ve been reading and give a mini review but I decided I’m going to talk about something else. It’s still reading related so let me explain.

I’m going to participate in the O.W.L.S. Read-a-thon taking place in April. It is pretty well put together and involves picking a career from the world of Harry Potter and then following the O.W.L. requirements. There is a beautifully created guide you can download that details all careers and the requirements for each. There is also a document with the reading prompts for each requirement. Here is the link if you’re interested.

https://www.magicalreadathon.com/copy-of-induction-to-magical-readat

I chose the Graphic Designer career as I am an artist and the description suited me to a tee. The requirements are also pretty do-able in the time I have to read.

Here are the O.W.L. requirements for my career and the books I’m going to read.

RUNES: Books with a heart on the cover. I’m going to be reading “Beyond the Pale” by Savannah Russe. It sort of has a heart shaped filagree on the cover and while that might be a stretch it’s what I have.

CHARMS: Book with a white cover. I’ll be reading “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. I actually checked this out of the library a couple weeks ago and now I’ll have the incentive to actually read the book.

HISTORY OF MAGIC: Books featuring witches/wizards. I’m going to reread “Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone” by J.K. Rowling. I’ve been wanting to read this book again because I’m curious to see how I like it since watching the movie.

TRANSFIGURATION: Books about shapeshifting. I’m going to be reading “The Dark Storm” by Kris Greene. This is a book about warriors, knights and demons. I know there’s a half demon and I’m hoping there are shapeshifters as well.

So, why these books. In my state, as is the case in many, we have been told to stay at home with specific exceptions. The library is closed and I’m unemployed so I can’t afford to buy any books. I was going to move a few years back and I donated a lot of my books to the library. I have to choose from what I have on my shelves. This means I have to stretch things a little. But three of the books I’ve chosen are new to me.

I’m going to start next week with “The Cruel Prince” since this is a library book and it will be due back to the library very soon.

I’ll keep you posted each week on my progress and tell you what I think of each book. It should be an interesting month. I hope you enjoy this blog as I take part in the read-a-thon.

I hope you’re all safe and healthy and take the time you have at home to do some reading, play some games or hang out with your family. We will have the rest of our lives to work after this is over so take advantage of this time at home.

Until next week my friends!

Therese

What Have I Been Reading?

Over the past couple weeks I’ve gotten a lot of reading done. But considering everything going on in the world right now social distancing lends itself to quiet time. So I thought I would do another post on what I’ve read with my thoughts on each book.

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab: This is book two in the series and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well was I surprised by the amount of violence in this book. The story is again about our two main protagonists (?) Victor and Eli. In the first book Eli was captured and Victor was killed and now Eli is imprisoned by an organization called EON and Victor has been resurrected by Sydney (no spoiler it happens in the first couple pages) but there is something wrong with him and he is looking for another EO (extraOrdinary) who can fix him. Sydney is feeling extremely guilty and is having nightmares. 

Sydney started dying, but only in her dreams.

The nightmares began when they left Merit. Night after night, she’d close her eyes and find herself back on the frozen lake, the one that had cracked and broken and swallowed her and her sister up three years before.”

I actually started this book and then put it down because I wasn’t in the right place for a dark story. I also considered taking it back to the library and not finishing it but after a few days I felt better and really wanted to know what was going to happen. So if I have one complaint about the book it is just how dark and graphic it really is so buckle up for a heck of a ride. 

What I loved about the book was the story the author puts together. The characters are rich and come alive on the page. Marcella and June are two of my favorites. No spoilers I promise! I am very quickly becoming an avid fan of V.E. Schwab. I give this book 5 out of 5.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson: This is a young adult sci-fi book which I typically don’t like. I love sci-fi movies and tv shows but just don’t care for it in books. But I heard some really good things about it and so thought I would give it a try. I downloaded the audio book from the library and I will say the narrator did a fantastic job. 

This is the story of a young girl whose father is branded a coward which is considered a crime in their culture. She is therefore also condemned for her father’s sin and is ostracized within the community. She wants to be a pilot like her father and prove to people that she can be more than their low expectations of her.

What I didn’t like about the book is the fact that I’m not a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and so went into the book with a chip on my shoulder. I will admit it here that I may not like the author but I do like this book. Brandon Sanderson builds a very detailed and vibrant world in which to torture Sensa (protagonist). The character development is fantastic and as she grew so did my love for her. She’s strong, independent and a fighter. That’s what I loved about this book. The author also didn’t overdo the angst and completely eliminated any love interest which, considering the circumstances, was refreshing. I will be reading the next book in the series for sure. I give this book 5 out of 5.

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian is a young adult fantasy novel that takes place in a world where the main character, Theodosia, is being held prisoner by the conquering Kalovaxians who killed her mother, the queen, in front of her. Theodosia can’t even use her real name and is whipped repeatedly by the Kaiser. This is a fantastic book and I can highly recommend the audio book. The narrator brought so much emotion to a very tense story. 

I had a really hard time with the more violent aspects of the story especially one scene (no spoilers) in which Theodosia is held accountable for something and is punished. 

Even thought I do NOT like to read about violence against children I muscled my way through those scenes because the vast majority of the book is excellent. The world is fleshed out and draws you in deeply. The characters struggle and fail and get back up again. The ending of this book is what I wanted from the book Red Queen. I absolutely loved this book and already have the other two books on hold. I give this a big 10 out of 5. Honestly. Read this book.

Veiled by Benedict Jacka: This is an adult urban fantasy and is another in the Alex Verus series. In this book Verus is caught up in the politics of the magical world and it leads to some pretty intense situations. There is some violence but it is tempered somewhat so compared to Vengeful it’s pretty tame.

What I didn’t like about the book was the politics and how confusing it was at times. There are a lot of moving parts and characters that come up from previous books. Thankfully the author does a pretty good job of jogging your memory so the confusion didn’t last very long.

I love this series and especially the audio books. The narrator, Gildart Jackson, does a fantastic job bringing the characters to life and Mr. Jacka has created a world in London that is someplace I want to visit. Less the mages attacking me from all directions please. There is also a lot of very smart and interesting dialog between the characters and the author doesn’t do an info dump. The information comes to you via conversations that take place as part of the situation. I am already listening to the next book in the series. I give this book a 5 out of 5

TBR: I’m currently listening to Burned by Benedict Jacka and it’s started out with a bang. Not literally! I am also reading The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. This has been on my shelf since Christmas and I finally just put everything else aside so I could start this series. I’m also hoping to start Ice Like Fire which is the second book in the Snow Like Ashes series. I have a lot of books on hold on the Libby app and I’m hoping those come through soon although I do have two audio books from Audible to listen to. They’re just really long and so far a little boring. I’ll write more about those at another time.

So, that’s what I’ve been reading. I’ve been taking advantage of the time at home and I hope all of you are safe and healthy. With this pandemic it’s a scary time but if we come together and make sure those who are most at risk are protected then we’re doing a good thing. Take advantage of social distancing to spend time with your family and to get some reading done. 

Until next time my friends!

Therese

Genre Reading Challenge

I was watching a video on YouTube by BookswithEmilyFox and she does a reading challenge each week where she chooses a genre from her bookshelf and then picks books to read in that week. She then does a vlog throughout the week discussing her progress. I thought I would try that on my blog and see how that works out. 

I’m going to put the following genres in a bowl, choose one and then pick a book to read. If I do not have one in that genre then I will look on Goodreads to find one that interests me and then off to the library I go either physically or via the Libby app where I can listen to the book. I will update this blog on my progress each day. So let’s see how this works in a written format. 

Here are the genres:

  1. Adult Fantasy
  2. Distopian
  3. YA Fantasy
  4. Urban Fantasy
  5. Contemporary Romance
  6. Juvenile Fantasy

I chose genres that interest me but also included dystopian and contemporary romance because those are a struggle for me to read.

March 5, 2020

Here we go. I am pulling a genre from a little ceramic dish I made in pottery class when I was in college. It’s really ugly but since it was one of the first things I made it has sentimental value. 

The genre I picked from the dish is Contemporary Romance. Oh dear. I had a feeling this would happen because this is my least favorite type of book. But I’m committed.

March 6, 2020

I searched the Libby app for romance audiobooks that were available. I found “Friction” by Sandra Brown. It’s a story about a Texas Ranger, Crawford, and a judge, Hope, that  come together after she is almost killed by a shooter in her courtroom. This has the trope of hate to love, which seems to work. I’m about 50% in and enjoying the book so far. But I need to get a move on if I’m going to finish this in a week.

March 7, 2020

This book has been a little slow in the middle but I think it’s starting to pick up. It’s not just a romance it’s also a mystery and this is what is being used to push the romance forward. I’m enjoying this book more than I thought I would.

March 8, 2020

Sunday and I am still listening to “Friction”. I wish something would happen. It has been a little slow after the middle and I’m still wondering where this is going.  Also with all that’s going on they continue to make poor decisions based on motivations that are more akin to a someone with very little life experience. 

March 9, 2020

I’m finishing up and in the last three hours the story is finally getting good. I still wonder at their choices such as having sex when Crawford is being sought after by the police. But it is a romance and I guess allowances need to be made. Also when they think of each other it’s always from a sexual perspective and that just seems a little icky to me. But that’s just me and some may find that totally normal. But given their ages it just seems weird.

I’m done and actually enjoyed the ending. It came with a bit of a twist and it was a little bittersweet. It’s a good story, the narrator was a little slow (I listened at 1.25 speed) and there were obvious patches in the audio to correct mistakes and that was jarring. I wonder why the producer allowed for those. All in all I give it a 3.75 our of 5. I would have given is a 4.5 but the audio patches really took me out of the story. If I read it via a physical book that would make a big difference.

I was going to try and listen/read two books in the week but I am currently between contracts and so am looking for another and that is my full time activity so my reading time is limited. I’m going to try this again soon since it was fun getting out of fantasy for a bit. I also think Sandra Brown will become an author I read more of since I really did like this book. 

TBR: I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump due to the need to find a job but I started back up this morning. I’m planning to finish Vengeful by VE Schwab this week and I’m also listening to Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian. I’m at 45% and so far it’s pretty good. I like the main character and care about what happens to her. I think I can get that done this week because I can listen and look for new contracts at the same time.

I hope you enjoyed this challenge. I plan to do this again as I still have a lot of genres in my ceramic bowl. Until next week my friends!

Therese

A Book Review: Keepers of the Lost Cities: Everblaze

By Shannon Messenger

This week I would have liked to do a “What I’ve Been Reading” post but honestly I haven’t read that much. I’ve started three audiobooks and have yet to finish them. Also I started reading Vengeful by VE Schwab but I’m having a hard time reading the book. It’s good just a little more violent than the last one. I did, however, read Everblaze book 3 in the Keepers of the Lost Cities series. So, I thought I would review that this week. 

Everblaze is a very good book. I can say that so far each book in the series is better than the last. The stakes are higher and the relationships become deeper. In this book Sophie, the main character, and her friends join forces to take on the mysterious rebels who are fighting to change elven society because they feel they are saving their world from humankind. Their methods are questionable and violent. We learn much more about the rebels and there is a twist that took me by surprise. Ms. Messenger does a wonderful job of leading the reader down one path only to make a switch at just the right moment.

I am trying to think of something I didn’t like about the book and, honestly, there really isn’t anything. The book is a big longer than the last two and because it is so jam packed the story moves along at a good pace. I did wonder about some of Sophie’s motivations but then I reminded myself she is a 13 year old who is trying to make sense out of a very adult and intense situation.

What I loved about the book is Ms. Messenger doesn’t pull any punches with her characters. She isn’t afraid to have them experience some very real consequences for their actions and go through emotional highs and lows that really bring heart to the story. There has always been some tension between Dex and Sophie due to her friendship with Fitz, who Dex doesn’t like, and in this book that tension comes to a boil and we watch as they both struggle to maintain their friendship. One mystery is solved that leads to one of many climaxes that do not disappoint. Make no mistake, this may be in the juvenile section in the library but it can be read by an adult with a lot of enjoyment.

All in all I can highly recommend this book. If you loved the Harry Potter series you will also love Keepers of the Lost Cities. I promised myself this week that I was’t going to take anymore books out of the library until I finished my TBR pile of books that I actually own but I found myself getting the next book in the series. I want to know what happens next and that is a good indication of the quality of the book.  I give this book a 5 out of 5. Excellent.

TBR: I have started reading Vengeful and I’m also reading the new book in the Keepers of the Lost Cities series. I’m also listening to Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. I’ve also started The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card. As you can see I’m all over the place and can’t seem to focus. I think this is in no small part to the new Animal Crossing New Horizons game that is coming out this month and the more I learn about the game the more I want to play. I’m a little distracted. But I’m going to buckle down and do some serious reading and commit to finishing the audiobooks I’ve started and provide a review for you. 

So until next time my friends, happy reading.

Therese

Vicious Book Review

by VE Schwab

First, this is not a YA or NA book. This is an adult urban fantasy book that takes on some pretty intense scenes. I debated whether to review this book because of its adult content but I decided I would do it so you would know what to expect.

The story is about Eli and Victor, two college roommates, who, through some pretty drastic actions, develop super powers. Now saying that may sound like this is a super hero book that anyone can read but these two characters grow to resent and hate each other. Eli and Victor take two very different paths and each is leading to a violent confrontation. 

I think the thing I struggled most with was trying to decide if there really was a “good” guy. Honestly I think it was a matter of deciding who was less evil. Typically these types of characters don’t appeal to me at all but VE Schwab crafted the story so well I had to keep reading to learn what the final outcome was going to be. 

I will say that I loved the supporting cast of characters. Some I grew to love and worry for and others I flat out hated and wanted to see them punished. This level of feeling had me turning the page or even putting the book aside so I could catch my breath. It is a very intense story. It is also a pretty violent story: not an “R” rating but definitely PG-13 for sure. 

Half way through this book I thought there was no way I would read the next book but I found myself at the library borrowing Vengeful. I need to know where we go from here.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I’ve read some reviews that disparage this book but I think it is well written and has a compelling story. There is some violence against children and dogs which I don’t care for so I give it a 4 out of 5. 

Until next week my friends!

Therese

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

This was originally going to be a “What I Read Last Week” post but I realized it’s been two weeks so I decided I would just let you know what I’ve been reading since February 3rd. I will say I discovered the Libby app so I’ve been trying some audiobooks. So far I haven’t finished any of them because they just weren’t that good. I’ve been an Audible member for a very long time and I’m pretty picky when it comes to narration. If they don’t get good reviews I won’t listen to the book. Now though I can wait and get the hard cover or the soft cover and read it that way. 

Ok so that was a long opening. Let me move on to the topic at hand!

Here are the books I’ve read and finished since the last time we were together.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab: Excellent end to a fantastic series. I’ll be honest I went into the book with some big questions and high expectations. I always worry the last book will be a let down or something horrible will happen that will depress me. I’m happy to say this book, in my opinion, was the best of the trilogy. About mid-way through I thought perhaps the author was padding the book because it seemed I was reading a lot of stuff that didn’t seem relevant. Wow was I wrong but it took until the very end of the book for all the pieces to come together. What I loved about this book was going out into the world and exploring but not just to see the sights. No. There was a purpose. A quest. But the payment was high and I actually got a little choked up. I also came to understand Holland and, while I still don’t like him, I now know his past and could see how he became what he was. I’m not going to say whether I liked the ending or not because I always consider that to be a spoiler. Did I like the book? No. I LOVED this book. I loved the whole series. I give this book a 5 out of 5.

Keepers of the Lost Cities: Exile by Shannon Messenger: This is the second book in the series and I think it was better than the first. In the book we get to know Sophie and her new family much better. There is also a mystery that I thought I had figured out but was delighted to be only a little bit wrong. I will say I didn’t see it coming. What I missed in this book was not being in school as much as I would have liked but considering everything that was going on ultimately I was ok with it. And there is a lot going on in this book. There are some pretty dark themes and some very big emotions being explored so be aware if you’re going to have your middle school child read this book. It’s not horrible but loss and pain are a part of what’s going on. What I loved about this book was the development of a great friendship between Sophie and Keefe. He is wise cracking and doesn’t seem to take anything seriously so it’s a joy to watch him grow into someone Sophie can rely on. I am really loving this series and give this book a 5 out of 5.

Golden in Death by JD Robb (audiobook): I am a HUGE JD Robb fan. My mom got me hooked a long time ago and I’ve read all the books via audiobook. The narrator, Susan Erickson, is awesome. She does some amazing voices and you always know who is speaking. I love Peabody’s voice the most. This is the 50th book in the series (hence the word golden in the title) and I was a little worried it wouldn’t be good given the hype around it. I’m here to say this is another great book and had me guessing up to the end. This is definitely NOT young adult but I include it here because it is a good series for my adult friends if you like police procedurals with a little romance. The character of Eve Dallas is written so well I sometimes forget she’s not a real person. What did I dislike about the book? Absolutely nothing. The book, in my opinion, is fantastic and I listened to it in just a few days. I highly recommend this book and the entire series. If you want a fantastic listening experience I would recommend the audiobooks for sure. 5 out of 5. 

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett: If I had just read the blurb on the jacket I would have never picked this book up but a booktuber talked about this book and it intrigued me. So I went to the library and thankfully it was available. The book started out with a lot of action and it didn’t really settle down from there. There were brief moments with the main character where she was able to catch her breath but those were often short lived and before you knew it you were back in the thick of things. The “magic” system is not really magic. It’s more technology with a fantasy twist. A little steampunkish in my opinion, which I don’t normally like. But this book is absolutely fabulous. I had a hard time putting it down to get stuff done around my condo. That is always the sign of a great book. I’m having a hard time coming up with something I didn’t like about the book but nothing comes to mind. There was just so much to love about this book. The main character is a thief but she is also a victim just trying to survive in a dystopian world. The male lead is self righteous but not in a bad way and as the story goes on you learn what and why and you fall in love with him. Again, I’m not going to talk about whether I liked or disliked the ending because I really want you to read the book and experience it for yourself. I will say that when I finished the book I took a big breath, put the book down and had to take Libby out for a walk just to absorb the story. It was that good. I had a hard time getting into another book after that. Honestly 10 out of 5!

TBR Shelf: Right now I’m reading Vicious by V.E. Schwab and listening to Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I also have Keepers of the Lost Cities: Everblaze to read. So far Vicious is pretty good. Weird and violent but good. I’ll let you know my thoughts once I’m done.

Well that’s what I’ve been reading. I didn’t mention any of the audiobooks that were misses because this post would be really long. Let’s just say I’m using Goodreads a lot more right now. 

So until next time my friends…happy reading!

Therese