Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Recommendations: If You Like... You Might Also Like... (Part 2 of ?)

So back in December of last year I made a 'if you like/you might like' post with the full intention of making more fairly regularly... and, well, that didn't happen. Regardless, I've been wanting to make a new one for a while, so here we are! I already have books and ideas for another, so hopefully I'll have another one up sooner rather than later. For today's post, I tried to include a small variety of genres so that there's a little something for everything. Let me know if you've read any of these books or what books you would recommend in comparison to these!

If you loved the intensity and compelling storyline of the popular book The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, then you should check out We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson and Kings of Paradise by Richard Nell. Both We Ride the Storm and Kings of Paradise have similar non-European settings and vibes and also really strong casts of characters that add so much to the story. And if you liked having an awesome female protagonist in The Poppy War, then you'll be happy to know that there is an incredible female lead in We Ride the Storm as well.
The Poppy War: Amazon | Book Depository
We Ride the Storm: Amazon | Book Depository
Kings of Paradise: Amazon | Book Depository

If you like your dystopian-esque worlds that sometimes feel all too real and seem especially horrifying for women (why do we do this to ourselves again?) in books such as Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, then I'd like to recommend Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed and Vox by Christina Dalcher. Red Clocks features a future United States in which abortion of all kinds and IVF are illegal, Gather the Daughters features a society in which women are solely around for the sake of breeding, and Vox features a United States in which women are only allowed to speak one hundred words a day. There are some very similar themes running through these books, and if you like one, I'm sure you'll be interested in the others.
Red Clocks: Amazon | Book Depository
Gather the Daughters: Amazon | Book Depository
Vox:  Amazon

I've only just recently read Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell, but I found it to be a really fun, adventurous fantasy that was both serious and not-so-serious at the same time and was a perfect book to relax with. This made me think of Robert V.S. Redick's The Wolf Conspiracy, which also features a young male protagonist who is still figuring things out in his life, much like Kellen in SpellslingerRed Wolf is also just as exciting and adventurous (if not more) and full of exciting plot twists.
Spellslinger: Amazon | Book Depository
The Red Wolf Conspiracy: Amazon | Book Depository

Living up to the sheer size, mind-blowing magic system, and world-building of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is a hard thing to try to live up to, but I found that A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne and Soul of the World by David Mealing left me just as impressed and yearning for more as I was for more Stormlight Archives books. Both books have fascinating and complex magic systems as well as a compelling cast of characters and well-constructed world-building. For some reason I don't see these books mentioned much, but I really can't recommend them enough. 
The Way of Kings: Amazon | Book Depository
A Plague of Giants: Amazon | Book Depository
Soul of the World: Amazon | Book Depository

If you loved the subtle and somewhat disturbing atmosphere of The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani, then you'll love the deceptively horrifying book You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks and the emotionally draining I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake! Am I selling these books or what? In all seriousness, I found my emotions played with a lot by these books, all of which share various unlikable and rather horrible characters, in addition to innocent bystanders that must face the consequences of others' actions. And just as a warning for I Love You Too Much--I was practically crying throughout the entire book, and I almost never cry while reading.
The Perfect Nanny: Amazon | Book Depository
You Were Made for This: Amazon | Book Depository
I Love You Too Much: Amazon | Book Depository

Okay, so this was just a fun one that I couldn't help throwing in. If you managed to slog your way make it through the famed Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and actually enjoyed it, you should absolutely try Jerusalem by Alan Moore! Both have a somewhat rambling style at times with immense detail that requires careful reading and they both are of course over 1,000 pages. Personally, I think you might like Jerusalem even if you didn't like Infinite Jest (ahem, such as my own situation), but I think you might be especially interested in Jerusalem if you enjoyed Infinite Jest. Though the stories are vastly different, there are still incredibly quirky and memorable characters in each and they have storylines that aren't abundantly clear at first, but make more sense in the end.
Infinite Jest: Amazon | Book Depository
Jerusalem: Amazon | Book Depository

Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mini Graphic Novel Review: Ody-C Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction, Christian Ward

Ody-C Vol. 1: Off to Far Ithaca by Matt Fraction, artwork by Christian Ward
Image Comics, 2015
Paperback. 136 pages.
An eye-searing, mind-bending, gender-shattering epic science fiction retelling of Homer's Odyssey starting with the end of a great war in the stars and the beginning of a very long journey home for Odyssia and her crew of warriors. The journey to Ithicaa begins HERE, by Matt Fraction (Sex Criminals) and Christian Ward (Infinite Vacation, Olympus).

I was advised to go into this graphic novel with an open mind because it was a bit weird, but I am not sure anything could have prepared me for the full extent of how insanely weird this story is. This is a gender-flipped Odyssey retelling set in space. I want all things Classics-related in my life, so I knew I had to check this one out no matter how good or bad the reviews were (and well, there are a lot of the latter).

I can't really tell you much about the first half of this graphic novel because I personally have no idea what happened. This graphic novel was crazy and I couldn't pinpoint exactly what plot point was happening or what was going on at all. I was starting to get pretty disappointed throughout the first half because it was beginning to seem as though I would not like this at all, but since it was so short I figured I'd finish anyway. I'm glad I did, because I can say that the second half picks up a lot more and has a more coherent plot that I could follow much easier. The characters fell into place and there was a discernible relation to the Odyssey and the elements of the original mythical figures that brought everything to life.

The best things about this graphic novel are the writing style and the gorgeous artwork. This story, much like Homer's Odyssey, is also told in a verse-like style that really felt like a respectful tip of the hat towards Homer and the beauty of the original epic. In addition, the artwork is incredibly inventive and really shines on its own, and there are plenty of unique world-building elements and characters to explore.

Overall, I didn't love this as much as I hoped, but I was impressed enough with the style and last half of the story that I do think I will give the second volume a chance. I plan to re-read this one someday int he hopes of it clicking it a bit more, but I'm just hoping the next installment makes a bit more sense the entire time. I gave this three stars!

Buy the book: Amazon Book Depository

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar & The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

Can't-Wait is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released! This meme is based off of Jill @ Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday meme.

This week's upcoming book spotlight is:
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
Publication Date: September 11th, 2018
496 pages
Pre-order: Amazon Book Depository 

From Goodreads: 

This voyage is special. It will change everything… 

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid. 

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This chance meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, a journey on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost… 

What will be the cost of their ambitions? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess? 

In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit."
I know this already came out in the UK about a year ago, but I've still yet to read it and it's finally getting a US publication date! I am excited about this storyline, as it sounds like a really fascinating and complex plot. I can't wait to hopefully have a chance to read it.

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
Hanover Square Press 
272 pages
Pre-order: Amazon Book Depository

From Goodreads

"An electrifying debut in the vein of Shirley Jackson and Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, about a British boy who, after his mother is abruptly called away to America, begins to suspect that perhaps she did not leave, but was murdered—by the housekeeper who cares for him in the family's isolated country estate. 

Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once great estate in Surrey with the family’s housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead and his mother has been abroad for five months, purportedly tending to her late husband’s faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye. 

Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel’s life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order. 

As rumors in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave, but was murdered—by Ruth. 

Channeling the masterful suspense of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca and the haunting, claustrophobic atmosphere of the works of Shirley Jackson, The Boy at the Keyhole is an electrifying debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur amid tightly knit quarters."

I am really intrigued by the sound of this book. I love books with a slightly sinister undertone that takes over. The comparison to Shirley Jackson and Daphe Du Maurier also makes me want to pick this up immediately.

What do you think about these upcoming releases? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Some of My Favorite Book Blogs & Websites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!

This week's topic is: Favorite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites

My first thought when I saw today's topic was 'oh crap,' becase how am I only supposed to pick ten blogs and/or websites? I love all the blogs I follow--that's why I follow them! I've listed some of my favorites below (I did not stick to just ten), and just know that even if you're not on this list, if I visit your blog regularly then you should be, but I couldn't put everyone! I have only a couple websites, a few booktubers because I love watching booktube (and SO many more than I'm including in this list), and the rest are bloggers! I tried to keep my commentary on each one brief because this list is too long already. :)


Goodreads has its issues, sure, but at the end of the day I really do like using it. I enjoy being able to keep track of my books and also see what other people are reading and talking about.

 I have really grown to enjoy the community over on the Fantasy subreddit. THere is a lot of awesoe discussion, plenty of fantasy authors that hang out, and a lot of maturity and respectfulness. It's a great place to discover new books, share what you've found, and have great discussion.

I love historical fiction and Sarah from Reading the Past always shares some of the best! Her reviews are always beautifully written and she's always sharing historical fiction book lists with different themes, which I love.

There are always some awesome reviews and interviews featured over at the Fantasy Book Critic blog, so it's easily one of my favorites in regards to fantasy fiction!

AJ from Read all the Things has such incredible wit and writing that is reason enough to follow her, but she also talks about some great books! She puts in a lot of work and I have always loved all of the content she creates.

Angela from Musings of a Literary Wanderer always has some great thoughts on so many books. I love visiting her blog to see what books she is talking about next.

Paper Fury is another one of those bloggers with such a strong entertaining  voice that I don't even care if I like the same books as her. She always has something hilarious and sarcastic to say, so I'm always glad to see a new review or post from her. She just recently published her debut novel (hooray!) and has been sharing some really great tips and insights about her own journey.

The Quill to Live has some great taste in fantasy if I may say so myself, and I am always particularly looking forward to their reviews.

I've only recently discovered Tammy's blog, Books, Bones & Buffy, in the past couple months or so and I can't believe I never came across it before! I love her reviews, which are always really in-depth and insightful, and I just love seeing everything else she posts. 

Greg from Greg's Book Haven is another awesome blog that I always love to visit. From reviews to weekly memes that feature both books and movies to discussion posts, there always something awesome to check out. I've put a lot of books on my TBR because his blog!

Elliot Brooks is one of the sweetest Booktubers I think I've ever seen (even though most Booktubers are). I love listening to her talk about many genres of fantasy (including YA and adult), which is her main topic of discussion, and she's also getting ready to release her first novel! I've been lucky enough to be one of her beta readers and I am really enjoying it. 

Book Roast is incredible. She's a huge Harry Potter fan, so she has a lot of Harry Potter-related book boxes and video ideas. If you've ever heard of the OWL or NEWT readathons, she's the one behind them. Outside of Harry Potter, she's always reading or doing something interesting, so I always have a fun time watching her videos.

April has such an eclectic taste in books and I love watching all of her videos. She seems like an awesome person with a rather quiet demeanor that comes across so well. 

Connor is a really nice guy who mainly talks about fantasy! I love hearing his thoughts on different books and topics, and I appreciate his thoughtfulness on everything he discusses.

I don't really read many of the same types of books as BooksandLala, but I also don't care because I just love her and her videos. She is one of the most creative content creators and always has something interesting to share. I love that she includes her husband and son so much, as well!

Well, those are some of my favorites! Do you follow any of these booktubers/blogs? What/who are some of your favorites? Let me know, I'm always looking to discover new content!

Planning to purchase a book or two? Consider purchasing on Book Depository through my affiliate link! Book Depository has worldwide free shipping and millions of titles to choose from.

I am also an Amazon affiliate, so if you'd prefer to shop through Amazon, just click the banner on the upper right hand side of my blog! (above the 'Follow by email' box, you may need to pause adblock to see it!)