Friday, September 29, 2017

Month in Review: September 2017


Month in Review:
September 2017

Well I didn't get in quite as much reading this month as I'd hoped, but I didn't really expect to due to how insanely busy this month was! My mom had a major surgery, I moved, and right now I'm back visiting home to help take care of her. It's been a crazy month, but also a good month in regards to books. I read a few average books, but also some truly amazing ones (Godsgrave, Every Heart a Doorway, etc.). As always, I've rounded up everything I've done on my blog this past month and posted it below for you to peruse. I hope you've all had a great month!

Books read: 7


First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday:
Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Top Ten Tuesday:
Books That Took A While To Get Through
Books I Forgot I Wanted to Read

Waiting on Wednesday:

The Ninth HourThe Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency #1)
That Inevitable Victorian ThingBefore the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3)

Have you read any of these? What books did you read this month? Comment below!

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

TBR Thursday: Blackwing by Ed McDonald


TBR Thursdays is hosted by Kim @ Kimberly Faye Reads! This feature was created with the intent of spotlighting a title from your shelf that you planning on reading in order to discuss why you want to read it, as well to discuss the book with others! If you'd like to join, feel free to use the banner created by Kimberley (or your own), and stop by her page to participate.


This week's TBR Thursday choice is Blackwing by Ed McDonald! I actually finally picked this one up and so far I'm loving it, but I've had it on my TBR for so long that I thought it fit well for this post. This year has been such a success with fantasy debuts, and I'm hoping that this one will be yet another fantastic addition to this year's releases.


About the Book:
Synopsis from Goodreads:

"Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…

Nothing in the Misery lasts…


Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.


Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.


Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…"




Are you interested in reading this book? What books are on your TBR?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released!

This week's upcoming book spotlight is:
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

From Goodreads:


New York City.
1927.
Lights are bright.
Jazz is king.
Parties are wild.
And the dead are coming...

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.


With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they've ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation--a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

Heart-pounding action and terrifying moments will leave you breathless in the third book of the four-book Diviners series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray. 



I love Libba Bray's Diviners series so much, and I feel like I've been waiting for this third book for so long that I can't believe it's almost finally here! I can't wait to dive back into this incredible world and reunite with all of these lovely characters. If you haven't started this series yet, I highly recommend them.

What do you think about this upcoming release? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Characters Who Aren't Exactly Human

 
Top Ten Tuesday is weekly book blog meme hosted by the lovely girls over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is all about characters (ex.: books featuring characters who/are ___)!
For this topic, I chose to feature books with characters who just don't quite fit under the category of human. I'm always up for some non-human characters, so I thought that this might be a fun idea to explore.


Jonathan Livingston SeagullThe Giving TreeThe Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach: It's a seagull, of course! How many books do you get to read that feature a seagull as a main character?

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: Okay, so this might be a stretch, I know... but I consider the tree a character, and a tree is not quite human. The tree is also one of the best characters in all of literature. Just, you know, saying.

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd: This book is inspired by H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau, and some of the characters may have human roots and traits, but, well... let's just say that they don't necessarily stay human.


Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing EyeThe Last Wish (The Witcher, #1)Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)
Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio: This book is full of fun and quirky characters that most definitely are not human.

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski: This is an incredibly fun book of short stories in which Geralt, the Witcher, goes around and takes care of a wide variety of creatures causing trouble for others. Definitely a must-read if you love crazy fantasy creatures.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen: Trolls. Many, many trolls. But cool trolls!

WatchmenThis Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)Beneath the Fall
Watchmen by Alan Moore: Doctor Manhattan walks a fine line, but I definitely think he could fit here well.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: There may be monsters that started out as humans, but they are definitely not human any more.

Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff: The characters featured in this book are Listlepurs, which are some really fun little creatures that you should definitely check out. Plus, this book has some gorgeous full-color photos which really helps to bring both the characters and the setting to life.


A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman #1)Animal Farm

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Fae aren't quite human, now are they? Not to mention, there are some other fairly nasty creatures in this book as well.

Sandman Vol. I: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman: So there's a fine line here. Death and his siblings are kinda human in form, but... they aren't really human, are they? There are a lot of odd non-human things in this series.

Animal Farm by George Orwell: They're animals! I mean, it's an animal government, there are no humans allowed. (Although pigs in charge didn't seem quite so realistic at the time, but...)


Have you read any of these? What books do you like that feature nonhuman characters?



Monday, September 25, 2017

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas


Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books. Hardcover. 672 pages.

Note: There are no spoilers for this book in my review, but there will be inadvertent spoilers for previous books in this series as I discuss the events of Tower of Dawn. Please be aware if you have not read the previous books and plan to!

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. In fact, almost didn't even pre-order this book. Eventually, however, it occurred to me that I know I'm going to read it no matter what because I love this series, so I went ahead and pre-ordered it anyway, and I'm so very glad I did.

As most of you probably know (or even if you don't), Tower of Dawn is the sixth installment in the Throne of Glass series, but instead of following Aelin and the regular cast of characters, it follows the events of Chaol and Nesryn as they travel to Antica in hopes of having Chaol healed by the famed Torre Cesme healers.

In the beginning of this series, I really like Chaol's character and I don't remember having any major problems with him. However, as the series continued, I started losing interest in him and stopped caring much about his own story arc. A lot of people talk about his character being ruined throughout the series, which I can understand even if I don't fully agree. Other people, however, still completely love him and have been anxiously awaiting this release. If you, like me, lost interest in Chaol and are hesitant about reading this book -- do it! Even if you don't love him, it's still a fascinating story and contributes so much to the series, as well introduces some great new characters--I definitely understand why Maas says it is necessary to read this in order to understand the rest of the series.

In Tower of Dawn, the perspective is split between three characters: Chaol, Nesryn, and Yrene, a healer at the Torre. These three perspectives are, overall, fairly evenly split throughout the book and provide an interesting look into a variety of different aspects of this particular kingdom. I defintely enjoyed Chaol and Yrene's chapters the most, as I simply found their actions the most interesting to follow. Nesryn's sections are still interesting, but seem to be much more information-heavy and action-packed and tended to drag just a bit every once in a while for me.

I found Chaol's entire character arc in this specific book really well done. He is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the battle in the previous books (though certain body parts still function, as was repeatedly mentioned), and as expected from someone who used to be captain of guard, work out regularly, and train soldiers, it frustrates him quite a bit. We get to have a very personal understanding of his struggles and how things both big and seemingly minor bother him regarding his feelings towards being unable to walk. What I most appreciated about this entire plotline is that whether or not he regains the ability to use his legs (I won't say!), he overcomes this, eventually realizing that having a disability does not make him any less of a man or person in any way, and I think that that message itself is extremely powerful and important to convey.

Yrene is a new character that we are introduced do and one that I found myself really liking. She is an intriguing character, both confident and unsure at the same time. As a healer, she has great knowledge of her own powers and how she can improve, and I loved her strong work ethic and compassion for what she does. However, she also has her fair share of insecurities and struggles from her past, which were interesting to explore and allowed me to understand more about her and why she acted as she did in certain situations.

I really don't have that much to say about Nesryn. To be completely honest, I didn't really remember that much about her, so I really had no opinion on her or her character. She is certainly not my favorite character, but she is still a complex, driven woman who brings a lot to the story.

The other main plot of this book is Chaol and Nesryn's attempt to persuade the khagan to join their cause. The khagan has six children, which, I won't lie, I had a hard time remembering and telling apart at first. In addition the way the ruling and power works in their kingdom is a bit complicated and cutthroat, but I'll let you explore that for yourselves instead of trying to explain it all in a confusing manner. I found it to be particularly interesting, and definitely found myself enjoying reading about this particular political system.

Now: the world-building. Tower of Dawn vastly continues on the worldbuilding that Mass has already set up in the past couple of books, and if you have been hoping for more in-depth worldbuilding-- here it is. This world is so vibrant and multi-faceted and there are many cultures, customs, kingdoms, and creatures, that make it up. I really enjoyed exploring this land  and the different peoples within it, and I look forward to seeing where else Maas takes this story.

There is some romance in this book, but it is very much more of a small subplot. The romances are not forced or overused, but seem to fit in perfectly with the rest of the events of the book. As always with Maas, you never really know what to expect, and I appreciate that. Also, if you're wondering if there are any explicit sex scenes like in her previous novels, it's safe to say that there is only one sex scene, and it is not all that explicit.

Overall, I've given Tower of Dawn five stars! I really loved this book and had a great time reading it. It was a unique experience to read a book in the same series that didn't include Aelin herself, but I loved all the mentions of her and Rowan and Dorian, as it really made the book cohesive and not at all out-of-place.

And a quick note: before I end this review, I feel as though I should comment upon all of the Sarah J. Maas drama. I don't really like to get involved, but I feel that it is important to note that I think Maas has really listened to her readers' complaints and wishes and has really developed her writing well. If you're hesitant, I do implore you to give this book a chance and see what you think!



You might also like:
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Friday, September 22, 2017

Anticipated October 2017 Releases!





Okay, so I thought September had way too many new releases, but I officially retract that statement because wow October is packed. I had to cull so many books from this list, but it's still rather long-- what can you do? I know I won't have a chance to read all of these next month, but I do hope to be able to pick up at least a few of them--and, of course, all of them eventually.
Also, it's almost October!? I'm so excited for the fall season to finally be popping up, but it's all happening so fast and I don't want to miss it. Are you guys excited for the fall season?
Let me know what books you guys are excited for next month!


The Stone in the Skull (Lotus Kingdoms, #1)The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman RepublicHiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker
La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1)A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings, #1)Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3)
The Last Namsara (Iskari, #1)That Inevitable Victorian ThingBeasts Made of Night
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)Devils & Thieves (Devils & Thieves, #1)Into the Bright Unknown (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #3)
The Peculiar Incident on Shady StreetThis Darkness MineLady Jayne Disappears
The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare, #1)Harry Potter - A History of Magic: The Book of the ExhibitionThe Indigo Girl

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear || October 10th
The Storm Before the Storm by Mike Duncan || October 24th
Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire || October 31st
The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman || October 19th
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne || October 3rd
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray || October 3rd
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli || October 3rd
That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston || October 3rd
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi  || October 31st
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao || October 10th
Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush || October 3rd
Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson || October 10th
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie || October 20th
This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis || October 10th
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano ||October 3rd
The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano || October 24th
Harry Potter: A History of Magic by J.K. Rowling, British  Library || October 20th
The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd || October 3rd


What are your anticipated October releases?