Posted in Reviews

Review: The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Verdict: eh… underwhelming

Recommended: not really

If you read the blurb and are REALLY into it, give it a go. If you’re interested but not ravenous, probably don’t bother. Stay away if you want the dark moments to make you shiver, and stay away if you want characters who feel like people. Give it a shot if what you want is to learn about the world they live in.

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

Thoughts

Ehh. I mean, it wasn’t bad. But it just never really sucked me in. I read the story with a bit of detachment the whole way. The ending picked it up a bit, but I probably won’t continue the series. Honestly it doesn’t feel like I need to. The end had a few interesting revelations, but ultimately it didn’t finish on a concrete “WHAT NOW” kind of moment. It didn’t keep me hooked and desperate for the next one.

Continue reading “Review: The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna”
Posted in Reviews

Where have all the good books gone?

Hey y’all! I was writing a review today for another book that I ended up not that interested in despite my expectations. I felt like I’ve been doing that a lot lately. So I took a look, and, yep: of the 29 things I’ve finished reading this year, only 2 were rated above a 3 star for me. 😱

Two were rated 4 stars, but both were re-reads (Othello & Eragon), so I don’t count those because I knew I would like them.

And then to think that this isn’t even counting the several — SEVERAL!!! — books that I’ve DNF’d already this year.

I know I tend to be a bit of a stricter reviewer than most people, and rating something 2 stars for me isn’t that uncommon. It’s also not an indictment, but more of a lackluster shrug that something was just ok and I probably won’t remember much of it in a month. But still, y’all… where are all my best reads?

So here’s a request: comment with your absolute favorite book, or one that totally blew you away, so I can give it a try too! ^.^

Posted in Reviews

Review: World of Warcraft: Death Knight by Dan Jolley and Roccio Zucchi

World of Warcraft: Death Knight: Blizzard Legends by Dan Jolley

Verdict: an ok read, but doesn’t do much of a deep dive and only follows Thassarian through a series of vignette moments in his journey as a death knight. the art was sometimes difficult to understand

Summary

Blizzard presents an original manga set in the World of Warcraft Universe, studying one of the newest classes in the game–the Death Knight. This story follows the tale of Thassarian, a farm boy who joins Arthas’s army and is turned into a remorseless dealer of death — until one order goes too far.

Thoughts

While this was interesting to read, if I didn’t already know the lore and story somewhat, I would have been totally lost. This moves really quickly, doesn’t explain things in great detail, and gives just the straight facts of a situation. If you’re looking to learn the origins of Death Knights, this is more of a supplement than a thorough study, as it focuses primarily on Thassarian’s journey alone. It reads like a collection of memories, each one just touching on the situation enough to see what’s happening, then moving on to the next.

Continue reading “Review: World of Warcraft: Death Knight by Dan Jolley and Roccio Zucchi”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Zara Hossain is Here, 4/6/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan.
Expected Release: April 6, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • As always, I’m about cultures besides my own, although Zara Hossain is dealing with racism and hate from those in her new home in Texas. I super hope Tyler Benson, the ringleader of it all, learns his lesson and maybe even switches sides — or at least gets what he’s given. -_-
  • Strong women are the best. Allowing Zara to fight and be brave, even though it’s bullshit that anyone still has to, is a relief. If they’re in a bad situation, at least they have some ways to stand up. And I hope this book shows the hope that others WILL stand with them, with the oppressed and mistreated.
  • Zara’s family has been waiting on their green card for almost a decade, and the craziest part about that is how common that actually is. A friend of mine went through the process with her husband, and even that took YEARS for them to get when he’s from New Zealand, a country with good relations with pretty much every other country. I love the insight to the process, as it’s something most Americans will never go through, and understanding the many barriers to moving to the US legally will help breed empathy and understanding, which in turn reduces hate and fear.

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.

But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: The Fox and Little Tanuki Vol. 3!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that The Fox & Little Tanuki, Volume 3 by Mi Tagawa published today! Check out the full review here or grab your own copy. 🙂

Recommended: always
If you’ve enjoyed the series so far, if you’re looking for a lovely lighthearted story, if you’re interested in Japanese bakemono-animals, if you like to have a little laugh 🙂
Expected Release: March 23, 2021

Summary

Legends say that Senzou the Black Fox is one of the most vicious and powerful supernatural beasts to ever roam the land. At least, he used to be. Now, 300 years after he was imprisoned by the Sun Goddess for his bad behavior, Senzou is back — in the form of a small black fox with no powers! Tasked with protecting a young tanuki called Manpachi as he fulfills various tasks for the gods, Senzou must earn his powers back by learning how to be a good guardian to the energetic little pup. Though Senzou is a grumpy and reluctant companion at first, even a hard-hearted fox can be tamed by cuteness… and the little tanuki quickly learns there are some family ties that aren’t decided by blood.

In the third volume, Senzou, Manpachi, and the wolf clan are among humans and investigating a string of missing bakemono. The wolf Hagiri takes this chance to find a small cat spirit he has a bond with, but he can’t ask his clan for help looking for a cat! Hagiri and Senzou make an unlikely duo, but they collide in the search as they discover everything may be more connected than they realized.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Vines, 3/23/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Vines by Shelley Nolden.
Expected Release: March 23, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • I tend to stay away from horror, but this one sounds so compelling and yes, ok, the cover does sway me as well. With a name like that and a story about a young girl studied by doctors for years, I’m drooling to find out how they connect and what’s so unique about this girl Cora.
  • Where there’s a unique and interesting person, there’s a foolish obsessed one soon to follow behind. In this case, it’s Finn who stumbled upon the island’s most hidden secret — Cora — and pursues the woman and the mystery to whatever end may come. Even if it’s his own…?
  • While I’m bored by New York City as a setting, I do like the contrast of a wild and natural island in the backdrop of it. The harsh city against the wilderness in its midst can create a subtle and alluring atmosphere for a creepy horror story.

Summary

In the shadows of New York City lies forbidden North Brother Island, where the remains of a shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses an enigmatic beauty through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past—and his own family’s dark secrets. By unraveling these mysteries, will he be able to save Cora? Will Cora meet the same tragic ending as the thousands who’ve already perished on the island?

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

What I read while sick on the couch

Hey y’all! While this day was supposed to be time to work on the house (as always) I instead have spent it feeling terribly sick and unable to stand since the wee hours of the morning. And so instead, I remained on the couch distracting myself with fake worlds. Here’s what I read to escape my body in the past 18 hours.

1am – the well-timed end of a binge read

Continue reading “What I read while sick on the couch”