Posted in Reviews

Review: Orestin’s Own by L. Alyssa Austin

Orestin’s Own by L. Alyssa Austin – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Verdict: Absolutely compelling every step of the way

Recommended: YUP
For a fantastic world in both senses of the word, for an epic adventure kind of story, for creatures that will certainly haunt you in sleep

Summary:
The veil is thinning. Every day more undead creatures slip into Everra. Soon their most terrifying kin, spawn of the dark goddess Orestin, will emerge to devour all life. Master Historian Mycellane enlists an aging Knight and an inexperienced priestess to join him on a journey to obtain an ancient artifact-one that can bring an end to the incursion. But their salvation lies on the other side of the veil, in the Dead Waste of Myrcantos, and only one person can bring them through: a Myrcantan necromancer who remains loyal to the enemy. The path before them leads through a barren, unforgiving land. Ravenous abominations lurk in the shadows. But the greatest danger to their mission is the hatred and distrust they feel for one another…

Thoughts:
Orestin’s Own deftly avoided the trap of falling into expected cliches and “twists” that are actually pretty much the norm by this point. The twists here? Are entirely unique. A book I can’t predict 100% is a rare treat for me, and this was one of them. Reading this felt so lyrical, and so emotive. The feeling of cold seeping into the characters bones as they traverse the frozen wasteland of the dead… the paranoia they grapple with, both towards each other and their more pressing threats… the jarring descriptions of all manner of shambling corpses and afterworldly horrors…. I felt it.

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Too many perspectives

I’m a bit disappointed to say that so far reading Shadowlands has been pretty difficult. I’m no slouch when it comes to keeping track of multiple perspectives in a story, but this one seems to be a different person every chapter. There have been a few that were repeated characters, but we’ve had probably 10 or so different people in 13 chapters. It’s making it pretty hard to get really settled into the story, since we keep jumping from person to person and place to place. I really want to enjoy the plot but the delivery is making it difficult.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday, on Sunday! Phoenix Extravagant, 10/20

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! However… today is Sunday. Because this week got a little bit hectic. 😂 On the bright side, now there’s even fewer days to wait until this week’s feature, Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee, comes out!
Expected Release: October 20, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • A dramatic story of the art of war. But… literally. Gyen is just a painter, until they’re conscripted to use their artistic skills to paint the war sigils needed for the army. The reluctant savior who uncovers deeply covered secrets.
  • Oh, and did I mention that the soldiers are automatons, and the sigils animate them? It’s a robot army! Sort of! But magic regardless of what category you want to throw it into, so you know I’m all about it. Always with the magic, please. 😍
  • A renegade in pursuit of justice at all costs — and particularly when in defiance of their own government or ruling system — will probably forever appeal to me. Although lately it’s a little but uncomfortable and depressing because of how real it feels. Like, we could probably do with a dragon-stealing magic-wielding avenger right about now in the US. Or probably like four years ago.
  • I’m also trying to get better at using they as a singular pronoun and while I’m just about to the point where I don’t think twice about it, reading a book with a nonbinary character probably can’t hurt. 😄

Summary:

Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.

One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.

But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.

What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…

The shadows are rising

I finally started reading Shadows Rising, which is the next book in the World of Warcraft series before the upcoming Shadowlands expansion. I’m so excited, for both! The books add so much to the lore, and I’m pumped to get more. So far it seems to focus on Talanjii and Nathanos Blightcaller. My S.O. got the game beta so I have an inkling of where things are headed, but I still can’t wait!!! 😄

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

BOOK ALERT: Series finale ARCs on NetGalley from Wednesday Books!

Hey y’all! I got a very exciting email this morning, and wanted to spread the news for anyone else who would be pumped to hear it! Until 10/17/20 (EST) three series finale books are available to read immediately on NetGalley — no request needed! Wednesday Books is spreading the love for all us readers. 🥰

If you’re not familiar with NetGalley, it’s a site used by publishers to give advanced digital copies of books to readers of all kinds for early reviews and promotion. You can sign up for free at netgalley.com, and click on the links below to read the books once you’re all set up! The site is only available in some countries, and not all books are available in all places, so if any below are not available for you I’m terribly sorry for getting your hopes up, but you can still find other great reads on NetGalley! 😓😭

If you loved FABLE

I know I personally saw this book cover ALL OVER for a few months before release, because dang is it stunning! This female-led pirate adventure that began with Fable is concluding in Spring of 2021 with Namesake by Adrienne Young, but you can read a digital copy early below!

Continue reading “BOOK ALERT: Series finale ARCs on NetGalley from Wednesday Books!”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

In Progress with ORESTIN’S OWN

Progress: page 230/404 (57%)

WELL WHAT A FANTASTIC FIND!!

Why did I start reading it?

Lucky little me got an offer from the author to read and review this gem, and wow is it absolutely blowing me away! It’s been so exciting right from the start, and I feel like there’s never a good place to put it down because there’s always a crisis happening! I absolutely love it so far. The world and the characters are meeting perfectly. I can feel the cold and the relentless wind of the Wastes, and I’m looking over my shoulder for the bone children in pursuit. LOVING THIS.

Words I’ve Learned:

this one also then taught me “antipyretic” — two for one!

Lines that linger

In Karth-Aemon’s armor even ugly men looked beautiful.

“Are you ready to die?”

“Always. Remember that, Knight, if you remember nothing else of me.”

Posted in Reviews

Review: Marilia, the Warlord by Morgan Cole

Marilia, the Warlord by Morgan Cole
Verdict: A weaving epic spanning years. Flaws and all are on display here in a main character that is clearly only human. 👌

Recommended: sure
For a long-spanning story from childhood to young adulthood, for a character who makes mistakes but you love her even more for it, for a blend of interpersonal drama and battlefield bloodiness

Summary:
Born the bastard daughter of a painted lady, Marilia was told she would live out her days within the walls of her mother’s brothel, a companion for the rich men of Tyrace. But after a terrible betrayal, she and her twin brother Annuweth flee the only home they’ve ever known in search of the one man who can offer her a chance at a better life–the Emperor of Navessea’s greatest general, a friend of her deceased father. Along the way, Marilia discovers, for the first time, the gift she has for strategy and warfare—a world that is forbidden to girls like her. When the empire is threatened by a foreign invasion, Marilia swears to use all her courage and cunning to do whatever she can to help repel the invasion—if she can convince anyone to follow her. Marilia will need all the help she can get, even if it means doing something her brother may never forgive: making a deal with the man who murdered her father.

Thoughts:
This story should pretty much have something for everyone (except romance). If you like seeing a child grow up and learn tough lessons with the hand they’ve been dealt in life, this is for you. If you like battles and strategizing and scheming around the hierarchy, there’s plenty of it here. If you like court drama and interpersonal conflict, betrayal, trust issues — take a look inside. Honestly there’s so much bound up in this one story, and it’s avoided the trap of trying to fit so much in that it loses focus. The story stays sharp and Marilia is always in the spotlight.

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

October TBR: spookin’ it up!

Hey y’all!

I actually have a planned reading list for this month, and I actually think I’ll stick pretty closely to it. The reason? Well, I’m excited for all the books!! Simple as that. 😀

I’m going for a spooky theme for October. Of course that includes a few thrillers and mysteries (though I’ve finished one or two already being a few days into October). I have a few spillover books that I was in progress with that I’m wrapping up as well, but those are left off this list because I really want to highlight all the themed books that I’m excited about!

psycho/killer

Ah, finally I will read Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon!! I wrote about it for a Fast Forward Friday feature ages ago and then recently found the book on Hoopla. But I saved my excitement because I wanted it to be part of my spooky reads in October! FINALLY!! 😁 And I actually read and finished this one right away! It was quite good, and WELL I DID NOT CALL THE TWIST, let’s just put it that way!!!

Another one I’ve been waiting to read forever is The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. And also another gift copy from Elise because she spoils me with bookmail. ❤ I’m about a hundred pages in so far, and it seems to be a murder mystery / ghost story with nannying. I’m not big on children, but I can get into ghosts. Plus Scotland. The descriptions of the landscape alone would probably make this worth reading. 😍

Continue reading “October TBR: spookin’ it up!”
Posted in Reviews

Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Verdict: So much more than I expected, and so sweet and savage that I absolutely loved it!

Recommended:
For a great example of how much story and building can be included in a graphic novel, for a story that grows in scope imperssively, for unexpectedly deep bonds and betrayals

Summary:
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Thoughts:
I found this as part of a reading challenge to read a book someone else rated five stars. And you know what? I wholeheartedly agree with that person. A surprise at it developed, I did NOT anticipate what this story would grow into. Laughter? Justice? Vengeance? Tears? It’s brilliant y’all.

Continue reading “Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Hush, 10/6!

In contrast to Throwback Thursdays, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release I’m excited about! Today’s is one I stumbled upon quite randomly and feels very mysterious to me: Hush by Dylan Farrow.

Why wait on this one?

  • Honestly, reading the blurb for this book doesn’t give me much substance of what to expect from it plot-wise. The one thing that’s very clear to me, though, is that there will be magic. When benign words suddenly get a capital letter, you know they carry some weight. So personally I’m excited to know why Bards and Telling get that honor.
  • The blurb also hints at the MC, Shae, having some newly discovered powers of her own. I have no idea what that might look like, but I am rarely disappointed by someone becoming a badass and learning what they’re capable of!
  • And with great power comes great responsibility, right? So secrets and conspiracies are just part of the package. I”m really hoping that this blurb is so vague because there’s SO MUCH packed into the story that they really don’t want to give anything away. And oh, I can’t wait to find out what it is.

Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Shae has led a seemingly quiet life, joking with her best friend Fiona, and chatting with Mads, the neighborhood boy who always knows how to make her smile. All while secretly keeping her fears at bay… Of the disease that took her brother’s life. Of how her dreams seem to bleed into reality around her. Of a group of justice seekers called the Bards who claim to use the magic of Telling to keep her community safe.

When her mother is murdered, she can no longer pretend.

Not knowing who to trust, Shae journeys to unlock the truth, instead finding a new enemy keen to destroy her, a brooding boy with dark secrets, and an untold power she never thought possible.