Posted in Reviews

Review: Zeus is a Dick by Susie Donkin

Zeus Is A Dick by Susie Donkin

Recommended: sure
For people who love and recognize the absurdity of Greek myths, for those who want to learn about the absurdity of the Greek myths, for people who enjoy a bit of crass humor, for people who enjoy sassy banter and dick jokes

Summary

In the beginning, everything was fine.* And then along came Zeus.
*more or less

Ahh Greek myths. Those glorious tales of heroism, honour and… petty squabbles, soap-opera drama and more weird sex than Fifty Shades of Grey could shake a stick at!
It’s about time we stopped respecting myths and started laughing at them – because they’re really very weird. Did you know Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, was born of some discarded genitals? Or that Hera threw her own son off a mountain because he was ugly? Or that Apollo once kidnapped a boat full of people while pretending to be a dolphin?
And let’s not even get started on Zeus – king of the gods, ruler of the skies and a man who’s never heard of self-control. In fact, if there’s one thing most Greek myths have in common, it’s that all the drama could have been avoided if SOMEONE could keep it in their toga…
Horrible Histories writer Susie Donkin takes us on a hilarious romp through mythology and the many times the gods (literally) screwed everything up! Stephen Fry’s Mythos by way of Drunk History, Zeus is a Dick is perfect for those who like their myths with a heavy dollop of satire.

“It’s about time someone called him out on all this.” – Hera, Goddess of Marriage, wife of Zeus
“Worst. Father. Ever.” – Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, daughter of Zeus
“Oh yeah, focus on him. I never did anything wrong. Nothing to see here.” – Poseidon, God of the Seas, brother of Zeus
“Just a real dick, honestly.” – Many, many people

Thoughts

I got a pretty good sense of the writing style and humor early on with this, and it’s quite consistent throughout. I was able to enjoy it, though I was just shy of it being A Bit Much for me. I think some people would be turned off by it, and maybe not right away, but after multiple chapters it could get tiring. There was so much else I enjoyed that it wasn’t an issue for me, thankfully. To be aware, though, it’s very much catchy slang phrases you might hear from ages 12-32 year olds (at time of writing, anyway). So there’s a lot of cussing and “AF” and pop culture references and the like. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, this miiiight not work for you. I encourage you to give it a try though!

Continue reading “Review: Zeus is a Dick by Susie Donkin”
Posted in Reviews

Review: A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

Recommended: eh
For Hades and Persephone sex scenes, for another angle of these characters, for some great creative imaginings of other gods and their world. Not for terribly interesting characters or plot conflicts

Summary

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.

Thoughts

I finally read this after borrowing it from Hoopla like eight times! It was decent. Thankfully it was more tame than the other Scarlett St. Clair book I read without realizing their, uh, style of writing. xD It can get distracting.

Anyway, my favorite thing about the story was probably the connections to other stories I’ve read fictionalizing Persephone and Hades. It’s fun to tease out the common thread of the original story by seeing what themes come up repeatedly. Minthe, Tartarus, pomegranates, and even pink dresses. Somehow it’s all connected! Delightful.

Continue reading “Review: A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: An Arrow to the Moon, 4/12/22

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 An Arrow to the Moon by Emily XR Pan!
Expected Release: April 12, 2022

Why wait on this one?

Cover: 10/10
  • This sounds like a mix of a story of regular life with magical tones. There are normal things like dealing with parental expectations, graduation, and family. But then there are things like a giant frickin crack through the town. I desperately want to know more!
  • Oooooh secrets collide when the two destined for each other finally find each other. 😍 I don’t actually know if that’s the storyline, but that’s the vibe I get. Any boy am I up for a dose of destiny and fated lovers.
  • I think the writing of this story will be absolutely gorgeous. Ethereal, vivid, with a sort of moonlit-mist quality that takes me into a dream state. If the blurb is anything to go by with it’s word choices of “bewitching,” “unearthly,” and “ominous,” then I’ll be happy for sure.

Summary

Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.

Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.

As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love…but time is running out, and fate will have its way.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Daughter of the Moon Goddess, 1/11/22

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 Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan!
Expected Release: January 11, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • This story is folklore inspired! I’ve found a soft spot for retellings in the past year, which is a preference I never knew I had. I love seeing the ways in which people reimagine stories and tell their own version, breathing life into them all over again by filling in the details we may never truly know. I’ll have to read the legend of Chang’e, the moon goddess, before I read this book! Or maybe after? Hmm…
  • If folklore isn’t good enough, this one is also based on Chinese folklore. I tend to really love the style of those with their elegant yet fierce characters and (often literally) radiant settings. I think the art of the book cover really captures the aesthetic I’m trying to explain here.
  • And there’s magic! Godly magic is especially exciting because it’s so unfathomable, and unlimited, and can really be anything. What limits are there on magic, and especially magic of goddesses?

Summary

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Punderworld, Volume 1 by Linda Šejić (Aug 31)

Punderworld, Volume 1 by Linda Šejić

Recommended: YES!!!
For absolutely stunning art, for clever details that bring so much extra life to the characters, for characters you fall in love with and cheer for and laugh at, for a really wonderful take on a classic story
Expected Release: August 31, 2021

Summary

The classic tale of Greek mythology, but 100% more awkwardly relatable. Hades is the officious, antisocial ruler of the Underworld; Persephone, daughter of Demeter, is an earth goddess of growth and renewal – they’ve been crushing on each other for the past two centuries. But when a festival (and a little liquid courage) present an opportunity to put an end to their Olympian will-they-won’t-they, a meddlesome pantheon and several titanic mis-assumptions threaten to give every god in the sky the wrong impression… and leave their romance dead before it can bloom.

Thoughts:

I started reading Punderworld through it’s publication as a comic series on WebToon, and I am so excited to have a print copy of it! Because you’d better believe that I already have my pre-order in to have a copy of my own.

I’ll be honest: I know just the bare basics of the classic story of Persephone and Hades that this is based on. And frankly, I don’t care, because the way Linda Sejic tells the story is the story I want to read, regardless of authenticity or accuracy to the original. She’s made it a funny, fledgling love story.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Punderworld, Volume 1 by Linda Šejić (Aug 31)”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian published today! Check out the review here, or grab a copy of your own! 😊

Recommended: yep
For a delve into Arthurian legend from the side of Elaine the seer, for a form-shifting read that excels at mirroring the readers’ experience with the characters’, for a dark yet hopeful spin

Summary

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian
Expected Release Date: July 6, 2021

Recommended: yep
For a delve into Arthurian legend from the side of Elaine the seer, for a form-shifting read that excels at mirroring the readers’ experience with the characters’, for a dark yet hopeful spin

Summary

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

Thoughts

The first thing I’ll say is that I have NO IDEA who Elaine is outside of this story. I have no other context to compare her to, so I really can’t speak to that aspect of the experience. If you’re familiar with the lore already from other media, I have no idea how this might align with the way it’s been told elsewhere. That said, I think the way it was told here was quite compelling.

My absolute favorite aspect of this book (besides the plot itself) is the way my experience reading it mirrored Elaine’s experience as a seer so well. Past, present, and future all blend together with timeline and perspective shifting often, and not always with clear delineations. If this might drive you crazy, then be forewarned, but I promise it enhanced the book, not detracted. Elaine’s glimpses of the future bleed in to every action of the present and affect her memories of the past. How can you act on love when you literally KNOW it will lead to heartbreak of the most dire kind?

Continue reading “ARC Review: Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian”

Thoughts so far on Half Sick of Shadows

Hey y’all! I’m in the middle of Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian right now. “In the middle” might be a little optimistic, but I’m at a solid 200 pages now! This is a slower read for me, and I’m not hating it.

Since the main character is an oracle, the style reflects that mindset, and it has a really engaging effect for me. Elaine is constantly bombarded from all sides as she remembers her past, navigates her present, and weaves (literally) the future. In turn, the reader gets snippets of her past interspersed with the present, and of course the pepperings of glances forward, the possibilities, the problems she worries will be created in the future by her actions right now.

I really sink into whenever I sit down, and I find myself thinking about it often throughout the day. I love a book that sticks with you!

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: For the Wolf, 6/1/21

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 For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten!
Expected Release: June 1, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • A dark twist on an already dark tale, this is definitely inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. Since that story is so weird and messed up as it is, there is so much potential to play with it and bring even more depth and interest to it!
  • Whitten has done just that by adding magic and prophecy to it. Red is the determined sacrifice for the wolf, and she’s grateful her death will mean not having to deal with her growing powers. But when the wolf shows her that her powers may be a path to salvation instead of a curse, she starts to change her tune.
  • And when the villain is none other than GOD THEMSELVES? Oh singing praises, this is going to be good!

Summary

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Where the Rhythm Takes You, 5/11/21

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 Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass!
Expected Release: May 11, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • TOBAGO! That is a place I have never been in real life or in a book, and that is guaranteed to attract me to a story. While this story will primarily take place at a resort, I’m hoping I can learn some about the country and people.
  • A resort, a crazy successful DJ, and first-lost love. Also inspired by Jane Austen’s persuasion apparently? I haven’t read Persuasion, but Where The Rhythm Takes You sounds like it will blend grief and love and growing up and taking risks and moving on and all kinds of strong and difficult themes of LIFE together. The plot basically sounds really strong and like if it’s done well, it will be utterly captivating.
  • And, oooooooh I feel like this might also have some really delicious tropes to enjoy in the romance-y part of it! It’s a fancy resort? On a tropical island? And they have HISTORY TOGETHER? Yup, if there’s not some kind of accidental-falling-on-each-other moment, or getting caught in the rain, or the double take when they realize how close they’re standing, I’ll be surprised. The rest can be deliciously original. I just want a few! ^.^

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.

And that’s when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort.

Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them…

PS: here’s a map for anyone who has no idea where Tobago is. Learn something new every day! 😀