Posted in blog stuff, Book Review

Book Review: Furyborn

Furyborn.jpg

(Isn’t this cover gorgeous???)

Title:  Furyborn (Empirium #1)

Author:  Claire Legrand

Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

Pages:  512

Genre:  Fantasy

Setting:  Empirium Fantasy World (If they name the world, country, etc., I missed it.)

Source:    I received this novel from NetGalley for my honest review

Publication Date:  May 22, 2018

Blurb:

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

What I Say:

I am excited to write this review. This was such a great read and it’s nice to have a positive review versus my previous one (which I’ve considered deleting, and may still do so, many times).

This story is told from the perspective of Eliana Ferracora and then, in the past, Rielle Dardenne. Both are young women trying to survive in their respective worlds but in entirely different ways.

Rielle has to prove that her powers over the elements are completely within her control and that she intends to use them only for the protection of her world. She’s forced to do this in the form of trials, one for each of the elements, where the goal only seems to kill her. All the while, trying to resist her attraction to the prince, who is already betrothed to Rielle’s best friend.

Eliana is a bounty hunter trying to earn enough money to send her mother and brother to a safer part of the world. She exchanges her own peace for violence in order to achieve her goals.

How do their lives, with Eliana living 1,000 years in the future, intertwine? The reader is brought along on both of their journies in a fast-paced story filled with magic, danger, and love. These are all themes that most are familiar with, however, Legrand writes them in a way that’s totally unique and new to the genre. And it’s fun! I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series. (This is what sucks about ARCs, lol.)

My only beef with this book:  This book is labeled as young adult but I’d be surprised to see this turn up in a high school library. The amount of violence and sex sets it above young adult. Just my opinion.

4 Hearts

 

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Posted in blog stuff, Weekly Reading

What I’m Reading Jan 24

As of today, I’ve read 12 books this month. I think I’m on a pretty good pace to meet my annual goal, especially for those occasional reading slumps that I get into throughout the year. Goodreads says that I’m eight books ahead of schedule. Woot!

Currently, I’m kinda sorta in the middle of four different reads. I say, “kinda, sorta” because two of them I haven’t touched in a couple months. Did you hear my sigh? I’m going to work from my most current read back. Click on the links to read more about the books. These are just my opinions of them so far.

The BookwormFirst up, I’m reading The Bookworm by Mitch Silver. This is a Netgalley book and I’m about 10% into it. I’m enjoying it so far. It has historical elements, mystery, and some violence to it. It’s also a little bit political, which makes me wary and we’ll see where Silver goes with that. It seems to bounce back and forth in time from 1940 to 2017 with the focus being on WWII, Nazis, and Russia. This is, according to my memory, my first book dealing with this subject matter. Where history is concerned, I tend to gravitate towards older stuff. Only being 10% into it, I haven’t formed a concrete opinion, but the character development is solid and the building of the suspenseful atmosphere is great.

The Bear and the NightingaleNext, I’m reading The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. This is a pretty popular book and I’m sure most everyone has heard something about it. I guess I wasn’t listening close enough because I didn’t realize this was the first book in a trilogy. Normally, I love trilogies and series, but I wasn’t looking to get into a new one, especially an unfinished one. That being said, I’m probably about 10% into this one too and I like it so far. Again, the character development and atmosphere building is great. It’s also a book set in Russia (what’s up with that??) but medieval Russia this time. I’ve found the storyline and characters compelling enough that I’ve been looking up names and events mentioned to learn more about this period in Russia’s history, of which I know nothing. The fantasy elements add to the story and have kept me engrossed in the book enough that I have to make myself put it down to do other things. I love the lyrical, mystical quality to Arden’s storytelling.

I’ve mentioned these next two books in a past post and because I haven’t actually gotten any further in them since that post, I’m just going to mention the titles here. I’m stillllll reading Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir. The reasons why I’ve stagnated on these books are that Monstress just didn’t hold my attention and I haven’t had the time and focus to devote to Queens that it deserves. I’ll get back to them both, but I’m not sure when.

What are you currently reading? What do you do when you’re really enjoying a book but have put it aside for whatever reason? Do you still consider it a “current read”?

Posted in blog stuff, Community

2017 Anti-Bullying Readathon

I hate that it’s Nov 16th and I’m just now writing about this!!!

I’m not going to soapbox here, I’m just going to say that raising awareness about bullying, learning about bullying, and doing my part to prevent it is important to me on a personal level. If you’ve never heard about this readathon or participated before, you can still jump in. Who cares that it’s the middle of the week??? Please check out the official Facebook page. This year, Sarah is putting together a super box of bookish goodies that will be raffled off to those who choose to donate to Anti-Bullying Pro. This is totally new this year and I was so excited for the opportunity to not only participate in the readathon but to be part of a group donating to a great cause.

So far, I’ve read three books for the readathon and I have three more planned. I’m not going to turn this into a book review post so I’ll just share a few thoughts on each book.

  1. Wonder Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book was truly beautiful. It was heartfelt and emotional. Honestly, it should have come with a trigger warning, lol. I’m happy that I read this book, but I will most likely never reread it and I absolutely DO NOT want to see the movie. I was so emotionally drained from reading this book that I made myself ill.
  2. Simon I followed up Wonder with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and I’m glad that I did. While this book also had some heavy, emotional scenes, it was also funny and irreverent. I loved reading this story through Simon’s voice.
  3. Aristotle My third pick was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This book was a bit heavier than Simon, but I still very much enjoyed it. Dealing with themes such as LGBT, hate crimes, family drama, and teenage angst in the 80s gave this book a bit of a different spin than the other two.

All three of these books deal with bullying in very different ways and as such, impacted me and my views of bullying differently. All three also hit me in the emotions department so if you’re not looking for something that will make you teary, I suggest setting these aside for a different day.

If you want more information on the readathon, the links aren’t working, whatever, leave me a comment. I’d LOVE to help you out and get more people participating!

Posted in blog stuff, Reading Roundup

December 2016 Wrap Up

Time flies, ya know? I just realized it’s already Jan 3rd and I haven’t post a wrap up for December. Having the kids out of school and the husband home for the holidays really throws off my perception of time.

decemberwrapup

In December, I read a total of seven books, one being a graphic novel and one being a novellette. I actually stopped reading when I finished The Night Circus on December 29th because I ran out of room on the page I was using to track my reading in my bullet journal. Seriously. Not kidding. I’m that anal. I couldn’t stand the thought of either not recording another book or having to waste an entire new page for just one more book. I need therapy.

So, I read:

  1. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris. 304 pages.
  2. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. 556 pages.
  3. Wool by Hugh Howey. 509 pages.
  4. Gilded Cage by Sherry D. Ficklin. 80 pages.
  5. Shift by Hugh Howey. 570 pages.
  6. I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 2:  Fluff My Life by Skottie Young. 128 pages.
  7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. 400 pages.

For seven books, I read a total of 2,547 pages and an average rating of 3.71 stars. That, folks, is a good month of reading. I only had one dud on my list that I wish I could just forget about. If I could, that would be six books with an average rating of 4.16 stars.

My favorite for December is The Night Circus. This was a truly magical book. Very close behind it are Wool, Shift, and I Hate Fairyland. If you’re not reading the I Hate Fairyland graphic novels, you should be. They’re so funny. I love the language, the color palette, and the artwork is wonderful.

I only reviewed one of these books on my blog (linked above), but if you’d like to hear my thoughts on any of the others, you’ve only to ask. 🙂 I hope your December of reading was as great as mine.

Posted in blog stuff

Quick Review: Apprentice in Death

Every time I think things are going to settle and I can get back to my normal routine, something else pops up. Life? I suppose so. Now, with all the rush and bustle of the holiday season being upon us, I figure that I might see something resembling normal in January. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’m posting a quick review of the last book I finished reading. Quick because it’s the 43rd book in a series. If you haven’t read the In Death series yet, I’m not going to talk you into doing so using the 43rd book. Frankly, I wouldn’t even bother posting a review at all except that this is my 65th finished book of 2016, which means I have completed my Goodreads Challenge for this year!!! Yay!! Go me!

apprentice-in-death

Title:  Apprentice in Death

Author:  J.D. Robb

Publisher:  Berkley

Pages:  375

Genre:  Futuristic mystery/crime, fiction

Setting:  2060 (I think that’s the year. I may be off by one or two and I’m too lazy to go get my book and verify.) New York City, NY, USA

Source:    I bought this lovely book for myself from B&N.

Publication Date:  Sept. 2016

Blurb:

The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.

Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.

Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil…

What I Say:

One of the better, more recent, installments of the In Death series. All of the feelings of suspense and urgency having to do with the crimes being committed were there. Also, being fearful right along with Eve when she’s dealing with her friends and loved ones was there too. I have felt like those two things have been lacking with latter books in the In Death series.

I liked the plot of this story and enjoyed the different aspects that Robb forces you to consider like domestic terrorism and what defines it, what makes a criminal, who is responsible for committing crimes, etc. I can’t say too much more without giving away some of the plot. Still, I though that these different things were addressed in a way that wasn’t too political, which I appreciate.

Also, we get to go to the party. There have been some In Death books where Eve is has to attend some event for whatever reason. She’s not much of a people person, preferring her husband’s company, a vid on the couch, and some wine at home. Then, the book ends without getting to see what happens at the party. With Eve and the ways in which she lacks certain social graces, parties are usually an opportunity for the reader to enjoy some comic relief and to get to see her as a person outside of the cop. Here in Apprentice in Death, we get to go to the party too and it doesn’t disappoint.

One last thing before I go, for anyone else who has read a significant amount of books from this series, do you feel that Roarke and all of his resources make solving the crime(s) almost too easy? Maybe even a tad unrealistic? I hate even bringing it up because this is my all-time favorite series, but this point has been niggling at my brain.

Posted in blog stuff

Top Ten Tuesday: New to My TBR

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s prompt is Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately.

This is good timing with this post. With Christmas right around the corner, you all will know what to get me. You’re welcome.

  1. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This sounds like such a good thriller/sci-fi book. It’s also up for Best Science Fiction on Goodreads.
  2. Monstress, Vol. 1:  Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu. This is a graphic novel with steampunk elements and the artwork looks amazing. This is another selection up for “best of” on Goodreads.
  3. Wool by Hugh Howey. My husband actually brought this book to my attention. He bought it for himself and told me it would probably be something I’d like. Being a dystopian novel, he’s probably right.
  4. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. This is the 8th novel in Gregory’s The Plantagenet and Tudor Novel series. I don’t know about you, but this is one series that I’ve read completely out of order because I didn’t even realize it was a series at first. It doesn’t help that this is the combination of two of her other series either. Still, I enjoy Gregory’s novels and I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
  5. The Fountain of St. James Court by Sena Jeter Naslund. The synopsis for this novel is a bit confusing. I saw Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun and figured it’d be right up my alley and bought it anyway, lol. I saw a couple of her paintings in London this past May and being an artist from the French Revolution era, I expect this book to be interesting at the least. Also, I loved Naslund’s novel Abundance, which is about Marie Antoinette.

The next five books are all off of my TBR on Goodreads that I added after seeing them in Goodreads’ Giveaways. They sounded good enough to enter the giveaway and to add them to my TBR, but I don’t know anything about them other than what Goodreads says about them.

  1. The Calorium Wars:  An Extravaganze of the Gilded Age by Dennis O’Flaherty
  2. The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
  3. Grigory’s Gadget by E. A. Hennessy
  4. The Ashes and the Sparks by Mary Victoria Johnson
  5. Nightmares:  A New Decade of Modern Horror by Ellen Datlow

And there you have it. I already own books 3, 4, and 5, but feel free to send me any of the other seven books. 😉

Posted in blog stuff, Community

Dewey’s Mid-Athon Update

 

seraphina

1. What are you reading right now? I’m reading Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, which wasn’t even in my readathon TBR pile because I forgot it.
2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve read three graphic novels but haven’t completed any regular length novels.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Dinner. My husband is cooking my family a beef roast with carrots and potatoes and it smells heavenly. After dinner (because I’m freaking starved!!) I’m looking forward to the rest of my graphic novels. They have been the highlight of the readathon for me.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh my gosh! This day has been full of interruptions. I’ve just had to take them as they come because they’ve been unavoidable.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I think it’s how easily distracted I’ve been today. Normally, I get into a good book (and I’m really enjoying Seraphina) and I shut out the world and curl up on the couch until I can’t ignore how much I have to pee. Today, I’ve been all over the place.

If you’re participating in the readathon, I hope you’re having a fantastic day and logging lots of pages!!