April Book Haul

Yes, hi, how is it the end of April already? As much as I am flabbergasted at the general velocity of time (not sure if that makes sense but I’m running with it), I am very excited about the last day of April because I got a promotion at work and tomorrow is the first paycheck with the new promotion pay! THINK OF ALL THE BOOKS I’LL BE ABLE TO BUY!

Wait, no! Don’t think of all the books. Because as we are about to find out…I acquired far too many books this month.


The Graphic Novels

So, I’m not much of a graphic novel reader. I think the last one I read was the Firefly graphic novel about Shepard Book’s past (SO GOOD to finally get that knowledge) and that was yearssssss ago. But this month I watched The Umbrella Academy on Netflix and I just had to get my hands on the source material. I also grabbed the Steel Prince bind up from VE Schwab because apparently, I cannot stop giving that author my money.

The ARCs
  • DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff – I’ve already read this eARC and hot damn I loved it! I’ll have a full review up one month before publication, but if you want to read a fast, little ramble-y review (no spoilers!) check out my Instagram feed.
  • Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa – I may have audibly gasped when I got the approval for this eARC. It will be one of the first books I read in May because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!
  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones – I actually just got the approval for this eARC this morning and I am DYING to read it! They invoked the name of Buffy in the synopsis, so I was sold on this one. I’m hoping to squeeze it into May somehow.
  • Beyond the Black Door by A. M. Strickland – This one I got a physical ARC of which makes me happy because it is so damn pretty I want to take pictures from like 99 different angles. Strickland co-wrote on of my favorite underrated sci fi novels, so I am very excited to jump into this one.
The purchases that prove I have no self-control…
  • A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro
  • A Gathering of Shadows Collector’s Edition by VE Schwab (see earlier comment about Schwab and my money)
  • An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim
  • Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
  • The Pioneer by Bridget Tyler
  • The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
  • Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
  • The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare
  • Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan
  • The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee
  • Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes

I was also lucky enough to get some book through Storygram Tours:

  • The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
  • The Rule of Many by Ashley and Leslie Saunders
  • Venators: Magic Unleashed and Venators: Promises Forged by Devri Walls

And here is the big confession:

I re-bought the entire Twilight Series.

Some of my #bookstagram friends are doing a reread of the series and I just couldn’t say no. I sold my copies ages ago (*shakes fist at past Kibby*) so I had to grab some cheap copies through Thrift Books. Not gonna lie, I am excited to revisit these books! There will always be a soft spot in my heart for cheesy high school vampire romance stories.


So…twenty-six books. Yikes! That makes my ratio for the month 9 read books to 26 acquired books. These are NOT the numbers I was hoping for. I’m going to try and make a big push for reading in May, so maybe I’ll final have a month where I read more than I acquire. Hopefully.

How was your month on the book buying front?

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent TBR Additions!

Oh hello Tuesday! Aren’t you just going so splendidly!! I didn’t think it was possible for a perfect day to exist! (FYI: I’m pre-writing this post so I’m trying to send out positive vibes to the future)

This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List! (I’m interpreting this as additions to my owned TBR) I’m trying to be better about buying books this year since I have the tendency to buy more books than I read. I have recently had a few additions to my TBR thanks to ARCs and some gift cards because those totally don’t count against my unofficial book buying ban.

  • The Binding by Bridget Collins – So, technically this one doesn’t come out in the US until April, but I ordered a copy from Book Depository because I CANNOT WAIT on this one. Go read the synopsis and try to tell me you don’t want to read this book immediately.
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – Do I even need to explain myself with this one? IT’S NIKOLAI FREAKING LANTSOV!
  • The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden – So I’ve had The Bear and the Nightingale on my shelves for ages, but I just bought the last two books in the trilogy. I’m hoping to binge read them in March, while it’s still a bit chilly outside.
  • Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – I was on the fence with this one for a while. There is a lot of hype around it and like I mentioned earlier, I’m trying to buy too many new books. But I’m in the middle of Enchantee right now and I’m really feeling the whole french themed story thing.
  • The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories by Various Authors – I blame this one on my deep love of The Daevabad Trilogy and the kindle sale I found it on. I’m trying to get into more short stories this year so hopefully I get to this one sooner rather than later.
  • The Fever King by Victoria Lee – I cannot begin to describe how stoked I am to get to read this one. It sounds like it has a good mix of science and magic and I do love me a good mash up.
  • Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames – I bought this book thinking that it wasn’t part of a series…I was wrong? I feel like I’ve read people saying I don’t need to read Kings of the Wyld first but I don’t remember where I read that. And honestly, my brain could have been making it up just so I could buy this flipping gorgeous cover.
  • The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera – I have been eyeing this book for a little over a year. I finally pulled the trigger on buying it because the cover just draws me in and promises an epic story.
  • To Best the Boys by Mary Weber – This books sounds all kinds of intriguing. Girls dressing up as boys to enter a scholarship competition that is only for men. Oh, and the competition is a maze! So much yes!
  • The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen – Let me just say that I audibly gasped when I opened my mail the other week and saw this ARC waiting for me. Ever since I read the synopsis I have been aching to read this. It’s not out until July but I’m reading this the moment I am done with any Feb/March ARCs that I have.

What are some books you’ve added to your TBR recently?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To

When I read the prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) I actually laughed out loud. There are so many more than ten books I meant to read in 2018. So. Many. More. But here are the Top Ten (out of the like 200)

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

I’ve had these books on my shelves for…4 years, I think. I have been gently yelled at numerous times by some of my booksta friends to get on this series. I had originally been determined to get to it in 2018. But…well…here we are…

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I have a soft spot for books that emotionally destroy me and I’ve been told this one will do just that. I bought this with the intention of reading it immediately but honestly it worked out that I didn’t get to this one in 2018. I’ve decided to read nothing but heart breaking books in February and this one is definitely on the list.

Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch

“What would have happened if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz.” That’s the blurb on the cover of this book. HOW COULD I HAVE NOT READ THIS YET??? I LOVE cop procedural TV series, especially British ones, and I am definitely a Harry Potter fan. I feel like I’ll be pretty pissed at myself for not getting to this series last year like I intended.

The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

This is my “forever on the TBR” series. I’m like 99% sure I’ll love it and I had really good intentions of getting to it in 2018. We all know what the road to TBR hell is paved in…


Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness

This is another series that I’ve been told will wreck me. I want to be wrecked. I need to be wrecked. But apparently I didn’t want to be wrecked enough to pick this one up in 2018.



The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell

I LOVED The Last Magician. LOVED! Give me all the Harte Darrigan. So even though I was totally anticipating the sequel, I never picked it up when it was released in 2018 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

NUMAIR IS THE OG BAE! Well, maybe not true OG, but it sounds good and I’m sticking with it. He was one of my favorite characters in the Tortall books and I about lost my mind when I found out there was going to be a series focusing on him. But have I read it yet? OF COURSE NOT *facepalm*

The Falconer series by Elizabeth May

Scottish lore and steampunk and Fae? WHY HAVEN’T I READ THIS SERIES YET? Someone tell me!






The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

Another one from my forever TBR. I thought 2018 was going to be the year, but I was wrong.






Keiko series by Mike Brooks

I’ve been told this series has a Firefly feel and y’all, that is the quickest way to get me to buy a book. I LOVE Sci Fi, but I’m super picky about it. But if there bounty hunters or smugglers or anything along those lines involved I will try it out. I bought the whole trilogy last year but have yet to touch a single page because I am the literal worst.

Friday Favorites: Epic Journeys

Welcome back to another Friday Favorites! This week the topic is Epic Journeys! I am particularly enamored with a good adventure story, so narrowing down my favorite journeys was a bit difficult. So, without any further ado and in no particular order, here are my favorite books with epic journeys:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Well, isn’t this a timely choice from me! But Netflix deals aside, Six of Crows is not only a damn amazing book (see my recent review here), but it has a journey of some epic damn proportions.


Kingdom of Ruins by D. C. Marino

I mean, this book has an archaeologist who travels to another world where nature communicates with people. There is much journeying and adventuring in this awesome story!


The Martian by Andy Weir

Okay, not a traditional journey, but there is definitely some epic traipsing around Mars. I have only ever read this book via audiobook and let me just say it is AWESOME! Mark Watney is the space pirate of my heart.


The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

Look, I’m going to be honest here: I had to ask a friend if this book counted as an epic journey book because it has been so long since I’ve read it. I had vague memories of journeying, but was unsure if it was epic in nature. I’m not sure why I doubted the epicness in this book. It’s written by Brandon Sanderson, of course it’s epic!


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

I loved, loved, LOVED the journey of the Golden Trio in this book. It was such a deviation from the past books and just talking about it makes me want to start my HP reread right damn now!


The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

What? Did you think I was going to leave this one off? I mean, is there any journey more epic than the ones in these books? No, I think not.

So that’s it for my favorites this week! I can’t wait to see what all of your favorite epic journeys are. Remember to drop the links to your posts in a comment and I’ll add them to a post list here! Happy Friday book people!

Friday Favorites posts from around the bookish community:

Want Now Wednesday: ALL THE 2019 BOOKS!

Well folks, it’s the last Wednesday of 2018. Instead of focusing on just one book I’m wanting, I’ll be featuring one for each month of 2019. And because I am terrible at choosing just one, there are going to be more than a few honorable mentions for the months where more books have already been announced. Seriously, I’m the worst at making choices.

January
Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2)
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]
I just finished The City of Brass, the first book in this series, the other day and hot damn do I need this next book in my life right now.

Honorable Mentions: King of Scars (1/29), The Vanishing Stair (1/22), Ship of Smoke and Steel (1/22)


February
Smoke and Summons
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Publisher: 47North
Release Date: February 1, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]
I read and loved The Paper Magician series by this author. When I stumbled upon the fact that they have a new book coming out I immediately added it to my 2019 TBR.

Honorable Mentions: Spectacle (2/12), A Soldier and A Liar (2/19), Last of Her Name (2/26), Stolen Time (2/5), Four Dead Queens (2/26)

March
A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes #4)
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

This series is one of the few contemporary books I will read. Probably because twisty and dark and just so damned dramatic in all the way I love. Even though the cover makes me want to scream in rage (ORANGE? WHY? WHY? WHY?), I will be picking this one up the moment it is released.

Honorable mentions: The Fever King (3/1), The Waking Forest (3/12), Once & Future (3/5), To Best the Boys (3/5)

April
Wicked Saints
Author:
Emily A. Duncan
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

Look, just go read the synopsis and try to not add it to your TBR. Go on, I’ll wait here…

Honorable Mentions: (April is gonna be a good month, btw) The Devouring Gray (4/2), Descendant of the Crane (4/2), The Raven’s Tale (4/16), We Rule the Night (4/2), The Hummingbird Dagger (4/16)


May
Aurora Rising
Author:
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS ONE OMG IS IT MAY YET

Honorable Mentions: DEV1AT3 (5/2019), We Hunt the Flame (5/14), Dark Shores (5/7), Nocturna (5/7)


June
Blood Heir
Author
: Amélie Wen Zhao
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

I found this one through #bookstagram and damn does it sound good.

Honorable Mentions: Seven Deadly Shadows (6/4), The Beholder (6/4)




July
Dark Age
Author:
Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

I’ve been reading the Red Rising books since the first one came out in 2014. Brown, besides being brutal to his reader’s emotions, is a creator of worlds and characters that I lose myself in. I am counting down the days until Dark Age is in my hands.

Honorable Mentions: The Merciful Crow (7/30), The Storm Crow (7/9), The Beckoning Shadow (7/2), Grimoire Noir (7/23)

August
House of Salt and Sorrows
Author:
Erin A. Craig
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

I hate Summer and August is the most summery of the summer months. This book sounds dark and mysterious and will be a perfect world for me to escape into during my summer month dread.

Honorable Mentions: Wild Savage Stars (8/27)


September
Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicles #3)
Author:
Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

MIA FUCKING CORVERE. Enough said.

Honorable Mentions: The Girl the Sea Gave Back (9/3), Serpent & Dove (9/3), A Treason of Thorns (9/10)


No Cover Image Yet…

October
Into the Crooked Place
Author:
Alexandra Christo
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: October 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

The synopsis has some of my key words: black magic and young crooks. Also, I’m here for the Crooked Place. I love names like that.

Honorable Mentions: Ninth House (10/1), Beyond the Black Door (10/29), The Never Tilting World (10/15)

November
Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1)
Author:
Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: November 19, 2019
Synopsis: [Here]

I mean…it’s Shadowhunters. So I’m sold.

Honorable Mentions: The Sky Weaver (11/12)


December
…I’m sure there is something that will be released in December that I’ll be waitin on. I just don’t know what it is yet  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If this has shown me anything, its that there are a lot of good books to read next year!

Want Now Wednesday: All the Jay Kristoff books

It should come as no surprise that I love Jay Kristoff, especially when he writes with Amie Kaufman (you can read me screaming and mildy curising about how much I love their Illuminae Files trilogy here). So, you can imagine the fact that not one, not two, BUT THREE Kristoff books coming out in 2019 makes me quite happy. Let’s break down all the ways I’ll be freaking out over his upcoming books.

Aurora Rising
Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Release Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.


Where do I even start with this? Illuminae was my favorite read of 2018 (yes, I know I was late to the party. I blame that damned orange cover) and when I found out Kristoff and Kaufman were collaborating on a new sci fi trilogy I damn near lost my mind. I’ve basically been internally screaming since this book was announced.

DEV1AT3
Jay Kristoff
Release Date:
May 2019
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

I am not going to put the synopsis here because it has straight up spoilers for LIFEL1K3, the first book in this series, but you can read the synopsis on Goodreads. Basically, LIFEL1K3 was a wacky and wild ride with one heck of an ending and OMG I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. LIFEL1K3 was one of my top ten book in 2018 and I’m fairly certain DEV1AT3 will be a favorite of 2019.

Darkdawn
Jay Kristoff
Release Date:
September 3rd, 2019
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Once again, I won’t put the synopsis here since it has MASSIVE spoilers for the previous two books, Nevernight and Godsgrave, but you can find it here. Godsgrave was the book I finished on the last day of 2017 and what an ending that was. Kristoff really is kinda of a mad man when it comes to his endings and the extended wait for Darkdawn has been particularly painful. But with each day that passes, I get closer to continuing the stabby, smutty adventures of Mia Corvere.

What is a book that you are desperately waiting for to be released?

Book Reviews: The Spellwork Syndicate

Hello bookish peoples! I’m here today with TWO reviews. I stumbled upon Sugar Spells (The Spellwork Syndicate #2) on NetGalley the other month and once I got approved to read it I immediately went and bought a copy of the first book, Deadly Sweet, on Amazon. I’ve recently found that I have a sweet spot for magical murder mysteries that involve food magic. So let’s dive into this scrumptious story…

Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate #1)deadlysweet
Author: Lola Dodge
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy (YA/NA)
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis: Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spell books in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad no one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.

The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.

If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

Deadly Sweet is fun, if sometimes slightly aggravating, YA urban fantasy that involves two of my new favorite things: magic and baking. Anise Wise is our plucky main character who leaves her sheltered life behind after unfortunate incident and goes to live with her Great Aunt Agatha in the witch friendly town of Taos. Once Anise gets to Taos she finds it is not exactly what she expected. Not only is she sent to beginner baking classes to improve her skills but she is saddled with an extremely rude bodyguard with no real explanation as to why. After a near death experience, Anise decides to try and find out what happened to Agatha’s previous apprentice.

In general, I liked this book. It was a fun, quick read with a unique setting and magic system. The problem was I wanted to learn more about the magic system. I felt like we just got the bare bones of witches could do in this world. I liked that witchcraft was known to the world at large and that there were specific cities where witches basically ruled.

There were a lot of characters but I only want to focus on Anise and Wynn, the bodyguard. One thing I like about Anise is she is not some all powerful witch. She is average, she is a young adult who has young adult thoughts and attitudes, and she struggles like so many young adults do. However, she can be very fickle in her thoughts and sometimes make really, really poor choices. And then there is Wynn. Look, I like a grumpy love interest as much as the next book nerd, but Wynn is just an asshole. And not for any good reason. This guy…I just want to punch him. ALL THE TIME. His interactions with Anise are pretty degrading. I get that he is a bodyguard and his duty is to protect Anise, but all this guy does is sleep and act like a misogynistic prick. And Anise’s reactions to him are aggravating to say the very least. There is no communication at all. Like, Anise should have called out his attitude to her aunt and then they all could have had a nice little chat to get any bad feelings out in the open and the move the heck on. But, the antagonism between Anise and Wynn serves to create conflict that leads to the action at the end so I guess there is that…

All in all, this a decent paranormal YA/NA book. It did feel like it was lacking a little bit of magic, but I generally enjoyed reading it. Read this book if you love baking and/or need a quick and fun read.

FYI: There are spoilers for Deadly Sweet below.

sugarspellsSugar Spells (The Spellwork Syndicate #2)
Author: Lola Dodge
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy (YA/NA)
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis: After her run-in with a jealous warlock, apprentice baker Anise Wise can’t wait to get back the kitchen where she belongs. But thanks to her brush with death, the land of the living isn’t all cupcakes and marshmallows.

Anise’s magical mojo is way out of whack and her evolving powers are stirring up trouble. As the town buzzes with news that Anise can bake deathly spells, unsavory characters start lining up for a taste. They’ll stop at nothing for the chance to use Anise and her witchcraft to further their own plots.

She plans to hole up researching magic recipes until the attention dies down, but then she discovers the horrifying terms of her bodyguard’s contract. Wynn has saved her life so many times, she can’t leave him trapped. But doing the right thing will mean risking death or worse—being cast out of her dream job.

For this witch, justice might not be as sweet as advertised.

Sugar Spells was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher at my request. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own and are not influenced in any way.

I’m going to start this off by saying the first book in this series should have been called Sugar Spells, and this book should have been called Deadly Sweet. I mean, the whole book is about death magic…okay, now that that is out of the way (seriously, it’s been bugging me for weeks), let’s get to the actual review.

Also, since this is the second book in the series there will be some spoilers for the first book, Deadly Sweet.

Sugar Spells jumps straight into Anise Wise’s next set of woes in her life: after her near death experience with the villain in Deadly Sweet, her magic has become tainted with death magic. All her bakes are self destructing and she is banished from Great Aunt Agatha’s bakery incase her death magic messes with the aura of the bakery. On top of that, Anise learns the terms of Wynn’s shield contract and decides to help him buy out the contract so he can go live his life. Both these issues lead us to the creepiest character, Girrar. He is a vampire, which also inhabit the witch friendly town of Taos, and is the ultimate creeper. He wants Anise’s death magic baked goods and is willing to pay a lot for them. I won’t go into too much more, but we all know nothing good can from all of this.

Wynn and Anise were a little less antagonistic in this one. Wynn, getting his tragic backstory finally told, is a little more relaxed in this. But honestly, it doesn’t make up for how much of an ass he was in the first book. I see where things seem to be heading with Anise and Wynn, and while I’m not 100% on board with it, I can handle it. I think my main problem is I don’t really care for either Anise or Wynn. I don’t hate them, but I haven’t found myself rooting for them either.

Again, this was a quick, fun read, but it felt like it was lacking a layer of the story. The villain situation was weird in this one and while I won’t go into details for spoiler reasons I can say that the big bad they have to face is forgettable. Like, I don’t remember anything about it. I don’t want to use the term “fluffy read” because it’s not a fluffy book, but it is lacking a bit of depth. Still, I enjoyed myself while reading it and I am looking forward to the third book.


While I enjoyed these two books for the most part, there was just something missing. It was like one of those cute, delicious looking cakes you see in a shop window but when you actually get to eat it you find out it is mostly over sugared frosting and very little cake. And as much as I like frosting, you need a solid cake to make things really good.

The Backlist: The Illuminae Files

Hello all! I’m back with another set of backlist reviews. This time around I look at The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This trilogy was one of my surprise reads of 2018. I constantly avoided these books, honestly, because I hated the bright orange cover of Illuminae. Well, you know the saying about judging book covers and ooooh boy did my aversion to orange kick me in the teeth because The Illuminae Files are STELLAR!

 

Illuminae | Read March 1 -3, 2018 | 5 Stars

HOLY HECK I LOVED THIS BOOK! I didn’t know to expect going into this read, but a fast paced, hilarious, and INTENSELY CREEPY science fiction story that was told in an incredible and unique format was not it.

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Me for basically the entire book.

To say this book exceeded my expectations would be a vast understatement. The story stars Kady Grant, a spectacularly snarky computer hacker, Ezra Miller, her very pretty and very recent ex-boyfriend, and AIDAN, who I won’t say much about because I’m not sure if it’d count as spoilers but hot damn they are the best character. There is inaudible profanity, snark, slow burn creepiness, snark, space battles, snark, dire situations with dire consequences, and oh, did I mention the SNARK? This little quick review doesn’t even begin to describe all the awesome held within the obscenely orange cover of this book. If you like science fiction, or want to dip a toe into this genre pool, I 1000% recommend this book. Honestly, it is probably my favorite book read in 2018.

 

Gemina | Read March 7 – 16, 2018 | 4.5 stars

Oh boy, was I full of trepidation going into this one. I’m never a fan when a story suddenly shifts to the perspectives of whole new characters for large chunks of the story. What if these new characters didn’t fill the snarky, murder-y desires of my heart? But my fears were for naught BECAUSE HOLY HECK I LOVED THIS BOOK! Honestly, I have but one issue with this book and I’ll save it for the very end of this review because it is a spoiler (don’t worry, I’ll put up a warning before it hits). In Gemina, we get a new main trio to love, along with a cast of awesome and/or villainous characters. Hanna is the rich, spoiled, but well-trained daughter of Jump Station Heimdall’s captain. Nik is the attractive bad boy from the station’s crime family who supplies Hanna with drugs and snark. And Ella is Nik’s cousin who put’s Kady’s wit and hacking skills to shame. All three of them are forced to work together as a BeiTech strike team attack the jump station. But there is another sinister and creepy plot going on throughout the jump station and basically everything crescendos into glorious chaos. This book is another intense and snarky space adventure told in the same amazing format as the previous book. And now we come to the…

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SPOILER ALERT!

Literally the ONLY reason I knock this book down to a 4.5 is because of the author’s fall back on killing off a main character in an emotionally traumatic way and then bringing them right back. I LOATHE when this becomes a repeat thing. And while it was handled in a different way than in Illuminae, it still irritated me a bit.

END SPOILERS!

 

Obsidio | Read March 17 – 24, 2018 | 4 stars

I struggled with the rating of this one. Honestly, as I write this I am still wavering if I should kick it up to 4.5. Because this was a fantastic end to this trilogy. But I can’t explain much without being completely spoilery. I’ll dance around it for a bit and see if I can figure out how to say it. This book brings us yet another new set characters and I think these are the ones that deeply explore the emotional trauma of war/invasion the most. The scenes on the occupied surface of Kerenza are intense. It reminded me a lot of Season 3 of Battlestar Galactic. But even with how emotionally impactful the concept of the Kerenza scenes were, I felt like I had very little left to give the new characters. I think they were still well written and the Kerenza plot was good, but I spent most of the time waiting for scenes with the original crew. The plot is tense, and the action is superb. There are twists and turns and some damn fine writing. Certain things that are revealed in this book kinda blew my mind a little bit. As an ending goes, it was wholly satisfying.

SPOILERS BELOW FOR WHY I KNOCKED THIS ONE DOWN TO 4 STAR

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The authors pulled the “dead but not dead” fake out AGAIN! I was so damn angry with this. So angry. It’s lazy and I saw it coming a mile away. It makes me even angrier considering how often Jay Kristoff harps on other writers for lazy writing (his Instagram stories are amusing AF). And now that I’m typing this out I am fully okay with a 4 star. Either kill your darlings or don’t. You shouldn’t have it both ways. Especially more than once. Ugh.

END SPOILERS

 

All in all, I am angry at myself for staying away from these books for so long (*shakes fist at orange cover of Illuminae*). While I had one consistent issue with these books, I still consider them one of my new favorite Sci Fi series. I’d give the trilogy as a whole 4.5 stars. Kaufman and Kristoff have a new Sci Fi series that they are working on and HOLY HECK I CANNOT WAIT!

 

Thanks for joining me for another Backlist post! I’m not sure which ones I’ll be doing next. I must go stare at my shelves and see what jumps out at me.

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books

Oh my, if there was ever a Top Ten Tuesday prompt for me, this is IT! As the ashamed owner of 350+ unread books, one could say I have one hell of a backlist. Since I’ve started working overtime I’ve been losing even more reading time, so I’m sure the backlist will haunt me long into 2019. But, I am DETERMINED to defeat my TBR one day…one glorious day.

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Me to Me

So here are the top ten books (or series) from my backlist that I’d like to get to sooner rather than later:

  1. The Raven Boys (and the whole Raven Cycle series) by Maggie Stiefvater (Goodreads)
  2. Cinder (and the whole Lunar Chronicles series) by Melissa Meyer (Goodreads)
  3. Steelheart (and the whole Reckoners series) by Brandon Sanderson (Goodreads)
  4. The Lies of Locke Lamora (and the whole Gentleman Bastard series) by Scott Lynch (Goodreads)
  5. The Thief (and the whole Queen’s Thief series) by Megan Whalen Turner (Goodreads)
  6. The Demon King (and the whole Seven Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima (Goodreads)
  7. The Knife of Never Letting Go (and the whole Chaos Walking series) by Patrick Ness (Goodreads)
  8. Rivers of London (and the whole Peter Grant series) by Ben Aaronovitch (Goodreads)
  9. The Falconer (and the whole Falconer series) by Elizabeth May (Goodreads)
  10. The Emperor’s Blades (and the whole Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series) by Brian Staveley (Goodreads)

Well, I guess I have a lot of books to read soon considering these are ALL SERIES OMG! Anyone want to fund my life so I can have the time to read these all? Anyone?

Do you see any on my list that I should read immediately?