January Wrap Up and February TBR

Well, bookish peoples, we have completed the first month of 2019. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HECK? HOW IS TIME DOING THIS? *cough* Okay, I’m good now.

I’ve always been bad at keeping track of my book reading and buying, so I’ve never been one for monthly wrap ups, hauls, and TBRs. But this year I am trying to be more mindful of my consumption of books. So, welcome to my first attempt at a wrap up/haul/TBR on this little blog of mine.

January Wrap Up
Books Acquired: 11

Books Bought:

ARCs Recieved:

  • Enchantée by Gita Trelease
  • The Fever King by Victoria Lee
  • To Best the Boys by Mary Weber
  • The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
  • Smoke and Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg (I got this through the Amazon First Reads program)
  • Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao (I just found out last night that this book is being pulled from publication at the current time so I won’t be counting it towards my stats for the month)

Books Read: 6 + 3 in progress

  • Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty | ALL THE STARS! Read my review here
  • The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner | 3 Stars! Read my review here
  • Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa | 4.25 Stars! Read my review here
  • Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller | 1.5 Stars! Read my review here
  • The Armored Saint by Myke Cole | 4.5 Stars! Read my review here
  • (Audio Reread) Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | 4.5 stars for the story, 5 stars for the audiobook performance (review for book is here, I’m actually working on a separate review of the audiobooks because holy hell are they good!)
  • In ProgressEnchantée by Gita Trelease | I am enjoying this book so damn much. Good chance this will be a 4.5 or 5 star read for me. As I said to Sabreena over at Books and Prosecco: The writing is so decadent, and it literally makes me want to drink champagne while I read.  
  • In Progress – (Audio Reread) Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Since this is a reread I can still hold true to my 4 star rating of the book. I am confident in saying that I’ll be giving the audiobook performance a 5 star for this one as well.
  • In Progress – (Audio Reread) The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. I’m doing this as a buddy read with my Sanderson Sisters. Two of them haven’t read this one before and one has. Really, I can consider myself as having not read it either because with the exception of a few random moments (and one BIG MOMENT from the end), I don’t remember much at all.

So, I’ve read six books and am in the process of finishing 3 more. Darn, I was hoping to read more than I acquired this month. Oh well, at least it’s not a huge gap in numbers. I wonder how I’ll do next month since it is a short one…


February TBR

My original plan for February was to read only books with tragic love stories. But then ARCs happened and I have a few that I need to get read and review ASAP. So, I have some heart breakers and some ARCs (which may also be heartbreakers *crosses fingers*)…and some books to finish from last month…

So, that’s the plan. I am pretty notorious for never sticking to a strict TBR, but I think I might be able to do it this month. GO TEAM TBR!

How did y’all do this month?

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?

Friday Favorites: Teacher/Mentor Characters

Hello, hello and welcome to another Friday Favorites! This week’s topic is Teacher/Mentor Characters. This is one of those topics that I know I’m going to realize like five other characters I want to add to the list after I post this. I love teacher/mentor characters but I also have a garbage memory, so the fact I could think of six is a darn miracle.

REMEMBER: If you have a Friday Favorites post of your own, drop the link in the comments so I can add it to the post list I’ll be making at the bottom of this post!


Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter

Professor McGonagall is the teacher I wish I’d had at some point in my academic career. She is snarky AF, fierce AF, and 100% would have kicked my ass into line. It doesn’t hurt that she was portrayed in the movies by Maggie Smith who is one of my favorite actresses (can I also mention how amazing she is as the Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey?). If Rowling had killed McGonagall, I would have rioted. As much as I dislike all the additions to the HP universe, I wouldn’t be against a McGonagall origin story.

Mercurio and Chronicler Aelius from Nevernight

Mercurio is that grumpy, verging on cruel, mentor character that I love. For some reasons I love tough love in a book (but not real life…I’ll start crying if someone barely raises their voice to me. I’m the worst.) and Mercurio definitely deals some tough love to Mia. Chronicler Aelius is actually the character that inspired this prompt for me. I don’t know what it is about librarian characters that just always stand out to me. The Chronicler always seems to have a wise word and a good smoke for Mia.

Jeremy Danvers from Bitten

As an Alpha werewolf in Bitten, Jeremy Danvers is both mentor and teacher to many characters in the book. I will be 100% honest with you and admit that I originally thought of Jeremy for this list purely because I have such a book crush on him. But I confirmed with my resident Kelley Armstrong fan over on #bookstagram that Jeremy definitely fits the bill for this topic.

Kelsier from Mistborn

*sigh* Oh, Kelsier. He was just a man, but oh what a man he was. He is not only the lead of the crew tasked with killing a god, but he teaches our main girl, Vin, how to be a kick ass Mistborn. Kel could give Kaz Brekker a run for his money with plots behind plots. While Kel is a fantastic leader of men, he really shines as the teacher to Vin. He teaches her so much, not just about her Mistborn powers, but how to trust and become comfortable in herself.

Numair and the Badger God from The Immortals Quartet

I feel the need to admit that this is kind of a hot for teacher entry for Numair. He was one of my first book boyfriends. All powerful mage with a mysterious past and a bit of a reputation for being a ladies man? Yeah, sign me the heck up. And I couldn’t not include the Badger God, because he is a grumpy god and a badger. Basically a grumpy Hufflepuff, like me.

Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Okay, yeah, sure…Giles is technically from a TV series, but there are books based on the show and that’s the loophole I’m jumping into so I can feature one of my favorite characters of all time. Giles deals with a lot of shit from the Scoobies and reacts with anything from genuine, caring wisdom to scathing snark. He’s got a dark, mysterious past and a great signing voice. And I’m starting to realize I’m just focusing on all the things that make me have a crush on him instead of how awesome he is a as a mentor and teacher to Buffy and the Scoobies. I’m pretty sure that if Giles hadn’t been around, Sunnydale would have fallen to one of the many apocalypses.

And for good measure, here are some extra Giles gifs because I couldn’t choose my favorite:


So, there is my list of favorites for the week! Do you have any beloved teacher/mentor characters?

Friday Favorites posts from the Bookish Community:

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: Old School YA

Hello my dear bookish people and welcome to another Friday Favorites! And this week is one of my most anticipate topics: OLD SCHOOL YA!! I decided this was any YA books released before 2000, which honestly makes me feel terribly old. Be prepared for a me screaming a lot about books I loved (and still love) when I was but a young whippersnapper.

Basically anything by LJ Smith

I almost put LJ Smith down at the bottom as a saving the best for last kind of thing. But just in case people don’t make it through the whole post, I at bare minimum wanted the takeaway from this post to be MY DEEP AND UNDYING LOVE FOR LJ SMITH. These books were not only my best friends in high school, but also my introduction to paranormal books. I reread each of the trilogies and the Nightworld books at least 10 times each in high school. I used to come home from school, do my homework, and then I read one of the books before I went to bed. These books are my happy place and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Fearless by Franscine Pascal

Oh my, this series. THIS. DAMN. SERIES. It’s been a long damn time since I’ve read these books but the main thing I remember is the main character, Gaia, doesn’t have the “fear gene” which makes her kind of super powered in that fear never holds her back. That was a terrible way to explain it, but that’s what I’ve got. I also remember a very dramatic and romantically tense scene between Gaia and Sam (the love interest) that involves rain and chess. Hm…I need to go buy this series again (I just looked it up and holy heck the series got up to 36 books. I originally read up to maybe the 20s). Yep, I need rain and chess in my life again. I’m gonna go search for these books.

Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes

Another book I read over and over and over again in my teens. It was one of those books that just clicked so hard with me. The main character is a social outcast and secretly published author of paranormal fiction who feels more intune with the demons in her stories than with her schoolmates. THAT’S WHO I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL…minus the published part. This book and the other in the series are wicked short and damnit I want to reread it now…

The Alanna Quartet and Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce

I’m not sure I could call myself a fan of old school YA if I didn’t include some Tamora Pierce books on my list. I recently reread the Immortals Quartet and I was reminded of how awesome Pierce’s books are. I feel like Tamora Pierce was the beginning (at least for me) of strong female characters in YA novels.


The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike

This whole series is wild and honestly I am so here for it. I really don’t know what else to say about them. It was a very interesting take on vampires and felt very unique to me at the time.






Fear Street by RL Stine

I legitimately want to know why my mother was okay with me reading these as young as I did. All the Fear Street books are pretty damn horrific and graphic. One of my memoreis from these books is a girl stabbing her sister through the heart with knitting needles. LIKE, WHAT THE HECK?? But I loved them and read a ton of these books. The thing that amuses me the most is I cannot stand horror or graphic violence now that I’m an adult.

Goddess of the Night (Daughters of the Moon Series) by Lynne Ewing

This series was such a part of my late high school years. Each of the main characters had an aspect of who I wanted to be, especially the goddess powers, and I just wanted to be part of this squad. Also, this series has one heck of a bad boy romance and there is nothing I love more than a bad buy falling for one of the good girls.



So, I had to include a couple of honorable mentions. These are books that I LOVED but were technically published after 2000:

Gifted Touch (Fingerprints Series) by Melinda Metz (2001)
Book of Shadows (Sweep Series) by Cate Tiernan (2001)
So Mote it Be (Circle of Three series) by Isobel Bird (2001)

Do you have any old school YA books or series that you love? Let me know in the comments!

And if you have a Friday Favorites post make sure to drop the link in the comments so I can add it to the list of participants! Happy Friday everyone!!

Friday Favorites posts from around the book community!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Good Morning bookish peoples! Lightning fast post coming to you today because I am way behind in my blog planning (thanks to my back actively trying to kill me) and I’m typing this up on my morning work break.

The theme for today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is Most Anticipated Releases for the first half of 2019. I’m going to try to not scream AURORA RISING, but I make no promises.


The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
Release Date: April 2

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?


THIS GIVE ME ALL THE STRANGER THINGS VIBES AND I CANNOT HANDLE IT!


The Binding by Bridget Collins
Release Date: April 16 (though it looks like it released January 10 in the UK and you can bet your butts I’ll be ordering it through book depository)

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed, and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.


Um, YES PLEASE!


Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins
Release Date: February 5

Seattle, 1913 // Dorothy is trapped. Forced into an engagement to a wealthy man just so she and her mother can live comfortably for the rest of their days, she’ll do anything to escape. Including sneaking away from her wedding and bolting into the woods to disappear.

New Seattle, 2077 // Ash is on a mission. Rescue the professor—his mentor who figured out the secret to time travel—so together they can put things right in their devastated city. But searching for one man means endless jumps through time with no guarantee of success.

When Dorothy collides with Ash, she sees it as her chance to start fresh—she’ll stow away in his plane and begin a new life wherever they land. Then she wakes up in a future that’s been ripped apart by earthquakes and floods; where vicious gangs rule the submerged city streets and a small group of intrepid travelers from across time are fighting against the odds to return things to normal. What Dorothy doesn’t know is that she could hold the key to unraveling the past—and her arrival may spell Ash’s ultimate destruction.


Hi, my name is Kibby, and I’m addicted to Time Travel.


Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter
Release Date: March 19

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries―until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price―and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.


I’m not sure I can describe how much I want this book. Like…damn…


The Cerulean by Amy Ewing
Release Date: February 5

Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.

But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong, and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.


Did anyone read Princess Nevermore? I loved that book when I was a young whippersnapper, and this gives me similar vibes.


Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Release Date: April 2

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.


Alex, I’ll take “YA Chinese-inspired fantasy that has been compared to Game of Thrones” for $800.


Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Release Date: February 12

A YA murder mystery in which a young reporter must use her supernatural visions to help track down a killer targeting the young women of Paris.

Paris, 1887. Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered–from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.


Supernatural visions to track down a killer? YES PLEASE!


The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey
Release Date: April 16, 2019

After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn’t think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family’s manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.


So, I have yet to read a Cindy Anstey book, but I own like 3 of them and they sound like things I will love. And this one is no different (except for the fact that I don’t own it yet).


Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
Release Date: June 4

A fugitive princess with the power to control blood. A black-hearted conman with no past and no future. An Empire spiraling into darkness. A world worth saving.

The Cyrilian Empire: a glittering white sprawl of frozen tundras and ancient, snow-capped forests, where ice spirits roam beneath the flickering northern lights, and where slavers hunt Affinites — those born with powers to manipulate elements.

Born with an horrifying Affinity to blood, Anastacya Mikhailov has never believed herself to be anything more than a monster. Her curse rings true when an accident in the dead of the night results in the death of her father, the Emperor of Cyrilia — and she is sentenced for his murder.

But Ana knows what she saw that night: the scent of poison in Papa’s blood, and the face of a murderer vanishing into the dark.

Alone, hunted, and on the run, Ana makes a bargain with Ramson Quicktongue, a handsome yet dangerous underground crime lord: help her find the true murderer and clear her name in exchange for her alliance.

When Ana’s search lands her in the lair of the most powerful slave trader in the Empire, she uncovers a horrifying truth. A new monarch stands poised to lead the empire to a path of hatred and divisiveness, and Ana must stop her before Cyrilia falls to darkness. But first, she must come to terms with the monster she thinks she is and the heir she was destined to be.

In a world where the princess is the monster, oppression is blind to skin color, and good and evil exist in shades of gray… comes a dark Anastasia retelling that explores love, loss, fear, and divisiveness, and how ultimately it is our choices that define who we are.


I recently got confirmation that I’ll be getting an ARC of this and I most certainly did a ridiculous happy dance. CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS!


AURORA RISING

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Release Date: May 7

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


Look, I tried to not scream about this one again. I really did. But I’m listing to Kaufman and Kristoff’s previous collaboration (Illuminae Files, currently about halfway through my Gemina reread) and I cannot get over how much I FREAKING LOVE THESE TWO AUTHORS! I need Aurora Rising in my life SO MUCH. So. Very. Much.

Book Review: Slayer

Slayer
Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 1.5 stars
Synopsis: Into every generation a Slayer is born…
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic. Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.
As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next. One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

I want to start out by saying writing this review pains me. I have been a Buffy fan since it premiered (yes, I’m that old) and have been a stalwart fan throughout the decades. When I heard there was going to be a book within the Slayerverse that had a new slayer (*cue dramatic music* who is also the last slayer EVER), I may have freaked out just a little bit. I had a friend grab me a copy of the ARC at NYCC and then buddy read it with a fellow Buffy fan. And that’s where all the fun stops.

Slayer promised to be a new voice in the Slayerverse, one that could be understood without any previous knowledge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer history (movie, TV Show, and comics). Nothing could be further from the truth. The author tried to bring the delightful campiness of the TV show to the book and it just felt forced and off putting (the only joke with a good pay off was the Coldplay joke). Now, some of this could be a personal thing for me because I have recently found that “campy” books are just not for me (*looks forlornly at Kill the Farm Boy and The Princess Bride*). There was no reason to try and bring that same camp though. Let this new slayer and her group be unique. I wanted a new slayer story, not a poor facsimile of the Scoobies.

Then there is the proclamation that you could understand this book without previous Slayerverse knowledge. And while that mostly holds true, I guess, you have to wade through pages of clunky info dumping. I actually gave up trying to figure it out from the book and went online to find a recap of the season 8 and 9 comic books. Which bugs me because that means two things: I completely spoiled myself for a comic series that I wanted to read AND a recapper online did a better job than the author of this book.

I’m going to save my discussion of the main character, Nina, until later because it will involve spoilers and I’m sectioning off the spoilers below. As for the rest of the characters, I can’t think of a single one I really liked. Except maybe Doug, and that is a stretch. Artemis was a terrible sister, the mother was awful (and her arc was predictable), the love interest was boring, and all the side characters were one dimensional. I couldn’t find it in me to care about a single one of them. Because of the poor character writing, the plot was predictable and not very interesting. I kept hoping it get pulled in by something, but it never happened. There was loads of potential (no pun intended), but it all fell flat to me.

And don’t even get me started on the ending.

Now for the one tiny part I loved and the BIG THING I hated, but first, a friendly spoiler warning. It’s not really a huge spoiler but just in case…

Okay, Nina. Our main character, the one on which my hopes and dreams floated. She hated Buffy. And didn’t just hate; she absolutely loathed Buffy and thought about it constantly (meaning we had to read about it all the damn time). Yes, she had a pretty good reason: Nina is the daughter of Merrick, Buffy’s first watcher, that died while working with Buffy. That was the one thing I really liked in this book. I LOVED that call back to the original movie. But Nina’s never-ending Buffy hate grated on me to the point where I ended up hating Nina just as much as she hated Buffy. Look, I get that Buffy isn’t perfect, but who the heck thought a steady stream of Buffy hate was good for a Slayerverse book, one that would be read by people who grew up loving Buffy? And because predictable plot is predictable, Nina ends up understanding Buffy and why she did the things she did. Ugggggghhhhhhh…

/end spoilers

At the end of the day, this book was a huge let down. The Hufflepuff in me wants to say maybe it was just me, maybe I’m the problem, but I don’t think that’d be 100% true. Yes, I hyped this book a lot in my head and yes, this book had some big 90s platform shoes to fill, but at the end of the day I really think the writing let this story down.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pretend I never had to write this negative review about a book I wanted to love by continuing my Buffy rewatch (I’m on Season 3 and Faith is about to make her grand entrance).