This week’s TOp 5 Wednesday prompt was a difficult one to narrow down. –which I think is a good thing! That means that there’s no shortage of great authors out there! Seeing how Fantasy is the genre I most commonly read, it’s easy to want to […]
Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes […]
I wanted to give a bit of a personal update on what to expect in the next few months on this blog.
I’ve mentioned here and there that I am expecting a baby (now in two weeks–which is crazy). Because of prepping for his arrival, as well as having family visit from overseas (and work), I’ve been incredibly busy, and have really struggled with keeping up with daily blogging. I decided for my sake that I need to back off for a while with some book-related commitments. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done that I need to. And, well, my family comes before blogging.
Anyways, for the months of May, June, and probably well into July, you may not see me posting as often as normal. While I deeply wish I could, I also won’t be able to blog hop and stay on top of what everyone else will be up to, which makes me very sad. To any of you fellow bloggers who continue to support my blog even when I haven’t been able to reciprocate, I am deeply grateful for your support and commitment! It means the world to me! Once things get into a routine, I should have time to get more involved again.
Until then, my Thursday Blog Trots will be on hold, along with some Top 5 Wednesday posts. The month of May was a free-for-all month with T5W, and I just didn’t have time to make my own prompts. Therefore, you won’t be seeing any of those until June (possibly.)
With all of that being said, here’s a rather uneventful wrap-up for the month of April!
What I Read & Reviewed
- The Oracle Queen by Kendare Blake
- Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith
- Identity by Ted Dekker
- Bacon Pie by Candace Robinson & Gerardo Delgadillo
- The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
- Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
- My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
- Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young
- Prince of the South by Ava Richardson
- The Glass Dog by L. Frank Baum
What I Read But Still Need To Review
- Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol (tentative 2.5 stars)
- Traitor Born by Amy A. Bartol (tentative 3 stars)
Catch-Up Reviews Written
Top 5 Wednesday Meme
Thursday Blog Trot Meme / Around the Blogosphere
Fairy Tale Friday Meme
Down The TBR Hole
Other Noteable Posts
Beat The Backlist Reading Challenge
In April, I contributed a total of 31 points for the Story Sorcerers team. (AND WE WON!)
Nada de nada. 🙁
Goodreads Reading Challenge
So, my Goodreads challenge has suffered. I had originally aimed to read 200 books this year, but it called for me to finish a book every two days, and I just couldn’t keep up. I ended up lowering my goal to 100 because it didn’t cause me anxiety to look at it like 200 did. I’m hoping I can still reach 200, but this year may be too eventful to get there.
#ARCsAnonymous Goodreads Group Challenge
Due to the chosen challenge topic, I didn’t participate in the #ARCsAnonymous challenge in April.
Well, there's my unsuccessful month.
How did you do on your reading challenges in April?
Where there any goals that you had to lessen or give up on completely? (I sure hope not!)
David Galloway can’t die. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. No Less Days Author: Amanda G. Stevens Publication Date: May 1, 2018 Publisher: Shiloh Run Press Page Count: 320 Format: eARC Genre: Christian Fiction, Speculative Fiction Cover Artist: — My Rating: ★★★ What happens to a […]
Let's see if I can knock a few more off the Good Ole TBR...
- Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or should it go?
I’ll be going through 5 books each week.
I read Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale back in 2016. While I wasn't so taken with that book, I loved Setterfield's writing style, and want to give her another shot. This one is a KEEP.
This has been my best week so far! I got rid of 2/5!
What are your thoughts on my choices?
Are there any books that you'd keep or get rid of on this list?
Release Day, May 1, 2018!
In the beginning, there was silence.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Song of Blood & Stone
Series: Earthsinger Chronicles #1
Author: L. Penelope
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Page Count: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: Since this is a DNF read, I will not be assigning a star-review.
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
“Not just cracks, not just a breach–the entire Mantle will fall. Soon. And the True Father will be unleashed on us all.”
DNFing at 30%
I’m not sure if it was the writing style, the concept, or the way the characters interacted with one another, but this read left me feeling confused. Reading more than a quarter of the book, I couldn’t get a good sense of the magic system, and the history behind it. Granted, there was quite a bit left in the book to uncover. However, the information provided simply wasn’t clear.
Not only that, the insta-love relationship that developed almost immediately between the main character Jasminda and Jack didn’t help. These instant attractions need more ground before they should be established. Furthermore, there is a graphic attempted rape scene that felt like it set the tone for the rest of the book as being incredibly negative. Maybe that is just my take on it, but from what I read, it doesn’t sound like a read for me.
I appreciated the fact that diversity is represented in these foremost characters. Prejudism immediately is identified as a main theme, as the main character Jasminda, although interracial, has dark skin which makes her an outcast in the small town that she now resides. Dark skin marks the Lagarmiri people with the ability to Earthsing, which is a magical ability that only they possess. What is unique is feared.
Overall, this just wasn’t a read for me. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it was, but the insta-love, graphic scenes, and confusing information weren’t to my liking.
The Glass Dog By L. Frank Baum Lyman Frank Baum is not an unfamiliar name to many Americans. Best known for his very famous children’s book, The Wizard of Oz, Baum also wrote several other fairy tales, short stories, poems, and scripts throughout his lifetime. […]
Being a Prince, J'ahalid is no stranger to the fact that his kingdom requires protecting. When he Sees the Dragon Riders of Torvald, he knows that dragons are the answer to his problems.
Prince Of The South
Author: Ava Richardson
Publication Date: July 2017
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Page Count: ---
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Short-Story
Cover Artist: Shardel
My Rating: ★★½
“I wanted such a dragon. Why should only the kings of Torvald have such power? Why should our kingdom be lacking?”
Prince J’ahalid Mudin Dar Awil of the South Kingdom immediately desires dragons for his kingdom when he sees the dragon riders of Torvald midflight. Knowing that his kingdom is constantly threatended by others, he takes it into his own hands to protect his family and people.
Traveling towards the mountains along the old spice route, J’ahalid catches a glimpse of the mountain dragons. Desperate to capture some for himself, he risks his life to travel up the mountain during a sandstorm. Nearly losing his life due to his arrogance, he’s saved by non other than that which he seeks: a dragon and her rider.
“Dragons are friends–you do not use your friends.”
Samir of the Binshee Tribe, and her fellow dragon Toolon save J’ahalid from the trechery of the sandstorm. In doing so, they learn who he is and what he’s looking for. J’ahalid quickly learns that dragons are not animals to be conquered and tamed. They deserve respect and choose their riders themselves. These lessons do well for J’ahalid, as his immature and rather unlikeable character is humbled.
Deciding to stay in the mountains with Samir and the dragons, J’ahalid learns the ways of the dragons and how to form proper relationships with them.
“I have learned a dragon’s heart, and some things are more important than land and kingdoms. Tesh has taught me that. I see now why the dragons saved your people but let the city burn. That was the wise choice. For cities can be rebuilt. Buildings are jusst empty shells without people. And that is what drives me back–I must see my parents again.”
Overall, this was an alright read. The dialogue is written in what feels like a vernacular, so it’s hard to settle into the characters and their interactions as they feel clunky and unnatural. Granted, this is a short story, so the writing is definitely more to the point. However, I thought this was an area that could have used much improvement.
Sexual content: None.
Yeah, it's almost May...
But I thought I’d still share which ARCs I have to read and review for this month! I’ve read most of them and have been pretty impressed with the releases this month. However, since this post is quite late, I’ll keep it short and sweet!
Six months alone in the labyrinth has made her strong. But the search for the exit means gambling on an old ‘friend’ and going against everything she’s been taught to survive. You know the labyrinth will have yet more horrors lurking in its depths. You’ve learned few people can be trusted. But freedom is tantalizingly close. Are you ready to take the risk?
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted. Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems. Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city… And she’ll need to play.
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores. The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world. Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world. With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.
In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone. The singleborn A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him. The diminished When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what's left of her life in peace. As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures—one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.
Lia Abbie has the easy life—kicking it back with old school video games, hanging out with her best friend Barnabas, and alternating her living schedule between the apartments of her two dads and her mom. Kiev Jimenez is a theater geek who loves him some Shakespeare and taking care of his pet armadillo. He has one set goal in life: obtaining the role of Horatio for the Hamlet school play. When a showdown between Lia and Kiev lands them in the principal's office, they're forced into volunteer work at the cringe-worthy Piggy Palooza Festival, or risk being suspended. Lia and Kiev aren’t thrilled about the situation, especially when it interferes with Lia's relaxed life and Kiev's theater role. But by working together, they may find more than just bacon—possibly a little love in the air.
Secondborn Roselle St. Sismode was pressed into military service to battle the rebel uprising threatening the society that enslaves her. Now, powerful factions conspire to subvert the lines of succession, positioning Roselle to replace her mother as leader of the Republic’s armed forces. But the woman who bore her would sooner see Roselle dead than let her usurp her firstborn brother’s command. The deadly war of intrigue between her new masters and her ruthless family is but one conflict challenging Roselle. A soldier for the rebellion has drawn her into a rogue army’s plot to overthrow the Republic and shatter its brutal caste system. Targeted by assassins and torn between allies, Roselle’s loyalty, love, and honor will be tested in the greatest battle of—and for—her life.
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago. Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family. She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.