I figured I’d do another book tag, and since I love all things Star Wars, I wanted to give this tag a go! (I would’ve done it on May 4, but alas, I was very busy.) I found it over at Brooke @ The Reader’s Game, who also created the tag. (And if you haven’t checked out her blog, I highly recommend it!)
Thank the person who tagged you
Link back to original post
Tag around 10 people
You don’t have to watch anything Star Wars related to do this- only to get the references!
Let’s begin, shall we?
🚀THE BOBA FETT BOOK TAG🚀
LIGHTSPEED SKIPPER: A character who is constantly in danger or on the run
Maité from Off Planetis certainly on the run for quite a lot over the course of the novel – there’s quite a lot of planet hopping in this book!
RAZOR CREST: A character with a spaceship
Captain Siege from Heart of Ironhas her formidable ship, the Dossier, and she’s proud of it! (So it Jax, come to think of it…)
DARTH VADER:A villain who always hidestheir face
Oh jeez, I can’t really think of any character that would fit this prompt…don’t mind me…
EX-IMPERIAL: A character who is not what they seem
Cee from The Ones We’re Meant to Findcertainly fits the prompt, but for…ah…shall we say spoiler-y reasons, so I won’t say why. If you know, you know.
MANDO: A character tracking down something that was stolen from them
I suppose none of these characters are tracking down something that was stolen from them, specifically, but the whole plot of The Smoke Thievescenters around a stolen bottle of smoke, and Tash in particular is most involved with capturing demons for their smoke, so I’ll say this fits.
YOUNG BOBA FETT: A character who had a family member killed/taken/beaten before their eyes
Kaz from Six of Crowswitnessed the death of his older brother Jordie firsthand, which…yeah, I got choked up re-reading this recently. It’s a ROUGH flashback scene.
BESKAR: A character who wears armor/weapons
This was another hard one – my first thought was Speaker from The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, though her armor is more for mobility outside of her homeworld than anything.
RAISED ON MANDALORE: A character who isn’t allowed to show their face
Uh…yeah, I’m blanking on characters with masks/characters that can’t show their faces, so I think I’ll have to skip this one…sorry…[Mandalorian theme plays on a kazoo]
UNEXPECTED DOCKING: A character who joins a mission at a random point on the mission
Auri from Aurora Risingcertainly joins the rest of Squad 312 at an unexpected time in the mission – but ends up setting the course for the rest of the book.
HIGH BOUNTY: A character in debt and/or on the run
Fitting that I used mostly sci-fi books for this tag…hehe…
+ anyone else who wants to participate! If you see this tag and want to do it, I’d love to see your answers! And if I tagged you and you’ve already done it/don’t want to do it/don’t know Star Wars, my bad! No obligations.
And may the Force be with you!
That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), bibliophiles!
I’m back from vacation! I took a trip with my family to Glacier National Park last week, and it was STUNNING. We did some hiking, went on a few boat tours, and went canoeing, and it was such a beautiful experience. Walking through the forest fed my soul…I’m recovering from online learning crushing my soul last year, and the trees certainly helped
Anyway, I bought a few books on my Kindle for the trip, and I thought I’d share my reviews for them. It was definitely a hit-or-miss batch, but at least 2/3 of them were good.
In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.
Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.
For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.
She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.
Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…
Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.
There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?
Off Planet wasn’t perfect, but it was a solid sci-fi! It blended elements of hard sci-fi and space opera, and for the most part, they came together somewhat seamlessly.
The plot and tension shone in this novel – Aileen Erin did a great job at making a fast-paced, high-stakes story that kept me on the edge of my seat. The worldbuilding was well fleshed-out as well. I loved all of the different planets that we saw, as well as the near-future, dystopian vision of Earth.
I didn’t get attached to any of the characters, but I’d say they were decently developed. Most of them were likable, but I did like Tyler a lot. I wish we’d seen more of him. However, even though I liked Lorne, his name threw me off a little, because a) hey, it’s more of a human name, and he’s an alien, and b) my inevitable association of that name with Lorne Malvo from Fargo, which…[shudders]
My only major problem was the dialogue – it felt a little stilted and not quite authentic, which took away some of the believability of the characters. Other than mannerisms, there wasn’t a whole lot that distinguished each character’s voice.
But overall, a solid start to an intense and well-thought-out sci-fi trilogy. 3.5 stars!
In the bloody revolution, gods were all but wiped out. Ever since, the children they left behind have been imprisoned in an orphanage, watched day and night by the ruthless Guard. Any who show signs of divine power vanish from their beds in the night, all knowledge of their existence denied.
No one has ever escaped the orphanage.
Seventeen-year-old Hero is finally free – but at a terrible price. Her sister has been captured by the Guard and is being held in a prison in the northern sea. Hero desperately wants to get her back, and to escape the murderous Guardsmen hunting her down. But not all the gods are dead, and the ones waiting for Hero in the north have their own plans for her – ones that will change the world forever . . .
As she advances further and further into the unknown, Hero will need to decide: how far is she willing to go to do what needs to be done?
TW/CW: graphic violence, discrimination, death, blood, gore
I really wanted to give this one a chance – the low average rating on Goodreads put me off a little (2.88 at present), but there didn’t seem to anything blatantly offensive in the reviews I read, so I gave it a shot.
…which was a mistake on my part. Oops.
The Orphanage of Gods had an interesting premise on the surface, but it was weighed down by a whole bunch of aspects. The worldbuilding was flimsy at best, the plot seemed to ramble without meaning, the characters didn’t have many defining traits (and there were too many of them to keep track of, making them interchangeable), and the POV switches at each of the three parts didn’t seem to have any point. If Coggan had kept the POV at Hero for the whole book, it might have made more sense, as she was unfamiliar with the world introduced. But alas…
I tried. I really tried. I wanted to give this one three stars, but it just got worse and worse as the book went on…I think the only redeeming factor was that there was a sapphic romance at the forefront, but even that was just thrown in there at the last minute. The writing had moments of being good, and I think that’s the only reason I didn’t DNF this one entirely.
All in all, a novel weighed down by poor handling of almost every aspect save for the writing. 2 stars.
The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.
The entire population inside has been quarantined and left to die – directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that’s keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation… and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.
Regan, silent, scaly stealth expert, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he’s finally reached his limit. Evelyn is a fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now they have a choice – and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.
Parole’s a rough place to live. But they’re not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way…
TW/CW: violence, PTSD, loss of loved ones, fire, anxiety, torture, trauma
This is just the kind of sweet, diverse and hopeful dystopia that the world needs more of. Chameleon Moon wasn’t without its flaws, sure, but it was such a lovely novel.
First off, this is easily one of the most diverse novels I’ve read in a long time – we’ve got a polyamorous family at front and center, an asexual MC, a trans woman MC, several nonbinary characters, several Black characters, and several characters with anxiety and PTSD. So a big thank you to RoAnna Sylver for making an effort to make a novel with all that representation!
The characters were the best aspect of the novel for me – they all had such distinct personalities and quirks, and I loved all of the different superpowers they sported. Danae was easily my favorite – I loved all of her little metal creations, and she had such a spirited personality. (Kind of imagined her like Jessie Buckley, for no particular reason.) Hans was also great – he reminded me a lot of Klaus from The Umbrella Academy, if he were a bit more unhinged.
What was really special about Chameleon Moon for me, though, was that even though it was clearly a dystopia, there was a consistent message of hope. Even in the midst of unimaginable horrors, there was still love, still families caring for each other, still listening to everybody’s traumas, and still persisting no matter the odds. It’s an uncommon sight in dystopia, and in times like these, it’s just the kind of novel we need.
All in all, a queer and hopeful dystopia that sets itself apart with no shortage of representation and a powerful message. 4 stars!
That’s it for these mini-reviews! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.
I try to always pick more diverse books from my TBR for this meme, but I’m going to be shifting my focus to LGBTQ+ books in particular for the month of June. I found this week’s book over at Queer Books for Teens (which is a great resource if you want LGBTQ+ book recs!), and it sounds like a fantastic and romantic sci-fi!
Let’s begin, shall we?
GOODREADS MONDAY (6/7/21) – THE STAR HOST by F.T. Lukens
Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, his dream slips further out of his grasp. Now a slave of a despotic Baron, Ren must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.
Ren finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.
So why do I want to read this?
I initially put this on my TBR because I heard that it had bisexual rep, which always gets me excited! Even though YA is taking some great leaps in representation, I still don’t see many bi boys represented, so a book like this is so important.
Other than that, I’ll put anything on my TBR if it’s advertised as “queer sci-fi,” but The Star Host sounds especially fascinating. I like the pseudo-fantasy aspect of the Star Hosts themselves, and I’m excited to see how Lukens executes that in what looks like a predominantly sci-fi atmosphere. (The synopsis is giving me Luke Skywalker vibes for Ren? I think I could go with that) And the romance between Ren and Asher sounds so sweet…🥺
In short: all you need to do to convince me to put a book on my TBR is say “space bisexuals.”
That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! This is probably all that I’ll be posting this week before I leave for my vacation, so I’ll see you all next week. Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.
I’d say this first week of summer has been pretty fantastic! The weather’s warming up, and I’ve had lots of time to read in the hammock. I also made a trip to my favorite bookstore and got some books, and they all look amazing! My drawing motivation also came back, so I’m glad for that. I had another good shift at the library as well, and it’s always good to be in that atmosphere.
I also restarted that first draft of my sci-fi WIP! I fixed up some parts of the plot that I wasn’t comfortable with, and now I feel like my heart’s really in it.
Also, just a heads up – I won’t be posting anything past Monday next week since I’ll be on vacation for a week. 🙂
I have a whole load of book tags that I want to do soon, and I figured I’d give this one a go, it sounds like a lot of fun! I was tagged by Stephanie @ My Book Throne, (thanks so much!) and the tag was originally created by Marc Nash.
Let’s begin, shall we?
🔟THE LAST 10 BOOKS TAG🔟
LAST BOOK I RE-READ
The Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone made me go back and read the Six of Crows duology. Needless to say, tears were shed.
LAST BOOK I GAVE UP ON
I haven’t DNF’d anything in a while, but I got to about the 70% mark in Falling Kingdoms(on my Kindle) before I couldn’t take it anymore.
LAST BOOK I BOUGHT
I went down to my favorite bookstore on Thursday morning and got three books that I’ve been really excited to read! The Ones We’re Meant to Findis one of them.
LAST BOOK I SAID I READ BUT DIDN’T
I…never really do that, and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t remember…
LAST BOOK I WROTE IN THE MARGINS OF
In most cases, I’m firmly against writing in books, but we’re supposed to annotate while we read for school books, so…
Weeeeeeeeell…this doesn’t *really* count since it isn’t out yet, but I preordered a signed copy of Aurora’s End,so that’s about as close as I can get. I haven’t really been to a whole lot of book events other than Denver Pop Culture Con, and I can’t remember the last trade paperback that I got signed off the top of my head…
LAST BOOK I LOST
(Why do I keep putting books I read for school in this tag?)
I rarely lose books, but I panicked for a bit last year when I lost my copy of Macbeth for a short time. I think I found it behind the headboard of my bed, or something…
LAST BOOK I REPLACED
Uh…I’ve never really replaced any of my books…I rarely lend them to other people and I try very hard not to damage them, so…
LAST BOOK I ARGUED OVER
I mean, I don’t remember the last time I’ve full-on argued with somebody about a book, but I’ve had several people insist that I try reading Throne of Glassagain, and…nah. Not for me. True, I was grumpy and sick when I read it, but I really don’t think that contributed to the low rating.
LAST BOOK I COULDN’T FIND
Whew, here’s a throwback…
I LOVED the SkulduggeryPleasantbooks in middle school, but I had to stop at book 3 because I just couldn’t find Dark Daysanywhere. ANYWHERE. Such a shame, these were so much fun…
Now that we’re in the month of June, I’m so excited to share more queer YA books. I did a whole series last year of LGBTQ+ books in various genres, so I was struggling to think of something new for this year. So I’ve decided to compile my favorite queer books that I read between last pride month and now. (There’s a whole lot of good ones!)
But as with all kinds of posts like these, it’s important to remember that we must uplift marginalized voices in literature 365 days a year.
If you want to check them out, here are my pride month recs from last year:
LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Two of the MCs are sapphic, wlw relationship, third MC is aromantic/asexual
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
This one wasn’t without its flaws, but I loved this blend of sci-fi and fantasy! There’s also an especially beautiful scene where Nathaniel (aroace character) discovers his sexuality, and although I’m not aspec myself, I’m sure this will touch the hearts of so many ace readers.
Here’s another feel-good queer fantasy – this one’s a graphic novel! Besides the fact that there’s nothing better than witches and werewolves having soft relationships, it’s so cool to see a disabled queer character like Nova! (She’s hard of hearing, and there’s several discussions about her hearing aids.)
I don’t usually jump for contemporary, but this was SUCH A DELIGHT. Not only is it an enemies-to-lovers, multiracial sapphic romance, there’s some really important discussions about homophobia and cultural appropriation.
LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Gay MC, lesbian and trans side characters
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A beautiful, coming-of-age novel in verse about a mixed-race teen realizing his sexuality and discovering himself through drag. I don’t read a whole lot of novels in verse, but this is one you absolutely have to read!
Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles, and more importantly, happy happy pride month! 🏳️🌈 My review for today sadly isn’t queer, but you can be certain of lots of queer reviews soon. (I mean, I usually read/review queer books, but…)
Regardless, this was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. I got a free copy from a library program, and I’m so glad that I’m able to add it to my bookshelf! And it was 100% worth it – a truly inventive dystopia that takes the typical YA formula and inverts it in every possible way.
On her way to a graduation party, Nami Miyamoto is unexpectedly murdered, sending her into the afterlife. But the afterlife she enters isn’t the kind that she expected. Here, four princedoms rule over a court of humans, now turned into mindless puppets, and ruling over them is Queen Ophelia, an Alexa-like AI who forces them into submission as revenge for her treatment in the world of the living. Nami escapes to a community of humans who have escaped the pull of Ophelia, hoping to destroy it from the inside. With Nami as their new spy, they may have a chance at freeing the deceased – but the glittering princedom may hold secrets that could tear humanity down…
TW/CW: murder, frightening situations, torture
WOW. WOW! The Infinity Courts marks Akemi Dawn Bowman’s first foray into science fiction/dystopia, and I must say, it’s a complete success!
There’s been a lot of comparisons drawn for this one, but for me, it felt like equal parts Tenet, Ex Machina, and Inception, but YA and minus all the convoluted timelines of the first. (Have I seen Tenet twice? Yes. Do I understand any of it? Nope. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely.) It’s a fascinating blend of all sorts of sci-fi tropes and subgenres – dystopian tyranny, AI, spies, and a grim afterlife in which the only choices are to become a mindless drone or to run.
On the surface level, once we reach Bowman’s afterlife in The Infinity Courts, it’s set up like a typical YA dystopia – you’ve got your reluctant Chosen One, a love triangle, rebellion, and struggling to maintain faith to the cause after one member of said love triangle pulls them to the dark side. But with every single one, it’s subverted in truly inventive ways – I won’t spoil anything, but the fate of the love triangle had me REELING. This novel boasts some of the most inventive plot twists I’ve seen in a long time, and it’s hard to see them coming.
I also loved the concept of Ophelia; the frequent trips into her mind were chilling, and I imagined her as almost a Raised by Wolves-like AI. It’s all a fascinating exploration of not only the role of AI in our lives, but what might happen if it gets smart enough to perceive itself as being mistreated. Again, Ex Machina, but having Ophelia rule over her own afterlife was such an inventive concept, and executed so well!
The lower point for me was the characters; I thought they were all okay, but I didn’t get attached to any of them. Bowman did do a great job with handling an ensemble cast, though – there were several different characters all living and playing their parts in the rebellion, but I didn’t lose track of any of them, and they all at least had somewhat distinct personalities. I liked Shura though.
All in all, a twisty and original YA dystopia with no shortage of intrigue and action. 4 stars!
The Infinity Courts is the first in a trilogy, with the untitled sequels slated for release in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Bowman is also the author of Summer Bird Blue, Starfish, and Harley in the Sky.
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.
Wrapping up my focus on AAPI authors for the month of May (though I’ll always try to pick diverse books from my TBR for this meme), here’s one I found out about more recently. (thanks, Phoenix!) I’m always on the hunt for good fantasy novels with mermaids in them, and I’m confident that this one will deliver.
Let’s begin, shall we?
GOODREADS MONDAY (5/31/21) – THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.
Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.
Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.
So why do I want to read this?
I think I need to read more pirate books. Seems like the kind of thing that would be good for my soul.
I’ve become a little bit jaded with YA fantasy in the last year or so, but I think my faith is slowly being restored! The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea looks like it has everything that makes for a fantasy that I’ll adore. We’ve got:
And the Sea itself as a character? I’m SO excited! We explored the concept of places as characters a lot in my AP English class last year, and this one sounds like a fascinating example.
The cherry on top? The cover, of course! It’s one of those covers that makes me notice something new every time I look at it – I didn’t notice the figures in the sea and in the clouds at first! GAH
In short, you had me at “sapphic fantasy with mermaids.” I’m a woman of simple tastes.
Since I already posted once today, check out my May 2021 Wrap-Up for today’s song.
That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
May was equal parts relaxing and stressful (scratch that – more stressful, definitely), but it was a better reading month for sure, so let me elaborate…
As with April, I didn’t get to blog as much as I wanted to because of finals and AP testing. Doing three of the latter in the span of only a week turned my soul to mush, but I think I’m more of a sentient being now. And I’m finally done with school! Online was nothing short of a soul-crushing experience, but I’m proud of myself for weathering an entire year of it.
Reading-wise, I actually managed to have a better month! A whole bunch of holds from the library came that I’d been waiting a while for came, and I caught up on a lot of nice sequels. I had a lot of fun re-reading the Six of Crows duology as well. 🙂
Unfortunately, I also had my first 1 star book of the year… [sad harmonica noises]
I really hate to say it, but Wings of Ebony was a big letdown for me. I don’t think I’ll do a full review, but my quick thoughts are as follows: I really appreciated the unapologetic approach to colonialism and racism (which is why I added on the half-star), but the worldbuilding was sloppy at best, the time jumps were too frequent and made no sense, and the writing felt like it desperately needed an editor. Yikes.
Other than that, I’ve continued to do my volunteer work back at the library, and we’re starting to slowly go back to normal! Mask-wearing around there is encouraged but not required for fully vaccinated people (I still wear mine, don’t worry), and we’ve gotten rid of these little stickers we used to track the amount of patrons in store. Oh, and all three seasons of Fargo that have come out on DVD are all on the shelf…nature is healing…
And if you’re wondering about the fox emoji, I put it on to commemorate the fact that we found a family of foxes near our house! We saw all five fox kits on Mother’s Day 🥺
READING AND BLOGGING:
I managed to read 23 books this month! I don’t think I had any 5-star reads this month, but I did read several that came close!
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope you’ve all had a good week.
This week was absolutely a relief after…well, this entire school year, really. I had my last three days of school, and except for a handful of finals (which I managed to do pretty well on! yay!), it was mostly just wrapping things up and saying our goodbyes.
And now it’s summer! I’m so happy!!
I had a pretty great reading week too! I got some free hardcovers in exchange for reviews from a program at my library, and I’ve liked all but one of them, so that’s a good sign. I still have one more left that I’m currently reading, and it’s great so far.
Other than that, I’ve been reveling in the fact that I get to sleep in again, enjoying both the warm weather and the rain we’re getting this weekend, and watching some good old David Attenborough nature documentaries. (What is it about clips of coral reefs that instantly calms me?)