Hi there, bibliophiles, and welcome to the last Goodreads Monday of 2020! (Whoa…)
Anyway, 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.
Here we have yet another book that I put on my TBR this year and completely forgot about until a week ago…but hey, it’s nice to remember those kinds of books again. Plus, I’m always up for some good sci-fi.
Let’s begin, shall we?
GOODREADS MONDAY (12/28/20)–UNDER FALLING SKIES by Kate MacLeod
Scout Shannon’s whole family died the day the Space Farers dropped an asteroid on their domed city. Now she lives alone, out in the wild with only her dogs for company. She prefers it that way.
But Scout finds herself at a crossroads. One road leads back to a quiet life snug under the protective dome of a city. The other road leads to a life in the rebellion, a life of adventure and excitement but also danger. Dare she try to find the rebels hiding in the hills?
Then a chance encounter with a stranger from the other side of the galaxy threatens to derail what remains of Scout’s life. The entire galaxy awaits her, if she survives the next four days.
SO WHY DO I WANT TO READ THIS?
As of now, Under Falling Skies has a fairly low average rating on Goodreads (3.39), but that’s only from…28 ratings and only six reviews? And it came out in 2017? Jeez…
This novel is advertised as not only having a sci-fi appeal, but having an “Old West” vibe too, so that could have an interesting execution. I’m certainly drawn in by the premise of Scout, alone (save for her dogs) and trying to hunt down the last fragments of a rebellion in an unforgiving wasteland. Kind of Dustbornvibes, but with more space opera appeal.
It looks like this one’s self-published, and it’s always good to boost the voices of indie/self-published authors, so maybe in doing this blog post (and hopefully reading it soon), I can get the word around and get some more readers. Plus, it’s only $0.99 for the Kindle edition on Amazon at present…
That’s it for the last Goodreads Monday of 2020! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles, and happy holidays! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.
I finally got all my finals over with on Monday, and now I’m on break for a little while! After the flaming ball of stress and confusion this semester has been, I’m so grateful for some time off.
I had a kind of hit-or-miss library haul this week, but there were definitely some gems in there. And Christmas was this Friday, and I got some amazing books, as well as a gift card to a local bookstore, so I’m super excited! (My brother also got me Minecraft, and I’ve been having way too much fun with it…he’s the best)
I’ve started editing my sci-fi WIP as well, which has been…interesting, to say the least. Somehow, my writing on that first draft fluctuates from “okay, I actually like this” to “dear lord, this is a dumpster fire.” There is no in between. None.
I’d have to say Heart of Ironfor this one! It’s been a little while since I’ve re-read this one, but I can always count on these space misfits and Ashley Poston’s signature wit to cheer me up.
SNOW ANGELS: What’s a book that you love so much that you would want to be buried with it? (A little morbid, but…)
Back at it again with the MISFIT SPACE OPERAAAAAAAA
Anyway, Aurora Risingis easily my favorite book; not only does it have a special place in my heart for the writing, the story, and the characters, but Auri taught me that you don’t have to be brave to change the world. For that, I will always hold these books highly.
WARM SOCKS: What’s a book that makes you feel warm inside?
(Hey, I’m wearing fuzzy socks today! 🧦)
I read Tweet Cute a few months back, and it was just what I needed at the time–cute romance, wonderful chemistry, and grilled cheese. Can’t go wrong with grilled cheese.
HOT COCOA: What winter-themed novels have you previously read?
I suppose Ice Wolvesworks, right? Ulfar Academy has a pretty wintry atmosphere.
SLEDDING: What’s a book with the best plot twists? Who’s an author that always keeps you on your toes?
I read The Pioneerabout a year and a half ago, on vacation in Canada (remember when vacations were a thing?); I specifically remember how blown away I was by THE PLOT TWIST RIGHT AT THE CLIFFHANGER…
UGLY SWEATERS: What’s a book with the ugliest cover?
This was the cover of the edition of Nights at the Circusthat I got from the library, and that art style just does not do it for me…
MOVIE MARATHON: What’s the last book you binge read?
I recently finished Cemetery Boysin close to one sitting. Didn’t quite live up to all the hype for me, but it was definitely a lot of fun. (Expect a review next week!)
LETTER TO SANTA: What’s a book that’s on your wishlist this year?
Hey there, bibliophiles! Happy Tuesday! I’m so glad I’m off school for a few weeks…
Jeez, try saying the title of this post three times fast…
Now [cracks knuckles]…today’s gonna be a special review day, because today, you’re getting not one, but two reviews in the same post! And that, if you’re wondering, is solely because I read both books in K. Eason’s Thorne Chronicles, and I’ve been itching to get my thoughts out.
I’d all but forgotten that I’d put book 1 on my TBR until the random number generator picked it for a recent Goodreads Monday. Luckily, it was available at the library, so I checked it out and proceeded to gobble it up in between studying for my finals. And man, I’m glad that I checked out both books in the duology–a sarcastic, wittily written space opera that pokes fun of every trope imaginable.
Rory Thorne was born into royalty, the first baby girl in the family line in two centuries. When she was a baby, she was blessed by the gifts of thirteen fairies, gifts that would help her grow into a woman well-loved by the court. But the most important of all was given to her by the thirteenth fairy–the gift of seeing behind people’s words and discovering their truth intentions.
After her father is assassinated, she’s swept off-world, only accompanied by her royal tutors, and is immediately arranged to marry a prince she’s never met. Rory isn’t happy about it in the least–but the situation grows dire when she discovers that this prince is at the heart of an attempt to usurp her family’s throne.
The Goodreads synopsis pegs this one as The Princess Bride meets Princess Leia, and I’m happy to say that it mostly lives up to both comparisons! How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is basically the phrase “this princess saves herself” in book form, and it’s so much fun from start to finish!
What really stood out for me about Rory Thorne is the writing style. There’s an anecdotal, tongue-in-cheek quality about it, peppered with witty little tidbits about the universe. Not only does it poke fun at the tropes of fairytales, fantasy, and space opera, it presents a feminist rebuttal of all of them, particularly in the form of Rory herself. I loved following her across the galaxy, with all of her wit, sass and tenacity. She’s a wonderful heroine, and the perfect fit for this story.
And of course we have to talk about all of the supporting characters! I loved Grytt and Messer Rupert, and as Rory’s royal tutors and caretakers, they had the funniest chemistry, not only bouncing off of each other well, but presenting a hilarious contrast to the disobedient, willful Rory. Each character was distinct, making for the perfect gang of misfits to traverse the universe with.
The worldbuilding was definitely interesting, too; at worst, some of the politics got a little bit convoluted, but I liked all of the little anecdotes about the different philosophies of the universe. For all of the alien species that were mentioned, though, I wish we’d actually…y’know, seen some of them, but alas, mostly humans.
Overall, though, a sarcastic and feminist tale of resistance and disobedience. 4 stars!
After upending her royal life and sparking a revolution in the galaxy, Rory Thorne has taken up life as a space pirate, along with her former bodyguards and royal allies. When the crew finds a wrecked spacecraft, they discover something sinister within–an innocuous plant that not only might possess intelligence, but could have been manufactured as a biological weapon. Thrown into the beginnings of an intergalactic war, Rory and her crew must find their way out of harm’s way–and wrangle a killer rose, while they’re at it.
How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge came out in early October of this year, and so far, it’s been getting fairly average reviews (the Goodreads rating for this one is currently 3.66, as opposed to book 1’s rating of 3.91). And…I just don’t understand why, because somehow, Multiverse was even better than book 1!
Okay, first off, SPACE PIRATES. I couldn’t think of a more fitting profession for Rory after abandoning her royal ways. I loved the chemistry and banter between her and her crew, and the whole plot line with the sinister rose managed to be both hilarious and tense. And even though they were separated from the rest of the gang, I loved seeing Grytt and Messer Rupert again, especially the latter. (I just…MESSER RUPERT MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS, OKAY? 🥺)
Oh, and my whole complaint about not seeing many aliens in book 1? RESOLVED! We’ve got a whole host of interesting species in Multiverse, and I loved seeing some of them. Admittedly, Eason fell into the trap of the “aliens, but basically humans with slightly differing appearances” trope with one species, but they actually acknowledge that it’s unusual in the grand scheme of the galaxy, so at least there’s that. Plus, the other two alien species that were focused on made up for it.
The plot for this one was super fast-paced, and with the cast of characters, it meshed perfectly. Multiverse honestly just sucked me in to the point that I put off studying for my (godforsaken) AP Bio final just so I could see what happened. Again, the politics of the world(s) are still a tad convoluted, but it was still well-thought-out, and a whole lot of fun at that.
My only major complaint is the ending. It was just…unsatisfying? I wish we would have had a bit more certainty, and maybe…y’know, having some of the characters reunite? My space children deserved it, c’mon.
All in all, a heartstring-tugging and thrilling sequel that was more than worthy of its predecessor. 4.5 stars!
The Thorne Chronicles is a duology, consisting of How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse and How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge. K. Eason is also the author of the On the Bones of Gods trilogy, consisting of Enemy (book 1), Outlaw (book 2), and Ally (book 3).
That’s it for this week’s double Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.
When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.
Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.
So why do I want to read this?
Okay, waaaaaaaaait, wait wait–
Girl gangs of witches?
Alternate history of the Dust Bowl?
AND DID I MENTION DEMONS?
Elysium Girls definitely has something of a bold premise, and there’s quite a lot of elements crammed into it; alternate histories are hard to get right, and harder still when there’s a whole host of fantasy elements in it, like this one has. But that’s exactly what hooks me in–from the synopsis, it’s unafraid, it’s daring, it’s bold, and man, it sounds like a whole lot of fun. Also, I REALLY like the premise of the whole plot being the result of a decade-long game between Life and Death. That seems promising.
This one’s available at the library, so I might have to put it on hold soon…
That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you all well.
This week has definitely had its emotional ups and downs, what with studying for finals and actually doing finals. All that studying definitely took a toll on me, but at least in the case of one of my finals, it paid off. (I’ve only gotten one of my scores back and it was good, but we’ll see about the others…) I still have my AP Bio final tomorrow, though, and even though I’ve been studying for a solid week and a half, I’m still trembling in fear…
One more school day…one more school day…
As for reading, I’ve been doing frequent curbside from the library, and I’ve found some great reads! I picked up some more for break, and I’m so excited to get into them. And it’s always so nice to come back to blogging after a break. I have a whole load of book tags and some original post ideas piling up, so chances are, I’ll be pretty active through winter break…
Other than that, I watched both Kill Bill movies, finished rewatching season 4 of Fargo, and I’m two episodes away from finishing The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, which I’m sadly finding to be veeeeeery mediocre. (How…how are so many people liking this show? I mean, I love Anya Taylor Joy and her 60’s outfits and all the music, but everything’s just so flat…so stilted…)
Oh, and this is old-ish news, but IS ANYONE ELSE SUPER EXCITED THAT NOAH HAWLEY IS CURRENTLY DEVELOPING AN ALIEN TV SHOW ON FX? REJOICE!
[ahem] I’ll step off my soapbox for now, let’s talk about other things…
Hi again, bibliophiles! I’m back, from the looks of it!
Finals week was this week, and even though I still have one final left to go before the semester ends [trembles in fear at the thought of my AP Bio final], I only have one final to study for as opposed to, well, y’know, four. So that allows me to get back on my normal blogging schedule, because my break starts next Tuesday! So here I am.
Anyway, this tag was originally created by Phoenix @ Book with Wings. It looked super fun and creative, so I had to give it a go! (And if you don’t follow Phoenix already, I suggest that you do!)
Okay, unpopular opinion time: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?was PAINFULLY boring–even more so than Blade Runner, which is really saying something. I guess Philip K. Dick just really isn’t my thing, but I stand by my opinion that hardly anything happened.
5. A book where two main characters were separated
Everybody got split up in Blood & Honey, but neither of the subplots seemed to accomplish much…[pained sigh]
PART THREE: THE WORLD TRIES TO REOPEN (AND BEGINS A SECOND WAVE OF THE PANDEMIC)
6. A book in which the characters made a bad decision
The Year Shakespeare Ruined my Lifewas another eARC I got this year. I didn’t like it all that much, and most of my low rating could be chalked up to how self-destructive Alison was.
7. A book with an impatient/overly eager character
In Other Landswas a DNF for me, and a lot of that ended up being because Elliott SERIOUSLY got on my nerves.
PART FOUR: THE WORLD ADJUSTS (SORT OF)
8. A book in which the character’s goals change midway
Ooh, this was a hard question…
I guess On a Sunbeamwould work? I suppose Mia goes from wanting to reunite with Grace to wanting to rescue her.
PART FIVE: THE END & LOOKING FORWARDS
9. A book whose sequel you really anticipated/are anticipating
TRUEL1F3was one of my most anticipated releases this year, and I’m glad to say that it 110% delivered!
10. A book whose sequel was better than the original
Despite the average reviews it seems to be getting, How the Multiverse Got Its Revengewas even better than book 1! I loved them both, though. I’m thinking of doing a review of the whole Thorne Chronicles duology next week, so stay tuned…
11. A book you read just to finish it (didn’t like it but wanted to finish anyway)
It really pains me to say it, but Kingdom of Soulswas really a chore to read. Maybe my expectations were too high, but it felt like hardly anything happened.
I don’t think I’ll put it here, but if we’re talking about 2020 reads, I’ll just say this: I’m planning on doing a post on my 5-star reads of 2020 near the end of the month, so stay tuned!
After finally getting to Serpent & Dove back in July, I found out that the sequel was slated to come out in September. I put in on hold at the library soon after, and it finally arrived about a week ago. But sadly, although book 1 managed to stay afloat of its messy worldbuilding with a fast-paced plot and lovable characters, Blood & Honey lost momentum–and stretched it out over 500 pages. Disappointing, but still entertaining.
WARNING: This review will likely contain spoilers for book 1, Serpent & Dove.
After a near-fatal encounter with Lou’s mother and the Dames Blanches, she, Reid, and the rest of their band of misfits are on the run. Under the radar and stranded in the woods, they know that making the wrong move could result in death, or discovery by Morgane, Lou’s sadistic mother. But their paths are forced to separate, and they find themselves going on strange journeys. And as both roads begin to lead to certain doom, they must find each other before time runs out.
Judging from most of the reviews, Blood & Honey has become very divisive–the reviews are either gushing or utterly disappointed. Sadly, I’m leaning more towards the latter camp, even though this one wasn’t as anticipated of a read for me as it was for a bunch of readers I know. A bit of a letdown for me, but it was still entertaining nonetheless.
From what I’ve heard, Serpent & Dove was originally slated to be a duology, but got turned into a trilogy at the last minute. And it shows–Blood & Honey fell into the unfortunate trap of becoming the disappointing middle book. One of the things that I loved most about book 1 was the plot; it constantly kept me guessing, and I loved going along for the ride with Lou, Reid, and the rest of the gang. But in book 2, the plot felt tragically weak. We’re led up to an anticlimactic event with a series of loosely tied subplots that didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose save for a bit of tension in having the characters separated. And Blood & Honey is a pretty thick book–the hardcover edition that I read was a whopping 528 pages, and a good 80-90% of it felt like filler. I hate to say it, but it almost felt like a chore to read.
Another aspect that shone for me in book 1 was the characters. Luckily, Mahurin stayed true to them for the most part in Blood & Honey. I loved being back with Lou, Reid, Coco, Ansel and the rest of the gang again, and there’s certainly an interesting direction being taken with Lou. There’s…a hint of a corruption arc going on with her? Maybe that was just me? Either way, I liked the almost “descent into madness” plot Mahurin was alluding to with her. (Also, THE WHITE HAIR!) Lou and Reid’s romance was also a joy to see blossom, as always. But some of the characters from book 1–namely Beau and Madame Labelle–didn’t serve much of a purpose. They didn’t have much of a role, and I remembered next to nothing about them from the previous book. The side characters were similarly forgettable, and I didn’t see much point in them aside from fleshing out parts of the world. However, I will say that I LOVED the twist with Claud–but no spoilers, of course. I’m not that heartless. 😉
Even though the worldbuilding is still kind of a mess, I like all of the new aspects that were added to it in Blood & Honey. I mean…blood witches? Werewolves? The possibility of MERMAIDS? OTHER SIMILARLY SPOOKY WOODLAND CREATURES? Oh, and I loved all of the little ghost creatures that tagged along with the gang. (I forget the technical term they had for them.) Absalon has my heart.
And even though Blood & Honey was certainly a letdown, I think I’ll stick around to see what happens to the gang next. Even though that ending was awful. Nope.
All in all, a sequel that failed to live up to its predecessor, but still provided for some fantasy fun. 3 stars.
Blood & Honey is the second book in Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove trilogy, preceded by Serpent & Dove (book 1) and soon to be followed by Gods & Monsters (2021).
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises. Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.
Not one has ever returned.
When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.
To kill it.
But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.
That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.
So why do I want to read this?
Oooh, I should see if this is available at the library…
There’s two aspects that are really jumping out at me here. First off, I do love a good “there’s something monstrous lurking in the shadows, and everyone who has tried to see it hasn’t come back” kind of plot. Sure, it’s been done before, but it’s one of those tropes in both sci-fi and fantasy that I’m absolutely a sucker for. I mean, I’m using it in the WIP I was working on for NaNoWriMo this year…
Second, I LOVE the twist with the assassination plot buried within the search for the demon! That’s a really inventive way to subvert the trope, and I’m SUPER EXCITED to see how Ma executes it. It’s shelved as LGBTQ+ on Goodreads, too, but I can’t seem to find the specific rep. Either way, this sounds like a fantastic fantasy!
That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well. Just under a month left in this cursed year, we can do it…
It’s definitely been an okay week, considering that awful feeling of having to go back to school after break. I beat my NaNoWriMo goal of 35,000 words on Monday, but after that, I started getting rather unmotivated for that particular WIP, so I think I’ll take a little break from it. I’ve been meaning to go back and edit my sci-fi WIP that I finished in June, so maybe I’ll start on that once I’ve gotten over the finals hump.
And speaking of finals, chances are, I’ll be posting a lot less in the next few weeks. My finals start in two weeks, so I’ll be studying a lot next week, so I doubt I’ll be terribly present or consistent. I’ll be back once Winter Break rolls back around, though. So just a heads up.
On a much lighter note…I’ve gotten out of my reading slump! I ended up DNFing the first book of the week, but after that, I read a whole bunch of great books. I also got to the season finale of Fargo, and I’ve started re-watching it, too. We also put up our Christmas ornaments and decorations, so that’s given everything a cozy, festive air.