Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (2/1/22) – Beyond the End of the World (The Other Side of the Sky, #2)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles, Happy beginning of Black History Month, and happy Lunar New Year! 🐅 My, today’s a momentous occasion…

I’ve been a fan of Amie Kaufman’s for years, and at this point, I’ll read almost anything that she writes. I discovered The Other Side of the Sky during a really tough time in my life, and reading it and immersing myself in her and Spooner’s world made the pain just that much more bearable. I preordered book 2 last year, and it came in the mail recently! Although it was a bit of a slow start, Beyond the End of the World was a jaw-dropping conclusion to a creative duology!

Now, tread lightly! This review may contain spoilers for book 1, The Other Side of the Sky! If you haven’t read book 1 and intend on doing so, I’d suggest that you skip this review just in case.

For my review of The Other Side of the Sky, click here!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Beyond the End of the World: 9780062893369: Kaufman, Amie,  Spooner, Meagan: Books

Beyond the End of the World (The Other Side of the Sky, #2) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

my copy ft. Anakin the cat being very tired of me

Nimh and North have switched places, and only a miracle can get them back where they each belong—and solve the conflict brewing Below.

Nimh and Inshara, the cultist bent on usurping her, are stranded in Alciel, Prince North’s domain in the clouds. But when Nimh wakes up, she realizes that Inshara has contacted the Queen and convinced her that she is Nimh. Below, Prince North is on the brink of discovering a secret that may upend all that Nimh and her people stand for. With the odds stacked against them both, their only chance is to reunite, but the hidden secrets Below may mean chaos for both North and Nimh.

Sky GIF - Sky - Discover & Share GIFs

TW/CW: train crash, frightening situations, descriptions of blood, murder

Every sequel that has a recap of what happened in the previous book is already great by my standards. But in all seriousness, Beyond the End of the World was a sequel that delivered a satisfying end to a uniquely inventive duology!

My only problem with Beyond is the first 100 or so pages; it moves a little slowly for the first quarter, and even though I love Amie Kaufman’s (and I guess Meagan Spooner’s, by proxy, even though I haven’t read any of her solo books) writing, I found myself losing interested. But once the inciting incident—Nimh’s in particular—is set into motion, Beyond’s pace accelerates to the perfect speed.

I loved the prospect of North and Nimh being trapped in worlds completely alien to them, but what made it so tense and well-executed was the introduction of conflict. Once the aftermath of book 1 fades off, Kaufman and Spooner did a fantastic job of setting up obstacles for each of them to overcome. Not only that, but these obstacles had fascinating ramifications that had such a jaw-dropping impact on the last quarter of the book.

I’m not usually one for twists thrown into the last book in the series not long before it ends, but the revelation at the end of Beyond was enough to put a giddy, baffled grin on my face. DANG. Without spoiling anything, I’m still reeling from it just thinking about it. Part of what made it so great was its implications on the worldbuilding—once this domino is set in motion, it tears down everything about Nimh’s world that you thought you knew. So well done, and so well-built-up over the course of two books!

I have one slight problem with said twist. One of the aspects of this duology that I loved so much was the fact that it’s the only “magic vs. technology” book that I’ve read that actually works. The twist, however well-executed that it was, did kind of throw a wrench in the whole concept. Again, no spoilers, but the fact that this is the direction that the twist meant that the “magic vs. technology” part was almost rendered moot. I still hold that this twist was incredibly well-written, but it’s a bit of a disappointment on the themes front.

Of course, it was wonderful to be back in Kaufman and Spooner’s shiny world of goddesses and floating cities. Although I’m more partial to Nimh than North, it was great to see them both again, and it was even sweeter to see them reunite. I didn’t feel a whole lot for the side characters, but given how wonderfully written most everything else, I could let that slide. Plus, cats. I would do anything to pet the Bindle cat.

Overall, a stunning and tense conclusion to one of the most creative series that I’ve come across in the past few years. 4 stars!

Medieval | Gif Hunt | Aesthetic gif, Gif, The witcher

Beyond the End of the World is the conclusion to the Other Side of the Sky duology, preceded by The Other Side of the Sky. Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have also written the Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and This Fractured Light) and the Unearthed duology (Unearthed and Undying) together.

Today’s song:

besides being on of my favorite TV on the Radio songs, this music video just cracks me up every time

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (11/16/21) – Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle, #3)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Wow. The day has finally come, folks. 1 and a half years of waiting, and now I have answers. My favorite series has come to a close, and yet it doesn’t feel like the end. It’s surreal to think that this may be it—the series that changed the course of my life, finally capping off. But if this really is the end, then Aurora’s End is the best conclusion that I could have ever asked for, and a book that I will no doubt cherish just as fervently as the first two books.

Now, TREAD LIGHTLY! If you haven’t read Aurora Rising or Aurora Burning and intend to, beware of spoilers! If you want to read my previous reviews, look no further:

Enjoy this week’s review!

Aurora's End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Penguin Random House Canada
F I N

Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle, #3) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

my copy ft. Aurora Burning and Aurora Rising, plus a cool filter and some crystals (not Eshvaren crystals oop)
last picture, I promise—here’s Finny boy with Hobbes, one of my cats

For all intents and purposes, the Battle of Terra was the end for Squad 312. They failed to stop the Starslayer from harnessing the Eshvaren’s Weapon, and intergalactic war is imminent. Meanwhile, the Ra’Haam slips in through the chaos, threatening to cover the entire universe in its spores.

But by a cosmic twist of fate, Tyler, Auri, Kal, Zila, Scarlett, and Finian are unscathed. They’ve been separated by time, and the only chance they have at thwarting the Ra’Haam is turning history itself inside out. Time is not on their side, though, and it may not be enough to save civilization itself from being wiped out.

karlmordo - This is how things are now! You and me. Trapped in...
Aurora’s End without context

TW/CW: graphic violence, mild sexual content, blood, near-death situations, severe allergic reaction, emergency medical procedures, loss of loved ones, death, descriptions of injury, body horror

[WARNING: this review may contain spoilers for Aurora Rising and Aurora Burning!]

I still haven’t come to grips with the fact that this is really the end of the Aurora Cycle. But as someone whose life was permanently altered for the better by this trilogy, I can say with certainty that this is the best end to the series that I could have ever asked for. My heart is so, so, so full of love.

There were so many factors that went into the separate situations that Squad 312 got themselves into, but Kaufman and Kristoff have once again proved that nothing is impossible. Time is distorted, there are future selves to be dealt with, technology and ancient aliens races are as complicated as ever, and of course, Past Pete is here to kill Future Pete. Lucky for us, Kaufman & Kristoff have been rapid-firing Chekhov’s gun, and every detail from the past two books comes full circle. After how mind-boggling the plot and cliffhanger of Aurora Burning were, Aurora’s End brings everything back in superbly clever and surprising ways, making for a trilogy that’s more cohesive than ever before.

And my emotions…MY EMOTIONS! After so long apart, reuniting with Squad 312 felt like reuniting with long-lost friends. Despite this being the last book, the development that many characters got was such a beautiful way to bring them all the way back and display the enormous growth many of them have had over the course of the series. Out of all of them, though, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see Finian and Scarlett’s relationship develop; they’re such an unlikely couple, but the love they have for each other is so consistently tender and heartwarming. Plus, a) NORMALIZE BI PEOPLE IN STRAIGHT PASSING RELATIONSHIPS! STRAIGHT-PASSING RELATIONSHIPS ARE SO VERY VALID!, and b) DISABLED PEOPLE!! IN LOVING RELATIONSHIPS!! WE NEED MORE OF THOSE!! Nothing can top Kalauri, but Fin and Scar come very, very close. I LOVE those two. Power couple. Finian is the once and future disaster bisexual.

Also, Tyler trying to be all “space pirate”-y after an entire lifetime of being Captain America was a train wreck…comedy gold

One aspect of Kaufman and Kristoff’s writing that I haven’t often touched on is how they build tension. Their skill at developing heart-pounding tension is especially evident in Aurora’s End; they did such a masterful job of raising the stakes over the course of these three books, and bringing it all to a nail-biting cataclysm towards the end. The last 100 pages of Aurora’s End had me stressed out to no end, but…in a good way? It made me genuinely worried for everybody involved. Look, I’ve gotten way to attached to my space misfits over the past two years. Let me off the hook this once.

Along with all that, Kaufman and Kristoff once again more than delivered with everything that made the first two books so strong. The universe was expanded upon in surprising ways, the characters were more fleshed out and lovable than ever, the chemistry was impeccable, the action sequences had me clutching the book in a vice grip, and the dialogue hit the perfect balance of levity, tenderness, and solemnity. The found family of Squad 312 is stronger than ever, and my heart is still bursting with love for all of them.

It’s hard to end this review. It isn’t every day that a series changes my life, but the Aurora Cycle truly did. These books taught me so much about moving through this world as an outsider; Auri taught me that I didn’t have to be brave or strong to be a hero, and that people with the fate of the world on their shoulders can have their big feels too. She was the first time I’d really seen a mixed-race hero, and having a character like her means the world to me. I’ve come to see myself in Finian, and he’s taught me that I deserve love just as I am. And Squad 312 has taught me that no matter who you are, there will always be a home for the outsiders. It cemented, more than ever, that even if you think that you are alone in the world, somebody out there loves you, and will give you a home.

All in all, the perfect ending for a series that changed my life for the better. 5 stars for the sake of Goodreads, but realistically, however many stars there are in the known universe.

Squad 312 forever. 💗

never again shall we submit

Aurora’s End is the final book in the Aurora Cycle, preceded by Aurora Rising (#1) and Aurora Burning (#2). Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have also written the Illuminae Files together; Amie Kaufman is also the author of the Starbound trilogy (co-written with Meagan Spooner) and the Elementals series, and Jay Kristoff is also the author of the LIFEL1K3 trilogy and Empire of the Vampire.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (8/30/21) – The Darkest Bloom

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

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 think it might’ve been Amie Kaufman who put this one on my radar – I feel like she mentioned it in both her podcast (which is an amazing resource for all you writers/aspiring writers out there) and on her Instagram story. The premise, even though the synopsis is a tad sparse, immediately hooked me – I haven’t seen any sort of fantasy world where scent is power…interesting.

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (8/30/21) – THE DARKEST BLOOM by P.M. Freestone

Amazon.com: Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom: 9781407192154: Freestone, P M:  Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

In the empire of Aramtesh, scent has power.

When disaster strikes and the crown prince lies poisoned, long suppressed rivalries threaten to blow the empire apart. It’s up to a poor village girl with a talent for fragrances and the prince’s loyal bodyguard to find an antidote.

To succeed, the pair must uncover secrets – cryptic, ancient tales as well as buried truths from their own pasts – in an adventure that will ignite your senses.

So why do I want to read this?

Pin on Lafon

There’s a lot within the synopsis that looks like garden-variety YA fantasy – court intrigue surrounding a murder, an ordinary girl of lower status being the Chosen One™️ and solving the mystery, et cetera. But for once, I’m willing to put all that aside. Why? I’m intrigued by the concept of a world where scent is power. There are so many fascinating possibilities with that – perfume? Flowers? Magic scents? Seems inventive to me, I’m down.

Plus, can we talk about how pretty that rose gold/dark blue color scheme is on the cover? Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

Other than that, it’s Amie Kaufman. I trust her judgment. She didn’t let me down with the recommendation of All These Monsters, so I’ll take her word for The Darkest Bloom too.

fantasy-aesthetic on Tumblr

Today’s song:

this has been stuck in my head since lunch

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Random

Aurora Rambling, Revisited: AURORA 3 HAS A COVER AND A TITLE AND NOW I’M EXCITED AND REALLY SCARED

Pepe Silvia GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Back in August, I made a rambly little post about my theories for the cover of the third Aurora Rising book. Of course, back then, I thought I’d get answers by October or November, since that’s what happened with the reveal for Aurora Burning, but alas, it seems the pandemic (I think?) has pushed it back from the May release date I thought it would have to early November. So now I have to let that horrendous cliffhanger fester in my mind for about 7 more months…

Paolo 🩸 on Twitter: "I'M LITERALLY THIS CAT RIGHT NOW… "

But there’s more good news than bad! On Wednesday, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff announced that there would be a cover and title reveal on Friday, and yesterday afternoon, it came! So without further ado…

AAAAAAAAAAA | Motion Blur | Know Your Meme
Calm I Am Calm Im Extremely Calm GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Rock the Boat 🌊 (@Rocktheboatnews) | Twitter
via Rock the Boat News

OH

MY

GOD

I CAN’T HANDLE THIS ALL AT ONCE THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL

FINIAN???? KING OF THE SPACE BISEXUALS??? FINALLY GETTING THE COVER HE DESERVES! AND THE RA’HAAM IN THE BACKGROUND

But can we talk about that title too? I certainly didn’t see it coming, but I guess we were foolish to think that Kaufman & Kristoff would stick to the Aurora [blank]ing formula for the past two books…either way, I am very excited. I’m also very frightened.

So as you can imagine, my brain has pretty much sounded like this since Friday afternoon:

…wait for it

And here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

The squad you love is out of time. Prepare for the thrilling finale in the epic, best-selling Aurora Cycle series about a band of unlikely heroes who just might be the galaxy’s last hope for survival.

Is this the end?
What happens when you ask a bunch of losers, discipline cases, and misfits to save the galaxy from an ancient evil? The ancient evil wins, of course.
Wait. . . . Not. So. Fast.
When we last saw Squad 312, they working together seamlessly (aka, freaking out) as an intergalactic battle raged and an ancient superweapon threatened to obliterate Earth. Everything went horribly wrong, naturally.
But as it turns out, not all endings are endings, and the team has one last chance to rewrite thirs. Maybe two. It’s complicated.
Cue Zila, Fin, and Scarlett (and MAGELLAN!): making friends, making enemies, and making history? Sure, no problem.
Cue Tyler, Kal, and Auri: uniting with two of the galaxy’s most hated villains? Um, okay. That, too.
Actually saving the galaxy, though? 
Now that will take a miracle
.

The Muppets Screaming Gif - IceGif

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

So let’s see how this all matches up with my cover predictions from my Aurora Rambling post.

My main three contenders for the cover were Scarlett, Finian, and Zila, though Tyler was in the mix there. I also had a dream at some point about Tyler being on the cover, and that it was green.

…well, I’m glad that the green part came true and not the Tyler part.

But anyway, here were some of my original thoughts, circa August 2020:

PERSONALLY? I’d like to have either Scar, Finian, or Zila, but more so the latter two. 

SEMI-LOGICALLY? I think that Zila or Tyler have the best chance of being on the cover, judging from their previous roles. Of course, they’d face the wrath of the Finian side of the fandom, but will that stop them? I doubt it…

Accident Oops GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

[insert an infinite string of clown emojis here]

Welp. Sort of screwed that up. But let’s revisit what I thought about Finian’s chances:

Finian: At this point, a good 80% of the fandom is willing to hand over their entire life’s savings to Kaufman and Kristoff for the chance to have him on the cover, so the chances here are…interesting. 

And to be honest? I ABSOLUTELY understand the sentiment. Aside from Auri and Kal, he’s my favorite of the Squad, and such a wonderful balance between comic relief and a genuinely complex character. Beyond that, I think he might have an important role to play–after all, we haven’t seen how he uses the ballpoint pen, and how the “tell her the truth” note plays into that. 

Also, as with Zila, wouldn’t it be great to have his representation on the cover? He’s bisexual and has impaired mobility, so that would be amazing to have him front and center.

But hey, now we can rejoice, because we DO have a disabled, bisexual character on the cover! And I think we all adore Finian, myself included. (Plus, I’m glad we didn’t have to see the Finian side of the fandom go feral if he didn’t make the cut…) I’ll fully admitting to freaking out when I saw his face on the cover. I would’ve freaked out either way, but he’s one of my favorite members of Squad 312, so…

Now you can all join me in anxiously trembling and ferociously re-reading until November 9th of this year, I guess…(hey, I actually have an excuse for Aurora Burning…one of my friends suggested it for our my school’s book club and he’s amazing for it…) Also, I’ve preordered a signed copy, because I am nothing if not impatient and predictable.

So there you go. I guess I’m as bad at predicting covers as I am at predicting plotlines. Doesn’t matter, though. All that matters is that we have more Aurora Cycle content coming our way in November!

🌸 on Twitter: "… "

Today’s song:

That’s it for yet another rambling, incoherent post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags

Bookish Blog Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I’m off a bit earlier than usual because of my school’s asynchronous Friday schedule, so I figured I’d do a nice little book tag. 🙂

I found this tag over at Whispering Stories. I don’t know who originally created the tag, so if anybody knows, please don’t hesitate to tell me and I’ll credit them! It looked super cute, so I figured I’d give it a go.

Let’s begin, shall we?

📚THE BOOKISH BLOG TAG📚

What are 1-3 of your favorite books of all time?

The anatomy of Frankenstein book covers
Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books
Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

I’d have to go with Frankenstein, Aurora Rising, and Heart of Iron. In no particular order…kind of? I love them all, but I suppose they have varying degrees of sentimental value/specific memories attached to them…

I love Bruce's expression after Loki said that. He looked so freaked out.  XD | Loki marvel, Loki, Loki thor

What are 1-3 of your favorite authors of all time?

Oooh, that’s hard…Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, and Ashley Poston, maybe? I’d put Mary Shelley on there too, but I’ve only read Frankenstein…

Who is your favorite female character from a book?

Extras – Amie Kaufman

Again, such a hard pick…but I love Auri from Aurora Rising! Since the book came out, her character has spoken to me on so many levels, the most prominent of which being the fact that you don’t have to be brave to change the world.

Who is your favorite male character in a book?

Jeez, that’s super hard too…

Just one? Again? I suppose I’d have to go with Jax from Heart of Iron, maybe.

What’s your favorite fictional world?

Amazon.com: Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) [Assorted Cover image]  (9781250027436): Bardugo, Leigh: Books

The entire Grishaverse is so detailed and beautiful, just the kind of fictional universe that I’d want to get lost in. (Maybe. Probably not. Definitely not the Unsea.)

What book has your favorite cover?

Amazon.com: Skyhunter (9781250221681): Lu, Marie: Books

For me, it’s impossible to pick a single favorite book cover. I have an entire shelf on Goodreads of books with covers that I like, so I just had to trawl through that…

I eventually settled on Skyhunter for this prompt, though. The colors are just so beautiful, and even the inside of the hardback edition I have is gorgeous!

What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

Fantastic Mr. Fox' Poster | AllPosters.com

Fantastic Mr. Fox, without question! Even though I myself abide by the general “the book is always better than the movie” adage, this is one of the few book-to-movie adaptations that’s even better than the source material. That’s just the magic of Wes Anderson, I guess.

If you could make any book into a movie, which would it be?

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie Kaufman,  Jay Kristoff: Books

Illuminae would make a super tense movie! Now that I’ve seen the Alien/Aliens movies, this novel gives off similar vibes, so I feel like it would be a good fit for the big screen.

What was your favorite childhood book?

The Search for Wondla: Amazon.co.uk: DiTerlizzi, Tony: Books

The Search for WondLa trilogy shaped me as a person in so many ways…it made me fall in love with sci-fi literature, and it made me want to be an author. So for that, I’ll forever be in Tony DiTerlizzi’s debt.

Fantasy or sci-fi? (Or neither?)

The Bookish Mutant – Page 2 – Books. Writing. Film. Music. (But mostly just  books.)
putting this in here because Prometheus has the most immaculate sci-fi vibes

Sci-fi, of course! Can’t say no to having strange adventures while hurtling through space. Plus, aliens are pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

I TAG:

Romance Book GIF by Lara Paulussen - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today’s song:

“Anonymous Friend” – Jim Noir (Bandcamp link)

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (10/27/20)–The Other Side of the Sky

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Whew, my week went from “relaxing snow day” to “dear god I have at least 4 different tests and projects due next week” in the span of 24 hours…it’s only Tuesday, have mercy on my poor soul…

Hence why I’m writing this review a little later than usual. I’ll probably be a bit less frequent with my posting in the upcoming weeks, but I can do the usual memes and reviews, at the very least. ✌️

Anyway, I preordered this book back in July, mostly just on the basis of a) Amie Kaufman and b) THAT PRETTY COVER. It came in the mail with Skyhunter a few weeks back, and I’m pleased to say that The Other Side of the Sky was a genre-bending success!

Enjoy this week’s review!

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman

The Other Side of the Sky–Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

My copy feat. Rey

North and Nimhara are from worlds that couldn’t be more different than each other. But a twist of fate will bring them together, with possibly disastrous consequences…

North is the prince of his domain in the sky, a floating city fueled by advanced technology. A tragic accident with his aircraft causes him to crash, thrusting him into the world below. The world that, legend has it, is uninhabitable.

The legends were wrong.

In the lands below lives Nimhara, anointed at a young age as the living vessel of the divine. But her people are suspicious of her–every god and goddess has a unique aspect. Nimhara has yet to summon hers.

North’s crash landing thrusts them both headfirst into the words of an ancient prophecy, once that may spell the end of both of their worlds. Will Nimh and North be able to join forces and save their homes?

Social - CLOUD CITY CANTINA (20.0) The Force Ghost Party! | Page 51 | Jedi  Council Forums

Melding opposing worlds of science in magic is uncommon in literature, and it may be for good reason. Both of the times I’ve read books with such concepts (see The Wrinkled Crown, Story Thieves), it’s fallen disappointingly flat. But never fear–The Other Side of the Sky is the shining exception to that rule! Though most of the book is set in Nimh’s terrestrial, magic-oriented home, the fantasy and science worlds both felt seamlessly fleshed out–and packed with lovely imagery, at that.

Going off of that…this is honestly worldbuilding that I could–and want to–lose myself in. Every inch of this fantastical realm felt so lived-in and authentic, and there wasn’t any instances where I felt like information was being unceremoniously dumped over my head. The imagery only accentuated the fact–rich, vivid, and immersive, it made reading this novel not just a way to take a break from my (overwhelming) reality, but an experience in and of itself.

And the characters! I really haven’t read much by Meagan Spooner (save for These Broken Stars and Unearthed, which are others that she co-wrote with Kaufman), but Amie Kaufman (or, at least *partially* Amie Kaufman) never misses the mark with every aspect of the characters, from their individual personalities to their chemistry. Nimh was not only intelligent and resourceful, but she had an authentic vulnerability to her as well. Anyone with a big responsibility on their shoulders (even though I don’t know anybody who’s actually a living/god/goddess/goddexx…hello?) will absolutely relate to her. North was similarly cunning, but it was kind of funny to see how bumbling he first was upon landing in Nimh’s world and seeing how he coped with knowing nothing at all about his surroundings. Made for some great character development, too.

Oh, and the representation! Both Nimh and North are implied to be POC, and North not only has two moms, but was in a polyamorous relationship with a girl and another boy, so he’s poly and bi (or pan or omni? not entirely sure, but I’m here for it either way)! 🙂 (Sidenote…I kind of imagined North like Hunter from Raised by Wolves…random, but I thought it was worth noting…)

(EDIT: Amie Kaufman just confirmed that North is bi! 💗💜💙)

Raised by Wolves, Part 4 – Weird Getting Weirder (Season 1 Episodes 8 & 9)  | 25YL
Hunter’s the one on the left in this picture, for reference. There’s very few pics of him when I google him, for some reason…I guess it’s bc the show’s newish…EH I digress

All in all, a vividly designed and lushly written melding of science fiction and fantasy. 4 stars!

Beautiful 8-bit Color Cycling Pixel Art - Imgur | Pixel art background,  Pixel art, Vaporwave art

The Other Side of the Sky is the first in a duology, followed by an untitled second book set to be released next year (2021). Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner together are also the authors of the Starbound Trilogy and the Unearthed duology. Kaufman and Spooner have also written several series on their own, including the Elementals trilogy (Kaufman), the Illuminae Files (Kaufman, cowritten with Jay Kristoff), the Aurora Cycle (Kaufman, cowritten with Jay Kristoff), the Skylark trilogy (Spooner), Hunted (Spooner), and Sherwood (Spooner).

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (9/12/20)–Science Fiction Books 🛸

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is sci-fi…

You know what that means…

AHAHAAAAAAAA MY FAVORITE GENRE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

But anyway, I have lots of sci-fi on my TBR, so I’ll take some picks from there for this week’s Top 5.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER: 

9/12/20Science Fiction Books

9/19/20—Award-Winning Books

9/26/20—Guilty Pleasure Books

10/3/20—Intimidating Books

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

Dune, Frank Herbert

Check Out the Artwork for a New Edition of Frank Herbert's Dune | Tor.com

I’ve been meaning to read this one for a year or so; my brother read it for an English project (the same one that lead me to Frankenstein) and liked it. And the new trailer got me SO excited, so of course I’ll have to read it before December! (Did that Pink Floyd cover give anybody else chills, or was that just me?)

Seven Devils, Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

Amazon.com: Seven Devils (9780756415808): Lam, Laura, May, Elizabeth: Books

I’ve been eager to read this for a good year and a half, ever since the first tiny synopsis compared it to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (Star Wars? Of COURSE you have my attention, shut up and take my library card…)

Unearthed, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Unearthed – Amie Kaufman

Two words: Amie Kaufman. I put this one on hold at the library recently, so I might get to read it next week!

Struck, Jennifer Bosworth

Struck (Struck, #1) by Jennifer Bosworth

This one’s been on my TBR for years, and I really need to get around to reading it…

Landscape with Invisible Hand, M.T. Anderson

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson

I almost picked this one up about a year ago, but I set it aside because of how short it was. Nonetheless, this still sounds like a unique and fascinating sci-fi!

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Star Wars Chewie GIF by Nerdist.com - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Saturday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Books and Bakes Book Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I feel like I haven’t done a book tag in a while, so I figured that I’d have some fun and do one today. I found it over at Leigh Hecking’s blog, and the tag was originally created by  Life is a Page Turner. This looked like such a fun tag to do–and since my sweet tooth is out of control, of course I had to do it.

Let’s begin, shall we?

CUPCAKES: Name a collection of short stories, poems, or anthologies where you couldn’t read just one section and had to go back for another.

Cupcake Gif By Shaking Food GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Tennyson: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series) - Kindle ...

I bought this lovely collection of Tennyson’s poetry last year, and I enjoyed every page of it!

LEMON POUND CAKE: Name a book that has 400 pages or more that you considered a comfort read and a classic.

Lavender Lemon Pound Cake (Tea Time) | Savory dessert, Lemon pound ...
Scythe (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition) (Arc of a Scythe ...

Scythe is 435 pages long (the last two books are even longer), and ever since finishing book 3, I can say with certainty that this is one of my favorite series!

RED VELVET CAKE: Name a book that you thought was one thing, but ended up being something completely different.

Satisfying Red Velvet GIF by emibob - Find & Share on GIPHY
Amazon.com: Descendant of the Crane (9780807515518): He, Joan: Books

I went into Descendant of the Crane thinking that it would be more fantasy-oriented, but it turned out to be a blend of the former, political intrigue, and a touch of murder mystery. Highly recommended!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH: Name a book or a book series that you can read over and over again even though you know that it’s bad for you.

Which Cookie Dough Has The Most Chocolate Chips? | Secret cookie ...
Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle Book 1) eBook: Kaufman ...

I need a running tally of how many times Aurora Rising‘s snuck into my book tags…

But truly, I could never get tired of this masterful series, and book 3 can’t come soon enough…

APPLE PIE A LA MODE: Name a book that was really good but could have been better with a little bit of ice cream. 

Apple Pie GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Amazon.com: The Weight of the Stars (9781250101631): Ancrum, K.: Books

I finished The Weight of the Stars yesterday and liked it, but almost the entire cast of characters were self-destructive jerks (on some level), so that aspect took away a little of my enjoyment.

GINGERBREAD COOKIES: Do you like your gingerbread cookies crunchy or soft?

Gingerbread People: How to win the #bestdressedcookie competition ...

Soft, all the way!

IF YOU LIKE YOUR COOKIES SOFT: Name a book that was squishy in the middle, but the beginning and end were really good

IF YOU LIKE YOUR COOKIES CRUNCHY: Name a book that you wanted to throw at the wall/snap

Amazon.com: Elatsoe (9781646140053): Little Badger, Darcie, Cai ...

I loved Elatsoe, but there was a lull in the middle; luckily, it picked up by the end. I got an eARC of this one, and it comes out in a matter of days!

BROWNIES: Are you a middle piece or a corner piece?

Brownie GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Middle piece! Can’t say no to the soft texture…

IF YOU’RE A CORNER PIECE: Name a book that started off strong and then all came apart

IF YOU’RE A MIDDLE PIECE: Name a book that kept you in the feels the entire time

Amazon.com: On a Sunbeam (9781250178138): Walden, Tillie: Books

On a Sunbeam absolutely fits the bill for my middle piece–I was already excited for it, but I had no idea how gripping and atmospheric it would be!

BIRTHDAY CAKE: Name a book series or an author that you feel like keeps coming out with a book, short story, or novella every year

Birthday Cake GIF by GIPHY Studios Originals - Find & Share on GIPHY

My first thought here was Amie Kaufman; at this point, she’s become such a prolific author, what with all of her YA and MG series. (Anybody else excited for The Other Side of the Sky? I preordered it!)

CARROT CAKE: Name a book that sounded healthy for you but ended up being unhealthy, either with content or by putting you in a reading slump

Carrot Cake GIFs | Tenor
Amazon.com: When We Were Magic (9781534432871): Gailey, Sarah: Books

I had my expectations high for When We Were Magic, but though it was entertaining, it was…decent. Not bad, but not spectacular for me. I have distinct memories of staring at the cover, but thinking that the book wasn’t nearly as gripping…

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Baking Cookies GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Music

Pairing Squad 312 with Songs (Aurora Rising)

Aaaand here's the whole squad! AURORA RISING releases May 7. Are ...
Aurora Rising art by @kiranight_art

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been wanting to do a post for a bit that melds my love for the bookish and my love of music, so this is my first take on that. Aurora Rising, as many of you have figured out, is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) series, and I decided that it would be fun to match the lovable members of Squad 312 to some songs that I like, based on their personalities, relationships, and the events of Aurora Rising and Aurora Burning. I picked two songs per character, and I loved compiling them all. I hope you all enjoy!

(Along with the image at the top, all of the character images in this post are from @kiranight_art.)

🎧 PAIRING SQUAD 312 WITH SONGS 🎧

TYLER

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Sheaf & Ink

“Proud”–(Sandy) Alex G: “I’m so proud of you/And everything that you do/Doesn’t matter what they say/They ain’t worth a dollar in change…

Scarlett mentions in book 2 that one of Ty’s most infuriating traits is that he accepts people’s flaws, no matter what, and isn’t there to reprimand anyone if any member of the squad messes up. No matter what, he has always been there for his squad, and sees past everyone’s previous mishaps and accepts them as who they are.

“Half a Million”–The Shins: “Theres half a million things that I’m supposed to be/A shelter in the nighttime/A punk running free…

Tyler’s fame in the Academy, as well as the legacy of his late father, has caused a lot of internal conflict within him, and I thought the chorus of this song paired perfectly with this inner struggle–how he perceives himself versus how others perceive him and how others expect him to be.

SCARLETT

Extras – Amie Kaufman

“Pristine”–Snail Mail: “Don’t you like me for me?/ Is there any better feeling than coming clean?/And I know myself and I’ll never love anyone else…”

Scarlett’s a character who has tried to find herself through various relationships, almost none of them lasting, and I felt that this song captured the nature of some of the hidden doubts that she begins to have.

“Strange Mercy”–St. Vincent: “Oh little one, I’d tell you good news that I don’t believe/If it would help you sleep/Strange mercy…”

A trait of Scarlett’s that comes into light in contrast with her twin, Tyler, is the way they care for others–for most of book 1, Tyler does it more out of duty, while Scarlett truly seeks to protect and care for her fellow squadmates. The nature of this song almost perfectly captures her mentality.

CAT

AURORA RISING desktops - Jay Kristoff

“These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”–Nancy Sinatra: “You keep lying when you ought to be truthing/You keep losing when you ought to not bet…”

I can totally picture this playing in the scene when she ditches the rest of the squad to go to the bar…

But either way, this song kind of expresses her shifting opinions and suspicions about the rest of the squad, especially the likes of Aurora. Unlike most of the squad, she isn’t completely ready to accept her as part of the squad, and suspects an ulterior motive.

“Scorpio Rising”–Soccer Mommy: “I don’t think of my life/Anywhere but in your arms tonight/Won’t say it this time/Can’t even look back in your eyes…”

Throughout book 1, Cat still has lingering feelings for Tyler, even though their relationship has come to a standstill; this song seems to capture her desire to fall back in love.

FINIAN

AURORA RISING character reveal, cadets! Name: Finian de Karran de ...

“Change”–Oingo Boingo: “Don’t you ever wonder why/Nothing ever seems to change?/If it does, it’s for the worse/Guess it’s just a modern curse…”

Simultaneously sarcastic and deeply introspective, this song feels like what Finian seems to have experienced throughout his life, both in grappling with his impaired mobility and his relationships with others.

“Crown”–Jay Som: “Arranging your best words/Tying the knot/A brighter tomorrow/Could you take a shot?”

(Oops…both of these songs start with a C for no apparent reason…)

But either way, this seems like a good song to match his views on being with the Aurora Legion–everything about it, from being in open spaces to *gasp* having to collaborate with others seems like everything he wouldn’t want to do, but he takes the shot anyway, and in the end, it may be for the better.

ZILA

Zila Madran | The Aurora Cycle Wiki | Fandom

“How to Disappear Completely”–Radiohead: “I’m not here/This isn’t happening…”

This seems to mesh well with how Zila has almost become disconnected from herself; due to childhood trauma, she almost loses herself, resigning herself to someone colder, more distant.

“Ice Age”–David Byrne & St. Vincent: “It’s such a shame to see you this way/Freezing it out, your own little ice age…”

Like the previous song, this seems to embody Zila’s distancing from herself, becoming almost a shell of who she might have been as a child.

KAL

Extras – Amie Kaufman

“Killer”–Phoebe Bridgers: “Can the killer in me tame the fire in you?/I know there’s something waiting for us/I am sick of the chase/But I’m stupid in love/And there’s nothing I can do…”

Was…was the chorus made for this guy?

When I first heard this song, I thought it was a beautiful embodiment of both Kal’s conflicting feelings about his nature and heritage and his relationship with Auri, especially given some of the fire-related imagery surrounding their relationship in book 2.

“Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”–Spiritualized: “I will love you ’till I die/And I will love you all the time/So please put your sweet hand in mine/We’ll float in space, just you and I…”

Look, I don’t ask for much in life, but…if/when the TV show goes through, can we PLEASE put this in the scene where Kal and Auri are in the pollen fields on Octavia III? PLEASE?

I’ve started to associate this song with the whole series, but Kal seems to embody it the most out of all the characters, in his helpless feelings towards Aurora and his personal struggles to better himself, and become more than his past. Plus, the choir singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love…” [cries]

AURI

Extras – Amie Kaufman

“Airbag”–Radiohead: “In an interstellar burst/I am back to save the universe…”

For me, this song perfectly embodies the shock of her waking from cryosleep, and the almost near-death experiences she goes through afterwards while grappling with her destiny and powers.

“Impostor Syndrome”–Sidney Gish: “Every other day I’m wondering/What’s a human being gotta be like?/What’s a way to just be competent?/These sweet instincts ruin my life…”

Now that she’s over two centuries out of her time, Auri’s struggle to fit in and be believed by others is beautifully captured by the nature of this song.

Tell me what you think! Did you like these songs? What other songs do you associate with these characters?

Since this post is more musically oriented, consider this whole post today’s song. 😉

That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books

“This is My Genre, Tell Me Yours” Book Tag

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Misty’s Book Space, and I thought it would be such a fun tag to participate in! The tag was originally created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek.

RULES:

  • Credit Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek as the creator of the tag, use the created tag name graphic and link back to his blog. (Also, if you want to learn more about the tag you can see Drew’s post HERE.)
  • Answer the questions.
  • Tag as many people as you want.
thisismtgenrenrwlogo

Let’s begin, shall we?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE?

Science fiction, without a doubt.

These Are Not The 130 "Star Wars" GIFs You Are Looking For | Star ...

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR FROM THE GENRE?

Can I include two? Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (co-authors of The Illuminae Files and the Aurora Cycle, and the latter is also the author of the LIFEL1K3 trilogy) never fail to disappoint; with their talents combined, every single one of their novels together is guaranteed a 5-star rating from me.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE GENRE THAT KEEPS PULLING YOU BACK?

With sci-fi, there’s an almost endless amount of possibilities, but I am always eager to read anything involving aliens, thrill rides in space, and everything that goes along with it. It’s easy to mess up, to be sure, but when an author hits the right note, I will enjoy every second of it.

WHAT IS THE BOOK THAT STARTED YOUR LOVE OF THE GENRE?

The Search for WondLa: Amazon.es: Diterlizzi, Tony, Diterlizzi ...

Tony DiTerlizzi’s Search for WondLa trilogy was my gateway into sci-fi literature, the summer before 5th grade. I instantly fell in love with the characters and the worldbuilding, and it inspired me to become an author as well. I’ll always hold this series close to my heart.

IF YOU HAD TO RECOMMEND AT LEAST ONE BOOK FROM YOUR FAVORITE GENRE TO A NON-READER/SOMEONE LOOKING TO START THE GENRE, WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron eBook: Poston, Ashley: Kindle Store

Heart of Iron would be a spectacular starter for anyone who’s looking to get into the genre. This novel really has it all–political intrigue, witty banter, a misfit crew of thieves, and lovable characters. Oh, and there’s the POWER COUPLE OF THE CENTURY, JAX AND ROBB. It’s also a retelling of the story of Anastasia, which might be a better starting point for some, if they’re already familiar/semi-familiar with the gist of it.

WHY DO YOU READ?

My, that’s a weighty question…

Reading is so many things for me. It’s an escape, a chance to connect, a way to spend the day, a source of inspiration. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but there’s not a singular reason why I’m so drawn to it. There’s always been the aspect of escaping to fictional worlds for a moment to distract from reality, but in my favorite books, I haven’t just found an escape, but something that speaks to me, something more than just bound paper. It’s hard to pinpoint, but there’s a fount of reasons why I read. Either way, I don’t know what I’d do without books in my life.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

GIFs for Bookish Posts, Part 4: Cute Animals & Mood | Naty's Bookshelf

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!