Posted in Book Tags

5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 Book Tag

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I’m having a nice, relaxing weekend at home (seeing the new Black Panther tonight too!!), so I figured I’d do another tag! I found this one over at Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog, and I haven’t been able to find the original creator, so if you know who it is, please let me know so I can credit them.

Let’s begin, shall we?

🔢 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 BOOK TAG 🔢

5 BOOKS YOU LOVE

If I had to narrow down my favorites to *just* 5, I’d have to pick Frankenstein, Aurora Rising, Heart of Iron, Madman Yearbook ’95, and On a Sunbeam. Maybe. I think. The first three are fairly certain, but it gets hazy from there, but I still love every single one of these books with all my heart.

4 AUTOBUY AUTHORS

At this point, all of these authors—Amie Kaufman, Becky Chambers, Maggie Tokuda-Hall, and Rainbow Rowell—are ones that I immediately preorder from (or at least put on hold at the library) if they’re coming out with anything new. (anybody else excited for Isles of the Gods???)

3 FAVORITE GENRES

Anyone who’s followed this blog for a while knows that I’m a complete sci-fi fan to the bone. Absolute favorite genre!! After that, I’d say fantasy and magical realism; fantasy was my favorite genre before I got really into sci-fi, but I still love it. I’ve gotten into magical realism more recently, but I’ve read some incredibly memorable books in the genre.

2 PLACES YOU READ

During the day, I tend to read on the couch, and at night, I love to read while cozy in bed.

1 BOOK YOU PROMISE TO READ SOON

I’ve been meaning to read Vicious for a while after loving the Shades of Magic trilogy, and I just downloaded it on my Kindle, so I’ll be reading this as soon as I can!

I TAG:

Today’s song:

big thank you to my mom for introducing me to lush on the car ride home yesterday

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

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Posted in Book Tags

A to Z Book Tag

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I was in the mood for a book tag today, so I thought I’d try this one out. I found it over at Birdie’s Book Nook (who you should absolutely follow if you don’t already!). I haven’t been able to find who originally created the tag, so if you know, let me know and I’ll link to their blog.

This one looks like a lot of fun…let’s begin, shall we?

🔠A TO Z BOOK TAG🔠

A – Author you have read the most books from

I haven’t picked up a Warriors book since middle school, but given the sheer volume of books in this series (aren’t there…there’s probably 40 or 50 books now, right? I stopped at the 5th series 💀), I’d say that Erin Hunter is the author that I’ve read the most books from. These books were my childhood…

B – Best sequel ever

the emotional damage that Aurora Burning inflicted on me remains unparalleled…

C – Currently reading

I’m a little over halfway through Follow Your Arrow right now! I’m not super invested in the romance, but the bisexual rep is great.

D – Drink of choice

Definitely tea—hot cinnamon spice is my favorite!

E – E-reader or physical book?

As much as I love my Kindle, physical books always win. Can’t beat the feeling of having a physical book in your hand—plus, a Kindle can’t give you that book smell…

F – Fictional character you would’ve dated in high school

Auri and Kal from Aurora Rising are my ultimate bisexual panic, so I probably would’ve gone for either of them…

G – Glad you gave this book a chance

I don’t usually read historical fiction as often, but The Reckless Kind was an unexpected 5-star read!

H – Hidden gem

The Wide Starlight ended up being my first 5-star read of the year! It doesn’t get nearly as much praise as it should, it’s a stunning book!

I – Important moment in your reading life

Reading and subsequently falling in love with The Search for WondLa in 5th grade. I’d liked sci-fi books before, but I give that trilogy credit for being my gateway into sci-fi literature. Haven’t turned my back since.

J – Just finished

I finished The Final Strife yesterday! Definitely a long haul, but the worldbuilding was great.

K – Kind of book you won’t read

I don’t usually do horror, and I’m also not a huge fan of the kind of romance books with airbrushed, shirtless/scantily clad people on the covers. Again, no shade to the people that enjoy the aforementioned books, but they’re just not my thing.

L – Longest book you’ve ever read

Technically, Invincible: Compendium One is an anthology, but 1,092 pages is still pretty thick.

M – Major book hangover because of…

Aurora’s End WRECKED me…I think I re-read it two or three times before I could pick anything else up…

N – Number of bookshelves you own

Three—two for most of my books, and a smaller one for all my graphic novels and trade paperbacks.

O – One book you’ve read multiple times

I re-read The Kingdom of Back a few weeks back, and I loved it just as much as I did the first time!

P – Preferred place to read

Either the couch, my bed (at night), and when it’s warm enough, outside in the hammock.

Q – Quote that inspires you

For the sake of brevity, I’ll just link it here, but Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” speech never fails to be an inspiration to me. Go read it. You won’t regret it.

R – Reading regrets

Spending any money—even just $4.99—on Off Balance. What an awful excuse for a sequel.

S – Series you’ve started and need to finish

I really enjoyed Surviving the City, I don’t know why I haven’t picked up From the Roots Up!

T – Three of your all-time favorite books

Aurora Rising, Heart of Iron, and Frankenstein have been my steady favorites for the past few years.

U – …I just looked through several iterations of this tag, and it looks like U got skipped somewhere down the line?

moving on…

V – Very excited about this release

I need to pick up Godslayers soon—I think it just came out last month!

W – Worst bookish habit

I read relatively fast, and sometimes it comes back to bite me…I’ve learned to read my school books a little slower, at least.

X – X marks the spot. Pick the 27th book from your top left shelf.

Turns out it’s Nyxia! It’s been years since I’ve read this one, but I remember enjoying it.

Y – Your latest purchase

I bought Adaptation and a few other books on my Kindle for my trip to California in June. This one was my least favorite of the books I bought, but it was still decent. I finished it on the plane ride back.

Z – Z snatcher: book that kept you up way too late

nothin’ like staying up way too late reading The Darkness Outside Us and having a minor existential crisis, am I right

I TAG:

Today’s song:

this album was pretty hit or miss for me, but I like this one—feels like their old stuff!

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

Posted in Book Tags

The Cat Markings Book Tag 🐈‍⬛

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I was tagged a while ago to do this by Riddhi @ Whispering Stories, and since I love cats, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity! The tag was originally created by Laura @ The Corner of Laura.

Rules

  • Link back to the original creator (The Corner of Laura) and link back to this page(otherwise, the original creator won’t get a notification).
  • Thank whoever tagged you and link back to their post
  • You may use the graphics and don’t forget to credit the original creator
  • Tag 5 or more other people.

Let’s begin, shall we?

🐈‍⬛THE CAT MARKINGS BOOK TAG🐈

BLACK CATS: Black rescue cats take 13% more time to re-home than cats of other colors. Pick a book that doesn’t get the love it deserves.

While there were certainly some flaws with Love in the Time of Global Warming, I still think it’s a very unique and underrated book.

WHITE CATS: A study showed that 20% of purebred white cats are deaf. Pick a book with great disability rep.

I will never stop singing the praises of Sick Kids in Lovegreat romance, and even better disability rep!

GINGER CATS: 80% of ginger cats are male. Name your favorite male character.

It’s hard to pick just one character from the entirety of literature, but I love Kal and Finian from Aurora Rising, Baz from Carry On, and Jax from Heart of Iron.

TORTOISESHELL CATS: Nearly all tortoiseshell cats are female. Name your favorite female character.

Again, impossible to pick just one, but I love Auri from Aurora Rising, Zara and Beatriz from Honor Among Thieves, Catherine from The Smoke Thieves, and Ellie from The Sound of Stars.

CALICO CATS: Calico cats are considered lucky in many cultures. Name a character that you wish was your best friend.

I’d love to be friends with most anyone from the main cast of The Smoke Thieves except for Ambrose.

TABBY CATS: Tabby cats are considered to be the most extroverted and social cats. Name a character who’s the life of the party.

Rooney from Loveless is definitely a major extrovert and partygoer!

A CLOWDER OF CATS: The collective nouns for cats include a clowder, a glaring, a cluster, and a litter. Name your favorite fictional squad.

I’d be sorely remiss if I didn’t put Aurora Risings Squad 312 for this prompt!

I TAG:

Today’s song:

saw these guys open for Spoon on Tuesday night, and they were pretty great!

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

Posted in Book Tags

Intergalactic Book Tag 🪐

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

It feels like a while since I’ve done a book tag, and regardless of whether or not that’s completely true, I decided to do one. I found this one over at Classy x Book Reviews (Amanda and Antonia have a fantastic blog, check it out if you haven’t already!), and the tag was originally created by Rachel @ Life of a Female Bibliophile. Sci-fi is my favorite genre, so of course I had to do this tag!

Let’s begin, shall we?

🪐INTERGALACTIC BOOK TAG🪐

SPACE: name a book that is out of this world – that takes place in a world different from our own.

Crownchasers takes place in an entirely new galaxy—a lot of interesting planets are explored throughout the duology!

BLACK HOLE: Name a book that completely sucked you in.

I know I use this book for every tag, but Aurora Rising sucked me in like no other book has—when I first started reading it, I blew through hundreds of pages without moving, and after I finished it, I ended up re-reading it three times before setting it down for something else. (Why yes, this is my favorite trilogy, why do you ask?)

LIGHTSPEED: Name a book you are anticipating so much that you wish you could travel at lightspeed to get to it.

I adored Gearbreakers, and I can’t wait for Godslayers to come out! June can’t come soon enough…

NEBULA: Name a book with a beautiful cover.

As disappointing as Persephone Station was, I will say that it has one of those beautiful covers that you can’t help but stare at.

MULTIVERSE: Name a companion or spin-off series you love.

The Sound of Stars and The Kindred are companion books set in the same universe, and I loved them both! Very different thematically, but they were both fantastic in their own ways.

GRAVITY: Name your favorite romantic pairing that seems to have a gravitational pull to each other.

Alright, I know I shouldn’t double up, but Kal and Auri from the Aurora Cycle are my all-time favorite book couple. And Kal’s attraction is even called The Pull, so how could I not use it for this prompt?

THE BIG BANG: Name a book that got you started on reading.

As far as sci-fi goes, The Search for WondLa was what got me hooked on sci-fi literature. It’s been a while since I’ve re-read it, but I love to look back through the illustrations; Tony DiTerlizzi is just as talented as an artist as he is a writer.

ASTEROID: Name a short story or novella that you love.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a wonderful novella, and the concept is so inventive—what if, instead of transforming planets to our needs, we transformed ourselves?

GALAXY: Name a book with multiple POVs.

Sky Without Stars is told from three POVs (Alouette’s POV is my favorite), and it’s a fascinating sci-fi retelling! I’d highly recommend the whole trilogy.

SPACESHIP: Name a book title that would be a great name for a spaceship.

Iron Widow would be SUCH a cool name for a spaceship. I’m picturing some sort of sharp-edged battleship for it. Skyhunter would work too.

I TAG:

Today’s song:

shoutout to whoever put this on the art class playlist, I love this so much

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

Posted in Books

Sci-Fi Tropes, part 2: Spiders, Telekinesis, and More

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I made a post a few months back discussing a handful of sci-fi tropes that I’ve seen in books—here it is, if you’d like to have a look! When I wrote it, I knew I’d be writing several more similar posts; the world of sci-fi literature is so diverse in its content, so there’s no shortage of tropes, however specific, that I can discuss. Some of these tropes are broader and others are fairly minute, but I think they’ll be a lot of fun to discuss.

So let’s dive in, shall we?

David welcomes you | Shipping | Know Your Meme

SCI-FI TROPES: PART 2

MYSTERIOUS, TELEKINETIC WOMEN

dark phoenix gif | Tumblr | Dark phoenix, Jean grey phoenix, Marvel gif
had to include her bc she was the blueprint for this trope…probably

Here’s an interesting one to tackle. I see this one almost exclusively in space operas, but the basic premise is usually as follows: a woman, usually younger than the rest of the main cast, is either gifted with or born with unexplainable and unparalleled telekinesis. This power usually means that she’s the main decider in ✨the fate of the universe✨. These powers of hers often result in mind-bending displays of grandeur, including but not limited to: killing enemies in disturbing ways, crumpling spaceships like soda cans, and bending space and time itself.

Often, these powers come along with an intense emotional burden; at the heart of it, there’s a quintessential “why me?” dilemma with respect to her powers. Inner conflict is all part of the package with godly telekinesis, which often results in this character losing her mind and/or lashing out at other members of the cast. And, well…given that it’s either a “puppet of an all-powerful cosmic entity” or “being devoured from the inside by space energy” situation, it’s understandable.

What sometimes rubs me the wrong way about this trope—although I’m all for cosmic women tearing apart the fabric of the universe (who isn’t?)—is the fact that most of these women have a lack of agency. Which, given that a lot of the characters that come to mind are written by men, is more than a little concerning. Even with all of this awe-inspiring power, these women are often portrayed as helpless. Many of their breakdowns about the burden of their power are often reduced to “oh, she’s just a women being overly emotional, typical.”

Which brings me to why I appreciate a particular instance of this trope—Auri from Aurora Rising. She may still be frightened of her own power, but she takes control of the situation—she takes it upon herself to master her powers, break away from the path that the Eshvaren have set for her, and ultimately save the galaxy. She has agency, and, yes, that’s the bare minimum, but she’s written with a significant amount of sway over her abilities as the books go on.

This trope can be poignant and powerful if used right, but if misused, it can lead to a lot of reductive stereotypes.

BOOKS WITH TROPES: Aurora Rising (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), Forgotten Star (Colin Weldon), The Stars Now Unclaimed (Drew Williams)

IF THE ALIENS AREN’T BASICALLY HUMANS, THEY’RE JUST ANTHROPOMORPHIZED ANIMALS

Bossk Star Wars GIF - Bossk Star Wars Empire Strikes Back - Discover &  Share GIFs
this is far from the most dramatic example, but Bossk is the only one I can find a gif of

I get it. Creature design is hard—how do you create an alien that’s simultaneously familiar enough for a reader to project onto (if that’s the goal) but also weird enough to pass as “alien?”

In my last post, I talked about the trope of aliens that just looked like humans. That’s the ultimate alien design deal-breaker for me, unless there’s a good explanation for it. But in my opinion, the next level down is just making your aliens intelligent versions of animals with no other changes. Like the human-alien trope, it just feels like lazy design. It’s not that basing your alien design off of a certain animal is bad—on some level, most alien design is just that. The lazy part is just making an upright version of an already existing animal and changing nothing beyond that. (Plus, if it’s mammalian, you’re just…making intergalactic furries? Uh…)

One of the worst examples that I can recall is from The Stars Now Unclaimed, which I DNF’d. Not only was their an alien species that were just upright wolves, the species itself was called a Wulf. I KID YOU NOT. At that point, it’s almost…self-aware of how lazy it is? Or it seems that way, at any rate. But you just…don’t do that. Under any circumstances.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: The Stars Now Unclaimed (Drew Williams), Earth Force Rising (Monica Tesler), Columbus Day (Craig Alanson)

AND ON THAT SUBJECT, WHAT’S WITH ALL THE SPIDERS?

Ron Weasley is my spirit animal - GIF on Imgur

While we’re on the topic of creature design, here’s another trope that I’ve found several times. Lots of alien species in literature—most intended to be menacing, but not all—have been based on spiders, or described as spiders or spider-like.

One aspect of basing an alien design off of an animal is to still try and make it as alien as possible, and one way to do that is to base it off of an animal that many already consider “alien” or “scary.” These are often invertebrates—cephalopods, jellyfish, insects, and arachnids—spiders. By creating a creature with elements that are already unnerving to a lot of people, you’ve achieved the effect of making it alien without making it totally unfamiliar.

But why spiders in particular? Most of the spider-aliens that I’ve seen at the forefront of sci-fi stories are meant to be menacing. I suppose there’s already a latent metaphor of spiders catching unsuspecting prey in their webs, if menacing is the route the author intends to go on. If these characters are meant to be antagonistic, spiders are the perfect combination—not only do they look alien to us, but they’re also a commonly feared animal. They’re also involved in a lot of insidious metaphors, creatures known for ensnaring their prey in webs. I can speak to the “commonly feared” part myself—I’m fine with really small ones (jumping spiders and such—they’re cute), but big spiders? No way. I blame the wolf spider that I found in my room when I was five. (WHY DO THEY RUN SO FAST AAAAAA)

As far as aliens with animal basis, I think spider-aliens are effective. Even if they do fall into the “animals with no changes other than intelligence” trope, at least they’re not completely bipedal and upright—eight legs! But already, they’re so wildly different from us—the perfect starting point for an interesting alien.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: The Doom Machine (Mark Teague), Project Hail Mary (Andy Weir), One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2) (Heather Kaczynski), The Outside (Ada Hoffmann)

THE FATE OF COMIC RELIEF RESTS ON THE MACHINES

C-3PO and R2-D2 discovered by Lux on We Heart It

Are none of your characters particularly funny? Have they not gotten the chance to banter properly? Are they all on a spaceship? I’ve got a trope for you, then…

This is the exact flip side of one of the tropes I mentioned in my first post—unhinged AI. Often times in space opera books with large cast, there is a character that’s some sort of machine: a droid, a ship’s AI, et cetera. But their main role, apart from providing convenient solutions to hacking-relation problems, is to lighten the mood.

So why machines? I’m not entirely sure myself, but I have a theory. Part of it may be to avoid risk—sometimes it’s too dangerous to have a character whose only personality trait is to be “sassy” or “the funny one,” so putting this personality onto an AI of some kind reduces the possibility of a one-dimensional flesh-and-blood character. AI are often reduced to minimal personality traits, as often, they’re designed for a particular task. Unless they have a short character arc where they have an epiphany of some kind about breaking free of their programming, they’re usually helpful vessels of humor in an otherwise hardened and dry-humored crew.

What’s more about this trope is how often it shows up—pick up any space-opera in the bookstore or the library, and there’s a good 75% chance that there’s a minor Sassy AI™️ character. I hesitate to say that it’s tried and true, but it’s certainly difficult to screw up. The problem is that most of them have the same sense of humor—sass, “oh, you humans are so stupid haha” condescension, and making jokes at inopportune times. (There’s also the inevitable running joke of the flesh-and-blood characters telling said AI character to shut up.) I appreciate good AI comic relief, but it’s become a formula, almost to the point where what I once thought was hilarious now makes me feel almost nothing.

So give your AI something unique—glitches, specific quirks, something, anything that will set it apart from 50% of other machines on the shelf.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: Aurora Rising (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), Columbus Day (Craig Alanson), To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (Christopher Paolini), Crownchasers (Rebecca Coffindaffer), Honor Among Thieves (Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine)

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What are your opinions on these tropes? What are some other tropes that you’d like me to discuss? Tell me in the comments!

Blade Runner 2049 - Album on Imgur

Today’s song:

listened to this whole album the other day. it was hit or miss for me overall, but when it got good, it got good

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

Posted in Book Tags

Chapters & Melodies Tag 🎵

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I have so many tags that I’ve been meaning to do for a while, so I figured I’d take some time on my break to do…well, at least one of them. Since I’m almost as big of a fan of music as I am of books, this is the perfect tag for me! The tag was created by Evin @ A Curly Sue’s Ramblings and Diamond @ I Have 12% of a Plan, and I found the tag over at Suhani @ Random Reader’s Rambles.

RULES:

  • Link back to the creators’ posts – I have 12% of a plan & A Curly Sue’s Ramblings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer the prompts and use the original graphics
  • Tag 5 bloggers who would enjoy doing this tag
  • Notify them by commenting on their blog
  • Use the tag “Chapters & Melodies Tag” in your post
  • Have fun!

Let’s begin, shall we?

☾ — fantastictvs: Legion S01E06.
here I am cycling through all possible “Syd or Lenny wearing headphones” gifs

🎵CHAPTERS & MELODIES TAG🎵

A SONG AND A BOOK THAT SHARE A TITLE

Supernova: Meyer, Marissa: 9781250078384: Books - Amazon.ca

This prompt took a WHILE of digging through my read books on Goodreads, but I’ve found one: Supernova (Marissa Meyer) and “Supernova” by Liz Phair!

A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF A BOOK

Amazon.com: The Final Six: 9780062658944: Monir, Alexandra: Books

At the time that I read The Final Six, I was somewhat familiar with Radiohead, but seeing the reference to “Paranoid Android” is what made me dive deeper into their music—OK Computer in particular. OK Computer is one of my favorite albums now, and Radiohead is one of my favorite bands. So, uh…thanks, Alexandra Monir!

A BOOK THAT FEATURES MUSIC IN IT

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon: 9780525517641 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Ziggy, Stardust and Me gets its name from David Bowie, and his music features prominently in the novel, which I loved! (Bowie’s my favorite) There are also a few Pink Floyd references, from what I remember—I think specifically about “Time.”

A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR OTP

Let Auri Twirl!!!!!! Auri from Aurora Rising #aurorarising #auroracycle  #fanart #sketch #sketchbook #copicmarkers #illustrati… | Aurora rising cat,  Aurora, Fan book
art credit to L004P on Tumblr

Auri and Kal from Aurora Rising are 100% my OTP! They’re the sweetest, most tender pair together, and over the years, both of them—especially Auri—have become such important characters to me. I associate “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” with them for a few reasons—the lyrics (in this version, at least), fit, and the sweeping, space-y atmosphere fits the feel of the book itself. But if there’s one thing, ONE THING that I would give anything to see in the TV adaptation, it’s this song playing in the scene with Auri and Kal in the pollen fields. THAT’S ALL I ASK.

FAVORITE SONG FROM A MOVIE THAT WAS ADAPTED FROM A BOOK

Dune: Deluxe Edition: Herbert, Frank: 9780593099322: Amazon.com: Books

Technically, this song is a) a cover, and b) was only in the trailer, but for me, it’s a fantastic cover! Gives me chills every time, and it has ever since I first saw the Dune trailer last year. Great book, great movie.

I TAG:

Best Abe Sapien GIFs | Gfycat

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Tags

Squad 312 Book Tag 💫

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I’m glad to be out of school for Thanksgiving break…I need some time off.

This book tag has been sitting in my blog sticky note for a while, but I figured it would be the right occasion to do it since I’ve just finished Aurora’s End (🥲). The tag was originally created by Jemma @ Starry Eyed Reader, and I found the tag on her blog as well. The Aurora Cycle is my favorite series, so I just had to do this tag!

Let’s begin, shall we?

27424908._SX540_
all character art in this tag is from @kiranight_art

💫SQUAD 312 BOOK TAG💫

TYLER JONES—THE ALPHA: Your favorite main character

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720995: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

I’m trying to stray away from using any of the Aurora Cycle books for these prompts, which makes this question…[ahem] difficult…

But for this one, I chose Ellie Baker from The Sound of Starsshe’s rebellious and relatable, and she runs a secret library! Great taste in music, too.

SCARLETT JONES—THE FACE: Which character could talk themselves out of anything?

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720995: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books
Jesper Jesperfahey GIF - Jesper Jesperfahey Shadowandbone - Discover &  Share GIFs

Jesper from Six of Crows would be able to fast-talk himself out of anything and everything. Would the other Crows approve? Probably not, but that’s not what matters here, right?

ZILA MADRAN—THE BRAIN: A super smart character who would probably kill you

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720995: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books
Amazon.com: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea: 9781536204315:  Tokuda-Hall, Maggie: Books

Genevieve from The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea is certainly a very deadly and cunning character—I’m interested to see what the sequel holds for her!

FINIAN DE KARRAN DE SEEL—THE GEARHEAD: Your favorite piece of fictional technology

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720995: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books
Amazon.com: The Soul Keepers (The Soul Keepers, 1): 9781250309136: Taylor,  Devon: Books

Does a ship count as a piece of technology? This was a hard one, but the Harbinger—a giant ship that ferries the souls of the dead—from The Soul Keepers is a really cool concept for me. It’s most of the reason that I picked up the book in the first place.

KAL GILWRAETH—THE TANK: A book that made you angry

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720995: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel (The Carls): Green, Hank:  9781524743444: Amazon.com: Books

(my boy Kal deserves a better prompt than this…😔👊)

I DNF’d An Absolutely Remarkable Thing at around the 30% mark; I was already debating whether or not to put it down, but the bisexual rep was HORRIBLY offensive for me, so I jumped ship. Would NOT recommend.

CAT BRANNOCK—THE ACE: A fictional crush you’re still not over

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720995: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell — Prologue Bookshop | Columbus, Ohio - Books,  Games, Gifts, & More

I don’t get book crushes all that often, and my main ones happen to be in Aurora Rising (Kal and Auri are both SO CUTE, I CAN’T HELP IT…now that’s some bi panic for ya), but I’ve always thought Baz Pitch from Carry On looked cute on the cover art.

AURORA JIE-LIN O’MALLEY—THE GIRL OUT OF TIME: If you had to pick just one book or series to read for the rest of your life what would it be? 

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720995: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books
Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720964: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books

Okay, I’m breaking my self-imposed “I’m not using the book that inspired this tag as answers for this tag” rule, because the Aurora Cycle is the only series that fits this bill. I always come back to the books; in the past two years, they’ve become so uniquely dear to my heart, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without them in it.

I TAG:

The Aurora Cycle Dream Cast | The Awkward Book Blogger

Today’s song:

it’s been too long since I’ve listened to this song…so sweet

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! And of course, Squad 312 forever.

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 Books

Found Family Sci-Fi recommendations

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I haven’t done a recommendations post/something other than a book tag or a review in a while, so I figured it would be fun to mix things up a little bit.

Yeah, yeah. I get it. This is a very specific post. But these are the kind of books I love, and I know other people love them too, so I thought I would put this out into the world.

The found family trope is easily one of my favorites in media as a whole; usually, it involves a character, often an outsider, who meets a series of strangers, often outsiders as well, on whatever journey they are on, and these strangers become a family to them. Often, these characters have very different personalities, but their differences are what make them stronger. They come to accept each other no matter what, growing closer than they ever could have imagined. As someone who has been more than a little bit of an outsider over the course of my life, the trope has resonated with me a quite lot; I’m glad now to have found friends that love me for being as weird as I am, and I love them for being weird too. And for those of you who are in the place where I used to be, I promise: someday, you’ll find people who love you and celebrate you for who you are.

In my opinion, sci-fi is the most entertaining genre to see the found family trope in action. Sci-fi has a tendency to throw all of the characters into a life-changing adventure, and if the execution is right, their relationships deepen along the way, making for a tight-knit group of what I love to call “chaotic space misfits.”

Now, the books I’m putting on this list aren’t exclusively space-centric sci-fi. I’ve included a few books from other sci-fi branches, but all have similar found family themes. It’s mostly YA, but I have a few Adult and MG books on the list as well.

So let’s dive in, shall we?

Welcome To The Kingdom Of Geeks And Dorks - Tumblr Blog Gallery

THE BOOKISH MUTANT’S FOUND FAMILY SCI-FI RECOMMENDATIONS

Victories Greater Than Death – Charlie Jane Anders

Amazon.com: Victories Greater Than Death (Unstoppable, 1): 9781250317315:  Anders, Charlie Jane: Books

young adult

Fast-paced and full of heart, Victories Greater Than Death is a perfect fit for longtime sci-fi fans and readers that are new to the genre! The relationships in this novel are so sweet, and I’m excited to see how they develop in the sequel!

Aurora Rising – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720964: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books

young adult

Two YA sci-fi books with purple covers with beautiful and VERY powerful space girls on them? In one post? It’s more likely than you think.

Aurora Rising is, in my opinion, the textbook-perfect example of the found family trope, and both the platonic and romantic relationships within it never fail to make me feel soft and happy inside.

The Disasters – M.K. England

Amazon.com: The Disasters: 9780062657671: England, M. K.: Books

young adult

The Disasters is the perfect book for you if you’re a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy-esque characters and banter. This one has action, drama, and misadventures in space aplenty!

Gearbreakers – Zoe Hana Mikuta

Gearbreakers eBook : Mikuta, Zoe Hana: Kindle Store - Amazon.com

young adult

Nothing like taking down giant, overpowered robots to bond a couple of people together…

The bonds between all of the characters in Gearbreakers truly shone, and the balance of soft levity, dystopian grit, and brutality were so well-handled!

Skyhunter – Marie Lu

Book Review: Skyhunter by Marie Lu – RARELY IN REALITY

young adult

Continuing on the dystopian train, here’s an action-packed book from one of of my favorite authors! Amidst all of the horror and desolation in Skyhunter’s ravaged world, the relationships between Talin, Red, and the rest of their ragtag gang of Strikers brings hope to a bleak novel. I read it almost a year ago, and it was just the thing that I needed to get through a rough patch in my life.

The Search for WondLa – Tony DiTerlizzi

The Search for WondLa | Book by Tony DiTerlizzi | Official Publisher Page |  Simon & Schuster

middle grade

Looking back, The Search for WondLa wasn’t just my gateway into sci-fi literature—it was probably my gateway to the found family trope as well. This was my favorite series from late elementary school through middle school, and even when I look back through it, I love it just as much as I did when I was younger. Middle school Madeline would be elated to hear that I still highly recommend it; an intricately crafted piece of sci-fi, filled with an immersive world, unique characters, and beautiful illustrations.

Honor Among Thieves – Ann Aguirre & Rachel Caine

Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine

young adult

Spaceships are often the perfect vehicle for interstellar bonding (and anything interstellar, really), but have you considered…sentient, intelligent spaceships? What’s more fun than having your own spaceship join the found family?

Honor Among Thieves, with its diverse and chaotic cast of characters and intergalactic intrigue, is sure to both capture your heart and keep you on the edge of your seat!

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers

Amazon.com: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: Wayfarers 1 eBook :  Chambers, Becky: Kindle Store

adult

I said earlier that the found family trope often involves the characters bonding over some life-changing adventure, but it isn’t always—and never has to be—the case. It seems to me that Becky Chambers has pioneered the “soft sci-fi” novel, one that’s set in a future universe filled with aliens and strange politics, but there are no cosmic, fate-of-the-world wars or over-the-top conflict. It’s more slice-of-life, but in space. (Oh, look at me and all my hyphens…) Which I love.

The relationships of the crew of the Wayfarer made my heart so happy, and I bet they’ll make you just as happy too!

Heart of Iron – Ashley Poston

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron: 9780062652850: Poston, Ashley: Books

young adult

The main cast, along with the rest of the crew of the Dossier are the sweetest, messiest found family, whether they’re human, robot, or alien. If you love retellings, lost chosen ones, and plenty of banter, Heart of Iron is the book for you!

Larklight – Philip Reeve

Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of  Space: Reeve, Philip, Wyatt, David: 9781599901459: Amazon.com: Books

middle grade

Here’s another one for middle school Madeline…

Larklight, from my memory, is imaginative, kooky, and perfect if you’re a fan of steampunk. Never a dull moment if there are pirate ships and floating houses in space, right? Plus, all sorts of odd creatures…

LIFEL1K3 – Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike): 9781524713928: Kristoff, Jay: Books

young adult

Turning back into dystopian sci-fi, LIFEL1K3 is another fantastic example of a novel that finds the smallest bits of hope in the bleakest (and I mean BLEAKEST) of times. This series HURT me, truth be told, but Jay Kristoff is the master of writing friendships that you want to root for with all your heart.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What are your favorite books with the found family trope? Have any sci-fi recommendations for me? Tell me in the comments!

StarWars.gif

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

Cozy Fall Book Tag 🍁

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I haven’t done a book tag in quite a while, and I figured I’d do one since I’m on fall break! I found this one over at Brianna’s Books and Randomness, and the tag was originally created by The Book Belle on BookTube. I love fall, so this is the perfect tag…

Let’s begin, shall we?

ANIME — ANIME SEASONS: Fall/Autumn 🍁

🍁COZY FALL BOOK TAG🍁

What book always reminds you of fall/autumn?

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I read The Bone Houses last fall, and it’s the perfect atmospheric book for this season!

What is your favorite autumnal book cover?

Kingsbane (Empirium, #2) by Claire Legrand

Kingsbane (book 2 in the Empyrium trilogy) has some lovely autumnal colors.

What is your favorite autumnal drink to read with?

Chris Helmsworth GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I don’t habitually drink while I read, but I can’t say no to drinking some hot cinnamon spice tea while reading.

Do you prefer to read early in the morning or late at night?

Loki Thor Ragnarok GIF - Loki Thor Ragnarok Laufey Son - Discover & Share  GIFs
oop here I go dumping in all the MCU gifs

…uh, both? It depends on the day, really. My internal clock usually wakes me up at about 7 am on the weekends (much to my dismay), so I sometimes read then, if I don’t fall back asleep first. I like to read before bed as well. Both is good.

Halloween is coming! What’s your favorite spooky read?

The anatomy of Frankenstein book covers

Can’t go wrong with Frankenstein, the original spooky read!

What is the ultimate comfort read for you?

Aurora Rising: Amie Kaufman,Jay Kristoff: 9781786075338: Amazon.com: Books

I know I talk about Aurora Rising in almost every single tag I do, but this book really does have such a special place in my heart. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, what with book 3 coming out in about a month…

What is your favorite fall reading snack?

Boo! Bulldog's Top Halloween Candy of 2019 - bulldog yoga

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a reading snack, but believe me when I say that all of my impulse control goes out the window whenever I’m near a bag of candy corns.

What is your favorite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading?

Beautiful Candle Animated Gif Pics - Best Animations

I don’t usually burn a whole lot of candles, but we have a whole bunch of decorative candles from my family’s Halloween decorations that are scattered around the house. They’re pretty cute.

When you’re not reading, what’s your favorite fall activity?

Normal is an illusion." | Autumn scenes, Autumn tumblr, Autumn cozy

Watching Tim Burton movies, taking pictures of the turning leaves, and curling up with a blanket and whatever TV show I happen to be watching at the moment.

What’s on your fall reading list?

A Gathering of Shadows: A Novel (Shades of Magic, 2): Victoria Schwab:  9780765376473: Amazon.com: Books

Um? I never really do concrete reading lists, but I just got A Gathering of Shadows from my school library because I LOVED book 1. This will probably be my next read.

I TAG:

Autumn Aesthetic GIF - Autumn Aesthetic - Discover & Share GIFs

Today’s song:

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