Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.
This week’s been another sort-of-slog, what with even more quizzes to study for and homework to get out of the way. I’ve been whittling away at an eight-and-a-half page research paper for AP Lit, and I finished the rough draft, so at least I have that out of the way. We’ve also been training little Ringo, and the fact that I’ve already given him the nickname “menace to society” should say everything about how it’s going. He’s a good boy, though.
I’ve had a string of great books this week, so I’ve got plenty of choices for my review next week! Incidentally, several of them were sequels, so it was nice to have closure for a handful of duologues that I’ve been enjoying. I’ve been going through my library books and some of the books I got from my English teacher’s decluttering, so that’s been lots of fun. I got some more books at the library yesterday; one of them was the first volume of Heartstopper, which I’ve had on hold for almost two years (yep, that’s how long the wait was), so it better be good…
Other than that, I’ve been drawing a little, enjoying the handful of warm days we had this week (of course, we just got dumped with snow again), playing guitar, and catching up on Raised by Wolves (hhHHHEHSAHASHD WHAT).
Also I’m almost to 500 followers?? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN
Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles, and happy Women’s History Month! Can’t believe it’s March already…
I got hooked on the Goddess in the Machine duology back in 2020, and I stuck around for how creative and suspenseful Goddess in the Machine was. Devil in the Device came out last August, but I hadn’t been able to get around to finding it/reading it until last week. It was a little rocky at first, given that I didn’t remember parts of book 1, but once it got going, it was a wild and twist-filled ride!
Now, tread lightly! This review may contain spoilers for book 1, Goddess in the Machine, so if you haven’t read book 1 and intend to do so, proceed with caution.
thought I reviewed book 1 but apparently not oops 😵💫
In hiding underground, Andra grapples with her new identity and the secrets that she has uncovered. The rest of her fellow colonists, still in cryosleep, are relying on her to get off of their dying planet. But the further she gets on her mission, the more Andra realizes that the situation is far more complicated than she could have ever comprehended.
Aboveground in Eerensed, Zhade grapples with ruling the people while in disguise as Maret. His power holds tempting amounts of influence, but his people are in chaos, overrun by rogue Angels and unruly magic. Can he take control of the situation—and find out what became of Andra?
TW/CW: murder, loss of loved ones, blood/gore, substance abuse (alcohol), violence, grief, mind control, mild sexual content/innuendos
wordpress please stop autocorrecting “Zhade” to “Shade” challenge
Even without remembering…oh, at least half of Goddess in the Machine, I enjoyed reading Devil in the Device quite a lot—not quite as strong as book 1, but still endlessly twisty!
Getting into a sequel without a proper re-read or recap is always rocky; that was the case with Devil in the Device, especially the fact that I completely forgot about the weird, future Eerensed dialect of English that Zhade’s POVs were written in. I have mixed feelings on that part in general, but although it read in a very cringy way, it makes sense. I could have done without “certz” and “for true” and all that, but just like those corny Star Wars alien idioms that make no sense without context, they’re a necessary evil.
But once I got my memory jogged of book 1, Devil in the Device was a great sequel! Having the characters split up usually isn’t something I go for in sequels, but since there were only Andra and Zhade to deal with, it worked a lot more smoothly. Their split POVs gave a broader insight onto different parts of the worldbuilding, and beyond that, they created a lot of tension; most of the major revelation on Andra’s end of the line, and having Zhade be completely ignorant of almost all of it created a lot of suspense and buildup.
The fast pace was also a highlight of Devil in the Device, and with the amount of curveballs that Johnson throws throughout the course of the book, it makes for a very tense and exciting read! Secrets, deception, and betrayal all ran rampant through this book, and every page invited a new revelation. There are twists aplenty, but in the case of Devil in the Device, it turned out to be a double-edged sword; most of the twists were mind-boggling and earthshattering (@ Dr. Griffin WHOA CHILL JEEZ), but almost all of them were crammed into the last quarter of the book. All of those twists one after the other bordered on overstuffing, but overall, it had the effect of appropriately amping up the tension.
One other aspect that I’ll always appreciate about the Goddess in the Machine duology is its casual diversity—Andra is mixed-race and plus-sized, and there are consistently lots of queer secondary characters. Kiv, one of the secondary characters, is also Deaf, which I loved to see as well! The fact that he’s shown in a happy relationship makes me even happier—more disabled characters in loving relationships, please! (Plus, Kiv and Lilibet are so cute I CAN’T)
All in all, a sequel that wasn’t quite as strong as its predecessor but excelled in the plot twist department. 4 stars!
Devil in the Device is the second and final book in the Goddess in the Machine duology, preceded by Goddess in the Machine.
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
February’s been a little chaotic, but again, in comparison to last year, it was a good month. I’m leaving it feeling a little tired, but I’m excited for spring!
I’ve had a lot of studying to do this month…feels like I’ve had a quiz or a test every week to every other week. Yeesh. But at least I can say that I’ve done well on all of them, so I suppose there’s that going for me.
As far as reading goes, I started the month out with a week-long slump, but once I found some better books, the month improved so much! I read a lot of great books for Black History Month and discovered some new authors that I’d love to read more of. I ended up re-reading a little, and it felt lovely to immerse myself back into the Pioneer duology.
Writing-wise, I’m nearly done editing my second draft! I got in lots of good editing time and polished up a whole lot of my WIP. I haven’t been able to write much in the past few days, but we’re getting to short stories in my creative writing class, which I’m super excited about!
But by far, the highlight of the month was getting Ringo, our new corgi puppy! He’s 8 weeks old, and he’s just the SWEETEST LITTLE GUY 😭
READING AND BLOGGING:
I read 21 books this month! More re-reads than I expected (I forgot to connect my Kindle to the wifi while I was away in Florida so I read some of my old books), but a good bunch for the most part. I read a lot of books for Black History Month as well and discovered some new authors!
Make another Black History month list—I’ve read so many amazing books by Black authors since last February!—did that! See “Some posts I’m proud of”
Review some of the albums that are coming out next month!! (So many!!) rip to Everything Was Beautiful getting pushed back, but both my album reviews from this month can be found under “Some posts I’m proud of”
Actually post some art here, if I get the time…it’s about time
GOALS FOR MARCH:
Read at least 20 books
Spend some time with Ringo (of course)
That’s it for this month in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!