Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Bedtime Book Tag

 

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Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag at A Little Haze Book Blog, and it looked absolutely adorable, so I figured that I’d give it a go! 🙂

 

– QUESTIONS –

What book kept you up all night reading? 

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I don’t read at night often, but the most recent example I can think of was Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams.  Not necessarily action-packed or anything, but I just COULD. NOT. STOP. LOOKING. AT. MIKE. ALLRED’S. GODLIKE. ART.

 

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What book made you scared to go to sleep?

Uh…not sure if I can answer this one. I honestly can’t remember any book, not even something from my childhood, that made me scared to go back to bed. Guess that’s because of my tendency to stay away from horror, so…

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What book almost put you to sleep? 

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Urgh, this book…we had to read The Witch of Blackbird Pond in sixth grade, and it was easily the most boring book I’ve read to date.

 

Which book had you tossing and turning in anticipation of its release? 

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Without question, Soul of StarsSince the moment I first finished Heart of Iron, I absolutely hungered for the sequel, for lack of better word. I’m so glad it delivered.

 

What book has your dream boyfriend? 

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uh…

Weeeeeeeell…

I suppose this is only a half-answer, because I really don’t have any book boyfriends. But I will give props to Leigh Bardugo in Shadow and Bone for making the Darkling sound drop-dead gorgeous, no matter how much of a manipulative creep he turned out to be. Villain crushes, guys, villain crushes. I dunno.

 

What book would be a nightmare to live in? 

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Don’t get me wrong, fighting monsters sounds pretty fun (maybe?), but once the B.P.R.D. comics hit the Hell on Earth arc, I kept thinking to myself, sheesh, I am so glad that we’re not living in a post-apocalyptic near-anarchy with giant monsters bursting forth from the ground. 

 

What book has a nightmarish cliffhanger? 

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It’s been a few years since I’ve read Dare Mighty Thingsbut I particularly remember the cliffhanger hitting me like a sledgehammer.

 

What book have you actually dreamt about? 

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I mean, dreaming about The Search for WondLa trilogy was practically inevitable, seeing as it made up a huge chunk of my childhood.

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I think I dreamed about it a few months ago, actually. There was a movie adaptation of it, and they used an animation style that looked kind of wood-cut. They also omitted a few key characters. Not sure why, but my brain really can’t be reasoned with.

 

What fictional monster would you not like to find hiding under your bed? 

Going back to Shadow and Bone, I’d say the volcra. [shivers] guhhh…

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I tag anyone who wants to participate in this tag! 

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Today’s song:

“In an interstellar burst,

I am back to save the universe…” 

 

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Get To Know Ya Book Tag

Happy New Year, bibliophiles!

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I found this tag on A Little Haze Book Blog, and I’m so excited to take part! Let’s begin, shall we?

 

FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME

Oooh…hard decision, but if I had to pick, I’d go with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I read it a little under two years ago for the first time, and it’s never left my thoughts since.

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FAVORITE BOOK FIVE YEARS AGO

The entire Search for WondLa trilogy captured my heart around middle school, but my favorite of the three was the beautifully written (and illustrated) and shocking finale, The Battle for WondLa. 

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FAVORITE DUOLOGY/TRILOGY/SERIES

Hands down, Ashley Poston’s masterful Heart of Iron duology. Both books are so lovable in every sense of the word.

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LAST BOOK YOU READ

I’ll be reviewing this one later, but I just finished up Supernova, the last installment in Marissa Meyer’s Renegades trilogy. Such a stunning end to the series!

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LAST POETRY BOOK YOU READ

I bought a collection of Tennyson’s poetry in April, I think. Such remarkable and heartstring-tugging words…In Memoriam was probably my favorite.

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WHAT BOOK MOST INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE?

Alright, sorry, I know I keep coming back to this, but The Search for WondLa was not only my gateway to my favorite genre, science fiction, but what inspired me to be an author. Tony DiTerlizzi will never stop being my hero, just for that series alone.

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BOOK THAT MADE YOU UGLY CRY

Yeeeeeeeesh, A Monster Calls SLAYED me when I first read it. I had to re-read it over twice, and both times, I ended up bawling my eyes out at the end. GOD. 😭

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BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH

Good Omens, without a doubt. I don’t think a book has made me laugh as much as that in a very long time.

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CHARACTER YOU’D LIKE TO BE FOR A DAY 

Hmm…the first character that came to mind was Alosa from Daughter of the Pirate King duology.Oh, to be a fearsome pirate queen on the high seas (with fabulous hair)…

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BOOK SO GOOD YOU DREAMT ABOUT IT

I can’t quite think of any books that come to mind other than WondLa, and I’ve already mentioned that one in two of the questions, so…sorry about that.

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BOOK YOU DNF’D

Oh, there’s a long, long list…

But the most recent book I DNF’d was Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters. Such an interesting concept for a plot, but the dialogue made it crash and burn. Curse you, deceptively gorgeous cover…

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WHAT BOOK ARE YOU EXCITED TO READ?

I loved The Hazel Wood, and I just found out that the sequel, The Night Country, will be released on January 7th! REJOICE!

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That just about wraps it up! If you’d like to do the tag, feel free to do so. Please be sure to link back to this post if you do so 🙂

 

Today’s song: “One and a Half Stars”–Wilco (listening to this as I wrap up this post!)

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books

My 5-Star Reads of 2019

Hi there, everyone!

As 2019 (and this decade) draws to a close, I’ve decided to make a comprehensive lists of all of my 5-star reads for this year, and, by proxy, my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Most of these are what’d you’d expect, if you’ve scoured my book tags and reviews, but I know there’s a few that I haven’t talked much about. These are in chronological order of when I read them, though their actual rankings vary a fair bit.

Now, without further ado…this year’s 5-star lineup!

 

KING OF SCARS–LEIGH BARDUGO

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Bardugo’s veritable masterpiece, all at once a rollicking adventure and an exploration of internal conflict, was my first 5-star rating of this year. And…Nikolai. ‘Nuff said.

Read my review here!

 

THE ILLUMINAE FILES TRILOGY–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF

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I mean, I read all of these in the span of a few months, and I gave all three books five stars…

For good reason, I think. I doubt that we’ll ever come across a trilogy quite like this in a very long time.

Read my review (Illuminae) here!

 

NEVERWHERE–NEIL GAIMAN

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I’ve been a fan of Gaiman’s work for some time, but I chose this one for an English project, and I fell so in love with the fantastic world-building, as well as each and every character.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

ONCE & FUTURE–AMY ROSE CAPETTA and CORI MCCARTHY

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A feminist, LGBTQ+ retelling of the legends of King Arthur…need we say more? A wonderfully fast-paced space adventure, reminiscent of Captain Marvel.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

HONOR BOUND–ANN AGUIRRE and RACHEL CAINE

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Even more daring than its predecessor, Honor Bound is a complex space opera to die for.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

TENNYSON: POEMS–ALFRED TENNYSON

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Yes, I was/still am that kid who sits in the corner reading depressing, 19th century poetry. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

AURORA RISING–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF 

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You’ve already sing praise of this one innumerable times, so I’ll just leave it at this: I FOUND MY DREAM BOOK, PEOPLE. THIS IS EVERYTHING.

Read my review here!

 

THE PIONEER--BRIDGET TYLER

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An inventive, heart-pounding sci-fi adventure, The Pioneer was very nearly flawless, and I’m itching to get my hands on the sequel next spring! 😀

Read my review here!

 

AN ANATOMY OF BEASTS–OLIVIA A. COLE

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Delving deeper and growing even twistier than its predecessor, A Conspiracy of Stars, this novel is dazzlingly well-thought out, the prime example of what speculative sci-fi should be.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES–RAY BRADBURY

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Did I mention how much I love sci-fi? No?

Ray Bradbury is a talent to be reckoned with, able to deftly weave together a thought-provoking story in the span of under 100 pages with ease.

Also, I was today years old when I realized that the hand on the cover has six fingers.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SOUL OF STARS–ASHLEY POSTON

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The epic conclusion to the Heart of Iron duology, Poston deftly wraps together a complicated universe of familial bonds and political intrigue. Love, love, love, LOVE…

Read my review here!

 

FAHRENHEIT 451–RAY BRADBURY

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Again, Ray Bradbury. I rest my case.

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Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SPARE AND FOUND PARTS–SARAH MARIA GRIFFIN

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A futuristic Frankenstein for the modern age, this is a grossly underrated writing, atmospheric and poetic.

Read my review here!

 

THE DEMON WORLD–SALLY GREEN

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The pulse-pounding sequel to The Smoke Thieves, Green delivers an even more potent punch of her signature world-building and fantasy action.

Read my review here!

 

HOUSE OF X/POWERS OF X–JONATHAN HICKMAN

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The newest installment in the legendary X-Men mythology, Hickman weaves a mythical and symbolic world, with a hopeful conclusion and the potential of many mutant tales to come.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

LIKE A LOVE STORY–ABDI NAZEMIAN

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Would you look at that…I think this is the only historical fiction in this post…

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A hearstring-tearing and poignant coming-of-age LGBTQ+ novel. So many feels. INFINITE feels.

Read my review here!

 

THE TOLL–NEAL SHUSTERMAN

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The conclusion to the unforgettable Arc of a Scythe trilogy, this novel is solid proof that Shusterman is a sci-fi author to be reckoned with.

Read my review here!

 

Man. What a year this has been…

 

Have you read any of these novels, and what did you think of them? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Pancake Book Tag

I found this tag on A Little Haze Book Blog, and I figured it would be a fun tag to participate in!

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Alright, here are the rules:

  • Link back to the original creator, Becky @Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic.
  • Feel free to use any of the pancake graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag some people!

 

I love pancakes, so here goes nothin’…

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Hands down, I’d say Wild Beauty.

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Not only is the story reminiscent of a fairy tale, the writing is as lush and decadent as the flowers it centers around.

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Sidenote: pancakes with lemon drizzle? Ooh, never tried that combo…I love most anything lemon-flavored, so…

I know I add this book in with most of my tags, but Finian from Aurora Rising definitely fits the bill.

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Even at the most inopportune times (edit: mostly at inopportune times), Finian always has a sassy, snappy comeback that never fails to make me laugh out loud in the most serious of scenes.

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I just can’t stop re-reading Carry On

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Though it’s a bit intense at times, I always come back to love story of Simon and Baz…and end up feeling all the feels as a result.

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Whew…I really want to re-read A Monster Calls again at some point, but man…[prepares myself for an intense outpour of tears]

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When I first read this, around two(ish) years ago, I just had to read it twice in a row. Nothing could take my mind off of it, and…yeah, I feel like I couldn’t read anything else for a few days. Gaaaaah, this one’s a killer…

 

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Indulgent feels…hmm…

If we’re talking about indulgent feels, I’d say Soul of Stars, the second installment in the Heart of Iron duology.

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Soul of Stars was everything that I wanted in a sequel–the cast of characters retained their impeccable chemistry, the plot was just as heart-racing (and heart-wrenching), a certain in-credible plot twist (loud crying) and a perfectly satisfying ending.

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Ooh…my first thought for this one is Art from Like a Love Story.

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He’s got many year’s worth of pent-up (and…sometimes not so pent-up) anger, which coats his personality for most of the book; about 3/4 of the way through the book, we definitely get to explore deeper into him, as his relationships with some of the other characters begin to strengthen.

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No doubt, The Pioneer.

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This one had me constantly second-guessing what was going to happen next. The Pioneer is the kind of book where you think you have the plot figured out, but something makes the plot go topsy-turvy in seconds.

 

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Alright, I hate to do this to you guys, but…I really…can’t…think of any…

All of the significant romances I can think of either a) worked out near-perfectly from the star or b) everybody loves, but I still kind of despise. Oops.

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Hands down, This Time Will Be Different.

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Not only is the main character Japanese-American, we’ve got a whole, backing cast of POC and LGBTQ+ characters, not to mention the deft tackling of several issues, almost all of them stemming from racism.

 

So, that just about wraps it up!

I tag: 

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and if I don’t post tomorrow, have a happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that! 🙂

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Halloween Creatures Book Tag

Hi there, fellow bibliophiles!

First of all, sorry for forgoing this week’s Book Review Tuesday. I went to a concert last night (Chelsea Wolfe!), and I had very little time at home as a result. Hopefully this will make up for it. 😉

 

I saw that Rae @ waesmiles reads had done this tag, and I figured I’d have a go. It was originally created by Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward, and the rules are as follows:

  • Follow the Categories
  • You Must Be Honest
  • You Must Answer All Questions to the Best of Your Ability
  • You Must Tag At Least 3 People
  • Have Fun!
  • Credit Would be Greatly Appreciated! (Keep Reading Forward)

 

Alright…here we go!

 

WITCHES–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT IS MAGICAL

My obvious choice here would be the Grisha trilogy. Hands down, one of the most well-crafted, magical universes I’ve ever come across. (On an unrelated note, I’m simultaneously worried and excited to see how Netflix pulls it off…)

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MUMMIES–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT YOU CAN’T WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND

Wrap…I see what you did there…[ba-dum tsssss]

For this, I’d have to say Miryem from Spinning Silver. Without spoiling anything major, I’ll just say that it absolutely baffled me that her relationship with a certain character turned from forced (and borderline abusive) to perfectly happy.

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VAMPIRES–A BOOK, SERIES, OR AUTHOR YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

Hmm…lots to pick from here, but the first one that comes to mind is the Heart of Iron duology. There’s so many aspects of that series that have earned it an especially soft spot with me. I really need to re-read Soul of Stars soon…

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WEREWOLVES–A BOOK THAT IS BEST READ IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

I…well…

I can’t quite think of any. I can only read more intense books during the daytime, and I don’t read around midnight much anyway…

Guess I’ll have to skip this one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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ZOMBIES–A BOOK YOU PICKED UP FOR THE 2ND TIME OR CONTINUED AFTER DNFING IT

Oof, I might have to skip this one, too…

Usually, when I DNF a book, it’s because of a deep-seated loathing; this usually prevents me from ever picking up the book again, so…

 

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GHOSTS–A CHARACTER YOU SAW RIGHT THROUGH OR A BOOK THAT YOU EASILY PREDICTED THE TWIST/ENDING

I read this one a while back, but the one thing I remember with clarity about Earth Force Rising was that I could see all of the major plot points coming from a mile away. Dear Lord, that was such a cringey book…

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FRANKENSTEIN–A BOOK THAT TRULY SHOCKED YOU

Hands down, Other Words for Smoke. I had pretty average expectations, but once I got into it, I could NOT put it down. The writing was beautiful, and there were out-of-this-world twists around every corner…

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SKELETONS–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT CHILLED YOU TO THE BONE OR TICKLED YOUR FUNNY BONE

If we’re going for the funny bone route here, then I have the perfect example: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchI haven’t laughed that much in a very, very long time.

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GHOULS–A BOOK THAT LEFT YOU HUNGRY, OR A RECIPE YOU WANT TO TRY FROM A BOOK

This one seems like a cliche answer, but my immediate choice is With the Fire on HighThere’s nothing I wouldn’t do to try some of Emoni’s cooking.

Okay, maybe not nothing, but you know what I’m saying. It all sounded delicious…

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GOBLINS–A GREEDY CHARACTER OR A CHARACTER THAT LOVES GOLD OR JEWELRY

Though she certainly isn’t greedy, per se, Genya from the Grisha trilogy was my first thought; there’s no way that she didn’t put some bling on her eyepatch. (And every other article of clothing.)

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DEVIL–A DARK, EVIL CHARACTER

This isn’t the most classic of examples, but my first thought was The Mage from Carry On. Deceitful, manipulative, and…well, y’know, the general evil that comes along with being the equivalent of a black hole for magic.

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GRIM REAPER–A CHARACTER YOU LOVED OR HATED THAT DIED

Essentially, everyone who got killed off in Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsI don’t think I’ve completely gotten over any of them, even though I haven’t read it in years.

Especially Dobby.

DOBBYYYYYY

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SCARECROWS–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT SCARES YOU

I can’t think of any character or book that really scared scared me, but for this, I’ll go with Xifeng from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. I mean, you’ve got the classic, tragic hero descending into madness storyline, sprinkled in with some tyranny and eating human hearts. Y’know, just another day at the office.

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MONSTER MASH–TAG YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN! 

I tag:

 

 

Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful rest of your day! 🙂

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (7/30/19)-Soul of Stars

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of July 2019!

 

And yes, this it it.

IT’S HERE.

THE SEQUEL AND CONCLUSION TO HEART OF IRON.

Man, if Heart of Iron was mindblowing, Soul of Stars was…earth-shattering. Galaxy-shattering? That should be a word. Unhyphenated.

Anyway, Soul of Stars is not only a gripping and fast-paced romp through the vast reaches of space, it’s a beautiful and perfectly wrapped-up conclusion to a duology like no other. An absolute gem.

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If you haven’t read Heart of Iron yet, please keep in mind that there’s probably going to be some spoilers in this review. Read that first, and you can read my review of it on 8/14/18. 😉

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Soul of Stars (Heart of Iron, #2)

In the blink of an eye, Ana has gone from a misbegotten orphan to the Empress of an entire star system. But after her beloved Di becomes the puppet of the notorious HIVE AI,  she is on the run again with a bounty on her back. It seems all is lost for both her and Di–once a Metal is taken over by the HIVE, there is no way out. Her last resort is to seek out the mysterious entity known only as Starbright–the only being that has ever been able to un-HIVE a metal. Ana finds what she’s looking for–a possible way to cure Di–but quickly becomes entangled in a galactic power struggle, with the lives of everyone she’s ever held dear at stake. What will Ana’s decisions cost her–and the rest of the Dossier’s crew?

 

 

And I thought Heart of Iron was an emotional rollercoaster…

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THE  F E E L S

 

Needless to say, Soul of Stars was a stunning end to the duology, with a heady dash of Poston’s signature space adventures, impeccable chemistry, and plenty of witty banter to go around. And…alright, I’ll say it. VERY emotional. I laughed out loud, I silenty cheered for the characters (it was only silent because I was in a library…), and I either cried or got close to crying…oh, I’d say around five separate times. No spoilers, but the last one kind of had me curling up in a ball. yEESH. 😭

Soul of Stars is a beautiful end to an absolutely unforgettable series. ∞/10, I’ll cherish this for years to come.

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (7/23/19)-Descendant of the Crane

Hey, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

SO! I’ve been meaning to review this one for…almost a month now, whew. I had semi-average expectations for it, figuring that it would be more of an interim read than anything, something to tide me over. After reading a few rave reviews from another blogger and some of the Goodreads reviews, I was ultimately convinced.

And MAN…

Descendant of the Crane truly blew it out of the water! A seamless and riveting combination of fantasy and murder mystery. Waaaaaaay better than I expected it to be.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

(also, apologies for the size of the cover image, this was the best that I could find 😦  )

 

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Descendant of the Crane

Princess Hesina has never been keen to the royal life, preferring to hide in the shadows instead of meddle in political affairs. But after her father’s death, Hesina takes it upon herself to discover the cause of his demise. The medics rule it a suicide, but Hesina is determined that it was a murder. Now the Queen, she goes against everything that the royal family stands for, enlisting the help of a soothsayer to find out how her father truly died. With the help of Akira, a criminal, poisons expert, and maybe the key to discovering the truth about her father, Hesina leads a grand investigation–one that leads into the darkest depths of her kingdom’s history.

 

 

Now, as I said, my expectations for this book were faily average. But by the end, let’s just say that my last brain cells and I were all screaming.

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WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOA.

 

A lushly written, richly developed, genre-bending novel like no other. The plot had me clinging to the edge of my seat, and though I didn’t get too attached to many of the characters, they had near impeccable chemistry, and I found myself rooting for them in the end. Overall, a truly fantastic book!

 

The author said (in response to a question on Goodreads) that Descendant of the Crane is, in fact, a standalone, but she’s planning to write some companion novels set in the same universe. I’m personally satisfied with the decision; it’s good that she’s leaving this book alone, but I’m itching for some more action in the rich world that she’s beginning to create. 🙂

 

Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and please take care of yourselves!

 

OH! One more thing…

[singing off-key] toDAAAAAY IS THE DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

That’s right, Ashley Poston’s Soul of Stars, the sequel to Heart of Iron (see 8/14/18) comes out TODAY! I recently preordered it, and it’s supposed to arrive about a week from now, so you can definitely expect a review around early August.

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Well, that’s all for today. See you next Tuesday!