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?)
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…)
I’m finally out of school for the year! Officially halfway through high school…whew…
But anyway, the AP exam and finals weren’t all that bad. For a few classes, they canceled finals altogether, and others just had a paper or a lab report in place of a written test (REJOICE!). I did pretty well on almost all of them, but we’ll see about AP…
Other than that, I’ve had a good week and a half since I’ve taken a break. I got into an unfortunate loop of finding one good book to read, then having a slump of three- or two-star books in between. Luckily, I did get a fair amount of good books in. I also listened to a lot of Spiritualized, thanks to my dad (and by a lot, I mean a LOT), got to a scene that I’ve been picturing in my head for YEARS on my WIP, and the weather’s starting to warm up, which is both a blessing and a curse.
Now, back to our scheduled program.
I found this tag over at SMELLFOY CAN READ?, and the tag was created by Elisabeth Paige and Joana Sousa. As a (pretty much) lifelong fan of all things Star Wars, I was absolutely ELATED to find this tag.
My first thought was Alosa from Daughter of the Pirate King. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to be a captain of a formidable pirate ship at the ripe old age of 17.
LEIA ORGANA: Best or worst love triangle
Leia does not deserve the subject matter of this part of the tag…
I…hate love triangles in general, but for now, I’d just say the love triangle in the Hunger Gamestrilogy. 50% because Gale is repulsive, and 50% because that’s sadly what a lot of people tend to remember/take away from the series, as opposed to…y’know, the dystopian commentary and whatnot…
LUKE SKYWALKER: A rising star author, or a new author you’ve discovered and absolutely love
ANAKIN SKYWALKER: A book or series that started out well and then became bad
Without a doubt, the Shatter Meseries. I was already salty about how the trilogy ended (Warner is awful, change my mind), but then after book 4, it just took a sharp left turn into the flat-out ridiculous. Such a shame.
QUI-GONN JINN: Worst character death (SPOILERS)
Hmm…lots to choose from…
My first thought was Zin’s death in The Battle for WondLa. (Yes, we’re going back to that…) He was one of my favorite characters, but he did NOT have to go out in such a completely twisted way…I won’t go into the gory details, but it’s rough to read.
HAN SOLO: A book with a lot of sass
Aurora Risinghas no short supply at sassy, sarcastic writing, and the same can be said for the characters. (*coughcough FINIAN coughcough*)
EMPEROR PALPATINE: Best world-building
I think The Black Witchtakes the cake for this one. There was clearly so much care put into everything from the history to the magical races, and everything in between.
BEN/OBI-WAN KENOBI: A book you went in with low expectations and that blew you away
I didn’t have high expectations for The Looking Glass, but I was pleasantly surprised by the lush writing–not to mention, the great music references.
YODA: A book that taught you something or that made you grow
I don’t think I’ve anticipated a book as much as I’ve anticipated Aurora Burning (though Soul of Stars is a close contender). After falling in love with book 1, I jumped at the chance to preorder it, and as the date came closer (it’s officially been a week since its release), I counted down the days. My day got SO much better once I got it in the mail, and my day was filled with so much joy thereafter. I read it twice, and I must say, this is a truly worthy sequel, filled to the brim with plot twists and heart-wrenching writing.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1, AURORA RISING. If you haven’t read book 1, then I suggest you don’t read this review yet.
Squad 312 is in more trouble than they’ve ever been in.
After the tumultuous exploration of Octavia III, the colony that Aurora was set to live in, Tyler, Scarlett, Finian, Kal, Zila, and Auri are back on the run. The TDF now blames them for the destruction of Sagan station, and with targets on their backs, the stakes are higher than ever. Especially considering that the Ra’haam–an interstellar entity bent on consuming the galaxy and all its denizens–is after them, infiltrating the Global Intelligence Agency, and bent on assimilating Auri. Now, Squad 312 must unlock the mystery of the Eshvaren–the beings that defeated the Ra’haam millions of years before–in order to complete Auri’s destiny as the force that will purge the Ra’haam from the face fo the galaxy. With targets on their backs and bounties on their heads–and not to mention, Kal’s sister after them–will Squad 312 defy all odds once more?
WOW. WHAT. A. BOOK.
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have absolutely done it again, pulling out all the stops of a sequel truly worthy of the near-perfection of its predecessor. There was nothing I enjoyed more than being back with Squad 312–especially now that we’ve got some necessary backstory on all of them.
Namely, Zila and Kal. We learned almost nothing about Zila in book 1, other than something vaguely hinted in her (very short) POVs; now that we have some insight on her past life…whew, somebody give her all the hugs the universe has to offer…
But beyond that, we also saw her grow such a great deal, and watching it made my heart so happy. Kal gets a similar treatment–we get an insight on his past (namely, his family), and we also get to see his relationship with Auri grow. I already adored both of them in book 1 (I mean, hey, they’re my favorite characters), but seeing them blossom together was one of my favorite aspects of this book.
Aurora Burning was just as action-packed as book 1, if not even more. I enjoyed every minute of it–everything from the escape from Emerald City at the very beginning to the chaos that ensued towards the end of the novel. I was on the edge of my seat for every page, and grinning from ear to ear through it all. (Well, almost all of it. More on that a bit later.)
One of my favorite scenes/sequences, by far, was Auri’s training by the Eshvaren within the Echo. It was such a beautifully written and archetypal few chapters–not only a chance for Auri to realize herself and her mindset, but a chance for her relationship with Kal to grow as well. The imagery was gorgeous, and I’ll admit that the last bit got me choked up. Mostly because it was so reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back, with Luke undergoing training to be a Jedi knight in the swamps of Dagobah. The Hero’s Journey parallels between Luke and Auri made me swell with joy, for lack of better words.
And all of it built up to an absolute WHOPPER of an ending. If you love this series as much as I do, PLEASE prepare yourself emotionally, because I guarantee that you won’t be ready for what’s coming. I know you’ve all heard everybody saying something on these lines, but I mean it when I say that Kaufman and Kristoff DESTROY EVERYTHING THAT YOU HOLD DEAR. AGAIN. And now I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens…
And on a sidenote, REPRESENTATION! Finian is now confirmed to be bisexual, and Zila makes several comments about liking girls, though her label has not been confirmed. A+!
All in all, Aurora Burning proves once more that Kaufman and Kristoff are nothing short of a force to be reckoned with. A true stunner of a sequel, and one that I certainly won’t forget anytime soon. 5, ENORMOUS STARS! Or more, if that’s possible…
Aurora Burning is the second book in the Aurora Cycle, preceded by Aurora Rising. Book 3 is confirmed to be happening/in the works, but as of now, it’s untitled, and does not have a cover or a release date. [sad harmonica]
Gah, I love this song…
Reminds me a little bit of Kal, to be honest. Not completely, but some of the lyrics and the general feel of the song have the same vibes as him.
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Sunday, and Happy Mother’s Day! I know I don’t know where I would possibly be without my mom, and I am so grateful to have someone as special as her in my life. 💗
All things considered, it’s actually been a pretty great week for me! I had a lovely May 4th/Star Wars day, and I rewatched The Empire Strikes Back that night. I’ve had a relatively easy online school week, the weather’s been warm, I’ve had loads of fun writing (everything’s more fun once you launch everyone into space), watched Fight Club (SO well-written), and rediscovered a song that I hadn’t listened to in ages. I also got Aurora Burning in the mail, and read it twice. I couldn’t have asked for a better sequel. Even though the ending absolutely WRECKED me. I’ll save all that for my review next week, so stay tuned! 😉
And now, I’m at 100 books on my Goodreads challenge!
I should have posted some of this last week, really, but I just wanted to post some pictures here.
I decided last week that I wanted a little change of pace concerning my bookshelf. After consulting a few friends of mine, I ultimately decided to rearrange my books in rainbow order!
I also tried to arrange my Pop! Figures in rainbow order as well! Starting from the top, we have Starfire (Teen Titans Go!), Liz Sherman (Hellboy), Yoda (Star Wars), Beast Boy (TTG!), Abe Sapien (HB), Elisa Esposito (The Shape of Water), Eleven (Stranger Things), Batgirl (DC), Raven (TTG!), The Vision (Avengers), Rey (Star Wars, K-2SO (Star Wars), and Maleficent (Disney). While rearranging everything, I listened to The Bends (Radiohead). It was a lovely way to spend my afternoon. 🙂
Now, fast forward to today. After finishing up online school today, my day got exponentially better upon discovering that Aurora Burning had come in the mail! I preordered it a few months back, and I was counting down the days until its release. So, naturally, I decided to mess around with some Instagram filters and do a photoshoot. I don’t have a bookstagram or anything, but this is the closest I’ll ever get, seeing as I already spend too much time on there, anyway.
And because I find the orange and teal filter oh so satisfying…
A A A A A A A A A
I haven’t yet read Aurora Burning (I would have started it, but I had already started Girls in the Moon), but at this point, I think it’s guaranteed that I’ll adore it. We’ll see. But from what I can tell, I’ll have to have my tissues at the ready. Either way, I’ll definitely review it next week! 😉
I’d forgotten about this one until it came on my shuffle this morning. I already loved the other version, but with the underlying cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and the choir towards the last thirds…needless to say, I got goosebumps. I think it might be my favorite song at the moment.
That’s it for this random post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.
After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.
The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…
So why do I want to read this?
Since we’ve gotten the fact that I’ll read almost anything Star Wars related out of the way, let’s talk about the other major selling point for me: Claudia Gray.
This book in particular was recommended to me by a friend in my high school’s book club, and a fellow Star Wars fan (as you might have suspected). According to him, it provides a really interesting insight into the Empire’s perspective of things–not quite Palpatine or Vader, but the workers on the Death Star. After so many years of focusing on the Rebel Alliance or the Resistance, it sounds fascinating to see things from the losing side’s perspective. Oh, and apparently there’s a good sprinkling of forbidden love. [rubs hands together] Oooh…
You all knew this was coming. You knew.
That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Thanks for (barely) tolerating all of my references! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourselves, and May the Fourth be With You!
Hey, gotta fit that in a few times a year…my sacred duty as a Star Wars fan…
Aaaaanyway, I finished this one up not too long ago. It had been on my TBR for a while, and I mentioned it in one of my Down the TBR Hole posts a few months back. In my endless search for quality sci-fi, I often push fantasy and other genres aside, so I figured that Roar would be a good change of scenery. And overall? A well-imagined and well-written fantasy!
Enjoy this week’s review!
Roar (Stormheart, #1)
In a ruthless land where violent storms rule all, Aurora is next in line to inherit the throne of Pavan. Forced into an arranged marriage and lacking in the storm-controlling powers that define Pavan royalty, she is unsure of her next move. But before she can resort to lying, her betrothed, Cassius Locke, sweeps her into the underbelly of Pavan, telling her of the black market business of buying and selling Stormling powers. Now, Aurora–under the alias of Roar–thinks she has all of her problems solved. But what is the cost of stealing something that is rightfully earned?
Overall, Roar didn’t overtly exceed or fall below my expectations; my expectations were adequately met. The worldbuilding, as well as all of the lore surrounding the Storm magic, was fascinating to dig into. There was clearly a lot of time put into developing the mythology around the magic system, and although the use of gems as a plot device is vastly overdone, I…sort of think it works? I guess? I dunno. Could’ve been a bit more creative.
As far as the character department goes, I didn’t feel a great attachment to any of the characters, but I loved the misfitty team dynamic that they began to have about a third of the way through. Once Roar and Locke got together with the rest of *the gang*, they had wonderful chemistry, and played off of each other with ease. However, the romance was what mainly made me feel iffy. Locke was chock-full of tropes, and the fact that he and Aurora/Roar start getting all heart-eyes for each other MERE HOURS AFTER MEETING… a) Insta-love, the bane of my existence, and b) uh, Locke? Ever hear of something called CONSENT? HMM? So that was…very weird. Not ideal. I suppose it got the teensiest bit better after they got to know each other better, but still veeeery uncomfortable for the first 100-ish pages of the book.
In conclusion, Roar had some well-executed elements and an interesting magic system, but fell flat (almost problematically so) in some respects. 3.5 stars, but the .5 mostly comes from the team dynamic that comes later on in the book.
Roar is the first book of the Stormheart trilogy, which also includes Rage (book 2, released 2019) and Reign (to be published this August). Not sure if I like it enough to continue with the trilogy, but I’ll think about that.
One of those rare covers that surpasses the original material. More on that here…
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Comfort food. We all have it. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and no matter how deep into the dark places we may become entrenched, it will always bring immeasurable joy to us. So this is sort of an appreciation post, but more just musings on a few books and movies that not only help me get through it, but are just fun to read/watch over and over, and they never get old.
BOOKS AND COMICS
Heart of Iron–Ashley Poston
Ever since I read Heart of Ironfor the first time on a magical trip to Chicago, it’s been my go-to whenever I reach a reading slump, or just need a little bit more sci-fi fun in my life. Also, Jax. ‘Nuff said.
Pumpkinheads–Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
This one’s a more recent addition to my list, but no matter the time of year, Pumpkinheadsis especially good for curing all that ails you. I mean, it helped me recover from the initial speechless shock after seeing Joker in theaters, if that’s any proof. (And that was a seriously rough movie…so well-done, though)
B.P.R.D. vol. 2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories–Mike Mignola
Let me make myself clear: in the grand scheme of all things B.P.R.D., The Soul of Veniceis nowhere near the peak of mastery that this comic series has achieved. But that’s not at all to say that it isn’t a ball of spooky, paranormal fun from cover to cover. Part of why this is one of my most frequently re-read trades is for a few reasons, but the most important one is that, like Heart of Iron, is that it brings back some of my fondest memories, those from when I went to Sequoia National Park one spring break. We stopped in LA before the drive there, where I got this at a comic shop just about a month before it closed. I spent almost the entire trip reading and re-reading that trade, even though I had…oh, three or four books loaded up on my Kindle?
One of the first major comic series that I came to love (and collect in its entirety), Courtney always manages to dredge up so many happy memories for me when I go back and re-read any of the separate volumes. Of course, I end up crying (*coughcough THE COVEN OF MYSTICS coughcough THE FINAL SPELL coughcough*) every time, but it’s worth it. [sniffles] I swear…
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW FANTASTIC THIS MOVIE IS. Aside from being one of the rare sequels that surpasses its predecessor, it speaks to me as a person. I mean…a bunch of misfits and weirdos just trying to get through life. (And trying to take down an invincible, supernatural army, but, y’know, that’s just part of the job.) Over the past three or four years, it’s played such a big role in my life, and I know for a fact that I will never grow tired of it.
X2: X-Men United
Again. Misfits just trying to get through life, with some world-saving on the side. After all the criticism these films have gotten over the years (mostly for The Last Stand, that first Wolverine solo, Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix), it’s so sad that they’ve been pushed aside in the grand scheme of superhero films. For if you think about it, these three two original X-Men movies (we don’t talk about The Last Stand) set the standard for the modern superhero movie. For lack of better words, the X-Men movies walked SO THE ENTIRE MCU COULD RUN. There. I said it.
Anyway, X2 was what rekindled my love of X-Men a few years ago, and in the span of about a year and a half, I’ve been able to watch it a good 5 times, and it will never. Get. Old.
All of the Star Wars movies (minus The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, you know what you’ve done…)
Star Wars. Need I really say any more?
I’d already heard a few songs off of Strange Mercy before, but I downloaded the rest of the album a few days ago, and I am STUNNED by how phenomenal it is.
So what’s your comfort food? What books, comics, films, and more will you never be able to stop re-reading/watching? Let me know down in the comments!
That just about wraps up this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Hey there, fellow bibliophiles! Hope you all had a good week. ☺️
Aaaaand now it’s February. Wow. January was an odd month for me, filled with a whole plethora of ups and downs. But hey–I read 21 books, got to about 38,000 words (about 60 pages) in my WIP, and got past 100 followers! What a month, indeed…
I’ve had a bit of a disappointing library haul this week, but I did find a few noteworthy books among the meh, at least. Here’s hoping that this week’s haul will be better. 🤞
Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and welcome to…wow, the last Goodreads Monday of 2019…
Sheesh, this year really sped by…
Anyway, I came across this one over the summer, I think, and I was hooked from the first sentences of the synopsis. It hasn’t come out yet, but without any reviews and only the synopsis, I am BEYOND excited to read this one!
Let’s begin, shall we?
GOODREADS MONDAY (12/30/19)–SEVEN DEVILS by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May
This first book in a feminist space opera duology follows seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire — or die trying.
When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.
Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.
When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.
Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die.
So why do I want to read this?
Alright, not gonna lie, I was hooked even before they had a coherent synopsis on Goodreads. Why? Simple: All it had was a release date, and something along the lines of “perfect for fans of Rogue One.”
Aaaaaaand, you’ve got my attention.
From the sparse reviews I’ve seen, it’s been oft-described as a “feminist, queer space opera”. And honestly? That’s all I ask for in a book. That’s what I want to write, in the first place. Plus, the cover. GORGEOUS.
Seven Devils doesn’t come out until August 2020, but you can bet that I’ll be anxiously awaiting its release until then. 😉
That just about wraps up this week’s Goodreads Monday! Stay tuned for more content later in the week, and though I’ll be posting all throughout the week (or I’ll try, at least), have a Happy New Year!