Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Quick Fire Fantasy Tag

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Hello again, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Kayla’s Wordsmithy (thank you!), and I thought that I’d give it a try! I haven’t given as much love to fantasy lately, so I figured this would be a nice change. The tag was originally created by The Book Worm Dreamer.

RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (thebookwormdreamer.wordpress.com) in your post
  • Answer the prompts below – all fantasy books!
  • Tag 5 others to take part
  • Enjoy!

 

5 STAR BOOK

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The last fantasy that I rated five stars was The Demon Worldthe sequel to The Smoke Thieves. I know I blab about this one a lot, but hey…

  • Several butt-kicking women
  • Romance
  • Demons

What’s not to like?

ALWAYS GOING TO RECOMMEND

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Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy is the ideal gateway to YA fantasy, and a richly-imagined, heart-pounding ride from start to finish.

 

OWN IT BUT HAVEN’T READ IT YET

Um….shoot, I think I’ll have to skip this one. Everything that I’ve bought recently I’ve already read, and not much of said book haul is fantasy.

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WOULD READ AGAIN

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I’m devastated that I borrowed Other Words for Smoke at the library, because this was an absolute MASTERPIECE.

 

IN ANOTHER WORLD

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Fennbirn, the island setting of Three Dark Crowns is lush and rife with detailed mythology. A true feat of literature, in that respect, and an unforgettable series. The whole system with the Queens and their gifts is incredibly fascinating.

BACK ON EARTH

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Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (another five-star fantasy for me) is set in both the human city of London and London Below, a magical and unpredictable underbelly of the city, where all manner of strange creatures lurk. What a gem of a book ♥️

(Since I’ve already posted once today, just head over to this week’s Goodreads Monday if you’d like to see today’s song. 😉)

I tag anyone that would like to participate! I never know if the people I tag will end up participating in the tag, so I’ll just open it up to anyone who wants to. 🙂

 

Thanks so much for reading! Have a great 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

Fall Festival Book Photo Tag

Happy November, fellow bibliophiles!

I was tagged by A Little Haze Book Blog to take part in this tag. The tag itself is part of Clo and Fictionally Sam’s Bookending Autumn 2019, and this tag was originally hosted by PoetryBooksYA.

 

I’m pretty excited to take part, so let’s begin! 🙂

 

CHILLY–BOOK WITH A WHITE COVER (Sad story/plotline)

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Michael Belanger’s The History of Jane Doe is well-written, but be warned: it’s definitely a  rough ride, and it deals with teen suicide.

 

SWEET–BOOK WITH AN ORANGE COVER (A favorite contemporary novel)

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I couldn’t find many contemporary books that I really loved (much less ones with completely orange covers), but this is my most recent read in that category: Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott’s exploration of romance and grief, The Way Back to You

 

SPICY–BOOK WITH A RED COVER (Action/Fast-paced setting)

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Ohhhhhhhh yeah.

I could go on for days about the The Demon World. The whole series (that’s come out), for that matter.

 

DARK–BOOK WITH A BLACK COVER (Dark, twisted theme)

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The entire Three Dark Crowns  series is pretty rife with violence, disturbing sibling rivalries, and all manner of spooky stuff. All four books had me on the edge of my seat…

 

GREEN–BOOK WITH A GREEN COVER (Makes you feel jealous)

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This was a hard one…I mean, green cover? Easy. Makes me feel jealous? Now that’s another story…

I suppose that Robert Beatty’s Willa of the Wood  doesn’t inherently make me jealous, but I’m definitely jealous of Beatty’s world-building and descriptive writing. (He’s also the author of the Serafina trilogy, which, excluding book 2, I adored in middle school.)

 

Well, that just about wraps it up!

I tag:

 

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (9/17/19)-The Demon World

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

First off, sorry for forgoing Goodreads Monday this week. It just slipped my mind sometime in between doing math homework and creating some X-Men fan art. Oops…I promise I’ll get to it next week 😉

 

Hopefully, though, this review makes up for it. This week’s book does, anyway. I finally got my hands on the sequel to The Smoke Thieves (you can read my review of book 1 right here )!!!

And I must say, this sequel did not disappoint! The Demon World was everything that I loved about book 1, but with the volume turned up; absolutely jam-packed with plot twists, intricate writing, and characters that you root for until the very end.

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

 

The Demon World (The Smoke Thieves, #2)

 

Just days ago, Tash, Ambrose, Catherine, March, and Edyon were strangers. Now, they are all entangled in a war of epic proportions, and their lives may just be at stake. And it’s all because of a bottle of demon smoke.

The tide of war is turning, but not in these young adults’ favors; King Aloysius, Catherine’s megalomaniacal father, has discovered that demon smoke gives whoever inhales it strength beyond their wildest dreams. With enough smoke, he plans to raise an unstoppable army, with which he can claim all of his neighboring countries.

Catherine’s underground resistance is struggling to regain footing after several losses. Their desperate travels take them to the Demon World–a hellish realm where demons roam freely. If they can figure out its secrets, they may be able to end and win this war–but is it too late to stop Aloysius’ demonic hordes of men?

 

And I thought The Smoke Thieves was intense…

The Demon World is truly a masterpiece, like The Empire Strikes Back of this series. Green pulls out all the stops, amping up the tension and action just enough to be believable and glue me to my seat simultaneously. Within…oh, fifty pages in, I was crying tears of joy. By the end, the tears had…well…yeah, let’s say they were quite the opposite. In short, this made me feel all the feels. Every. Single. One of them.

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[screams into the void]
The ending left me speechless, and I kind of wanted to throw the book across the room. In a good way.

Almost.

I mean, it was a library book, I’m not that barbaric.

What I’m saying is that, unlike so many other YA novels of its kind, The Demon World is a worthy successor of the first novel, with an ending so earthshattering that the conclusion is almost guaranteed to be momentous.

 

Book 3 is, as of now, untitled, and according to Goodreads, the expected publication is sometime in 2020.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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[sigh] Well…guess I’ll just have to re-read these two books countless times before book 3 comes out…

 

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (9/10/19)-The Smoke Thieves

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

 

I’m not gonna lie–I’d been meaning to read The Smoke Thieves for a while, and it was *mostly* because of that gorgeous cover.

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*ahem* Aaaaaanyway, I bought it the other day, figuring that a) it was in paperback and b) that hey–it’s been on my TBR for an embarrassing amount of time, the plot seemed decent, and…THE COVER. *swoons*

I haven’t liked a fantasy book this much since…probably since the Three Dark Crowns series. (If you want to see my review for that, click here 🙂 .) An intricate plot, lovable (for the most part) characters, and some of the best world-building I’ve seen in years, I kid you not.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves, #1)

Catherine is the revered princess of Brigant, struggling with the tyrannical rule of her father and the domineering presence of her brother. What’s more, she’s getting married to a prince she knows nothing of in a matter of days.

March is a servant, weighed down with an immeasurable grief. When he was a boy, his homeland was invaded, and almost all of its inhabitants–including his entire family–are long dead. For years, he’s waited for an opportunity to exact his revenge on the killers of his people–and now, he might just have the chance.

Tash is a young demon huntress, making a living out of selling demon smoke–the refuse of a demon after it is killed–illegally, under the tutelage of her mentor and father figure, Gravell.

Ambrose is a royal soldier with a conflicted heart. His kingdom grows ever restless, and the princess is set to be married off; all his life, he’s been pining for her, and now his chances are all but gone.

Edyon is a petty thief, travelling with a fortune teller to make a living. His true identity is unknown to him, but it could decide his country’s fate.

 

What brings them together is a single bottle of demon smoke. As it shifts hands, these five strangers are entangled, and now may tip their countries towards war.

 

 

 

The Smoke Thieves is easily one of the best fantasy novels to come out of 2018. The world building was beautifully intricate, paying attention to the smallest details in culture, customs, and so much more. For the most part (excluding Catherine…sorry), I loved the characters–March, especially 🙂 They were all so well-developed, with unique personalities and surprisingly great chemistry all together. I’ve seen this novel compared to Game of Thrones, which I know almost none about (my knowledge goes as far as a. Jean Grey, b. Dragon lady, and c. Everybody Dies™️), but I can still see that this is a truly worthy comparison. Such an unforgettable novel.

 

I believe this series is slated to be a trilogy. Book 2, The Demon World, came out this year, and I’ve already checked it out at the library, but have yet to read it. SO EXCITED!

 

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

Oh, and keep on reading!