Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (2/1/22) – Beyond the End of the World (The Other Side of the Sky, #2)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles, Happy beginning of Black History Month, and happy Lunar New Year! 🐅 My, today’s a momentous occasion…

I’ve been a fan of Amie Kaufman’s for years, and at this point, I’ll read almost anything that she writes. I discovered The Other Side of the Sky during a really tough time in my life, and reading it and immersing myself in her and Spooner’s world made the pain just that much more bearable. I preordered book 2 last year, and it came in the mail recently! Although it was a bit of a slow start, Beyond the End of the World was a jaw-dropping conclusion to a creative duology!

Now, tread lightly! This review may contain spoilers for book 1, The Other Side of the Sky! If you haven’t read book 1 and intend on doing so, I’d suggest that you skip this review just in case.

For my review of The Other Side of the Sky, click here!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Beyond the End of the World: 9780062893369: Kaufman, Amie,  Spooner, Meagan: Books

Beyond the End of the World (The Other Side of the Sky, #2) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

my copy ft. Anakin the cat being very tired of me

Nimh and North have switched places, and only a miracle can get them back where they each belong—and solve the conflict brewing Below.

Nimh and Inshara, the cultist bent on usurping her, are stranded in Alciel, Prince North’s domain in the clouds. But when Nimh wakes up, she realizes that Inshara has contacted the Queen and convinced her that she is Nimh. Below, Prince North is on the brink of discovering a secret that may upend all that Nimh and her people stand for. With the odds stacked against them both, their only chance is to reunite, but the hidden secrets Below may mean chaos for both North and Nimh.

Sky GIF - Sky - Discover & Share GIFs

TW/CW: train crash, frightening situations, descriptions of blood, murder

Every sequel that has a recap of what happened in the previous book is already great by my standards. But in all seriousness, Beyond the End of the World was a sequel that delivered a satisfying end to a uniquely inventive duology!

My only problem with Beyond is the first 100 or so pages; it moves a little slowly for the first quarter, and even though I love Amie Kaufman’s (and I guess Meagan Spooner’s, by proxy, even though I haven’t read any of her solo books) writing, I found myself losing interested. But once the inciting incident—Nimh’s in particular—is set into motion, Beyond’s pace accelerates to the perfect speed.

I loved the prospect of North and Nimh being trapped in worlds completely alien to them, but what made it so tense and well-executed was the introduction of conflict. Once the aftermath of book 1 fades off, Kaufman and Spooner did a fantastic job of setting up obstacles for each of them to overcome. Not only that, but these obstacles had fascinating ramifications that had such a jaw-dropping impact on the last quarter of the book.

I’m not usually one for twists thrown into the last book in the series not long before it ends, but the revelation at the end of Beyond was enough to put a giddy, baffled grin on my face. DANG. Without spoiling anything, I’m still reeling from it just thinking about it. Part of what made it so great was its implications on the worldbuilding—once this domino is set in motion, it tears down everything about Nimh’s world that you thought you knew. So well done, and so well-built-up over the course of two books!

I have one slight problem with said twist. One of the aspects of this duology that I loved so much was the fact that it’s the only “magic vs. technology” book that I’ve read that actually works. The twist, however well-executed that it was, did kind of throw a wrench in the whole concept. Again, no spoilers, but the fact that this is the direction that the twist meant that the “magic vs. technology” part was almost rendered moot. I still hold that this twist was incredibly well-written, but it’s a bit of a disappointment on the themes front.

Of course, it was wonderful to be back in Kaufman and Spooner’s shiny world of goddesses and floating cities. Although I’m more partial to Nimh than North, it was great to see them both again, and it was even sweeter to see them reunite. I didn’t feel a whole lot for the side characters, but given how wonderfully written most everything else, I could let that slide. Plus, cats. I would do anything to pet the Bindle cat.

Overall, a stunning and tense conclusion to one of the most creative series that I’ve come across in the past few years. 4 stars!

Medieval | Gif Hunt | Aesthetic gif, Gif, The witcher

Beyond the End of the World is the conclusion to the Other Side of the Sky duology, preceded by The Other Side of the Sky. Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have also written the Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and This Fractured Light) and the Unearthed duology (Unearthed and Undying) together.

Today’s song:

besides being on of my favorite TV on the Radio songs, this music video just cracks me up every time

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

January 2022 Wrap-Up 🚡

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

2022. It’s gonna be a momentous year for me—I’m graduating high school and starting college, after all! January’s been both fun and stressful, but I’d say it’s been a good start to this year so far.

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

Edward & Kim - Edward Scissorhands Fan Art (22305845) - Fanpop

Better than last January, certainly, but that’s a pretty low standard. I blame precalc.

After a barely snowy December, it’s finally felt like winter here. A little…too much so. I like snow, generally, but after the first few I start to get sick of the ice on the roads and waking up at 6 AM in the freezing cold. But that’s Colorado. At least the snow looks beautiful on the mountains.

My last semester of high school…I still haven’t managed to grasp it. But either way, it started out smoothly, and it’s gradually begun to feel more like…well, School. Lots of tests and quizzes to study for, which I’m not thrilled about, but I’m finally in a creative writing class, and I’m really enjoying it! I’ve gotten to write a lot of interesting poetry, and I feel a lot less nervous about reading it out loud now. I ended up stressing out about college a lot this month, but now that there’s more certainty in the future, I feel a lot better. And I think I’ll be very happy with where I’m going.

Editing the WIP has been on and off, but I’ve gone through the first initial read-through! Now that I’ve identified what needs to be done, I just need to tweak things here and there. I’ve been trying for years to be more open about sharing parts of my story with friends and family, and I’m getting closer, but I’m hoping sharing the story itself will be the next step. Kind of needs to be, anyway, if I want to get it published someday…

Other than that, I spent some time with family, got comics, went skiing for the first time since early 2020 (or was it 2019?), I got to see Danny Elfman live (which was AMAZING!!), watched the first two episodes of The Book of Boba Fett then timed out, re-watched Edward Scissorhands and Felt A Great Many Things, watched The House, and got around to drawing a little more.

I’ve also been getting more into X-Men lately—well, more than usual, at any rate. They’ve been special to me for years, but I haven’t been this much into them since…probably this time three years ago, freshman year. I think reading the newer comics has spurred it on again. There’s something oddly sacred about reconnecting with that part of my past self, of knowing that what gave her joy still gives me joy now. To know that I’ve grown so much since then.

I realized that I’ve never really explained where my blog name comes from—the “Mutant” part of “The Bookish Mutant” is a reference to the X-Men.

X men night call movie quotes GIF - Find on GIFER
well said, Kurt. well said.

READING AND BLOGGING:

I read 21 books this month! I put my Goodreads challenge at 200 books because I’m anticipating a hectic year, what with moving into college and all that. Either way, I’m surprised—and glad—to have gotten around to reading this much, however hit-or-miss this batch was.

1 – 1.75 stars:

Amazon.com: Sisters of the Snake: 9780062985590: Nanua, Sasha, Nanua,  Sarena: Books
Sisters of the Snake

2 – 2.75 stars:

I'm Not Missing by Carrie Fountain
I’m Not Missing

3 – 3.75 stars:

Amazon.com: Railhead: 9781630790486: Reeve, Philip: Books
Railhead

4 – 4.75 stars:

Amazon.com: Beyond the End of the World: 9780062893369: Kaufman, Amie,  Spooner, Meagan: Books
Beyond the End of the World

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?4.5 stars

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Albee, Edward: 0071162004991: Amazon.com:  Books
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

SOME POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS I ENJOYED FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE:

SONGS/ALBUMS I’VE ENJOYED:

this is the only audio of this song that I could find on YouTube for some reason?? anyways I love it & my creative writing teacher put the album cover as the header for his google classroom and it’s awesome
new spoon woo woo woo!!
new Mitski will be in our hands so soon!!! can’t wait!!
one of those songs I heard as a kid but only remembered a tiny bit of
at this point, the score for Edward Scissorhands is easily one of my favorite film scores of all time
a hit-or-miss album overall for me, but the highlights of it were incredible

DID I FOLLOW THROUGH ON MY JANUARY GOALS?

Blade runner GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER
Colorado January hours
  • Set a reasonable Goodreads goal: yep, 200. Now that I’ve gotten through challenges where I’ve read 250-300 books (I still don’t know how I managed the 300 that one time…), I set it lower knowing that this year will be hectic, what with graduating high school and going off to college in the fall. (!!!!)
  • Start 2022 on a good note! I saw Danny Elfman live, for god’s sakes. If that’s not starting 2022 on a good note, then I don’t know what is.

FEBRUARY GOALS:

Happy Valentine's Day, no one! - GIF on Imgur
shamelessly whipping out this gif every year
  • Make another Black History month list—I’ve read so many amazing books by Black authors since last February!
  • Review some of the albums that are coming out next month!! (So many!!)
  • Actually post some art here, if I get the time…it’s about time

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 24-30, 2022

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

It’s been an alright week, I suppose. Lots of snow and ice, but no two-hour delay like last week (??). I’ve had lots of quizzes lately and I have lots of quizzes in the foreseeable future, which I’m not thrilled about, but that’s school.

I'm dreaming of a Shiro Christmas – The Significance of White in Anime (12  days) - I drink and watch anime | Anime scenery wallpaper, Anime scenery,  Anime snow

I had another mixed bag of books this week, but I found a few that I had a lot of fun with! I got Beyond the End of the World in the mail too, and it was so much fun to reconnect with that world. I’ve been gathering some books by Black authors for Black History Month starting on Tuesday, so I’m excited to get into those as well!! I also got to make a Black History Month display in the teen section of my local library, which was a lot of fun.

I haven’t been writing a whole lot this week, but I’ve been having a lot of fun writing some weird poetry in my creative writing class at school. We’ll see where next week takes me.

Other than that, I’ve just been drawing when I can, bundling up for the snow, watching The House on Netflix (THE ANIMATION), and playing guitar. Alright start to 2022, I think.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Tides of Mutiny – Rebecca Rode (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Tides of Mutiny by Rebecca Rode | Jimmy Patterson

Landscape with Invisible Hand – M.T. Anderson (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Landscape with Invisible Hand eBook : Anderson, M. T.: Kindle  Store

The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle, #1) – Erin Beaty (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Traitor's Kiss (Traitor's Trilogy, 1): 9781250117946:  Beaty, Erin: Books

Who I Was with Her – Nita Tyndall (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Who I Was with Her: 9780062978387: Tyndall, Nita: Books

Beyond the End of the World (The Other Side of the Sky, #2) – Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Beyond the End of the World: 9780062893369: Kaufman, Amie,  Spooner, Meagan: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

JUST ME LISTENING TO THIS IS HAPPENING SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Binti – Nnedi Okorafor

Binti (Binti, 1): Okorafor, Nnedi: 9780765385253: Amazon.com: Books

Odd One Out – Nic Stone

Amazon.com: Odd One Out: 9781101939536: Stone, Nic: Books

Master of Poisons – Andrea Hairston

Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston

This Is Our Story – Ashley Elston

Amazon.com: This is Our Story: 9781484730898: Elston, Ashley: Books

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (10/27/20)–The Other Side of the Sky

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Whew, my week went from “relaxing snow day” to “dear god I have at least 4 different tests and projects due next week” in the span of 24 hours…it’s only Tuesday, have mercy on my poor soul…

Hence why I’m writing this review a little later than usual. I’ll probably be a bit less frequent with my posting in the upcoming weeks, but I can do the usual memes and reviews, at the very least. ✌️

Anyway, I preordered this book back in July, mostly just on the basis of a) Amie Kaufman and b) THAT PRETTY COVER. It came in the mail with Skyhunter a few weeks back, and I’m pleased to say that The Other Side of the Sky was a genre-bending success!

Enjoy this week’s review!

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman

The Other Side of the Sky–Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

My copy feat. Rey

North and Nimhara are from worlds that couldn’t be more different than each other. But a twist of fate will bring them together, with possibly disastrous consequences…

North is the prince of his domain in the sky, a floating city fueled by advanced technology. A tragic accident with his aircraft causes him to crash, thrusting him into the world below. The world that, legend has it, is uninhabitable.

The legends were wrong.

In the lands below lives Nimhara, anointed at a young age as the living vessel of the divine. But her people are suspicious of her–every god and goddess has a unique aspect. Nimhara has yet to summon hers.

North’s crash landing thrusts them both headfirst into the words of an ancient prophecy, once that may spell the end of both of their worlds. Will Nimh and North be able to join forces and save their homes?

Social - CLOUD CITY CANTINA (20.0) The Force Ghost Party! | Page 51 | Jedi  Council Forums

Melding opposing worlds of science in magic is uncommon in literature, and it may be for good reason. Both of the times I’ve read books with such concepts (see The Wrinkled Crown, Story Thieves), it’s fallen disappointingly flat. But never fear–The Other Side of the Sky is the shining exception to that rule! Though most of the book is set in Nimh’s terrestrial, magic-oriented home, the fantasy and science worlds both felt seamlessly fleshed out–and packed with lovely imagery, at that.

Going off of that…this is honestly worldbuilding that I could–and want to–lose myself in. Every inch of this fantastical realm felt so lived-in and authentic, and there wasn’t any instances where I felt like information was being unceremoniously dumped over my head. The imagery only accentuated the fact–rich, vivid, and immersive, it made reading this novel not just a way to take a break from my (overwhelming) reality, but an experience in and of itself.

And the characters! I really haven’t read much by Meagan Spooner (save for These Broken Stars and Unearthed, which are others that she co-wrote with Kaufman), but Amie Kaufman (or, at least *partially* Amie Kaufman) never misses the mark with every aspect of the characters, from their individual personalities to their chemistry. Nimh was not only intelligent and resourceful, but she had an authentic vulnerability to her as well. Anyone with a big responsibility on their shoulders (even though I don’t know anybody who’s actually a living/god/goddess/goddexx…hello?) will absolutely relate to her. North was similarly cunning, but it was kind of funny to see how bumbling he first was upon landing in Nimh’s world and seeing how he coped with knowing nothing at all about his surroundings. Made for some great character development, too.

Oh, and the representation! Both Nimh and North are implied to be POC, and North not only has two moms, but was in a polyamorous relationship with a girl and another boy, so he’s poly and bi (or pan or omni? not entirely sure, but I’m here for it either way)! 🙂 (Sidenote…I kind of imagined North like Hunter from Raised by Wolves…random, but I thought it was worth noting…)

(EDIT: Amie Kaufman just confirmed that North is bi! 💗💜💙)

Raised by Wolves, Part 4 – Weird Getting Weirder (Season 1 Episodes 8 & 9)  | 25YL
Hunter’s the one on the left in this picture, for reference. There’s very few pics of him when I google him, for some reason…I guess it’s bc the show’s newish…EH I digress

All in all, a vividly designed and lushly written melding of science fiction and fantasy. 4 stars!

Beautiful 8-bit Color Cycling Pixel Art - Imgur | Pixel art background,  Pixel art, Vaporwave art

The Other Side of the Sky is the first in a duology, followed by an untitled second book set to be released next year (2021). Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner together are also the authors of the Starbound Trilogy and the Unearthed duology. Kaufman and Spooner have also written several series on their own, including the Elementals trilogy (Kaufman), the Illuminae Files (Kaufman, cowritten with Jay Kristoff), the Aurora Cycle (Kaufman, cowritten with Jay Kristoff), the Skylark trilogy (Spooner), Hunted (Spooner), and Sherwood (Spooner).

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 Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: October 19-25, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

This week has been…well…slightly better than the last, at least? That really isn’t saying much, but it’s gotten the tiniest bit better. Definitely overwhelming and stressful school-wise (@ junior year please stop throwing me off a cliff), but I’m (mostly) over the hump now. I had quizzes in my two hardest classes, so that was no fun.

Stressed GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Other than that, it’s been alright. I’m slowly crawling out of the pit that was last week, but I’ve still been feeling a bit low. I read quite a lot of good books, though, so at least there’s that. I caught up on/rewatched the newest episode of Fargo (no spoilers, but…[AGONIZED SCREAMING]), got a bunch of new books at the library (finally have The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on my hands!), watched the original Frankenstein again (gotta love how Henry just straight-up admits to grave robbing), and had some birthday festivities for my family. Halloween season always cheers me up, if nothing else, so through all this general bleh-ness, at least we have pumpkins all over the house, a bowl of candy corns, and crunchy leaves on the ground. (Well…crunchy leaves covered in snow, as of this morning.)

I’m…pretty much finished with my outline for NaNoWriMo? I’m itching to get writing again, so I only have one week left to wait…

And today (October 25) marks the beginning of Ace Week! So expect a compilation of books with characters on the asexual spectrum sometime this week.

Oh, and I just witnessed a squirrel on my balcony abscond with a stale bagel…

Ladies, gentlemen and others, welcome to Colorado.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Other Side of the Sky–Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Other Side of the Sky (9780062893338): Kaufman, Amie,  Spooner, Meagan: Books

Memento (The Illuminae Files, #0.5)–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Memento (The Illuminae Files, #0.5) by Amie Kaufman

The War of the Worlds–H.G. Wells (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The War of the Worlds (AmazonClassics Edition) eBook: Wells, H.  G.: Kindle Store

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily–Laura Creedle (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle

Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace, #1)–Kathryn Purdie (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Bone Crier's Moon (9780062798770): Purdie, Kathryn: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Radio Silence–Alice Oseman

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes–Suzanne Collins

Amazon.com: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel)  eBook: Collins, Suzanne: Kindle Store

All the Stars and Teeth–Adalyn Grace

Amazon.com: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth Duology, 1)  (9781250307781): Grace, Adalyn: Books

The Athena Protocol–Shamim Sarif

Amazon.com: The Athena Protocol eBook: Sarif, Shamim: Kindle Store

Today’s song:

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