My Top 5 Vampire Novel Picks

I’m going to be so very totally honest here.

I don’t read a lot of Vampire books. I mean I’ve read more than 5, but, but less than like 15.

So, this was an interesting one to do, but I felt I ought to in light of Ghondatha, and just how much I enjoyed it!

5. Millenium Snow, Vol. 1


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GoodReads Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Chiyuki Matsuoka was born with heart problems, and her doctors say she won’t live to see the next snow. Toya is an 18-year-old vampire who hates blood and refuses to make the traditional partnership with a human, whose life-giving blood would keep them both alive for a thousand years.

Chiyuki makes the most of the time she has left, even though things aren’t that exciting–until she comes across a reluctant vampire late one chilly night. Can Chiyuki teach Touya to feel a passion for life, even as her own is ending?”

So, there are originally 2 volumes but they were incomplete and I’ve only found out today that she finished the other 2 volumes, so guess what got added to my reading list lol. Anyway, I love shojo manga and I think this one was just super cute. As I only read the first volume, that’s all that goes on my list! Again, I just thought this one was cute and sweet so, here we go, it made my list.

4. Interview with the Vampire


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GoodReads Blurb: This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne’s most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.
[source: annerice.com]

I had to add this one to the list! Now there are definitely better-written novels out there but nothing beat the enjoyment I got out of reading this. I eventually hope to read the others in the series but I can’t say Vampire novels are my favorite so I don’t really rush them, I know I’ll get there in the end! [I’m also a sucker for this movie, and you know what, unashamedly I liked Queen of the Damned, so, you know, pfffft I’m allowed to have my questionable movie picks!]

3. Ghondatha


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GoodReads Blurb: 

The power to love.

The power to heed your own voice.

The power to hope in a world of blood and shadow.

Yesterday morning, most of Saphrona Melioska’s family was executed. Today, at dawn, she and her brother’s widow would have followed them to the block. But something changed.

Saphrona doesn’t know who paid for their sentence to be commuted, but by that act of kindness, she and her hearth sister are exiled to the remote island of Ghondatha, where Saphrona’s only relatives live.

She has nothing to take with her but the legacy of ten generations of master sculptors, a family name beloved in the world of Art, and her own credo: there is goodness and beauty in everything.

Upon their arrival at Ghondatha, however, Saphrona and Leigh find that even ageless Ghondatha is not what it once was. The island has a new liege-lord, a nobleman from the lavish Amkadan Empire, with deep pockets and extravagant ideas about progress.

All Lord Gideon Bloodstone requires is that the villagers obey three laws: no one may leave the island; all who are invited to his nightly masquerades must attend; and those who are not invited must mind the curfew and stay home.

Who is this man who has stolen the last familiar piece of life Saphrona has left in the world?

Someone who will change forever how she defines that which is good and beautiful.

Content Transparency Statement

1. This is hate-free fiction.

2. The Garden of Night Series contains:

(a) PG-13 rated sensuality

(b) R-rated violence

(c) Vampire characters. Some of them fall in love with humans. There will be talk of blood and biting one another.

I’d like to go on and on and on about this one, because if you’ve read my review you know I was so pleased with this read. I love it because it’s vampires with two different camps/mindsets. The Ferals and The Followers, and I love how unique Ayres has made her story, so, this was probably my best vampire read in a looooong time. If you haven’t read my review, click here.

2. The Den of Shadows Quartet


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GoodReads Blurb (From first book only): By day, Risika sleeps in shaded room in Concord, Massachusetts. By night, she hunts the streets of New York City. She is used to being alone.

But someone is following Risika. He has left her a black rose, the same sort of rose that sealed her fate three hundred years ago. Three hundred years ago Risika had a family- a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human.
Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. But her past has come back to torment her.

I only took the GR Blurb from the first one because the Quartet blurb was like one sentence lol. Okay, so, I need peeps to hear me out on this one. This was the first vampire book I ever read and I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be impressed by it because when Atwater-Rhodes wrote this book she was… drumroll, please!

Thirteen.

That’s right, you read that right, 13. So when I read it when I was about 11/12, I was floored. Reading it now would I write it 5 cups? I’m not sure. But I probably would because I’ll never get over the fact of her age. Also for sentimental reasons I am really very fond of Atwater-Rhodes in general, what I didn’t know however is the Den of Shadows books are now beyond a quartet, looks like I’ll be adding more books to my reading list.

1. Dracula

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GoodReads Blurb: When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘master’. In the ensuing battle of wills between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries – led by the intrepid vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing – Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

Uhhhhhh how could I not??

Like

How could I not? It still has to be number one on my list it’s the real MVP of Vampire novels, even if you don’t like it, I still like to think without it, we wouldn’t have some really kick-ass vampire books/movies/tv shows that we have today. [And we wouldn’t have Van Helsing, which, uh, I love Van Helsing] It’s not a read for everyone and if you’re like ‘nah, it’s totally boring’ that’s okay, you chuck it to the side. I will probably always have a soft spot for it though and can’t wait to give it a reread when October rolls around because that’s the sort of person I am lol.

So that’s my top 5 list, but, I’d love to hear what your fave Vampire picks are, and any recs you may have! Cause who doesn’t need to add a few more books to their TBR?!

[Sidenote: I have indeed read The Twilight series but I think aside from Den of Shadows it’s the only Vampire series I’ve read.]

[Salty] Mini Review Day

So tomorrow I’ll break it up a bit, do a meme, or a tag, and give you all some relief from reviews. I actually was hesitant on doing this today, but, I actually feel these reviews just need to get out because these last three reads have just made me salty and annoyed. And I finished another last night, so here we go, 3 books, one post!

First up

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A Fast Paced Espionage Thriller for Alan Furst Fans Sent In Post-Cold War Poland.

It is 1992 in Warsaw, Poland, and the communist era has just ended. A series of grisly murders suddenly becomes an international case when it’s feared that the victims may have been couriers smuggling nuclear material out of the defunct Soviet Union. The FBI sends an agent to help with the investigation. When he learns that a Russian physicist who designed a portable atomic bomb has disappeared, the race is on to find him—and the bomb—before it ends up in the wrong hands.

Smith’s depiction of post-cold war Poland is gloomily atmospheric and murky in a world where nothing is quite as it seems. Suspenseful, thrilling, and smart, The Fourth Courier brings together a straight white FBI agent and gay black CIA officer as they team up to uncover a gruesome plot involving murder, radioactive contraband, narcissistic government leaders, and unconscionable greed.

Guess what this isn’t? A fast-paced espionage.  I mean there was a small hint of espionage that was overshadowed by the weirdly explicit sexual tones of this novel. I mean…really the whole book hinges on sex. Not espionage, not the cool ‘is there a bomb, who is gonna get it, whodunit’ stuff just ‘who dun who’ kind of stuff.

Here’s most of my GoodReads Review before I grumble more:

I did not care for Jay (the protagonist not the author lol) at all. All the characters were shallow which can happen in a plot-driven novel but the problem was that this was NOT a plot-driven novel as much as I thought it would be. There were also so many explicit scenes which just seemed like not useful to the book. It just felt so weird…

There is some LGBTQIA representation but not exactly in the best of lights. You have a suppressed soldier who feels guilty about his desire for men, a CIA man who uses his own sexuality on the job because he says ‘being gay is a tool’ and the women are just pure stereotypes.

I’m not saying there wasn’t anything enjoyable about the book, because it was to a degree, I just would hope for more. Such a neat idea, just not executed to my tastes I would have liked to see more about the actual plot.

[What I really mean is, I’m super disappointed because I had really high hopes for this and it’s just more misogynistic stuff and no espionage. I will have that put on my plaque when I die because damn it, I’m getting a plaque; ‘The Fourth Courier had no espionage.’]

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Onto the next bit of disappointment!!

[Actually, this next one was not as disappointing as the other two.]


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Ever since she was a little girl, growing up in the village of Abercolme on the wild coast of Scotland, Faye Morgan’s life has been steeped in the old ways – witchcraft, herbal lore and a blood connection to the dangerous and unpredictable world of Faerie.

But magic is both a gift and a burden, and Faye has more than paid the price of living between two worlds. Neither accepted by the villagers, nor welcome in the Faerie Kingdom of Murias after rebuffing the fickle and attractive Faerie warrior king, Finn Beatha, Faye runs from Abercolme, hoping to leave that life behind.

However, even in the twisted, cobbled streets of London, Faye finds her blood bond with Faerie won’t be broken. A Faerie War of the Elements is brewing and, though she doesn’t yet know it, Faye is fated to play a terrible part. If she is to survive, she must learn to embrace her own dark power and face Finn Beatha once more… but in doing so Faye will discover secrets in her own past that never should have been disturbed.

2.5/5, but rounded up to 3.

I received a free eARC via netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book is NOT YA. And that’s okay, but, it is certainly mislabeled when it is clearly an Adult Supernatural/fantasy romance novel. It is heavy on the love scenes, but, I don’t mind that, it was just not what I was expecting. Another thing to note, this is actually the second book in the series which I didn’t realize when I read the synopsis on NetGalley -and to be fair I don’t think it states that but if just looking it up on GoodReads will reveal it as second in a series-.

The book was entertaining and enjoyable, it was something that I also wished I had read the first book because I think that would have made things clearer but that was my own fault. The problems I have with the book have to do more with pacing, and wanting more depth out of Faye. I thought there was enough going between faeries and the real world to keep me interested and Faye’s friends are just fantastic. I also had a huge issue with was the fact that though Faye and Annie grew up in the same town, somehow Faye has no Scots to her speech while Annie has it in trifold.

I enjoyed the use of modern-day witchcraft and the shout out to Wiccans, that was nice, and I think that McKerrow did a great job capturing the darkness of the faerie court.

I hated Rav, I don’t know if I would have had more sympathy for him if I had read the first book but the things that Faye does for him just make me want to shake her. I think this will be judged harshly under the fact that it’s not YA and it will throw many off to see the amount of sex scenes. But I also felt like in the end I still wanted to like Finn, maybe because I felt he had excuses for his behaviour being a being that wasn’t human and wasn’t tied down to human morals. Either way, it was an enjoyable read once I reconciled what it was in comparison as to how it was labelled, and the 2.5 would have been a full 3 if there hadn’t been so much ridiculousness with Rav and Finn, and with the awkward pacing.

Pros:
-Great Friends
-Lovely way of modern-day witchcraft incorporation into the story
-Creepy dark faerie realms
-Set in rural Scotland and London so that was a nice difference in settings
-You could relate to her friends and even Faye herself at times though more with the friends
-Morgana is in it, so I’m already like: yes.
-Impossibly brutal faerie deals

Cons:
– You want to punch Rav in the face, and you want to punch Finn in the face
– Faye seems to have no Scottish accent but her friend does and they’re from the same place and grew up in the same place.
– The book itself is in the wrong genre and age range (NA/A Romance, not YA)
– Mallory. Ugh.
– The pacing will go fast and slow which is understandable with the actual timeline when you’re switching realms but not when you’re reading and it feels like someone’s messing with the gas pedal while driving.
-Rav really is a butthead. Finn is a butthead. Lyr is a butthead
-Why is Gabriel the only decent male?

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Love, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Madness. 

A fortune told …
When Sarah Stone foresees Will Shakespeare’s latest play has opened doors to evil, she begs the playwright to abandon it. But Will refuses, aware the play is one of his best. And so rehearsals for Macbeth begin. 

Forbidden desires …
After her vision, Sarah fears for her life – she has never known the shewstone to lie, and she turns to her brother Tom for comfort. A strange darkness seems to haunt the playhouse, and when Tom sets out to seduce John Upton, the boy actor who plays Lady Macbeth, the boy sees the hand of witchcraft in his own forbidden desires for men. Then Sarah weaves a spell to win the love of the new lead actor, and John, terrified for the safety of his soul, begins to make his accusations. 

The Spirits have spoken …
As rehearsals continue, Sarah and Tom must struggle to convince John he is mistaken and that his sins are his own – their lives and the fortune of the play are at stake. But the Spirits have spoken – will the fate that Sarah foresaw come to pass or is their destiny their own to decide? Set against the first production of Macbeth in 1606, Shakespeare’s Witch is a seductive tale of the origins of the curse of the Scottish Play.

I thought this would be a little sexy when I saw the seductive bit.

That was a vast understatement on my part. This is a romance erotica novel. And I thought it was just Historical fiction as the blurb I had been given was not the Good Reads one and I felt cheated by that other blurb, so really I may have the rating at 3 * until after a month and lower it back down. Sarah was boring, Tom was definitely the more interesting of the siblings and I found Nick to be boring too. John was actually quite scary in the way he let his own desires make him ready to condemn others to death just to assuage his own guilt and save his own soul.

But you want to know what really bothered me?

SHAKESPEARE WAS LIKE NOT REALLY IN IT EXCEPT FOR A VERY SMALL HANDFUL OF SCENES I THOUGHT THIS WAS ABOUT SHAKESPEARE’S WITCH. IT WAS THE WHOLE REASON I WANTED TO READ IT, AND I GOT BUPKIS!

BUPKIS I TELL YOU!

Spoiler below: Highlight to see.

The erotica part didn’t bother me once I got used to it. I just really felt uncomfortable with the incest and the child that resulted from it. It made me uncomfortable but if you see my GoodReads, I did at least state that the book is great for those that love this sort of book, I could understand the forbidden desire part, but it was a little too much for me. I wish it had come with some content warning, GoT is enough incest for me lol.

So, a bit of a slump for me this week. Please don’t let my reviews think I’m judging you all for reading these books or books like them. They’re just not for me and if they make you happy, I’m happy for you. I just need to read the Goodreads blurbs before requesting things from now on.

I’ve now immersed myself on twitter, so I’m off to go pretend to be productive some more.

Have you read books where you were really thrown by the content? What did you do? Did you finish or DNF?

Charity Shop Finds!

It’s time for another Charity Shop Fiiiiiinds!

I know it probably seems like these are weekly, the truth of the matter is that it probably is a regular occurrence for us, but, when you have a family of three and are trying to save but still want to be able to go out and not spend a fortune, this is what ends up happening.

On the plus side, I’ve made it my goal to tackle my donate TBR after pushing through my eARCs which, I’m doing okay with my pace, so, I’m hoping this summer will be the tackling of my physical TBR! [*laughs at self, knowing I’ll keep requesting on NetGalley*]

Hubs had a day off this week and we went out to buy me a jacket, but popped into a couple of charity shops to kill time, we ended up with these finds:

  • James Stewart Biography (3.25) [He is my favorite actor. Ever.]
  • Ben-Hur .50P
  • The Lady Midnight .50P [This has some faded sprayed edges but in otherwise good condition, but I’m too lazy to put photos of these as they’ve already been put away]

Then this weekend we got:

  • The Alienist [I had borrowed it from the library when I read it, but it was part of a sale, 3 for 1.50]
  • Sparkling Cyanide 3 for 1.50
  • And Then There Were None 3 for 1.50
  • Artemis Fowl 3 for 1.50
  • Kidnapped 3 for 1.50
  • Little Women 3 for 1.50 [This one completed my daughter’s set of classics!]
  • The Bear and the Nightingale 1.00
  • Gulliver’s Travels 2.00 [We liked this copy better and will donate our other copy next weekend!]
  • Ever After High 2.00 [Daughter fled with that one so no pic of it lol]
  • The Good Women of China 1.00
  • A History of Scotland 1.00
  • Frankenstein .50P
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea .50P
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes .50P
  • The Secret Garden .50P

So, we spent about 12.00!

It’s going to be a long March Haul post when I get to it…

Down The TBR Hole

It’s a meme kinda day after having a slight book hangover from finishing Descendant of the Crane. So which one have I picked? A new one for me to do!

Down The TBR Hole, a meme originally hosted by Lia @ Lost In A Story where you clean up your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it and get a better handle on what all you got! (If someone can slide me the current host, I’ll gladly update this post)

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change! – Lia @ Lost In A Story

What do you do?

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m laughing, this is going to be a very uneventful TBR cleaning. My earliest books are ones I own and just haven’t gotten around to yet and I’ve cleared out physical books I’ll never read already so…I’ll skip the first four and go to numbers 5-9.

The last place Suze Simon expects to find herself during Valentine’s Day is a cemetery. But that’s what happens when you’re a mediator – cursed with the “gift” of communicating with the dead.

That’s how Suze has ended up at the graves of a pair of NCDPs – Non-Compliant Deceased Persons – whose drama didn’t end with death. It’s Suze’s job to make sure they move on—for good.

But the NCDPs aren’t the only ones with problems. The reason Suze is spending her Valentine’s Day with the undead instead of her boyfriend, Jesse, is because he’s having so much trouble adjusting to life after death . . . not surprising, considering the fact that he used to be an NCDP himself, and now his girlfriend busts his former kind for a living, while he tries to cure his kind of what used to ail him.

Can Suze use her mediating skills to propose a mutual resolution, and bring all these young lovers together – including Jesse and herself – especially on the night Saint Valentine declared sacred to romance?

Or will she end up alone—and possibly undead—herself?

Stays. I’ve read the rest of the series and it’s one of the ones I like reread as well. I didn’t know this one existed until this year. [I did a super purge to my TBR a few months back but I’m back to accumulating them like candy]

In this exciting adventure about the wolf pack that saved the life of a young girl when she was lost on the tundra, Julie has returned to her family, but her wolf pack has a story all its own.

Fearless but inexperienced Kapu is now the new leader of the pack. He must protect his wolves from the threats of famine and disease and, at the same time, defend himself from bitter rivals, both inside and outside the pack, who are waiting for their chance to overthrow him. The strength of Kapu’s leadership will determine not just the well-being of the pack but its very survival.

Jean Craighead George’s research and first-hand observation form this engrossing epic tale that’s sure to draw readers into the fascinating world of wolves.

I’m actually not 100% sure I haven’t already read this back in grade school and I’m a huge fan of the other two, so, stays.

Dead to Me is a 10-page short story that connects The Dragon Heir to The Enchanter Heir. It picks up with Leesha Middleton on, as she would say, “the blind date from hell.”

The date gets worse when she encounters the magically damaged, undead victims of the Thorn Hill Massacre for the first time. 

Cinda Williams Chima’s new book The Enchanter Heir (10.1.13) is the first of two new Heir Chronicles novels in which familiar faces return, new characters take center stage, and not everyone gets a happy ending.

So this is apparently 3.5 in the series and I’m laughing because it’s only 10 pages, so, I’m not sure? I’m not a huge fan of this series but I’ve read the first three…or…four…no three? Anyway, they stare at my shelf and mock me for being lukewarm about them. I’m gonna say chuck it out [but I’ll probably end up skim reading it anyway, I’m horrible like that]

They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre—the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors, Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a global network that hunts the undead. He is being groomed to succeed Gabriel Mandrake, the sorcerer, philanthropist, and ruthless music promoter who established the Thorn Hill Foundation, the public face of Nightshade. More and more, Jonah’s at odds with Gabriel’s tactics and choice of targets. Desperate to help his dying brother Kenzie, Jonah opens doors that Gabriel prefers to keep closed.

Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life—and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.

Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Madison Moss and the Interguild Council, threatening the fragile peace brokered at Trinity.

Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid growing suspicion that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again.

So, I’ve read the first three apparently, I think I will say, Stay but if it doesn’t get any better then that means this one…

The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find away to clear their names as the prime suspects in aseries of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them.

Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.

Will probably not stay if Four is somehow worse than the others. They’re not bad they’re just like straight up middle of the road kind of books for me.

So there we have it kept basically 3/5, possibly 4/5, I did horribly at this!

My Top 5 [YA] Fantasy Series

Hey guys, today I’m bringing you my favorite YA fantasy series. These are all favorites of mine so, there’s not really a particular order this time! Here we go…

5. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy

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This trilogy was one of the first as a teenager to just suck me in,  break me, put me together again, and then repeat. I loved it and it’s something that I recommend with such, like, hope, I truly wish those who decide to read it love it as much as I do but it’s so not for the faint of heart. I only rec this to those who love darkness and beauty all wrapped in one. I have Libba Bray’s Diviners but I haven’t gotten around to it yet and I hope to. I honestly think Gemma is one of my favorite protagonists ever. (I WILL GO DOWN WITH THAT SHIP)

4. The Chronicles of Narnia

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I need to be upfront, I only got to book four as a child, but, I plan on reading the rest. I ended up just pausing and forgetting as I went on to read other things at that time. My favorite so far had been The Magician’s Nephew. There was something extra magical about it for me and I actually read it first as well so I didn’t read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe first like some do. One thing though I know, I always feel like Susan gets a bit of a crap outcome, so, that may have been why I dragged my feet with reading the rest. Still a land of magic that has stayed in my heart.

3. His Dark Materials

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Honestly, this one rocked my world to its core. Philip Pullman doesn’t mind about doing things that can cause an uproar in the real world. People were not happy with this book but I was, I was thrilled. And not to mention his world building just floored me. Lyra is another favorite protagonist of mine and the fact that we get to see her again in the second Book of Dust just has me screaming like a fangirl, and oh yes, I totally preordered it. This is one of the few series I also could get my husband to read, he hated me afterwards due to who his favorite characters was, but, it was totally worth it because he loved it as much as I did. Still can’t get him to read La Belle Sauvage though, bahah.

2. Immortals 

The Immortals was one of my favorite and first forays into proper fantasy. I mean I read others but this was one of the first YA/Middle Grade, aside from Harry Potter. And also like HP, it is also one of the handful of series that I reread frequently. In fact I’m due for another reread but I have so many things to read this. year, we’ll see what happens haha. This quartet focuses on a girl named Daine who has wild magic. Her powers remain my favorite out of all the magical powers I’ve read about and that’s impressive. Not to mention Tamora Pierce just dominates at writing strong women, and Daine is no exception to being a strong female in Pierce’s writing-verse. And it’s a book where I love the couple. Yes, that’s right, me, the cynic.

1. Harry Potter 

Am I that predictable? Yes. Do I care? No. I was the generation that grew up with HP books coming out, doesn’t make me a bigger fan than anyone else, it just means that I had to deal with waiting for the books to come out, so really, the rest that discovered it afterwards are awesome for that reason haha. But no really, like anyone can, I discovered this as a child, in fact I read the first book when I was 11, I had refused to read it the first two years it was out because it was all my friends would talk about, but afterwards, I was hooked like everyone else. There’s still nowhere I would rather be than Hogwarts or Diagon Alley, or even the Burrow. They all feel like home to me.

There we have it, my top 5 for this week! Next top 5 will be Manga. And don’t be put off, these were the ones I read as YA and you can bet my Fantasy picks will be including so many more diverse books, I already know Descendant of the Crane will be a favorite, halfway through and it’s gripping and engaging and all around amazing!

Toodles!

Off Planet eARC Review


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GoodReads Blurb: In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

Maité Martinez is half human, half Aunare, a Latina Aunare who has grown up hiding her background and constantly having to cover her tracks. Even with life in Albuquerque being stable enough, a job as a waitress, volunteer teacher at a gym and a Crew that consist of some of the only people she trusts. Unfortunately, Maité isn’t just a half Earther/half Aunare, her father is someone that SpaceTech would love to goad into a catastrophic game of war.

Not only that but SpaceTech has a different plan for Maité, instead of giving her the same punishment as other half Earthers, she’s sent to the planet Abbadon. The question is, can Maité survive long enough to try and thwart SpaceTech’s plans, and will she be able to help her friends and family?

Honestly, I found Maité so relatable, she’s a young woman thrown into a world where she’s struggling to survive and that’s it, that’s her goal, sure, in the end, she wants to do more but at the very start, we have someone who is trying to just survive. Her Father is a very important Aunare but she has no memory of him after Liberation week (when all the Aunare were shunned by Earthers, but I won’t go too much into that and give it away). All Maité knows is that he’s alive out there and that her Mother and her hope to someday be free of Earth with possibly reuniting with him.

People can show incredible strength when faced with adversity and Maité shows just that, I was so impressed by her throughout the book, and I loved the people who helped her along the way, not to mention there’s Declan the human who she trusts and enters her life as everything goes crazy and then there’s Lorne an Aunare who she’s not sure how she’s connected to other than he knows her and is close to her father.

This has been my best sci-fi read in a while and I loved that it was not only YA but that Maité was half Latina, it made me so happy ❤

Erin does a great job of world building with Abaddon and I cannot wait to see who she expands her universe in book 2. Though I definitely would never want to go to Abaddon lolol. She also does a spectacular job of making Maité more than just a slightly ‘alien’ looking human, her body is different and therefore reacts differently to human things and that is a breath of fresh air as sometimes people forget their aliens are NOT humans. The attention to detail is there and I loved it. And you can’t help but feel for Maité for all she goes through and all she’s willing to go through to prevent a war between the humans and Aunare. Not to mention she’s lost and dealing with finding herself and being comfortable with who and what she is and the changes she’s faced with.

Trigger warning: Sexual assault, violence, extreme pain.

Pros:
-Kick ass Latina-Aunare protagonist
– Humanoid alien race that is still different enough from humans to be interesting especially in their internal workings
– Strength in more ways than one, not just physically but emotionally and not just from our Maité but from those around her
– Not all humans are evil, and there’s such a great level of trust between Maité and those that become her friends in New Mexico and Abaddon.
– Amazing platonic male best friend (Roan) who does not turn into part of a love triangle!
– There’s still the hint of a love triangle trope between Maité and two others if you love that trope!
– YA Sci-Fi (something we always need more of!)
– Some very cool fight scenes
– The antagonists aren’t there much as individual characters but man do you hate them!

Cons:
-Not enough Roan
– You may hate that there’ll probably be a love triangle
– It may be hard to read all Maité goes through (most of it is just pushing past physical and emotional endurance, which is traumatic for her and you feel for her)
– The Aliens could have been more alien but I thought Erin did well by making them human enough looking that you’d believe mating between species was possible
– Uh, there could have been more cool space flying but I’m not gonna complain -too much-
– You will have to wait until 2020 to read more lol

** I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review, and I truly did love this book and if you love YA/Sci-fi, I recommend you give it a try and hope you enjoy it! **

 

The Dresden Files: Storm Front


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First off, let me say that I was regarding this book with a huge amount of skepticism. Looking at the cover the man reminded me of people I knew in High School, people I did not at all like [I mean like specific people here lol not a generalization though I mean to be fair I hate everyone equally].

But it was for a book club, it was short, and it was a Wizard Private Investigator. I mean…you all know by now. MYSTERY IS MY WEAKNESS [And Sci-fi!]

So I rounded up my rating to four stars on GoodReads but it is a 3.5 in my books, a solid fun read, but had its issues.

Note: This is the first of The Dresden Files

Pros:
– Mystery and Fantasy a bit of a modern-day sprinkling of noir as far as it goes the office with the creaky fan with the mysterious woman client.
– We are getting a really awesome urban fantasy world.
– The author could really make me chuckle with some of the things he had our dear Wizard say
– It leaves you wanting to know more, what about this kind of mysterious White Council, when do we get to know more about Mac the Pub owner, how will his friendship with Murphy go after this?
– It’s fun and easy, it’s not there to make you think, but it’s not a bore either.
– Talking Skull ❤  Bob is literally the best part of this
– The reverence fairies have for pizza, I connected with them on a spiritual level
– The fact that Harry couldn’t really interact with technology, it was pretty amusing most of the time
– Deborah Chester was a Professor of his, I love her, she wrote my absolutely favorite Sci-Fi trilogy [*coughs and unashamedly links you back to the Sci-Fi picks post*]
– I want to go to Mac’s Pub, and I want a steak sandwich. Now please and thank you.
– A nice easy way of world building [gets a little too explanatory as Harry’s narrating it to you, but, overall enjoyable!]

Cons:
– I hated Harry most of the time. I hate how he saw the female characters but I could respect that this was done from his point of view so we don’t really know how the women are, only how he sees them [for the love of all that is good, please someone tell me he gets less horrible with this] I mean he basically is a chauvinist
– How are women attracted to him? I’m sorry but if my husband didn’t shower for a week, I would not be like -tosses bedroom eyes- [And I would hope he would throw my ass in the shower if the roles were reversed] But more to the point of it,
– At one point I wanted to take Murphy and shake the living crap out of her, she got so annoying and it seemed to really contradict the fact that they were supposed to have had trust in the first place, it didn’t feel like they did, to begin with in my opinion.
– So, someone brought up a good point that had been nagging me at the back of my mind in their Goodreads review; WHY DOES HE CONTINUOUSLY NOT HAVE HIS STAFF? THERE IS NOT ENOUGH WIZARDY THINGS FROM THE WIZARD
– Don’t read this for strong female characters, you’ll be filled with cliches, and, that works with some, like Mac, but not for the others
– Harry wears a duster and boots with sweatpants at one point, I was already annoyed that he wore the duster. This pushed me too far, I nearly screeched and flipped a table over
– This is no literary masterpiece, and a lot of times Butcher’s writing will get awkward and clunky but he always smooths it out at the end. But, don’t read this to be filled with meaningful insight.

A quick fun read I’ll be reading more Dresden Files, but, if the lack of depth to the female characters and Harry’s wardrobe continues, I may have to rate down more.