Tag Archives: fantasy

Christmas 2021 Book Haul

I hope that everyone had the jolliest of holidays and a great New Year’s Eve. May 2022 be WAY better than the last two years.

Between Christmas and New Year, I had the mighty pleasure of meeting Melanie @ Grab the Lapels and her horror movie crafting husband Nick. They came to our neck of the woods and we celebrated over good food and good beer at the local brewery just a few minutes from our house. Unfortunately, they got the displeasure of driving here during a snow storm. Now that’s dedication folks! I’m so glad that they did though because we had a great time out with them. If only it could have been longer! Stupid work, get’s in the way of all the good stuff. D:< Melanie gives fantastic hugs. They make you feel loved and welcome immediately. We’ve semi-planned some future get togethers so that’s exciting. ^_^

You can’t miss the joy on our faces!

Now, onto the Christmas book haul because as both Melanie and I agree, books are important:

The top book, Dead Space, wasn’t a present technically. I won a book from a raffle over at the lovely Books, Bones & Buffy blog. When I couldn’t decide on a book, I asked her to just send me one of her favorite science fiction books and this is what she sent me. It sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to read it.

I’ve already started Paddle Your Own Canoe and it’s inspiring me to do a few things for the new year. Less social media, get back to woodworking when the weather warms up. I crafted zero wood projects last year and that bums me out.

What was your favorite book you received over the holidays?

Top 5 Reads of 2021

Reading for me slowed WAY down in 2021 thanks to going back to school. Therefore, I shouldn’t be all that surprised that it wasn’t the greatest year in reading. It wasn’t the greatest year in general. You know what? Up yours 2021!

Anywho, here are the reads that made it to the top of the list in the year that was almost just like 2020:

Did you read any of these? If so, what did you think?

Dhampir (Noble Dead Saga #1) – Book Review

Published Date: January 7, 2003

Publishing Co.: Roc

Pages: 376

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Magiere and Leesil (along with his weird dog, Chap) have been scamming small villages for a long time. Peasants are superstitious after all and if anything goes wrong, vampires are to blame. Magiere and Leesil have never actually seen a vampire but they’re all too happy to take the village’s money to pretend like they’ve destroyed one. After, they march along with their bounty, leaving the villagers light of pocket and stuck with their original problem.

Magiere is getting tired of the game (poor baby!) and wants to settle down somewhere once and for all. She dreams of running a tavern somewhere along the coast and eventually hears from her broker that one is available. Now, she just has to convince Leesil that it’s a good idea.

In a run of karma, the town where the tavern is located IS actually run by vampires. Magiere and Leesil learn the hard way that Magiere may be the only one who can destroy vampires. Weird changes happen when she’s confronted by the undead and her rage consumes her, making her into a lethal weapon she never knew she was.

For most of this novel, I thought I wouldn’t continue to the next book however, the author writes great characters with intriguing back stories and a world just interesting enough to keep me going. I like that Magiere didn’t know what she was or what her abilities are and we’re learning it all right along with her. I want to see what adventures lie in wait for Magiere, Leesil and Chap. (Who is weird because the cover depicts him as a husky-like dog while the story refers to him as a silver furred hound. Huskies and hounds do not look alike good sir.)

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #3) – Book Review

Published Date: January 13, 2015

Publishing Co.: Tor Books

Pages: 649

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

In my review of the second book in the series, The Providence of Fire, I promised that the third book would be mine by Christmas. That might have been true, I don’t remember when I bought it but let me tell you, I thought I read that book last year. Turns out…..it was four years ago.

Now I sit here, absolutely torn. I was riding high on this book for ¾ of the way through, positive down to my bones that this was going to be another 5 star edition. Then, the last 60 or so pages happened. I HATE to say anything bad about this series, I’ve recommended it to SO many people, but I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t brutally honest.

The ending falls flat on it’s face. At least it did for me. We’ve spent so long, following an amazing story line with truly epic world building and some great characters, that it seemed the ending was thrown in just to finally end it. I wish I could describe accurately, how incredible the build up to this final battle was. Hell, there were so many battles before this that were more suspenseful than the grand finale. It was a disappointment that I was just not expecting. There is a quick end to this epic tale and a lot of questions left. Character deaths that felt unjust to the character themselves. As in, there were deaths depicted rather lamely for characters who carried the major plot points. The last person standing in a position of power is my absolute least favorite character of the series.

Before all that happened though, I was loving every second of what I was reading. It will remain a series that I recommend to people, as other people seem to love the ending, so it may have just been a case of it’s me not you. I will still read the standalone novel that comes after this and probably everything else Staveley writes, but this ending just left me unfulfilled.

“Nira just shrugged. “Sometimes ya gotta kill people to save ‘em.”

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 5, 2015

Publishing Co.: Bloomsbury USA

Pages: 419

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Honestly, I told myself I would never read anything by Sarah J. Maas. The things I had read from reviewers about her other series about assassins, were pretty off putting for someone who only dabbles in young adult books once in awhile. They have to really catch my attention or be recommended by people I trust to get me to give them a shot anymore. I’m in my thirties and plenty jaded at this point.

In this case, I had not one but two people tell me that I should give this specific series a try. That in mind, worlds still had to collide before I picked it up. I was on vacation. I didn’t bring the book I was reading because it was falling apart and I wasn’t sure how much time I would actually have to read. Turns out, it was a decent amount. So I hit the local independent bookstore where I was, the selection was wanting, and I picked this up in the clearance section.

I opened it, fully skeptical, of what I would find.

I was hooked by chapter two. I loved the poor main character angle, just trying to keep her family alive with the skills she picked up by watching others and trial and error. That’s a girl I can get behind. A survivor. Her situation sucked and it was about to get worse (or better) thanks to a chance encounter with faeries.

Feyre doesn’t listen very well. I can get behind that. I don’t particularly like when people tell me what I can and cannot do either. In this case, it leads to trouble she has to fight her way out of and/or be rescued from. I’m currently team Tamlin as he’s (mostly) a gentleman, as I have a feeling this is going to become a love triangle. Normally, this trope would bother me but I’m very interested in the back story of the possible other boy toy. The big issue is resolved in this novel so I’m not entirely sure what book two holds but I’ve been told by my friend that it’s better than book one. She lead me straight with her recommendation so I’m sure I will pick up the next book as well.

This felt darker to me than a lot of young adult novels these days (I say this like I read a lot of them), and I think that made it feel a little more grown up for me. Reading other people’s reviews reminded me that this is supposed to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and honestly, that’s a vague comparison. If you ignore that altogether, you’ll probably enjoy it more.

That riddle was hella easy tho, homegirl.

May Mini-Reviews

I read all of TWO books in May. I started school the second week and that has really ate up my free time. June 7th I begin my second class for the semester and it’s accelerated. Not sure why I did that to myself. I was feeling rather cocky I suppose.

3 out of 5 stars – Usually, even when I go years between a series’ books, I can still remember most of what happened. Not so much this time. But, I’m stubborn and refuse to go back and reread the first book. Either it will come back to me or it won’t. The main reason I enjoyed the first book so much was the great representation of a good female friendship. Here the two heroines are separated for the duration of the book. Overall, 3/4 of it was okay and the last 1/4 was actually pretty good. Undecided whether I will continue the series or just give up.

I ordered Stephen King’s Pet Sematary for a buddy read with Ignited Moth on our other blog, Sugar and Scream. It’s currently the only thing I want to read so I’m reading nothing until it arrives. :3

SPEAKING OF WHICH, I GET TO SEE MS. MOTH FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE OCTOBER AT HER WEDDING!

I am ready to party with my favorite person. ❤

Sugar and Scream Blog Launch

Oh that’s right kiddos. The terrible twosome have united once again to rain horror, science fiction and fantasy down on your heads! (That’s myself and Ignited Moth if you hadn’t figured that out already.)

If you’re looking for a monstrously good time, rest assured, you’ve come to the right place. We’re two best friends with a sisterhood forged in the Unholy Trinity that is Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction. When we’re not busy devouring books, we’re cooking up sinisterly scrumptious baked goods and other delights (and sometimes horrors) in our kitchens. Expect the unexpected, because we like to shake things up. Our blog is its own Frankenstein’s Monster of our own hobbies and passions all stitched together into one glorious abomination that encompasses everything from what we’re reading and watching, to the hobbies we’re working on, our adventures in baking, and plenty more!”

FOLLOW THE DELICIOUS CHAOS HERE.

April’s Mini-Reviews

Wooooo! April. What a month you were. I turned 34 and the celebration was better than last year’s thankfully, work party where everyone was vaccinated. The reason behind the party was actually a vaccination relief party to let some steam off from the stress surrounding distributing the Covid-19 vaccines. It just happened to be on my birthday and I made the most of it. 🙂

4 out of 5 stars –

Let me preface this mini-review with the disclaimer that I have never read the original story. I’ve always meant to but I just haven’t. Therefore, nothing done here could offend my delicate senses when it came to comparing the two.

There was a profound sense of amusement created by the idea of maintaining decorum whilst battling unmentionables, as they’re called here. The struggle to lure a future husband based not only on your manners but your skill with decapitating zombies, was a balancing act that inspired humor.

Something about all of the above brought upon me, a constant state of enjoyment, although it never succeeded in becoming a favorite.

3 out of 5 stars – I’m not really going to go into this one because….REASONS… to be revealed later. But, YA and I do not always get along. This landed in the ‘meh’ category.

Books purchased:

$1.99 on the Kindle.

Currently reading:

I’ve been on a bit of a YA kick as of late, but it never lasts long.

How was your April??

March’s Mini-Reviews

This month’s mini-reviews weren’t ‘meh’ like February, however, they didn’t quite inspire me to launch into a full fledged review to sing their laurels from the roof tops either. I suppose they qualify as honorable mentions.

4 out of 5 stars – Although this one bills itself as a satire, it doesn’t reach the ridiculous level that others do. It took a minute for me to find my stride in the story but once I did I enjoyed myself. The ending was great and my only hesitancy in continuing the series is that my boss said the second book isn’t quite as good as the first. (He followed his reasoning with, second books are almost never as good as the first.)

4 out of 5 stars – Very easy read. Author describes a movie plot and then follows up with the true crime stories that inspired it. This is also the very reason that makes it difficult to review it. Overall, it’s a very simple template.

Currently reading:

I think that I will complete Children of Dune before the month is up. I didn’t review the first two books last year while I was on my review boycott, which will make reviewing this extra difficult but I think I will at least try.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has actually surprised me with how much fun it is. I’ve been reading it on my work lunches but it might come home with me soon so I can devote more time to proper ladies wielding swords and wooing men with their decapitating abilities.

I recently came this ————————> close to going on a book binge. I resisted. Probably for the best because school books are not cheap.

How did March treat you? Book related or otherwise.

Best Books of 2020

If nothing else, this year was decent for reading. Even though I took time off of reviewing, I remained a pretty strict rater. Not a lot of books made 5 stars for me this past year. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading more by not forcing myself to do any challenges, not pushing myself to review anything, and just going with whatever my mood called for. I am a mood reader and I must accept that and stop forcing myself to into any reading boxes.

In no particular order, here are my favorites from 2020:

I’m almost done with Dune Messiah, I plan to finish it tomorrow night, and I am just going to go ahead and name my top two books of 2020 as such:

What were some of your top reads of 2020?