Tag Archives: fantasy

City of Lies (Poison War #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: July 3, 2018

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 560

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Fuck. Yes.

One of my favorite reads of 2018 thus far.

I’m so bubbled over with excitement that I don’t even know where to begin with this review. I guess with honesty. For about 75% of this book I was convinced it was going to be a 4 star read. Nothing wrong with that at all, but the last 25% really sent me over that edge.

If epic fantasy is your preferred genre, as it is mine, then you know that a very high percentage of the plots in the genre involve war or some type of battle between good and evil. Even as a fan of such, sometimes it gets to be too repetitive. Usually when that happens, I’ll just switch up genres for a bit. Or if I’m lucky, I’ll find a book that flips the paradigm around a bit.

City of Lies is that lucky find. While it is about the opening of a war that has been undetected by the city involved until it’s too late, the story is encased in the city under siege. Much like the characters, you can’t escape the danger, lies and deceit around every alley corner in the city that may become your tomb. It is this atmosphere that sucks you in from the beginning. It’s a murder mystery wrapped in healthy helpings of fantasy.

The Chancellor and his proofer (tester for poison) are murdered in the very beginning by the very thing the proofer is supposed to save the Chancellor from. Poison. A poison that no one can determine the source of or provide an antidote. The reign moves down the line to his nephew, Tain, who has his own proofer best friend, Jovan. This is the way of honor for Jovan’s family, protecting the ruling family from quiet murder. His older sister, Kalina, was supposed to be the next proofer but her poor health sidelined her from her destiny. Her little brother Jovan took up the family mantle, despite his eccentricities and obsessive compulsive disorder. A move that stung her deeply but she continued to find ways to make herself useful despite her disabilities.

Before Tain, Jovan and Kalina can recover from the murder of their uncles, the city is under siege from an undefined foe. They are thrust into the roles they’ve prepared for their whole lives but never really thought would come. Together, they try to survive assassination attempts and determine what the enemy wants. But not knowing who the enemy is, handicaps their control of the situation.

You don’t fully understand the beauty of the world building until the last 25% of the book as well. While trying to absorb this new world, I was quite busy being choked up about things happening to the characters. It was then that I realized just how much I loved this book.

Go read it or I’ll sneak into your house and poison your whole family.

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Cool Kids Club

Life is currently chaos and I can’t seem to get anything done. BUT there is always a silver lining right? Yesterday it was that author Mark Lawrence started his own Goodreads group. I fucking love Mark Lawrence. So of course, first chance I got, I ran off and joined. To be honest, I’ve kind of lost interest in my other GR groups. This one is bound to blow up (already almost 700 members) because a known author runs it, but that’s okay because I’m already adding books to my TBR list thanks to these people. (I want to complain about a never ending TBR list but the alternative is actually finishing it and having nothing good to read or having to switch favorite genres and who wants that?)

Lawrence also runs a self-published blog off once a year. It’s where the in demand novel, The Grey Bastards, originated and then was picked up by a publisher. Self-published isn’t a world that I’ve really dabbled in so onto new reading adventures! (You know, when life calms down. I can currently barely get any reading done.)

So if you’re interested in joining this author led Goodreads group, go here: The Cool Kids’ Fantasy Club.

Book Haul/Bookstagram

A two-for-one deal on this fine Memorial Day. A very special thanks to the ladies and gentleman of the military of whom without their sacrifices, I may be running for my life instead of drooling over the books I picked up this weekend. No amount of national holidays will be enough to thank you.

Every time I get a Barnes and Noble gift card I hold onto it for awhile. I know they tend to get wiped out of good stock after the holidays so I wait. Well this time I received a gift card for my birthday (mid-April), and here it is a month and a half later and I finally decided to spend that bad boy. Of course, not really thinking it through I went on a holiday weekend when they were having pretty good sales and once again, anything I really wanted was gone. #firstworldproblems

I’m pretty excited about the fat book on the bottom. The one of top was kind of a, they-dont-have-anything-else-I-really-want buy. I’ve heard good things and it sounds like it might be fun but my expectations are not very high.

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Onto Bookstagram posts from the last couple of weeks:

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More dollar store book finds.
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Sick again. Brain fogged. Time to stare at some fiesty ladies.
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My husband had a comfy reading spot set up for me when I got home. Samus is helping keep my feet warm.
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Making mac n’ cheese, reading a zombie book.

A Pocketful of Crows – Book Review

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Published Date: October 19, 2017

Publishing Co.: Gollancz

Pages: 240

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A dark, whimsical tale about why you should never let someone tame you if you’re a wild thing. A story of love, betrayal and vengeance.

Our unnamed protagonist is one of the traveling folk. Called such as they can travel within anything in nature. She has survived the wilds by herself her whole life, until one day when a handsome boy comes along and steals her heart. As boys do, he proceeds to break it. Not only that, but he has done the worst thing, he has named her. Being named takes away her abilities to travel, to be free. The only way to become unnamed again, is for your name to be forgotten. Oh, and sprinkle that with a little vengeance on the bastard that betrayed you.

I really enjoyed the writing style and the artwork was great too. It was an easy read and I recommend giving it a try. I’m not sure if I would run off and attempt some of the author’s other works or not but this one is worth the time.

Saga, Vol. 5 – Comic Review

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Published Date: September 9, 2018

Publishing Co.: Image Comics

Pages: 152

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Is there ever going to be a volume of Saga that I don’t love? At this point, I’m not sure that they could do any wrong.

In this edition, the Brand, that girl and that ex-girlfriend (because apparently I suck at names) are on a quest for dragon semen in order to save the Will. Let’s just say that leads to quite the centerfold.

Dengo has kidnapped Alana, Hazel and Marko’s mom and he’s made a deal with the Last Revolution. A rebel group bent on destroying both sides of the war. Of course, the group just wants to use Hazel as leverage to get things they think will help in their war on the war.

Meanwhile, Marko has partnered with Prince Robot IV to find their missing children. It doesn’t mean they have to get along, but for a short period their mission is the same.

Once again, I was angered that I did not have the next volume at the ready. Soon my precious, sooooon.

That mother fucking artwork man!

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Locke & Key, Vol. 4 – Comic Review

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Published Date: February 2013

Publishing Co.: IDW Publishing

Pages: 152

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The first chapter has a fun little Calvin & Hobbes feel that was an interesting/nice change of scenery. Not to mention, it actually added to the scenery a little more since the background expanded upon what was happening on each page.

This isn’t an action packed edition but I enjoyed it more than the previous two installments as it evolved around each one of the characters a little more. How each is dealing with everything they’ve seen and experienced since moving and their growing relationships.

This is also the volume where they begin to figure out exactly where the danger is emanating from, therefore introducing a new conflict/challenge altogether.

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Iron Gold – Book Review

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Published Date: January 16, 2018

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 601

Goodreads synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goblins and Reapers and I don’t know where the fuck to begin.

The first trilogy was about the breaking of an unkind empire. This picks up ten years after the revolution with the struggle of building and holding onto a budding new republic. Resplendent in it’s demokracy but fighting to gain a balance and keep the peace.

Darrow, Sevro and the remaining Howlers along with the new Republic army have fought to gain control of and free strongholds of the old empire. Mustang reigns as Sovereign now but has given much of her control away to the council. The war has never really ended and along with political struggles, they’ve also all been raising families of their own.

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The Ash Lord remains along the Rim but still causes trouble as often as possible. They suspect attacks from the Moon Lords. An anti-Rising gang kills innocent people on Mars. Death begets death begets death. If we all hoped for a happy ending, well our beloved characters sure didn’t get it.

It’s interesting how the father roles play out with Darrow versus Sevro. Who would have thought the little goblin would be better at it. (The kids are quite the interesting characters themselves.)

One of the things that I love is that while I’m focused on a character and what they’re going through, I don’t see the twist sneaking up to bite me on the ass. My ass got munched hard, several times. It seems to be the author’s specialty. Ass munchin’. But you know, in the good way.

The Call – Book Review

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Published Date: July 25, 2017

Publishing Co.: David Fickling Books

Pages: 307

Synopsis on Goodreads.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A few thousand years ago humans locked the Fae away in another land, the Grey Land, as it became to be known. A place full of deadly landscapes and nightmarish creatures. Obviously angry about this outcome, the Fae cut Ireland off from the rest of the world. No one can leave, no one enter. That punishment wasn’t enough though, the Fae also began stealing human children once they reached adolescence and hunt the child through the Grey Land for one full day in Fae time. Four minutes and three seconds in human time. The teen simply vanishes from where they stand, whatever they are doing, and reemerges in the Fae world, naked with the sounds of hunting horns calling. Most of the time nothing comes back to the human world except a twisted corpse.

Humans combat this by creating survival colleges. Teenagers are shipped off to schools to learn everything they can to survive the Fae world before they are called. “The Nation must survive,” is the teacher’s motto. Being the fastest, smartest, strongest doesn’t mean you’ll make it through the hunt. Sometimes the proper hiding place will see you through the day, sometimes it won’t.

Nessa contracted polio at a young age. Her legs are crippled and she uses crutches. Everyone looks at her with pitying eyes. No one believes she’ll live through the Call, not even her own parents who lost a healthy boy before her. Many think she’s a waste of resources that could be going to other children with better odds of survival. Nessa is determined to survive no matter the odds. She studies everything she can about the Fae. She works out her upper half. She perfects making crutches out of branches. Anything she can think of to survive, but will it be enough?

I loved everything about this. The premise, the characters, the world building. It doesn’t happen often but you can add another YA fantasy to my must continue reading list. Nessa was a fantastic main character, she’s stubborn, smart, and pissed off. She’ll succeed no matter the odds stacked against her. Get it girl.

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Bookstagram – Week 15

I’ve been slacking on updating this one. But then again, I’ve been reading slower as well. My bookstagram is not one with flowery photos of books. While those are fun and pretty to look at, I know as a reader that while I’m reading flowers are not spread next to the book with the perfect cup of tea and a pretty back drop. Not knocking the people who take the time to set that up though, I enjoy those photos as well. Just don’t expect that kind of effort from me. I’m lazy folks.

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“March is Women’s History month. I’m reading only female authors in celebration.”
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“Not sure it’s a ‘fair fight’ trying to continue this book..”
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“An author I can always turn to to distract me from life when it kicks me in the vagina.”
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“To get better; one part lots of sleep + 2 parts start new book.”
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“Dinner in the crockpot, book in the lap. “
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“This book is kind of just annoying me. There better be a damn good twist.”

Conspiracy of Ravens – Book Review

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Published Date: October 11, 2016

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 359

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Review of the first book in the series: Wake of Vultures – Book Review.

Rhett Walker is the Shadow. What that means is still a bit of a mystery to him. What he does know is that he follows his gut feeling into the monster den and kills what needs killin’. This time around Rhett and his friends are begged to take care of a railroad boss that cuts off pieces of his monster workers to fuel building the railroad. A monster that scares and controls other monsters makes quite the villain.

The most important part of this story really isn’t the plot line even though that’s enjoyable. It’s more the journey of self discovery of the main character Rhett, who was previously Nettie Lonesome. You see, Rhett is not only half black, half Native American, he’s also transgender in an era/world where such a thing is not heard of. I cannot give the author Lila Bowen enough credit in how well they portray what that life looks like from the inside.

This is both the tale of the struggle against hate of various forms, and also the love and acceptance of the person. The compassion of Rhett’s friends is so important and moving. I recommend that if you have someone in your life that is LGBTQ you gift them this book series. Let it share hope in their darkest days when the world is being a right evil place. Hell, gift it to everyone. Everyone could use more compassion in their life. Nettie/Rhett is a very likable character, and maybe that relation may help someone who’s close-minded, open up a little.