Tag Archives: fantasy

June 2020 in Books

A surprising amount of reading happened in June. Granted, many of them were smaller books, they still count!

4 out of 5 stars – I actually finished this the very last day of May but I had already done my May books post. If there is a strong female lead in an urban fantasy series, you bet your sweet honey ass I’m going to give it a go. I read the first book in this series years ago and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t something I was dying to get the next book. After book two, I feel much the same. I enjoy it, I’ll pick it up when it’s on sale, but I’m not rushing to purchase the next installment.

5 out of 5 stars – I couldn’t decide what I felt like reading so Ignited Moth kindly decided for me. This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for roughly 6 years. I am so glad that I finally made the time to read it because it was splendid. Have you ever heard me call a book ‘splendid’? Probably means you should read it ASAP.

3 out of 5 stars – During this pandemic, I decided to bring a book for lunch reading that just stays as work to lower any chance of someone putting their filthy virus hands on it. (I’ve decided on all selections being something I’m not in a rush to read.) This is an easy, peasy read that I have described as a “cozy Southern murder mystery.”

4 out of 5 stars – Not my favorite Alpha & Omega installment but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself and the drama of Bran’s disappearance was riveting, since he’s never bailed on the pack before.

Rants From the Hill (Pictured above)

4 out of 5 stars – An educational, fun essay collection from an environmentalist who lives out in the high desert of the United States. It’s a different world out there but the author manages to make it sound magical and just as important as all other ecosystems out there that have better reputations.

4 out of 5 stars – Dina is forced (kind of) to host an intergalactic summit at her inn. The inn requires guests to thrive and so she must accept a deal that no other inn on Earth would. She’s not sure she’s powerful enough to keep the peace between three warring factions from another planet, but her little dog Beast is there to help her try.

4 out of 5 stars – The inn’s latest guests are a race of aliens who have been hunted to near extinction by another close by planet. If there is one thing Dina can’t resist, it’s helping out the underdog. Not to mention, rescuing her sister and niece from a barren planet exiled from the rest of the galaxy. Just another week at the inn.

Books Purchased:

Succubus On Top b y Rachel Mead $1.99

Imprudence by Gail Carriger $1.00

Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne & Delilah S Dawson $1.99

Total Spent: $5.04 (Only $1.06 came out of my actual pocket. The rest were still on my amazon giftcard that has lasted me forever.)

I’m currently at 25 out of 30 books for my Goodreads 2020 Challenge. I see no reason I won’t get 5 more books in by the end of the year.

How are you doing on your 2020 bookish goals??

May 2020 in Books

Books and coffee, the two things keeping the world go round.

I had the fabulous idea that I would post all the books that I’ve read since I took my little hiatus and…..it was quite a few more than I thought. I’m a lazy book reader now guys. This is the new program. So, I’ll just post what I’ve read throughout May. 😀

5 out of 5 stars. The Witcher series is proving to be a slow burner. The plot line creeps along but there is so much character development and political intrigue that you hardly notice until you’re finished.

3 out of 5 stars. This was enjoyable and the main character was the polar opposite of Jorg in the Broken Empire series this is an off shoot of. Call me crazy, but I preferred the dark anti-hero Jorg. I’m sure I’ll continue the series at some point, but I’m not rushing to the next book.

5 out of 5 stars. I am an Ilona Andrews addict and this new series just hits all the buttons for me. It’s an incredible world that has been built with commanding characters and adrenaline fueled adventures.

One of my bookish goals for 2020 was to purchase as few books as possible and work on my current collection. Well, Covid made that hard as hell. I can’t borrow physical books from the library OR my best friend. All things considered, I’ve only spent actual money on one book since this all happened. Otherwise my husband bought it for me or I used my Amazon giftcard.

Books purchased May 2020:

Gideon the Ninth by Tamara Muir $2.99

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews $2.99

The Innkeeper Chronicles Volume One by Ilona Andrews $0.99

Total Spent: $6.97

Not too shabby if I say so myself. 😀

How have you guys been keeping from going Covid crazy???

Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim #1) – Book Review

Published Date: July 21, 2009

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 388

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Dragged to Hell by demons at the behest of his supposed friends, Stark has spent 11 years battling in the arenas in Hell. Instead of facing lions and bears, he faced demons and other hell beasts. He was traded from one of Lucifer’s generals to another and was just generally treated as Hell’s bitch. Now, he has snuck his way out of the pit and is more than ready to seek vengeance for both his false imprisonment and the murder of his beloved girlfriend.

The world has changed a lot in eleven years. Not only must he adapt quickly, he has to launch a game plan to get his vengeance before everyone knows he’s back. Some groups have already been tipped off to his presence and are hindering his quest. He’s a one track man though and he’ll have his vengeance, opponents be damned.

This was a fun, although not very profound, read. Stark is stubborn, yet not unfeeling despite all the torture he’s been through. He’s amiable in the face of a world against him. Literally both Heaven and Hell do their best to get in his way, but he’s picked up so many tricks in his short, violent life, that even they cannot quite catch up with him.

So if you’re looking for a good, fun vengeance story that features a hit man that escaped Hell, look no further.

High Voltage (Fever #10) – Book Review

Published Date: March 6, 2018

Publishing Co.: Delacorte Press

Pages: 476

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This might as well have been titled: Dani: The Most Unique, Misunderstood, Better Than Everyone Else, Heroine.

Man, does this girl love talking about herself and how different she is from everyone else on the planet. I don’t care if it’s true, I don’t need to read about it relentlessly. I fully admit that the Dani books are always the hardest for me to slog through. I thought it might be a bit better because she’s an adult now but unfortunately, her mind is still very much a teenager.

I’m not even going to explain the plot, it barely moved. There was a bad guy, they take care of it all too quickly because Dani is oh so mighty and then they move on to more character “development” for Dani.

I could care less about Kat’s point of view, though I know it’s required for the minimum amount of plot movement that happens.

After all of this complaining, why I am still reading this series?

1. I have a lot of time invested in it.

2. I love a lot of the side characters.

3. The world building is great.

4. The plot line is still interesting even though it stalls in this volume.

5. It looks like Mac is back as main POV in the next book.

I’m actually giving this more stars than it deserved because I still did enjoy myself whenever Dani stopped talking about how awesome she is.

The Grey Bastards (The Lots Lands #1) – Book Review

Published Date: March 19, 2019

Publishing Co.: Broadway Books

Pages: 432

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Best book of 2020.

Okay, sure. I haven’t read any other books yet, but I have a strong feeling this is going to be a top contender for the whole year.

I’m not going to recap anything about this book because you just need to experience it for yourself but I will summarize it as Sons of Anarchy with hog riding half-orcs.

At first I felt bad about the comparison because I loved it so much, but there were a couple things that were almost straight from SOA. Turns out however, that’s exactly what the author meant to do. Sons of Anarchy meets Tolkien.

If you’re one of those people who are easily offended, I recommend avoiding this one like an orc plague. If you’re like me, one of those people that cusses like a sailor and is hard pressed to get offended, you’ll do just fine here.

I think one of the things I was most impressed with was the myriad of character and plot twists. I rarely guessed correctly what was going to happen next and that kept every turn of the page exciting. Every day I just wanted to come home from work and sit down with a little savagery.

In case you were not aware, this was originally a self-published book that was picked up by a publisher after it won a self-publishing contest by author Mark Lawrence. Which is just pretty cool in itself.

I want to read it again and then run out and get my filthy little quim hands on the next one.

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1) – Book Review

Published Date: December 2, 2013

Publishing Co.: NYLA

Pages: 225

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Let’s flip the script and get a little weird.

Werewolves and vampires come from other planets.

Travel between planets is relatively easy. Therefore, aliens, werewolves, vampires, and all manner of creatures and humanoids can show up at anytime, anywhere, on any planet.

Dina Demille is an innkeeper on Earth. Inns are neutral territories. Innkeepers do their best to remain neutral so long as it doesn’t threaten their clientele. People come to them for sanctuary and protection.

Dina’s inn was once abandoned and almost decayed beyond repair. She’s been nurturing it back to health for awhile now but with only one resident, the process is slow going. With limited money coming in, she can’t provide it with all the materials it needs to rebuild itself. (The inns themselves are considered sentient by some. They have a symbiotic relationship with their keepers.) So, when trouble comes in the form of creatures killing neighborhood dogs, the local werewolf giving her attitude and warrior vampires showing up, demanding to be let in, Dina must decide whether to get involved. If she doesn’t, her inn may never earn a higher rating from the Council, which means more business, or she does and ruins the reputation herself. A bit of a catch 22. Piss off a faction of beings who can report her or have the secrecy of her inn exposed before she can make something substantial of the inn?

I enjoyed the hell out of this. It’s short, yet full of world building and action packed. I liked Dina and her little dog creature, Beast. I loved the concepts of the inns and the healthy helping of science fiction thrown in with magic. There is a possible love triangle beginning but even that cannot deter my enjoyment.

I’m super pumped to see where this series goes.

Besieged (Iron Druid Chronicles #8.5) – Book Review

Published Date: July 11, 2017

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 235

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Required reading before Scourged.

I’m always skeptical when something says it’s required reading before moving on with a series. (Also, it tends to annoy me. I don’t like when novellas become ‘required’.) In this case, it’s true. There are some relationship shake ups that you’ll have no clue about if you skip this.

Enough complaining about forced reading. (I know, I’m SO tortured. How dare someone force me to read.) This is a rather fun collection of short stories regardless. They are told from different perspectives. There is a story from Granuille and a couple from Owen, along with our MC Atticus.

Despite my bitching, I love when the short stories are about Atticus during times of historical significance and how he affected them. I think if I had to pick a favorite for this collection, it would be how he met Shakespeare and saved his life, Goddess at the Crossroads.

Underrated Ladies! Tag

I’m in one of those pissed at the world moods in which getting anything productive accomplished is a struggle. But somehow, it makes it the best time to catch up on at least one tag that a lovely blogger was kind enough to tag me in. I could use a little feminine appreciation to brighten my day so here we go ladies and gents:

The very awesome blog Livid Lightning is getting my ping back since she introduced me to this tag. 😀

Rules (I will try to follow, but no one’s the boss of me on my blog)

  • PingBack to Kate at Melting Pots and Other Calamities and pingback to a post of hers (I guess she’s the creator of this tag thingy? Good for her!)
  • Answer the questions (That’s the point of these tags thingys, no? See below!)
  • Choose female characters from books, movies, TV, anime, webtoons, etc. (I’ll try my best)
  • Tag as many people (We’ll see…)
  • Have fun! (No doubt)

Questions:

Name a heroine you like but whom you feel is always overshadowed by the male characters in the story.

Ka-Poel from the Powder Mage trilogy. She’s from a tribe and is essentially Taniel’s personal spotter and later servant but she’s so much more than that. She’s a force of her own with her own magic and tricks up her sleeve. She’s clever and feisty and never lets Taniel down.

For that matter, name a heroine whom you feel is always overshadowed by the other female characters in the story.

Peryn’s little monster sister. That’s right, she’s over shadowed enough that I don’t remember her name. But she’s a great character, she gets some show time but I would have liked to see her even more throughout the series.

Name a character who had potential but was greatly underutilized in her story.

Constance Stapleton comes more into focus in this installment of the Golgotha series, however, I still think she’s being underutilized though it appears that may change in the future.

Name a female character who you either find better in her book than her movie, find better in her movie than her book, or whose portrayals you find equal.

Offred (June) from The Handmaid’s Tale is SO much better in the TV series than the book. In the book, she’s actually rather bland and kind of hard to read from her point of view. In the show, her rebellion, her determination and her overall character keep me coming back again and again.

Name a character who you want more backstory on.

Adelia Reyes, the femme fatale assassin. I just want more of this whole universe in general!

Name a character with traits you feel are sadly overlooked by everyone.

Arya Stark is the very first that comes to mind. Although, it’s usually her enemies that overlook her traits and they pay the ultimate price. But,I feel her own siblings overlook her quite often as well.

Name a morally grey character. (Villain or anti hero!)

The Morrigan from the Iron Druid Chronicles. She does some pretty shitty things but a lot of the time she also tips off Atticus to danger. Sometimes, she’s the danger.

A character you’re stunned isn’t more famous.

Stealing this answer from Lightning. Hail is such a bad ass heroine, but somehow I don’t know that many people who have read this series. It’s a high recommend from me if you enjoy space operas.

A character from a piece of fiction you’re amazed isn’t more famous.

Temple grew up during the time of zombies. She’s been on her own for most of it. This is a great story of a teenager surviving the zombie apocalypse on her own, fighting both the dead and the living.

Fantastic Female Bloggers

I’m going to try to tag people Lightning didn’t already tag so we can spread this fun out a bit more, but don’t feel obligated to participate by any means. This is meant to be fun!

Kristin Kraves Books

Books, Bones & Buffy

By Hook Or By Book

Meltotheany

ReadRantRock&Roll

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) – Book Review

Published Date: September 5, 2006

Publishing Co.: Berkley Sensation

Pages: 334

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I read Singh’s first book in her Guild Hunter series years ago and really enjoyed it at the time. Rarely am I in the mood to read romance so when I found this at a used bookshop for $0.50, I thought I’d give the series a try.

There were aspects of this that I really enjoyed. The emotionless race of Psy and the network they linked their conscious to for information was a pretty fascinating premise and I could read about it for hours. I will always remain a sucker for shapeshifters so combining the two races and the hierarchy of the world they live in was another reason I should love this series. I even enjoyed the burgeoning relationship between the two main characters, and many of the side characters as well.

BUT, the gratuitous sex scenes just interrupted the more interesting parts of the story. I wouldn’t have minded that in and of itself but I didn’t particularly like the sex. I think a lot of it had to due with the naivety of the female MC. I guess I like a female that knows what she wants and has no problem demanding it of a man.

Unfortunately, after taking a peak at the summary of the next book, this is one of those series that each book focuses on a new couple and that just isn’t something I dig. Once I get committed to characters, I like to stick with them. If the series continued with the characters we were introduced to in this series, I would at least give the second book a shot, but since it doesn’t, I don’t think I’ll be continuing.

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) – Book Review

Published Date: November 14, 2017

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 533

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Distinct and enchanting.

Ozzy approved.

As with many epic fantasies that I end up binge reading, I wish I had slowed down for a minute and wrote down a quote so that you may sample the lyrical wine. But, I have no djinn to grant my wish.

Turns out that’s a double edged sword anyway. You get all your wishes but you’ll likely be murdered in the end. Djinn slaves are not to be trifled with.

Nahri is a pick pocket from the streets of Cairo during the French occupation. She swindles to survive, using her unusual healing abilities to help birth children and run cons against the wealthy. She speaks a language she’s never heard another human speak before and learns languages as easily as riding a camel. She smiles at everyone she plans to rob. That’s sweet really. If you’re going to take something someone has, at least do it with a smile on your face so the mark feels good for a minute.

While hosting a fake ritual to heal a mentally broken girl, Nahri accidentally summons a djinn warrior and an ifrit, with a host of ghouls they summon to hunt her down. Not exactly the scam ending she had been hoping for. The surprised-to-be-summoned warrior saves her and they run from Cairo.

What follows is a countries crossed trek through the desert via flying carpet and stolen horses, battles with mythical creatures and the arrival to a secret city inhabited by beings Nahri has never heard of before but apparently, shares as least some small amount of blood with. She’s the last blood of a tribe that was massacred and the people are desperate for both what she represents and her healing abilities. It’s a city of wealth unlike anything Nahri has every seen and a life there is almost unimaginable, until the king offers her virtually everything she could ever want.

Nahri recognizes another con man when she sees one. She decides to take the offer and believes she can hold her own against him but she’s not well versed in politics and it’s games. The youngest prince appears to hate her, the princess tries to humiliate her and the king expects her to fail. She tries to learn to navigate this new world with the help of people from her tribe and her personal warrior, but everyone has their own agendas for her life and Nahri is too independent to be lead by the nose.

Everyone is running their own scheme in Daevabad, and every scheme is interrupted or spun into a new scheme is this politically unstable city filled with various tribes of magical people who cannot seem to get along for long.

Will Nahri survive the city or will she become the victim of a long con?