Friday, September 30, 2016

September Wrap Up and October TBR

Read in Septmeber: Magical Realism

Well, this was another mediocre month of reading for me. If you stopped by the blog on Wednesday you know that I think I'm in a reading slump and this wrap up definitely shows that. Now to be fair, I was super busy and didn't have a lot of time to read so there's that. But after loving some books early on, my reading kind of fizzled towards the end of the month. When it was all said and done, I read 11 new books this month which honestly is the lowest it's been in awhile. But I also did 2 rereads which brings things to a total of 13 books for the month. That my friends is rough for me. But I'm coming back out of the slump I think so next month will be better.

For challenges, I'm still doing well. I'm posting this a little early but by the time the month is over I will have read 129 books this year towards my Goodreads goal of reading 150 books. I'm way ahead of my goal which is good so I can let the slump pass and not feel stressed. I'm still hoping I can do it without rereads but we'll see when it gets closer. This month I also did well on debuts, having read 3 total and have officially completed my goal for the Debut Author Challenge of reading 25 debuts. That brings my total to 26 for the year so I'm thinking maybe I can do 30 by the end of the year. I'm also slowing down for the Netgalley/Edelweiss Challenge. It was a slow month for that, having only read 2 books for that challenge. But if I work at it, I can reach my goal of 50 for the year, I'm currently at 36 so we shall see. And I'm also on track for the Rock My TBR Challenge. I read 1 book for that this month getting a total of 19 towards my goal of 25 for the year. I need to be good about this the next couple months and then I will do it. And finally, the Audiobook Challenge. I listened to 3 audiobooks this month, giving me a total of 32 for the year which is behind my goal of 50 or more for the year but I think if I push myself I can still finish that one. I am still killing these challenges, which is great because I am so competitive.

The Books
1.) The Graces by Laure Eve Rating: 9 out of 10 [My Review]
2.) Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas Rating: 9.5 out of 10 [My Review]
3.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West
Rating: 9 out of 10 [My Review]
4.) As I Descended by Robin Talley Rating: 9.5 out of 10 [My Review]
5.) A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess 
Rating: 8 out of 10 [My Review]
6.) Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter Rating: 7.5 out of 10 [My Review]
7.) Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh 
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 [My Review]
8.) Warp by Lev Grossman Rating: 9 out of 10 [My Review]
9.) The Swan Riders by Erin Bow Rating: 9 out of 10 [My Review]
10.) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Rating: 9.5 out of 10 [My Review]\
11.) When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Rating: 9 out of 10 stars [Review to Come]

Rereads [Reviews to Come]:
12.) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
13.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Other Posts

To Be Read in October: Dark Fantasy

And fall is officially here. And with it comes the super exciting new releases including all the high fantasies I seem to read every October and plan to read again. But to be entirely honest I need to not stick to closely to my theme to keep things fresh as I claw my way out of my reading slump. Plus there are some absolutely amazing books coming out this month. Some that I have been looking forward to for a year now. But when I look at my plan for the month I realize it gets better than that, I have all kinds of darker fantasy planned this month which is super exciting.
Books for Review



Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake - Add to Goodreads
I was planning to read this last month but never got to it. Plus it fits this months theme better so I am hoping to read my first Kendare Blake. But I want to and I'm really excited for this one to be my first book from her because it sounds amazing.

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehring Add to Goodreads
This is not fantasy it is a mystery/thriller. But like I said, keeping things fresh. Plus the author is coming next week as part of a Fierce Reads tour so I am excited to meet him and learn more about the book.

Rebel Genius by Michael Dante Dimartino- Add to Goodreads
I'm a huge fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender so the fact that one of the creators of that show wrote a MG fantasy means I must read it. Plus it sounds like a really cool concept.

Replica by Lauren Oliver - Add to Goodreads
I'm not entirely sure what genre this one is but it's not fantasy. But it does sound interesting and I am super intrigued by the concept.


The Woman in the Walls by Amy Lukavits - Add to Goodreads
Michelle of Pink Polka Dot Books really liked this one and gave me the copy we picked up at BEA that we are sharing. I think it's the perfect October/Halloween read.
 
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Add to Goodreads
I am super super excited for this book. I need a super unique book to read and this one I know will be amazing because naturally.

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike - Add to Goodreads
I'm super interested in this book and I don't entirely know what it's about. It has this weird kind of sci-fi vibe to it and then there's the whole Marie Antoinette thing. Color me intrigued.

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin - Add to Goodreads
I loved Wolf by Wolf and cannot wait to find out what happens next in this duology. But I'm also so worried about it because oh man I love these characters.

New Releases


Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - Add to Goodreads
I was supposed to read this last month but I didn't get to it because I was late on my reread of Sox of Crows. But I'm staring tonight and I know Leigh is going to write an amazing book that will wreck, WRECK, me.

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu - Add to Goodreads
The final book in the Young Elites trilogy. I am equally excited for full on villainous Adelina and terrified on how it will all end,

The Reader by Traci Chee Add to Goodreads
I impulsively bought a copy of this last month because I had a Barnes and Noble Coupon and I had heard amazing things. Hoping to read it this month

Rereads


The Young Elites and The Rose Society by Marie Lu - My Review
As previously stated, I am super excited about The Midnight Star. The prepare I am rereading these books to really feel the emotional turmoil that is Adelina's rise to power.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - My Review
Oh man, I'm super excited for this audiobook. I hear it is radio play style which is exciting. Plus I am excited to rediscover this series.

There you have it. All the Magical Realism books I hope to read in September. We'll see. As always, these are subject to change. I may read all of these or I may only read a few and then read a bunch of different one. But honestly I think this list I can stick to. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Title: A Monster Calls
Written by: Patrick Ness
Published: March 13, 2013 by Candlewick
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor. 

 At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting-- he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Reading a super beloved book by so many of your friends and fellow book nerds is always a hard thing. What if you thought it was alright but not worth the hype? What if you hate it and they disown you? What if you love it and you wish you had listened and read it sooner, you'll get the inevitable I told you so. Well guys, I'm happy to report that A Monster Calls lives up to the hype, it's amazing.

First of all, this is a really short read. It's not quite a graphic novel but also not really a full blown novel either. It's somewhere in between. Which honestly was perfect. As you may have seen yesterday, I am in a bit of a reading slump. So having something that I can devour because of it's length was perfect. Plus the art is absolutely amazing. It's dark and dramatic which added a lot of context and interest to the story. It broke things up a little bit and for someone like me who doesn't naturally visualize things in a book this was great.

But the real great thing about this book is the emotion behind it. Yeah, I cried. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm a big crier, I cry often. But I will say that there has been some cases where my hipster tendencies make it so that I don't cry because everyone else did. And yes, I knew how it was all going to end but it still hit emotionally. Patrick Ness did a great job of building up to the inevitable in a way that is impactful which not all authors can do. Not to mention the smaller more emotion moments along the way that got me in their own way.

I'm not sure I knew exactly what I was getting into with this book but what I found was definitely fantastic and engrossing. Because the great thing about this book is that it's surprisingly character driven and that's what makes this book so good emotionally and from a story persepctive. It's about darkness and pain. It's about dealing with those moments you don't want to deal with. It's about life and loss. It's about people and connection. It's about everything at the same time and that's what makes it so good.

Patrick Ness has definitely written an amazing and emotional read. It feels a lot like the middle grade coming of age novels that I love. That on top of the gorgeous writing and beautiful pictures made for an interesting and engaging read that I am glad I took the time to read. Yes, I do wish that I had read this sooner but better late than never.

I give A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 9.5 out 10 stars


Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you are late to the party on this one like me, waste no more time and get yourself a copy. The movie comes out in just a few weeks which means this is the perfect time to take in this story before that one. I absolutely loved it and I think you will too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Discussion Post: Am I In A Reading Slump?

I like to pretend I don't get reading slumps and book hangovers. Now don't give me too much credit on this feat, it's not that I'm a really good reader, it's mostly that I am usually reading so many books that it doesn't really sink in until I'm committed to the next book. Not to mention that I live in denile. It makes me feel better about things if I can pretend they don't exist. Shameful, I know! But every once in awhile I get to a point where I have to take my head out of the sand and admit that yeah, I might actually be having an issue here. But it's pretty hard to avoid that feeling sometimes.

And I have reached a point where I can no longer avoid that feeling. I think I might be in a reading slump. But I'm still trying to tell myself that it's not that serious, that I'm not in a full on slump because for some reason that feels like admitting defeat. So I need your help. Let me explain my situation and you can all weigh in and tell me if I am in a reading slump. They say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery so let's give this a try.

So, here's the deal...

1.) I am reading slower than usual.
Now I'm not a particularly fast reader (I know some might disagree) but I am a frequent reader. I usually always have a book with me and I read every chance I get. But lately even though I seem to be reading as often as I usually do, I am still not finishing books at my usual speed. When I am at the top of my game I can read 15 to 16 books in a month. But lately it has only been 11 or 12. A few less books doesn't seem significant but it is 20% less than my best. I hate not being at my best.

I want to blame this on the fact that I am in a post-EoS book hangover but if I am being entirely honest, this has been a long time coming. In fact this post was in my drafts for a few months. Because back then, it took me almost a week to read a YA novel that was less than 400 pages. Usually I can do that in two or three days tops, especially if it's over the weekend. And no, I didn't have a particularly busy weekend. I did a few things that got me out of the house but mostly I sat around reading. But I wasn't able to get through this book.

2.) It's hard for books to capture my interest.

This is probably the biggest clue that something is amiss with me and my reading. I have had this issue lately where even this highly anticipated read will have a hard time hooking me. I've been desperately waiting on the sequel to this book for over a year and now that it's finally here and I have the chance to read it, I'm waiting four days before I even pick it up and even then I'm not engrossed. Now I know every book is different, and honestly I had a super busy week last week and really couldn't have read it but six months ago, that would not have stopped me. 

The other issue with this is that when I am reading a book sometimes the events of the book aren't even sinking in. I'm reading, I'm flipping through pages but it's like I'm not even comprehending what is happening. It feels almost like I am going through the motions of the book without actually taking in the book. And that, honestly is a problem.

3.) I'm not super interested interested in rereading a favorite series.
Usually when I am in a book slump or book hangover the first thing I do is reread a favorite book or series. It helps me restore my love of reading and get back into new books. But I have been doing so many rereads lately to prepare for sequels and series enders that I think this might not be effective anymore. I started the audiobook for a book that I loved and while I'm really enjoying it is taking me forever to finish it. I can usually cruise through an audiobook in a few days to a week and this time it seems to be taking me twice sometimes 3 times as long.

Now to be entirely honest here I feel like I need to explain this a little bit. The problem here I think is that I usually do rereads on audio and I honestly don't have the time anymore to really listen to them. I usually listen at work and I haven't been able to do that for the past few months because I have been so busy. And then when I get home and have the chance to read I don't want listen to audio, I want to read physical books.

4.) I can't even figure out what to read next.

Usually I am all about keeping to a schedule and structure. It's what keeps me focused. But lately not even that is helping me. I have slowly been trying to get away from the super structured TBR because it honestly caused more problems for me. Sticking so closely made it so that I was reading too many books I wasn't enjoying and ended up DNFing. So I started doing kind of a combination sort of thing, potential reads that I would pick up depending on my mood.

And that helped a little bit but now even that isn't helping me pick what to read next. I have a giant stack of books I am really excited about and I can't pick what to read. And even when I have already started reading a few books I can't decide what to read. I'm usually good at prioritizing one over the other or will be able to power through one but lately I have not been able to decide which one I want to read more and sometimes end up reading neither.

5.) I can't remember my last 5 star read. And that book was far from perfect.

Well this is kind of a lie. I can remember my last five star read because it was Empire of Storms but that was almost three weeks ago. In the past few months I think I have only given four 5 stars on goodreads and I don't think any 10 stars here on the blog. Maybe one. This more than anything else makes me think that I might be in a reading slump.

I say this for two reasons. The first one is that I haven't loved many of the books I have been reading lately. Many of them have just been kind of middle of the road reads. Which you know, happens. You can't win them all. But lately it feels like I can't win any of them. It's even hard for me to be really impressed by a book. In the last few months there has only a few that were amazing in an unexpected way. And those are my favorite kind of reads. The other reason I think that not having many five star reads is why I'm in a reading slump is because I haven't been loving highly anticipated sequels or reads (with the exception of Empire of Storms). If you have been waiting for a year to read a book and it doesn't blow you away you start feeling a little slumpy.

Alright, there you have it. All the reasons I think I might be in a reading slump. What do you all think? Would you call this a reading slump? How do I get out of it? I really want to make sure I restore my love of reading for the next month. There are some releases and sequels coming out that I have been dying to read for and I am hoping to have this all cleared up by then. So what do you do to cure your reading slumps? Give me tips. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR

A weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Usually when I do this I give you spoilers on my monthly themes but this time I think I am going to do it a little different this time and keep that under wraps. Maybe if you want to you can try and piece it together with some of the clues before you.

Sequels

1.) The Midnight Star by Marie Lu - Add to Goodreads
I am so freaking obsessed with The Young Elites series and I am both nervous and excited to read it's conclusion. I have a feeling Marie Lu is going to destroy me with this book but that's cool. I'm ready for a genuinely evil Adelina.

2.) Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Add to Goodreads
Oh man! Illuminae was so good and I can't wait for this companion novel. I am a little worried because of my irrational fear of aliens but the format is so cool and I'm sure it will be fantastically interesting because, naturally.

3.) Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin - Add to Goodreads
I was late to the party on this series but I read it a few months ago and loved it so much that now the next book in the series is one of my most anticipated fall reads. I got a copy at BEA that I am really excited to get to very soon. Very soon indeed.

4.) A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray - Add to Goodreads
Oh man. I just did a Waiting on Wednesday about this book and it's coming out in like a month! I cannot wait. It's another book that I am sure will wreck me but also darkest timeline Marguerite and Theo together! SO excited.

Debuts

5.) Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehring - Add to Goodreads
I've heard really good things about this mystery and you guys know me and how much I like a good YA mystery. Also the author is coming here for a Fierce Reads tour next week so I'm excited to meet him and learn more about the book.

6.) Timekeeper by Tara Simm - Add to Goodreads
I love steampunk and I haven't really read one in awhile. I'm pretty excited about this debut too. It sounds super interesting with the steampunk and time travel elements.

7.) The Reader by Traci Chee - Add to Goodreads
I have heard really great things about this book. I really wanted to get a copy but you know, book buying ban and all that. But then I got a coupon from B&N and just impulsively bought it after not buying anything in August. So now I have a copy and plan to read it.

Other New Releases

8.) Heartless by Marissa Meyer - Add to Goodreads
I love Marissa Meyer so much and made sure to pick up a copy of Heartless at BEA. I have been waiting to read it until closer to release which is soon. I can't wait to see Marissa's take on this story and more traditional high fantasy.

9.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid - Add to Goodreads
I really like Kincaid's other sci fi series, Insignia, so I'm excited to read another of her books. Not to mention this one sounds fantastic with a ruthless AI who's job is to protect someone in the face of a dystopian revolution.

Backlist Books

10.) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - Add to Goodreads
Nobody panic. But yes, I am reading A Monster Calls for the first time. In fact I am almost done with it. I didn't want to tell anyone because I know people love this book so much and I didn't want to not enjoy it and have you disown me.

11.) Soulless by Gail Carriger - Add to Goodreads
I have read Gail's YA series (which I loved) but not her adult one despite having a copy of the first book on my Kindle. I think it's about time I read this series off my TBR.

Those are all the books I am going to share at the moment. It is only about half of what I will end up reading and nowhere near the amount of books on my TBR but you have to keep some mystery, right?

What books are on your TBR? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review: The Swan Riders by Erin Bow

*** This is the sequel to The Scorpion Rules. If you have not read that book proceed with caution and be weary of spoilers. Also, totally read The Scorpion Rules because it's fantastic! Here's MY REVIEW ****

Title: The Swan Riders
Series: Prisoners of Peace #2
Written by: Erin Bow
Published: September 20, 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Greta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country's crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different path. 

She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI. 

If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult. 

Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem. 

Greta’s fate—and the fate of her world—are balanced on the edge of a knife in this smart, sly, electrifying adventure.

If you read The Scorpion Rules (and if you didn't why are you reading this review?) then you know it was an absolutely unique and compelling read. The Swan Riders is even more unique and interesting. Erin Bow has once again totally turned why expected on it's head and given us something wholly original.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is the character development. Many of the characters we got to know and love in the first book are back and they have amazing development here, particularly Greta and Talis. I loved Talis in the first book and I was excited to see he had a bigger role here. We learn a lot more about him and his history which was fantastic. We also get to see Greta as she makes the transition to AI while attempting to hold on to some of her humanity. It made for interesting development for her as well. And I don't want to say too much but know that Erin Bow does this great thing where she does this kind of role reversal between the two of them and it was amazing and unexpected in the best possible way.

I also really loved what she did with the word here. In the first book I loved how the author created this fascinating hard sci-fi that was pretending to be dystopia. It had this great combination of the two and that was absolutely the case here. And it also took us around the larger world so we got to see some of the things other people are being faced with. It gave context for the rebellion in the first book and expanded on that with a new and different revolt which was interesting and I wish we had gotten a little more from.

But the best part of the world and obviously the real focus of the book was the Swan Riders. Just a small part of the first book we got to learn a lot more about who they are and why they exist which was interesting. Learning more about them also allowed us to explore more about the science and technology of this world which has always been one of my favorite parts and one of the most unexpectedly interesting parts of the series. Plus their actions had a big influence on the plot.

And speaking of this plot, while it was engaging and kept me reading to find out what would happen next it is the thing that didn't really work for me here. There is a lot going on in this book. It continues with plot points that were introduced in the first book and introduces new ones. And it does this at breakneck speed. Which honestly is too fast. There isn't enough time for some of these things to sink in. It feels a little bit like this is a series that should have been a trilogy but ended up as a duology. There were just things that didn't get enough attention for me and some of the resolutions felt simple and forced. And while the ending is satisfying, I would have liked a little more. I'm hoping for a third book to be honest.

But on the whole, The Swan Riders is a good sequel to a complex and unexpected read. It's got a great world with the perfect combination of hard sci-fi and dystopia and characters with great development.

I give The Swan Riders by Erin Bow 9 out of 10 stars


Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you liked The Scorpion Rules you definitely have to pick this book up. And if you are looking for something totally different that plays with science fiction and dystopian tropes check this series out. It's really great!

Have you read The Swan Riders? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Friday, September 23, 2016

ARC Review: Warp by Lev Grossman

Title: Warp
Written by: Lev Grossman
Published: September 20, 2016 by St Martin's Press
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: The lost literary origin story of #1 bestseller Lev Grossman - including a new foreword about how and why he wrote his first novel: "It is the intense, concentrated, boiled-down essence of the unhappiest years of my life." 

Twenty-something Hollis Kessler languishes in a hopelessly magician-less world (with the exception of a fleet-footed nymph named Xanthe) not too far from where he graduated college. His friends do, too. They sleep late, read too much, drink too much, talk too much, and work and earn and do way too little. But Hollis does have an obsession: there's another world going on in his head, a world of excitement and danger and starships and romance, and it's telling him that it's time to stop dreaming and get serious. 

 This re-publication of Lev Grossman's debut novel, Warp, shows the roots of his Magicians hero Quentin Coldwater in a book that is for anyone (and everyone) who has ever felt adrift in their own life.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

Well, I wanted something different and that's definitely what I found here. I'm not sure how I would judge this book on it's own merit but as a fan of Lev Grossman's work I think it was pretty good.

For one thing, this is a book about nothing. And I really mean nothing. It is perhaps the most extreme slice of life kind of story I have ever read. It's a few days in the life of a guy in his early twenties as he flounders around life drinking, smoking, and making incredibly questionable choices with his friends. And that's about it. There is no cohesive plot, no real plot development at all, and no resolution. I should not have liked that, but despite the fact that I found myself thinking more than once "is there even a plot to this book" it kind of worked. Because you know what, this book isn't trying to have a plot. It's a book about nothing and that is so freaking 90's so yeah, it worked.

This characters of this book just kind of existed, much in the way the plot does. Hollis Kressler is the main character and kind of a stereotypical slacker. He's barely making it through life but your guess is as good as mine as to how. He just sort of exists, going through the motions and making questionable decisions. But he does have this really active imagination. He's constantly thinking narrating his life and imagine outlandish things to keep him from totally connecting with the real world. But honestly that made him relatable to me. It's a book about a guy who doesn't know what he wants but knows that it's not this and he's probably just going to keep doing what he's doing. And yeah, I get that. Same.

This is Lev Grossman's debut and it's supposed to be the book that influenced The Magicians trilogy. I'm a big fan of The Magicians. You can see a lot of Quentin in Hollis. They have the same kind of pessimism and escapist mentality. You can also see Grossman's writing style as he was trying to craft it. It has that same kind of highfalutin overt literary prose. Not to mention that he continues to play with the tropes and our expectations, just this time he does it with contemporary novels.

I also think this book has a pretty good nostalgia factor going for it. For one thing the Boston setting had me missing New England but more than that, this book is distinctly 90's. Yes, this book is a reprint of something that was originally written in 1997 so that shouldn't really be a surprise. It's references and even tone feels very 90's. I wouldn't really call this historical fiction but I would say that you should read this through the 90's lens. So maybe put on your round colored-lens sunglasses before you read it. But I think that added to it's charm because the 90's are back so good timing.

Warp is a short and interesting read. It's not my typical read and therefore was the perfect palate cleanser. There isn't much plot here but with interesting characters and a nostalgic setting I enjoyed it.

I give Warp by Lev Grossman 9 out of 10 stars


Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow/Buy. This I would say is a must read for fans of Lev Grossman and The Magicians trilogy. But even if you aren't a fans and you are looking for something to fill your need for 90's nostalgia or want a book with a slice of life kind of feel check this out.

Have you read Warp? What did you think? Are you a fan of The Magicians trilogy and planning to read this one? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

ARC Review: Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Title: Fear the Drowning Deep
Written by: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Published: October 4, 2016 by Sky Pony Press
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man. 

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process. 

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I'm a huge fan of historical fantasies, especially if it's magical realism and there's a mystery aspect. So this book was obviously something I was so excited to read. And despite the fact that I didn't love the mystery and romance, the world and characters were fantastic here.

My favorite thing about this book without a doubt was the world, it was totally fantastic. I'm really a sucker for historical settings on islands that are fishing communities and this was a totally fantastic one. I don't know that I've ever read a book that took place on the Isle of Man but I want more because it was really wonderful. The ocean was incredibly prevalent in this book and you could feel its power and weight. You can also totally visualize it. The author did a fantastic job setting the see and the island comes alive with it's mist, water, and rocky coastline.

The other fantastic aspect of the world of this book was the fantasy elements. It had a really wonderful magical realism world as it incorporated a subtle fantasy into a gritty kind of setting. In some respect the world, and especially the fantasy aspects, had a very similar feel the The Scorpio Races to me. And while that's never a bad thing but that's also hard because that comparison is always going to be there. But this is a book full of monsters, sea monsters for that matter. The book combined some really great mythological creature from folklore and stories. I loved the way the the creatures were used in both a negative and positive way. It made for a really interesting world for sure.

However I did not totally love the mystery of this book. You guys know me and my mysteries, I'm kind of hard to please. And this one did not really impress me. The start of this book felt like a lot of dramatic irony for me. It seemed a little obvious for me and it took a little while for them to reveal that. So for me it did not feel very impactful when it was finally revealed. I would have liked the mystery to be more mysterious to that this to the next level. In general I think that is how I felt about the plot of this book. There were some really good elements but in general I felt like it just felt a little simple to me.

The characters and their relationships were also kind of hit and miss for me. One thing that I will say about this book that I didn't really like that I think a lot of people will like is the romance. This is a pretty romance heavy book. Being romancephobic I didn't love that aspect of the story. I did however like the family relationship here. Bridgey and here family were all fantastic. She and her sister had a very Little Women feel to them. They didn't always agree but they still loved and cared so much for one another. When push comes to shove they will do anything to help each other and I loved that. It was a great aspect of this book and it really grounded the characters and the book for me.

In general this was an okay read. I absolutely loved the setting and fantasy aspect plus there were great relationships but the mystery and plot felt a little basic for me. But that has sort of been a trend with me for debuts this year. I've read a ton of them and they are good but so far not many have blown me away. Fear the Drowning Deep was pretty good though.

I give Fear the Drowning Dee by Sarah Glenn Marsh 8 out of 10 stars


Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. This was an interesting magical realism read. It reminded me a lot of books like The Scorpio Races and Salt & Storm. If you are into island settings with subtle fantasy elements check this out. If you are looking for a magical realism with an interesting setting and heavy on the romance than check this out.

Have you read Fear the Drowning Deep? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!