6 Series That I’ve BEEN Meaning to Read (and very much feel the need to do so…like…NOW) | The Power of Fan Art

Greetings readers!

I am in a limbo right now. I want to read, but not what I have to read. Actually that’s a lie. I do want to read what I need to read, but I also want to read books I don’t even own yet.

I am having reading-urges. Moments where I just want to drop whatever I’m doing (usually school work) and just pick up a series I’m thinking of at the moment. I have 6 series in particular right now that are fighting for attention.

The #1 instigator for why I have the desperate need to read all these series right here, right now?

Fan Art.

Every time I open twitter or Instagram, I’m faced with a gorgeous illustration of a character/scene from a book I haven’t read and I immediately lament the fact that I haven’t experienced it yet! Which then leads to these reading-urges.

So I figured I would show you exactly what I mean and list the series that are begging for my attention right now when I have absolutely no time to read them.

1. The Folk of Air Trilogy by Holly Black

I actually already read The Cruel Prince so we can mark one of three of these books done. Hooray! I can’t say I loved it, I can’t say I hated it either. I am actually really intrigued. I’ve been thoroughly spoiled for it, by fan art among other things. But it is the art that really wants me to finish the series, when the last book is released. (Not to mention Holly will be in Toronto in December!) People are dedicated to this series and they are also TALENTED! Holy! I have seen some things y’all. And I really want to read those things now too. But I also question my morals…I mean look at this stunning piece. Feast yer eyes!!!!

2. The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff

Okay…maybe this one is not THAT urgent of a need right now, but I get the feeling to read them every now and then, especially since the last book just came out. And again. People in this fandom are talented and it looks like a complicated, dark read that I am totally up for. I hesitate though because I feel like it is so over-hyped, but at the same time I know it’s my kind of read. Then I recall this piece of art and I just AHHHHH. Does she not look so epic? Everything about this screams YES, YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW.

3. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

Some years ago I read the first book of this series, but I’ll be honest I don’t remember much about it other than that it was a cool kind of weird. WELL I recently started reading Laini’s other series, Strange the Dreamer AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. I already finished the first book so I started the second one and OMG there is so much goodness to be had. But back to talking about DOSAB…I have seen so many amazing illustrations for this series, a lot of them depicting Karou and I LOVE IT. I MEAN LOOK AT THE IMAGE BELOW. My jaw dropped when I saw it! I had actual hearts in my eyes. It seriously inspired me to try this series again and I cannot wait for the moment I get to pick them up again!

4. The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty

Besides the fact that I have heard so many amazing things about these books, the little snippets that I’ve sneaked at and the works people have done (see below) are really feeding my need to pick up this book like yesterday and already have the privilege of having experienced this book! I love how magical it all looks!!!!! And I really wanna meet this guy. Yup. Tattoos and green eyes and magical…*wags eyebrows*

5. The Poppy War trilogy By R.F. Kuang

People are always yelling about this book on my Twitter timeline and I cannot help but be so intrigued. Then the other day this masterpiece dropped and another work that had my jaw on the floor and I JUST NEED TO READ IT NOW. I NEED IT. (Also, I wish I could draw like this!) I have this feeling that this series will crush my soul and completely sweep me off my feet! PLUS read the caption under the photo…I JUST—I….

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"He really was pretty, impossibly so, with large , almond-shaped eyes and a sculpted mouth that looked good even twisted into a sneer." …untill he opens his lovely mouth and starts speaking. Yin Nezha from "The Poppy War" by R.F. Kuang, this book is one of very very few books that got a 5 stars from me, and if you're not new here you know I don't give 5 stars easily, you can check my thoughts on goodreads, follow my twitter nanfe178 for more random stuffs I post. So, with that ratings, no need to ask if I should recommend you or not, but a fair warning, the book is pretty brutal and graphic, especially the massacre of Golyn Niis city. I'm currently waiting for "The Dragon Republic" (that just released 2 days ago) to come home, my tits cannot calm down man. #nanfeart #books #bookcharacters #characterdesign #bookseries #thepoppywar #thedragonrepublic #booksofinstagram #bookstagram #readers #readersofinstagram #booklovers #beauty #beautifulboy

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6. Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco

This series is the whole reason why I wrote this post today. The final book released today and I just I WISH I HAD BEEN A PART OF THIS ENTIRE JOURNEY! On top of the fact that the plot seems so intriguing (murder mystery-ness), the fan art for this series is TOP NOTCH. One example is below, but there are so many examples I could have put here. And to add to that the Love Interest’s last name is Cresswell. CRESSWELL. How have I not read the books with the character that shares the name of my favourite ship EVER??



Let me know what you think! Do you get sudden urges to just read a certain series? What series are you hoping to read sometime soon? Do you love to look at fan art? Do you dabble in fan art? Would anyone like to purchase any one of these series for me? 🙂 Thanks.

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

*A Note on the fan art: I used the direct IG URL to feature each piece of art. I hope this still properly credits the artist and that you all go check them out. If there is a problem, I have no problem taking down the photo and just installing a link!*

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MINI REVIEWS! | Library Reading Round Up! // Dealing in Dreams & Kingdom of a Blazing Pheonix (These are long overdue)

Greetings readers!

It’s time to do some wrap-up on my first (of only two) library haul. I was hoping to get my hands on these two books and I was so glad that they were both available at the library the day I went! I wish I had gotten these reviews out a lot sooner, but better late than never right?!

So Imma cut the intro short and just get to it…

Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Dealing in Dreams

Pub Date: March 5th, 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Goodreads

At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.

Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?

***

  • So the world building is great. It’s totally clear, I get the history and geography of it (even though there is no map). It’s a matriarchal futuristic society with girl gangs running the streets, yes it sounds as cool and scary as it seems. I would not, 100%, I would not survive in this world. It doesn’t allow girl to be soft and I am softtttt
  • The characters…I enjoyed reading from Nalah’s POV. I thought she had such a rich voice and her determination to keep her family safe is admirable, although she does not always make great decisions
  • Reading about characters who have to challenge the thinking they have been always told to do is always eye-opening because it is not easy, it is uncomfortable, but ultimately important
  • The dreaming aspect of the book was really cool. I loved how it acted as a currency and literally embodied the idea of money as a drug because it is a drug.
  • The tension, action and twists were great. I pretty much expected most of them, but they were still quite enjoyable
  • I was not the biggest fan of the writing style…I know it was styled to fit how these teenagers would talk with their slang and colloquialisms but I just wasn’t a fan. It’s not that I wanted them to talk in giant complex sentences, but I felt like it was all super choppy and cut. I missed the flow. it just wasn’t for me…
  • The ending isn’t conclusive and I get why it’s not, but I maybe would have liked a little more closure
  • I just felt mellow the whole time, like I never truly, fully felt immersed into the story. There was a lot of down time where the characters were just travelling. I was invested but still absent in a way.

Overall, I think my expectations were too high and my hype too much for this book. It was good but just not that jaw-dropping story I was hoping for.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Recommend: Yes! I still think it is a very relevant and timely read!


Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress #2)

Pub Date: Nov 6th, 2018
Publisher: Philomel Books
Goodreads

This fairy tale retelling lives in a mystical world inspired by the Far East, where the Dragon Lord and the Serpent God battle for control of the earthly realm; it is here that the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match. An epic fantasy finale to the Rise of the Empress novels.

Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won’t soon forget.

Fans of Stealing Snow, Red Queen, and The Wrath and the Dawn will hungrily devour this page-turning read.

***

  • It is about time I get to this read! I loved Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, an Evil Queen origin story, which was great!!! And I am so glad that this book is the Snow White retelling!
  • Jade was awesome! I really enjoyed her shyness, her courage (which she worked hard to find) and her will! I know lots of reviewers complained about her, but I thought she was amazing!
  • In the last book, I complained about not knowing a lot about the mythology of the world, but this book brought all the magic and myth and legend to life! It was truly epic!
  • DRAGONZ
  • The romance was maybe still a bit out of no where but the LI was so sweet!
  • The fact that I loved Xifeng in book one and then in this one…girl…she uh she uh she is definitely an evil queen.
  • This book made me sympathize for the Emperor after I called him a bitch who knows how many times throughout book one!
  • That scene with Xifeng and a certain someone…AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
  • This was a fabulous quest book!! It held a lot of suspense and action and lots of things went wrong!!!
  • The ending was a little too rushed, I wished we could have had a little more time to develop it.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book! I loved Jade and reading her story unfold in contrast to Xifeng’s was quite fun! I cannot wait to read Dao’s next book which is set in the same world but new, original characters!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Yes! This is honestly a great series to diversify your retelling lists!



Let me know what you think! Have you read either of these? Are you more of a dystopia fan or fantasy fan? How about a mix of both?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Caged Queen | A Canadian Dragon Tales Buddy Read Review

Greetings readers!

It’s time again for another round of Canadian Dragon Tales, A Buddy Read Review starring me and the wonderful, Sha @ Book Princess Reviews.

Sha and I have had a fabulous time buddy reading different books together, although not all of them feature dragons! And we are so happy to bring you the review for this book today! A few months ago we read The Last Namsara by Kristen Cicarelli (an actual Canadian Dragon tale!) which we both adored and this past month we had the chance to read it’s companion novel!

So without further ado, we present…

The Caged Queen (Iskari, #2)
via Goodreads

Title: The Caged Queen (Iskari #2)
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Pages: 400

Release Date: September 25 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Paperback

Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.11 (of 1,983 ratings)

XXXXXX

Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. Roa and Essie called it the hum. It was a magic they cherished—until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.

Dax—the heir to Firgaard’s throne—was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered.

Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen. Only as queen could she save her people from Firgaard’s rule.

Then a chance arises to right every wrong—an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa discovers she can reclaim her sister for good.

All she has to do is kill the king.

XXXXXX

The Likes

Sha: We finally got context on the deep hatred between the Scrublanders and the Firgaardians. The enmity was explained in detail, drawing on decades of unfair taxing and regulations. I appreciated this strength of Ciccarelli’s in Book 1 (focused on slavery) and I continue to love it in The Caged Queen: she weaves in these topical issues, giving an otherwise fantasy novel real-world weight. 

Rendz: Having the expanded knowledge of the world was definitely a plus in this book. Not only did we get a better understanding of who these new people were but we get more history and more tales of myth! I loved the lore of the story and even though this book is not really a Divine Intervention plot, the stories of divine figures are very important! There was also boatloads of intensity and action! I was stresssesssed!!!! Every single time I opened this book my blood pressure soared! It was a great feeling because it meant I was super into the book!

Sha: Another love I had in this book was the return of beloved characters from The Last Namsara. We got to see newly-appointed commandant, Safire. (I would have liked to see a bit more on her struggles fitting in to her job, but it was still touched on and I *know* it’s not her book). The cuteness and fire himself, Torwin, barely had a page worth of time but his lines make me want to reread The Last Namsara immediately.

Rendz: Ugh every time Torwin stepped onto the page, I got heart eyes in my eyes! I wish we had gotten to see more of him and Asha, but what we got was truly magical! As for the other characters…hmm let’s see. I enjoyed reading from Roa’s POV. She was brash, angry and vengeful but also full of heart. I got frustrated with her at times (many times) because this girl needed some major perspective!!!! However, I still enjoyed her ferocity! As for Dax. He turned out to be more questionable than I imagined. On the Rendz Love Interest hierarchy scale…he is definitely a Boy Toy.  As for Theo…….ugh. Just ugh.

Sha: I know, like, 100% am positive that Rendz will agree with me that the shining star (heh heh if you read the book you get that little pun) in this book is not the romance. Not the dragons (I know!!). It’s the absolutely beautiful and I mean BEAUTIFUL relationship between Roa and her sister. Correct me if I’m wrong, we didn’t know the entire story behind Roa’s hawk in Book 1. It was just, “Yeah, this girl likes her hawk a lot.” In The Caged Queen, that is expanded and the bond between the two is absolute heart eyes. 

Rendz: Hehe *gets pun* I do, I do 100% agree. I had such a hard yet not-so-hard time between the relationships with the story. On one hand I absolutely adored the sister relationship! It was exactly what a sister-relationship is. It’s long lasting, it’s rocky, it’s magical! Having two sisters myself made me sympathize a lot with Roa and Essie! On the other hand the romantic tension was killing me. And on top of that there is Love Triangle nonsense—that honestly we didn’t really need to worry about, but still. I found it unnecessary! 

XXXXXX

The Questionable

Sha: This is a very unique and personal “negative” experience I’m about to share. But a few times I forgot I was reading The Caged Queen and thought I was actually reading The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. There were some character resemblances, a similar love triangle, and the journey our MC Roa goes on mimics Shazi’s. I’m NOT saying this book is a copy. Please don’t think that. The ending is completely Ciccarelli’s own. But in my head I found myself comparing the two books or flat-out mixing them together. 

Rendz: I need to reread The Wrath and the Dawn to see the similarities because I am slacking! As for me, I think my biggest pet-peeve was that the politics and romance clashed for me. I felt like the politics were so intriguing to read about, but Roa’s thoughts always went back to romance. I know Sha feels differently about this, but I feel like it was a major distraction for me. Then again it could just be my own brain distracting me. Ugh, Rendz. 

Sha: The ending was a bit rushed for my taste. We spent a lot of time building up the story (which I didn’t even realize was a build up) and when the real climax hit, I was three-quarters through the book. Does anyone else get a bit stressed seeing the “left to read” pages dwindle but the stack of problems facing our MC are only going up? That was me. 

Rendz: Yes, I agree! The ending needed more meat. I was stressed the whole way through reading. Literally I was tearing my hair out and swearing at the characters (which in this case was a very good thing–because I was always in it to win it with this story). However, the final scenes were just not enough to fully satisfy me. I was hoping for I don’t even know what. Just more. I mean, it was sweet, but I want moreeeeeeeeeee. 


Ratings:

Sha: 4.5 / 5 Stars

Rendz: 4 / 5 stars 

Overall rating: 4.25 / 5 stars

Do we recommend?: Um YES. OBVIOUSLY YOU NEED TO READ THE LAST NAMSARA FIRST BECAUSE IT IS SUPERIOR. But this one is lots of fun and intense too!



Let us know what you think! Have you read this? Are you interested in reading it? Do you have any recommendations for us to buddy read together? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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August Wrap-Up & September TBR | Where nothing went as planned!

Greetings readers!

Well, well, well. Here we are. Another month, another bunch of hauled books, another unfinished TBR. But what’s actually new?

I actually think that this month was hugely successful for me in terms of reading. I might have said “F**k it” to my planned TBR but what I did read was so much fun and I don’t have (m)any regrets.

As for next month…..hooooweeee do I have *planz*

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I absolutely loved this book. AMAZING! My Full Review

Gods of Jade and Shadow

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
While it did not live up to the standards of Sky in the Deep in my opinion, it was still okay. My Full Review

The Girl the Sea Gave Back

The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli
Buddy read with Sha @ Book Princess Reviews! This was such a fun companion novel but Sha and I have THOUGHTS. Review to come.

Q: Who are you favourite warrior characters?

It's #WarriorWednesday on #bookishcanadiansaug19 and so I've decided to feature some fierce female fighters on the gram today!

@kristenciccarelli's Iskari series is such a delight and it is full of warrior characters to love and enjoy (and some to love to hate 😉)! Asha and Roa are two characters who you will definitely LOVE. They are so stubborn and passionate and fierce and kickasss!!! I cannot wait until we get to read Safire's book who could literally kick my butt in a millisecond. Then again, they all could!

My fellow Canadian buddy reader, @shaniasquires and I are so looking forward to seeing where the story goes next and we hope you pick up these books soon!

#thelastnamsara #thecagedqueen #kristenciccarelli #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #iskariseries #warriorladies #ya #igbooks #signedbooks #yafantasy #dragons #epicreads #canlit

Below by Alexandria Warwick
This was a great read for people who are character-oriented! My Full Review

BELOW

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth (Audiobook)
I already loved the story, but the audiobook just made the whole experience so much MORE. 5 stars.

Q: Do you listen to audiobooks?

I don't usually. I have a very short attention span so my mind tends to wander when I'm listening to anything. You name it: lectures, music, stories from friends... I miss lots of things.

But I recently decide to give audiobooks another try since I felt like it! I found the audio for THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS on the Overdrive app, downloaded it and started listening to it at 1 a.m. one night.

It was probably the best decision I ever made. I had already read TLBW last year so I knew the story, but listening to it was a totally different experience! It was truly magical and I cried. I sobbbeeddddd.

I was literally lying in my bed at 1 or 2 in the morning having my heart torn out, tears running down my eyes and onto my pillows. And I mean it when I say this is one of the best decisions I ever made. I already loved the story but the audio was definitely a great listen!

5 🌟s for the story!
5 🌟s for the narration!

#TheLightBetweenWorlds #lauraeweymouth #bookstagram #audiobooks #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #historicalfiction #underratedbooks #canadianauthors #canlit #bookstagrammer #ya #yafantasy

The Clock Work Scarab by Colleen Gleason
The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason
The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason
The Carnelian Crow by Colleen Gleason

Q: What's the oddest/greatest book pitch that has ever grabbed your full attention?

For me it was Sherlock Holmes meets Vampire Hunters.

Let that sink in.

The Stoker & Holmes series by Colleen Gleason follows the niece of Sherlock Holmes, Mina and Bram Stoker's (author of Dracula!) sister, Evaline through a steampunk 1889 London.

I know it may sound odd but it's a very fun series. There are lots of mysteries to be solved, the characters are incredible and there's romance to be had. In fact this series holds the only love triangle-kind of thing that I fully accept!

But the stars of the show are definitely Mina and Evaline who are so different and yet grow a friendship--even if they're reluctant to be friends at first!

It's a 5-book series and the last one came out last week! I'm currently reading the fourth and cannot wait to read the final book! (Hopefully my library will grant my request soon!!) They are quick and easy to read through and I promise you'll have some fun!

#StokerandHolmes #ColleenGleason #TheClockworkScarab #TheSpiritglassCharade #TheChessQueenEnigma #TheCarnelianCrow #TheZeppelinDeception #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #historicalfiction #steampunk #librarybooks #tpl

The Witching Hours: The Troll Heart by Jack Henseleit
The sequel to The Vampire Knife from last year, this one was just as fun and spooky! Review to come.

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel
Now this is a middle grade book that was so much fun and heart-warming. Seriously, It’s required reading! Review to come.

11 whole books read this month!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT!!!! And the best part?! Only 3 of these books were from my actual TBR for the month XD

The Haul

Hachette
The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel
Queen of the Conquered
by Kacen Callender

Penguin Teen CA
The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones
The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyester
by Cary Fagan
Song of the Crimson Flower
by Julie C. Dao
Fireborne
by Rosaria Munda

HCC Frenzy
The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
A Treason of Thorns
by Laura E. Weymouth

Manda Group CA
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faisal (A gift)

WELL WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT, I DIDN’T ACTUALLY BUY A BOOK THIS MONTH.  

Q: What 2020 books are on your radar?

I CANNOT EXPRESS TO YOU GUYS HOW EXCITED I WAS WHEN THIS POPPED UP IN MY MAIL ON MONDAY!

I mean... LOOK AT THE COVER!

WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT by @isabelwriter09 is a a YA Bolivian fantasy about magic, romance and revolución!!! While the announcement for this book came out ages ago and the pub date was pushed we are slowly inching towards its release! I am very grateful for having received an advanced copy and I hope to dive into this #HispanicHeritageMonth! (Because of course!) Many thanks to @mandagroup for the ARC!

#bookishcanadiansaug19
Day 30 | Book Haul

#WoveninMoonlight #IsabelIbañez #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #latinxbooks #newbooks #2020debuts #diversebooks #ownvoices #books #latinxreads

Posts of the Month

Flashback Fangirling | Narnia Edition // It’s a long one!

FLASHBACK FANGIRLING

Re-reading My First Ever Vampire Series | The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey

Rereading My First Ever Vampire Series

How do you audiobook? | A Discussion

A Discussion

Other Going Ons

I Re-Watched Violet Evergarden

Still one of the best and most emotional animes I have ever watched! It is on Netflix so there is no excuse for you to not watch it (unless you don’t have Netflix of course!). Seriously. I SOBBED. SOBBED. AND I ALREADY KNEW THE STORYLINE.

I Entered Marissa Meyer’s Fan Art Contest!

I took a gander at entering since it was open to Canada and I had free time on my hands! I can’t say it came out exactly how I had hoped, but I still am super proud of some of its elements.

Renegades Fan Art.png

I Attended Another Frenzy Event

As usual I was my anti-social self, although this time I did talk to a few people!! So maybe not my usual self, but still!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a lot of fun at the event and I got my hands on my most anticipated book of September!!!!

It’s Back to School

September marks the beginning of the school year so it’s time I gear up and be ready to study. I’ll still be reading, though perhaps not as much as this past month.


TBR

Holy cow. I have so many things I need to read. I seriously don’t know how I’m going to get to this all. I mean I know I am not going to get to it all, but I at least thought I’d try.

I technically will have two TBRs this month because #HispanicHeritageMonth runs from Sept 15-Oct 15 so I need to get ready!

The Regular TBR!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
The Zeppelin Deception by Colleen Gleason
The Brilliant Dark by S. M. Beiko
There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Hispanic Heritage Month TBR!

The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

It should be fun to see myself fail at all of this.


Let me know what you think! How was your August? What were your favourite reads? What do you have planned for September?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

How do you audiobook? | A Discussion

Greetings readers!

It’s a spontaneous post today! I’ve recently been thinking about different ways in which books are available to us. Whether it be in a physical book form, digitally or in audio, there are so many methods in which one can read!

But today we are going to focus on audiobooks. More importantly–I am going to discuss what a total noob I am with audiobooks.

90s 80s GIF by Doctor Popular
via giphy.com

My History with Listening to Books

It is not extensive lol. I have officially only listened to 3 audiobooks. Two that I did not finish and one that I recently did get through in its entirety. I used to not be the biggest fan of audiobooks because well I neither had the patience nor the attention span to get through one. Every time I would try to get into it, I would miss so much as I stopped paying attention. You see, my mind tends to wander a lot. A lot. The perks of having a very good imagination in my opinion. And I would get so lost and lose out on a lot of info as I was reading.

However….recently I listened to the audio of The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth and I ABSOLUTELY adored everything about it. It was the first time that I didn’t get bored and quit halfway. I even listened to it mostly at normal speed! I picked it up on a whim because I felt like jumping back into the story and it was honestly one of the best decisions I made. I absolutely loved the narrators. I loved listening to the emotion that they put in their voices of Ev and Phil. I thought it was so incredibly wonderful!

(The only con is that it was hard to tell when the characters were speaking out loud vs in their heads…)

So naturally I’m very curious about audiobooks now since the last one was such a success with me.

rhian brewster smile GIF by Liverpool FC
via giphy.com

So…How DO you audiobook?

I’m very curious about it because I am not 100% sure if there is a certain way to do it…

Like, for example, do you have the book in front of you and follow along with the narrator in your ear?

When I listened to TLBW I didn’t have the the book in front of me. I listened to it at night, in my room, in the dark, with my eyes closed (most of the time). It was the perfect setting for no distractions, but still my mind wandered every now and then. I don’t know if I would like following along with the book as I listen because I tend to read quicker than the narrator (even when I bump up the speed).

Thinking of speed…Do you bump up the speed as you read?

I do. Not dramatically. Usually just 0.2x/0.4x faster. I don’t like the sound of people speaking so quickly because I feel like I lose some of the enchantment and emotion in the story. However reading at normal speed can get tedious because they take such long, dramatic pauses!

Where/when do you listen?

I’ve already said that I listened to TLBW in a dark, quiet room with barely any distractions so that I could focus…but I know lots of people listen to them while doing other things! I know people listen to them as they drive, work or do homework AND I WISH I COULD DO THAT. But my brain is just not that great at multitasking I guess!


Those are the top questions I have about audiobooks! I am really looking forward to picking up a new read sometime soon, I shall browse Overdrive and see what’s available. I like the idea of using them for rereads because I can get through them quickly and my commutes could be a perfect setting for listening to them too!

However, I do have one final question:

WHAT ARE YOUR AUDIOBOOK RECOMMENDATIONS?!

schitts creek comedy GIF by CBC
via giphy.com

I would love to know how you guys feel about audiobooks and the methods in which you read them!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Sky in the Deep | Review // THIS WAS AMAZING!

Greetings readers!

I’ll be honest, I bought this book on a whim because I had just received bad news from school so to console myself I bought a book. That was over a year ago. It took me over a year to actually pick up this book………….and I regret not picking it up sooner.

Because friends. This book. THIS BOOK.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the Deep

Pub Date: April 24th, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Price: $23.50 CAD (Hardcover)/ $14.50 CAD (paperback)
Goodreads 

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

The Likes:

Characters:

Eelyn was AMAZING. Uh amazing. So fierce and stubborn and brave and she has the biggest heart! I cannot properly express how I feel about her because there are just so many emotions swimming around in my head. She felt so raw and honest about her whole self. (Rendz, do please try to make some sense) It’s just that I related to her despite having nothing in common with her! It’s her undying loyalty to the family she has always known and comes to know that really got to me.

Fiske! I had to get over his name (I mean fish. Fish.) but he was so so good too!!!!!!!!!!! I had to say that it took a little warming up to him because he was so cold and distant it was hard to see that warm, intense passion that he was made of. I would have loved if we had gotten to see some of his perspective too, I think it would have added a lot of interest to the story. But reading him from afar was pretty fun too.

Iri, ok son…I questioned him for the longest of time for reasons you shall read about in the book. However, I did like him. Perhaps not my fave, but still worth the mention.

Halvard = adorable.

The slowburn romance to die for!

Wowowow. Okay. This was intense, I don’t even know where to begin. For the longest time throughout my read I was like hurry up and kiss alreadyyyy. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was a little worried because not only did he shoot my girl, but she was also labeled as his “slave”, a fake one, and yet I hesitated. However, I thought that it was written really well and it does take forever to happen which makes it all the more intense.

The Thing that really won me over was the dynamic between Blood family and Found family

I was so conflicted the whole way! It really made me think about my own perceptions of family! Let me tell youuuuuuu. For the first half I was like blood family, blood family, blood family, but then the book got me thinkinggggg. And it made me think hard. I mean before going in, I had an appreciation for found family relationships yet blood family still sort of topped it, but after having read this book they are more at an equilibrium. I just feel like this theme taught me so much. About family, about myself and about the universal family that connects us all, the one that makes us kin rather than enemy.

The Epic Vikingness of it all

This world was absolutely thrilling. It was cold, brutal and yet so warm in its sense of community. It was the middle of summer and yet I felt the cold while reading, it was all so vivid and alive! The cultures of the clans and their traditions and religions that were so wonderfully explored and explained.

The fighting was so intense and there were some scenes that were just so brutal! The eyeball (ahhhh)!!! I cannot explain to you all how incredibly action-packed this story is, along with the political intrigue and family issues, it was so so so intense. It’s a type of intensity that grabs you so hard you feel it in your bones!!!

IT BASICALLY EMBODIES ONE OF MY FAVOURITE NARNIA QUOTES:

“A common enemy unites even the oldest of foes.”

I MEAN, IF YOU’VE READ IT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!

The Questionable

Mmmmm…nada!


Overall, I loved this book. I think this review basically explains how inexplicable my emotions are about this, but rest assured that they are all on the positive side. I loved the characters of this story. They are what made it for me, but the whole family dynamic is the winning factor of it all. I was so completely blown away!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Absolutely!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What are some of your favourite viking books? Do you like books that deal with family issues?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

Below | Review // A frigid read to turn your thoughts!

Greetings readers!

Last year I read The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick, which turned out to be an amazing read! It actually made me cry! So I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to read Warwick’s new book, Below!

Below by Alexandria Warwick

Below (North #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Feb 4th, 2020
Publisher: Wolf Publishing
Goodreads

From the author of The Demon Race comes a YA dark fantasy series inspired by Inuit mythology.

In the heart of the frigid North, there lives a demon known as the Face Stealer. Eyes, nose, mouth—nothing and no one is safe. Once he returns to his lair, or wherever it is he dwells, no one ever sees those faces again.

When tragedy strikes, Apaay embarks on a perilous journey to find her sister’s face—yet becomes trapped in a labyrinth ruled by a sinister girl named Yuki. The girl offers Apaay a deal: find her sister’s face hidden within the labyrinth, and she will be set free. But the labyrinth, and those who inhabit it, is not as it seems. Especially Numiak: darkly beautiful, powerful, whose motives are not yet clear.

With time slipping, Apaay is determined to escape the deadly labyrinth with her sister’s face in hand. But in Yuki’s harsh world, Apaay will need all her strength to survive.

Yuki only plays the games she wins.

*I was provided an advanced copy by the author* 

The Likes

I really enjoyed reading from Apaay’s POV. I thought she was such an interesting character. She was someone who was always striving to be enough but finding herself continuing to let down those she wanted to impress the most. She had so much heart and love that she didn’t see just how spectacular she truly was.

I’m not very familiar with Inuit mythology, but I definitely want to know more after reading this book. I was definitely hesitant about reading this book because as far as I am concerned the author is not of Inuit descent (I may be wrong). However from what I read, I think the book is well researched and the use of magic and myth is very interesting. The Face Stealer was definitely my favourite character and the actual depiction of the effects of his powers was scary to think about as much as it was enthralling to read about! I also loved to hate Yuki! A villain in the form of a child with knowledge that extends generations, so so wicked!

I thought the story was very unique. It is a tale of sisterly love and self-discovery. There were so many moments of heartbreak and suffering, so be aware that this book definitely packs the punches and pulls the heartstrings!

The ending was satisfactory and yet not at the same time. And not in a bad way per se. I was very much pleased with the direction the story took at the end there, but I was also left wanting a lot more!!!

The Questionable

The pace is what really got me. The story is quite slow and quite repetitive. It is not exactly the fastest quest narrative because there are a lot of stalled moments. There are not many action scenes and the thrilling ones don’t last very long. A lot of the book takes a big focus on the mental and psychological state of Apaay as she goes through these devastating trials in her life, which was actually very interesting to read about. I had just hoped for a quicker movement and flow of the story.


Overall, this was a good story. It is definitely unique and something I have never read before. It is a story of sisterly love, of proving ones-self and myth all set in the cold, deep north. While the pace is slow, the psychological and emotional journey of Apaay is surely one to interest many!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars 

Recommend: Yes, especially since Apaay is such a great character!

Let me know what you think! What books have you read where you get deep into the minds of the characters? Are you more plot-driven or character-driven?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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