November Book Haul

Back when we were all ordered to stay at home, Penguin Random House held a Virtual Con and offered many fine prizes. I happened to win one of the ten grand prizes with the stipulation that it would be at least six weeks before anything could be sent. Well, those six weeks came and went and I hadn’t heard anything. And then I did. An email that broke my heart as they announced the cancellation of all awarded prizes. I was devastated but understood that safety and health was more important. Long story shortened, eventually they changed their mind and decided to send alternative prizes in place of the ones they could not send. I am happy and grateful that they were so generous. I’m quite excited to read these top ones the most!

These books were also part of the grand prize replacement I received from Penguin RandomHouse. I hope to read these as well some day. But after the others.

I’m excited to read these newly acquired books. Hopefully very soon!

I ventured into my local used bookstore and found the acclaimed The Fifth Season and Obsidian Son. I’ve heard good things about both! And I pre-ordered Unlocked when I discovered that the author created the peacock artwork foiling under the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition. It’s glorious in person and makes me want to catch up on the series. I must make time to do so soon!

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #34

Down The TBR Hole is a meme from Lost in a Story that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading

Book Review: Fantastic Tales of Nothing by Alejandra Green

Fantastic Tales of Nothing
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: November 17th 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books

This was a delightful graphic novel full of tension and diversity and gorgeous color! The author did an excellent job balancing world building and plot movement while also developing character relationships and giving us some backstory.

I did find it a bit weird that one of the minor characters appeared to break the fourth wall randomly. I enjoy stories that make use of this structure but the character isn’t introduced until around the half way point, I think, and it doesn’t match anything else in the narrative, so it was more confusing than anything.

I enjoyed how the main character, Nathan, reacts to Haven in both mannerism and using they/them pronouns once he gets used to the idea. The magic is explained in little bits here and there when the story requires and lends itself well to action sequences. Overall, a very enjoyable read that can be shared with younger readers who like a thicker graphic novel and older readers who enjoy great art and story.

Thanks to the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books for approving my Edelweiss request to read the earc in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

In the first book of this full-color fantasy graphic novel series filled with humor and hijinks, the fate of the land of Nothing hinges on Nathan and an unlikely team of magical beings to save the day—perfect for fans of Amulet and Estranged.

Welcome to Nothing! Despite its name, this is a fantastic land where humans and magical volken coexist peacefully—at least they try . . .

This is the tale of Nathan, an ordinary human (or so he thinks) living an ordinary life (or so he wishes). Everything changes when he meets Haven, a mysterious creature who is neither human nor volken. Oh, and the two of them are being chased by volken mercenaries—a grumpy wolf named Bardou and a delightful crow named Sina.

Nathan soon learns he has mysterious powers, even though humans aren’t supposed to have magic. But there’s no time to dwell on that because this discovery sets the group on a perilous quest across windswept terrain, through haunted forests, and in ancient tombs. Nathan and his unlikely friends must prevent an impending war and defeat a dark evil to save their land.

No pressure, of course. If they fail, everything will turn into, well . . . nothing.

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #33

Down The TBR Hole is a meme from Lost in a Story that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading

Book Review: Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published October 27th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

I almost had to put this one down! Similar to what happened with Champion of the Titan Games by Brandon Mull, this book also had a subject that was just too real right now. However, in this case it was not slavery but discrimination. I honestly don’t know why I was able to power through this one (maybe my meds kicked in and helped), but it definitely took longer than I was expecting considering how much I loved the last two books of Morrigan’s story.

I didn’t love this one quite as much as the first two, and I really couldn’t tell you why past the feelings it invoked while reading. Which is to say the author did a fabulous job conveying the horror and dread and uncertainty that a mysterious virus that only affects a small portion of the population… Oh, I think I know why this book gave me such trouble. The author did a terrifyingly terrific job portraying everything that a pandemic can bring with it. I hope future rereads bring more joy once we have made it to the other side of this scary section of history.

Summary:

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

Meanwhile, a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious Unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. There are whispers – growing louder every day – that this catastrophe can only be the work of the Wundersmith, Ezra Squall.

But inside the walls of Wunsoc, everyone knows there is a new Wundersmith – one who’s much closer to home. With Nevermoor in a state of fear and the truth about Morrigan threatening to get out, the city she loves becomes the most perilous place in the world. Morrigan must try to find a cure for the Hollowpox, but it will put her – and everyone in Nevermoor – in more danger than she could have imagined.

Book Review: Odessa by Jonathan Hill

Odessa
Paperback, 328 pages
Expected publication: November 10th 2020 by Oni Press

I have mixed feelings about this story. This is clearly a volume one and is To Be Continued… but I also feel like I didn’t get enough clues/hints/payoffs on the mother, who instigated this whole adventure. I like the world building with the post-apocalypse California and hints at other things, which we didn’t learn much about in this book. The characters were also interesting even if the main trio felt flat and very black and white. I think it might have helped to see a bit more of them in daily life before they left home. To see the changes better. A lot happened and the pacing was good, but this volume is a little over 300 pages and it felt like we didn’t get very far plotwise.

As for the art. I think the art style worked well with the story and setting; however, the pink color really through me off. It is the only color used, and I think it would be more effective if a bit more orange in hue. To simulate the sky and sun after the apocalypse. But maybe the pink is in reference to something else entirely. I’m not sure.

I wouldn’t give this book to children to read. Teenagers would be fine and maybe even junior high age, but it gets dark as post-apocalypse fiction does and is a bit graphic in places with violence on page. Overall, not a bad read, but I don’t think I’m the right audience for this one.

A big thank you to Oni Press for letting my read this early on NetGalley!

Summary:

Three siblings search for their missing mother across a ruined America in this original graphic novel perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Neal Shusterman. 

Eight years ago an earthquake—the Big One—hit along the Cascadia fault line, toppling cities and changing landscapes all up and down the west coast of the United States. Life as we know it changed forever. But for Vietnamese-American Virginia Crane, life changed shortly after the earthquake, when her mother left and never came back.

Ginny has gotten used to a life without her mother, helping her father take care of her two younger brothers, Wes and Harry. But when a mysterious package arrives for her eighteenth birthday, her life is shaken up yet again. For the first time, Ginny wants something more than to survive. And it might be a selfish desire, but she’s determined to find out what happened to her mother—even if it means leaving her family behind.

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #32

Down The TBR Hole is a meme from Lost in a Story that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #31

Down The TBR Hole is a meme from Lost in a Story that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #30

Down The TBR Hole is a meme from Lost in a Story that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading