#TheReadingQuest Update the First

Here’s my first update for this magical quest so many people are participating in!  In case you want to see my original, here’s a link.  The quest is taking place between Sunday 13th August to Sunday 10th September, 2017, so we’re about half way through.  Honestly, I was hoping to have more tasks accomplished by now, but I have enough to do a quick update 🙂

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Waiting on Wednesday: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Mask of Shadows (Untitled #1)

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: August 29th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
There are various reviews roaming the internet about this book.  I don’t think any had an issue with representation though, so I decided to give this book a try.  The first chapter was amazing!  Then it took a step back and did character introductions and a bit of world building, but then we were thrown right into the competition.  Non-stop action, revelations, and exploring genderfluid as an accepted form of identification.  While this story may not be new territory (think Hunger Games and Throne of Glass), I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the characters presented.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Go To Recommendations

After realizing I hadn’t made a Top Ten list in some time, I decided to make one featuring my 10 favorite go-to recommendations for books/series/authors.  You’ll see why I couldn’t just settle on one category once you read the list, but these seem to be my favorite recommendation pile for whenever a friend, family member, or random internet person asks for cool new stuff to read.  It does change over time as new books and authors get released and I read backlog titles, but I tend to shout about these the most right now.

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Manic Monday: Heathen Vol. 1 by Natasha Alterici

Heathen

Paperback, 115 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Vault Comics
First off, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I downloaded this title from NetGalley.  The cover art looked intriguing and it kept popping up all over the place.  So I decided to give it a shot.  And I’m very glad that I did because Heathen was a beautifully illustrated tale that weaves together Viking folklore, bisexuality, fighting for your dreams, and many other threads and themes in a way that appears seamless.

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July 2017 Releases to Read

So, I’m convinced that we somehow skipped right over July.  I know I did things during that month, but I don’t understand how it went by so fast.  Same thing seems to be happening with August though as I just realized that I hadn’t done my July post yet and September happens in just under 2 weeks!  Anyway, here are some awesome releases from July that I haven’t had time to read yet!

Ready to Read-Look for my Review Later:

The Crowns of CroswaldHeroine Worship (Heroine Complex, #2)The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia, #2)Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of VillainyMonstress, Vol. 2: The BloodThe Last Magician

Books I Plan to Read as Time Allows:

The DisappearancesA Fiery Friendship (Ages of Oz #1)The Book KnightsThe Savage Dawn (The Girl at Midnight, #3)Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3)The Library of FatesThe Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga, #2)In 27 DaysThe Apprentice WitchClub Deception

 

Geez that’s a lot of books!!  I guess that July must have happened or all these lovelies wouldn’t be available to read, enjoy and share.  🙂

Have you read any of these?  Did I miss something that you loved?  Let me know!

Saturday Spotlight: Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore by Paula Guran

Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore

Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Prime Books
OMG, there’s finally an anthology that focuses on how awesome libraries and librarians are in a fantastical way!  Can’t wait to read these and discover was new authors and revisit some favorites.
Have you read this one yet?  What did you think?  Do you know of any other anthologies that feature libraries, magic books, or librarians?

Summary:

Portals to all the knowledge in the world, libraries are also created universes of a multitude of imaginations. Librarians guide us to enlightenment as well as serving as the captains, mages, and gatekeepers who open the doors to delight, speculation, wonder, and terror. Both inspire writers of speculative fiction to pen wonderful tales woven around them.
This captivating compilation of science fiction and fantasy short fiction showcases stories of librarians-mysterious curators, heroic bibliognosts, arcane archivists, catalogers of very special collections-and libraries-repositories of arcane wisdom, storehouses of signals from other galaxies, bastions of culture, the last outposts of civilization in a post-apocalyptic world . . . grand adventures and small sagas of the magical places we call libraries and the wizards who staff them!

Book Review: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Daughter of the Burning City

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Harlequin Teen

I have mixed feelings about this book.  On the one hand, I thought the concepts and characters were really interesting.  On the other, it took me almost three weeks to finish reading.  Not sure if that’s because of pacing in the book or because of real life issues I was dealing with, but I’m disappointed that it took me so long to finish.  As a debut, Daughter did a great job introducing characters and various levels of story threads.  I think it could have used a bit more world building though since this is a planned stand-alone.

Throughout the story, I felt myself questioning why certain things were happening and how Gomorrah fit into the rest of the world.  I also kept forgetting that our main character was only 16, but I always have that issue, and that she has no eyes.  I certainly liked this aspect, but we find out a little more about it while investigating things later in the story, but I’m not sure I quite understand the whole missing organ that still works just fine bit.

I will definitely be recommending this book to friends, family, and random internet folk like my readers here.  I never thought about giving up on the book, and it was definitely different and compelling.  The author is lovely human being, who I met at ALA Annual a couple months ago.  I even won a set of eyeshadow colors from promoting the release (I’ll share more on that in a different post soon!)  There’s a whole lot of awesome going on in this book that readers will for sure enjoy.  I just got a little hung up on miscellaneous stuff.

Have you read it yet?  What were your thoughts?

Summary:

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag 2017

Since I haven’t participated in a book tag for awhile, I thought it would be fun to try out this one.  I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but anyone can participate if they like!  The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag was created by Chami from ReadLikeWildfire and Ely from Earl Grey Books a few years ago to recap your reading from the first half of the year and to anticipate for the upcoming half of the year.

Many of these are 2017 titles, but I’ve read a pretty good mix of new and older releases this year, so a few are from other years.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

The Queen of Blood  (The Queens of Renthia, #1)

I really liked this one and am greatly anticipating having time to read the sequel soon.  Check out my review here!

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)

Technically I could have put the second half of this series here and it would all be true.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

The Crowns of Croswald

I was able to read the first chapter or so online and it was over too quickly.  I hope my copy arrives soon!

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

The Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency #1)

I just love the synopsis for this one and keep hearing awesome things about it.

Biggest disappointment?

By Your Side

I was excited to read this one as I hadn’t read YA contemporary in forever, but I couldn’t bypass the unrealistic and unexplained reasons for the main characters being locked in a library for any length of time.

Biggest surprise? Favorite new author?
(Debut or new to you)

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)

This book counts for both questions as I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, and I haven’t read anything by Kendare Blake before this.  Although I own several by her.

Newest fictional crush?

Dream Magic (Shadow Magic, #2)

Not sure it’s a crush per se, but I fell in love with the jewel spiders.  And I generally hate spiders!!

Newest favorite character?

Firebrand

I’m sensing an animal theme as my newest favorite character would have to be the granite griffins that have a cat form 🙂

A book that made you cry?

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

SO many reasons to cry.

A book that made you happy?

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

This book focused on character growth and relationships in a way that was truly healthy.  And that meant a lot to me!

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

Not Quite Narwhal

You’ll just have to pick up this book to fully understand its gorgeousness, but I was not ready for just how adorable this book is!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

An Enchantment of RavensThe Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #2)The Last Namsara (Iskari #1)Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient, #1)The Tethered MageAkata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia, #2)

Hopefully, I’ll have time to read all of these before the year runs out!!

 

What about you?  Feel free to continue this tag and share some of the fantastic reads that you’ve found throughout the first half of 2017 🙂  Don’t forget to link back to the creators!

Series Sunday: Green Rider series by Kristen Britain

For this installment of Series Sunday, Green Rider by the fabulous Kristen Britain takes center stage.  This is the ONLY author that I’ve followed and continue to enjoy the series even with a 3-5 year gap between volumes.  Yes, you read that correctly!  The fans wait up to 5 years between stories, and it’s due largely to the incredible complexity that is woven into the each book.  Also, there is usually no major cliffhanger, just lots of little threads that span the whole series.

Image result for green rider

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