Book Review: Smarter Than a Monster by Brandon Mull and illustrated by Mike Walton

Smarter Monster Blog Tour Image

Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: October 1st 2019 by Shadow Mountain

Summary:

No monster wants you to read this book. The more you know about monsters, the more you will know how to defeat them.

Little kids have big fears, which they often imagine to be scary creatures, like monsters. But this book helps explain how knowing “Monster Facts” can help kids outwit them.

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Are you excited about @nickydrayden’s #EscapingExodus? + Giveaway!

Well, you should be!  As part of the street team, I was lucky enough to receive some wonderful swag!

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This art is absolutely gorgeous!  I love the patterning, color choices, and the composition!  @Seageart has done a magnificent job!  Also, I have extras of the two character art cards, so I’ll randomly pick two commenters on this post to receive their very own character art cards!  And don’t forget to put Escaping Exodus on your wishlist as an October release!!

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #13

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?

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PennedCon Recap and Haul & Weekend Book Haul

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This past weekend, I was able to experience a new convention, Penned Con!, thanks to the lovely author, Elise Kova, who shared some free tickets to the event, which is how I found out about it!  Great big thanks to Elise!  I’m so glad I could attend and hope to go back next year 🙂

As this was my first time going, I wrangled a friend into going with me and we drove a little over two hours to arrive for Friday’s afternoon session of signing.  We were able to find parking pretty easy and check-in was super quick.  We even had a few minutes to scour the swag tables before they reopened the doors to where the author tables were all set up.

Earlier this week, I tried to do as much recon and research as possible to find out how this works and who was planning to attend.  The above picture shows all the books that were already on my shelves that I took with me to get signed by attending authors.  Obviously, that included all my (not yet signed) Elise Kova books as well as a couple for Kel Carpenter, and I saw that Shannon Mayer was able to attend!

There were so many people in such an enclosed space that it was really hard for me to hear anything for most of my time exploring, so I didn’t do much talking.  However, I did pick up my preorders and a few impulse buys (only a few due to budget reasons!) as well as lots of information to look up later.

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My preorders are along the bottom, the two newest from Elise Kova and the first two from Audrey Grey’s new series.  Across the top, you’ll see two of my impulse purchases, The Fire Prophecy by Megan Linski and Alicia Rades and Or Dreams and Dragons by Karpov Kinrade (which has been on my Amazon wishlist for awhile and I hadn’t realized this author would be here).  Shannon Mayer was giving away copies of the second book in her Rylee Adamson series for free and is definitely a good reason to locate a copy of book one.

And the last one I picked up will actually be mailed to me because the author was hit by the Amazon Disaster (Amazon had a printing/printer issue and wasn’t able to deliver product to many of the authors in time for the convention).  But I am excited to receive it in the mail soon!

The Faerie Games (Dark World: The Faerie Games Book 1)

After we were done flitting between the two stuffed ballrooms of people, my friend and I decided that we were all peopled out and would not come back for the free evening dance.  However, we did have a couple other things we wanted to do while in St. Louis, so off we went!

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After spending a bunch of money on books, we sold your old books to Half Price Books, where I found the third I’ve Been Killing Slimes light novel and four books in the Otherworld series (on clearance), which I decided meant that I should reread the books I have and continue the series.  Because my TBR isn’t long enough 🙂

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Then on Saturday, I was shopping with my mom at our local used bookstore, where I found a bunch of the InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire, which I haven’t started yet but I love her Toby series, and a book I had just added to my wishlist, Black Blade Blues.

What a wonderful book-filled weekend!

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

Steel Crow Saga (Steel Crow Saga, #1)

Hardcover, 528 pages
Expected publication: September 24th 2019 by Del Rey Books

Advanced uncorrected proof provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way affected my final review 🙂

First off, let me give you a bit of information about the structure of this book.  There are four main POVs with three being ladies of various stations.  Each section or chapter identifies the POV you are entering.  Fantastically, they each have there own voice and thoughts colored by their cultural background, which lends to building both world and story.

I fully loved this story!  The world building, tension building, character development.  All of these were integrated almost seamlessly.  This author fully understands how to capture his readers attention and keep it.  Another thing that was done well was the inclusiveness of the world and characters.  We are presented with a trans character, bisexuality, and other questions of gender or sex within a world that accepts these as normal.  I loved that it was included but wasn’t a huge plot point.

I also enjoyed that the author presented a full story with many of the plot threads coming to a conclusion at the end of this lengthy book.  That being said, GoodReads has indicated that this is the beginning of a series, and I would definitely read more!  There’s a lot to explore in this world, and I’d love to dive back in!

Summary:

Four destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle.

A soldier with a curse
Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic… and her own flesh and blood.

A prince with a debt
Jimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire. Now that the revolution has brought down his kingdom, he must depend on Tala to bring him home safe. But it was his army who murdered her family. Now Tala will be his redemption—or his downfall.

A detective with a grudge
Xiulan is an eccentric, pipe-smoking detective who can solve any mystery—but the biggest mystery of all is her true identity. She’s a princess in disguise, and she plans to secure her throne by presenting her father with the ultimate prize: the world’s most wanted prince.

A thief with a broken heart
Lee is a small-time criminal who lives by only one law: Leave them before they leave you. But when Princess Xiulan asks her to be her partner in crime—and offers her a magical animal companion as a reward—she can’t say no, and soon finds she doesn’t want to leave the princess behind.

This band of rogues and royals should all be enemies, but they unite for a common purpose: to defeat an unstoppable killer who defies the laws of magic. In this battle, they will forge unexpected bonds of friendship and love that will change their lives—and begin to change the world.

Book Review: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House, #1)

Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: September 10th 2019 by Tor.com

This one was so WEIRD!!  But I loved it!

I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars but only because I was confused by a few bits.  I had a really hard time picturing this story happening in outer space.  All the language and the use of swords and necromancy felt solidly fantasy, so when we had a descriptive section about the space ships, I was a bit jolted.  I also had a small issue trying to keep track of all the characters.  There were some that I just didn’t care about, so when those came up, I kind of glossed over their descriptions. *shrug*  My bad.

So, now I’m free to talk about all the good stuff!

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