Sunday Night Update

I am so sorry with all my heart how absent I’ve been; I wish I had an arsenal of reviews, discussions, and memes already written and ready to be posted. Alas, I do not and have therefore felt very lost about what to post. I’ve posted all the reviews I’ve written — save for one of an ARC that’s releasing in June, so I’m saving that — and I’ve been working through two long and tall books: A Dance with Dragons and Anna Karenina.

But I have news. I FINISHED ANNA KARENINA! That alone makes me feel accomplished because WOW that book. I think I like it even more now that I’ve finished it, but I was also surprised how much I liked it while reading because it’s all character driven. Generally speaking, I need so well-constructed plots to keep me happily entertained. I will write a review of that tonight or tomorrow (before work) for posting on Thursday of this week. I am giving myself a much-deserved break from thoughts of that book because I read upwards of 200 pages of it today.

To sum up, I want to say THANK YOU! to all of you who read my blog! It really means a lot to me, especially that you’ve stuck with me through a few unforeseen mini-hiatuses. Tuesday I will get back to my as-regular-as-possible posting with either a Top Ten Tuesday or a First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday.

W…W…W…Wednesday (53)

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W…W…W…Wednesday is a weekly meme that was originally hosted by MizB but has since moved over to Sam’s Taking on a World of Words.

I haven’t jotted down many ideas for discussion posts lately and Wednesday is upon us! When this posts, I’ll be at work too. But just so that you guys know, I’m working on two monster books right now and I kind of prefer spending time reading them to spending time thinking up and then writing discussion posts at the moment….

I recently finished reading…. How recently is “recent”? Haven’t finished a book within the last week due to the monsters mentioned above/below. xD

I’m currently reading…. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) and A Dance with Dragons (George R. R. Martin)! Ayup, I’m reading two books over 700 pages long at once. Why I chose to do this, I’m not entirely sure. But I am making progress, nonetheless!

Next, I plan to read…. My e-ARC of The Girl at Midnight! I’ve been hearing such a mix of things about it! And I have some other 2015-release purchases that I still haven’t read, like The Mime Order and The Winner’s Crime. Highly anticipating those as well!

What are you reading this week?

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday (45)

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First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. Simply share the first paragraph of the first chapter of the book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.

Now that Game of Thrones is back on HBO, time to work my way through George R. R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons before the show catches up with me! This first paragraph of the book immediately reminded me how much I love Martin’s world and characters. So much love!

The night was rank with the smell of man.

The warg stopped beneath a tree and sniffed, his grey-brown fur dappled by shadow. A sigh of piney wind brought the man-scent to him, over fainter smells that spoke of fox and hare, seal and stag, even wolf. Those were man-smells too, the warg knew; the stink of old skins, dead and sour, near drowned beneath the stronger scents of smoke and blood and rot. Only man stripped the skins from other beasts and wore their hides and hair.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Details: 402pp, Balzer & Bray hardcover
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars, book 1
Rating: 4/5
Buy: BN.comBooks-a-MillionBook Depository

Summary (from Goodreads): It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it. Continue reading

Speaking of…how maps (or lack thereof) affect your fantasy reading

Maps in fantasy books: not really something I think about until I realize the fantasy I’m reading doesn’t have one. And I felt a little lost (like poor Brian Pond down there…).

Some maps are really friggin’ intense, like the 5 pages’ worth for the Song of Ice and Fire books, but they all serve one purpose: to help connect the dots when traveling through these make-believe worlds. But Red Queen didn’t have one. Granted, even with maps a lot is still left to the imagination with the imagery left to the author’s words alone. When it came to the setup of the world of Red Queen, a map would’ve helped me quite a bit. The diamond-walled town for Silvers fairly close to Mare’s town? And the capital Mare reaches towards the end? I want to see where they stand relative to one another. How close together are Reds and Silvers living? Maybe not super important in the grand scheme of things, but it could help with the foundation of some of the imagery.

What’s your preference when it comes to fantasy books: maps or no maps? How do you use (or not use) maps when they’re provided?

Zodiac by Romina Russell

Details: 336pp, Razorbill hardcover
Series: Zodiac, book 1
Rating: 3.5/5
Buy: BN.comBooks-a-MillionBook Depository

Summary (from Goodreads): Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac? Continue reading

#24

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I’ve slowly been accumulating books since my last haul post for my birthday at the end of February (wow, it’s really been that long?!). Three of these are actually from a second birthday celebration with my grandma that happened after that last haul post. I am seriously building my selection!

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  • Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. All too in love with this cover (see photos below) to pass up this deal on BookOutlet.
  • Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. A deal along with Unspoken. Never read any Sedgwick before so this is a small leap, but it sounds fascinating.
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Birthday gift! Intrigued by the formatting… (see photos below)
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Birthday gift! Lots of buzz about this one.
  • The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski. A 2015 sequel I NEED to read!
  • The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. Excited about this one too, though I’ve somewhat lowered my expectations as I hear it kind of suffers middle book syndrome?
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman. Birthday gift! I want to explore Neil Gaiman so much more. I have had polar opposite experiences with him — HATED American Gods but LOVED with all my heart The Ocean at the End of the Lane. And I love his Doctor Who episodes!
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. Weird!

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. Weird!

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. More weird!

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. More weird!