17 Oct 2020

Stacking the Shelves (34): October 17, 2020

17 October 1 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
So I didn't get to writing as many posts as I would have liked this week. I'm feeling a little burnt out about blogging and reading, mostly because I don't feel like there is enough pay off anymore. I work pretty hard to keep up with content, new releases, etc. and constantly feel like bloggers overall are overlooked.

I don't know what that means for the future of this blog but I will keep reading and updating for as long as I can because it is important to me more than anything else. But my life and priorities have changed since I started and that's okay.

How's everyone holding up?
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: IRON AND MAGIC by Ilona Andrews

16 Oct 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: IRON AND MAGIC by Ilona Andrews

16 October 0 Comments

 


Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!

IRON AND MAGIC

Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Iron Convenant #1
Source: Purchased from Audible
PublisherNancy Yost Literary Agency, Inc
Publication Date: June 22, 2018
Summary:

No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.
Purchase:

In this rare edition of Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays, you get.... a negative review!

I really wanted to like this one. I wanted some good Urban Fantasy and wanted to be blown away. All of my Goodreads friends LOVED this one, so when it came up as an Audible Daily Deal, I was sold. Except... I wasn't. It was really disappointing and I definitely wouldn't recommend it.

Mostly, my pain comes from not being sure what time period it was until much later in the book because the cover, the castle, and the way the characters act make it seem like it was many moons ago when in reality it is present day. Which blew my mind. I had to go back to some of the beginning chapters to see why I thought it would be the past and then remembered most of the plot was around building a moat to defend a castle. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But really, I didn't like so much about this. Even though it is the start to this series, it is a spin-off of another. And I am getting pretty bored of authors and publishers who say you can start series when they are clearly in the middle of something else. To truly understand the backstory and the intricacies, I needed the other aspects of this. And that's on me, truly, for not reading the rest. 

What isn't on me is that the characters were just terrible. I can't tell you much more about Hugh except that he is moody and Elara is white. That's pretty much all I know about them. And their "romance" was just meh to me. I wanted to know more about the world and truly I would have rather watched them build the moat a thousand times than have to listen to those sex scenes again.

TLDR: This was not my favourite read this year. I did not really enjoy it and thought the romance parts of this took over the rest of the plot rather than supplement it. Also the cover is bad and made me think this was like a historical urban fantasy rather than contemporary.

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

10 Oct 2020

Stacking the Shelves (33): October 10, 2020

10 October 1 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
It's Canadian Thanksgiving so here's some ways you can support Indigenous Persons in Canada!
  1. Donate: Donate to a Canadian charty and/or organization that supports Indigenous communities, especially Northern Indigenous communities.
  2. Listen and Learn: Listen to the Indigenous community on their history and the issues they have in the present day. Learn and educate yourself on current issues in the Indigenous community.
  3. Volunteer: Volunteer with Canadian charities and/or organizations to help offset some of hte costs!
  4. Read Indigenous Literature: Most importantly, read some Indigenous literature to give back to the community and support an array of diverse authors. So tomorrow watch for a whole list of those!
How's everyone holding up?

9 Oct 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: Books to Read on a Long Weekend

09 October 0 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!
It's a long weekend here in Canada, so here are my recommended SFF reads while you curl up and celebrate having three days off!

THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon 

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens...
Purchase:


LADY HOTSPUR by Tessa Gratton

Inspired by Shakespeare's Henry IV, Lady Hotspur continues the saga of Innis Lear, centuries later, as revolution, love, and a betrayal corrupt the descendants of two warring kingdoms.
Purchase:


THE SEEP by Chana Porter

A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut is perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Carmen Maria Machado.
Purchase:


RED SISTER by Mark Lawrence

I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
 


A BEGINNING AT THE END by Mike Chen

How do you start over after the end of the world? Because sometimes having one person is enough to keep the world going...
Purchase:


What are your favourite long weekend reads?

7 Oct 2020

Audio #Review: I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST by Mason Deaver

07 October 0 Comments

I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST

Author: Mason Deaver
Series: N/A
Source: Purchased from Audible

Publisher: Push
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
This was such a great story of family and finding yourself. I'm glad this wasn't super romance heavy because I think Ben's relationship with Hannah was more important than anything else we could have seen. I loved watching them come together as a family unit. But I did think this dragged a bit at times and I found myself not as into it as I would have hoped.

Ben was a fantastic main character and I liked seeing their journey. I appreciated getting a view into a life experience I've never had and I loved watching Ben come to terms with themself and the world around them. I loved being in Ben's mind and seeing how everything came together.

I liked the supporting cast of characters at the high school but thought that they were a little underdeveloped. Because this story focused so heavily on family, it meant the friendship part wasn't as developed. Sure, we saw a lot of Nathan (who was great!) but everyone else is a blur in my mind - and I just finished this book about 10 minutes ago.

I did really like it though, and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a contemporary novel. But it is sadder than I anticipated it would be, and there is a lot of heavier stuff in this than you might anticipate from this. That doesn't mean there weren't shining moments and really great stuff! Just go into it knowing that you may be kinda sad while reading, even with the hope.

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?