31 Jan 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: MINIMUM WAGE MAGIC by Rachel Aaron #SFFFridays

31 January 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!


Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron book coverAuthor: Rachel Aaron
Series: DFZ #1
Source: Audible
Publisher: Aaron/Bach
Publication Date: November 9, 2018

The DFZ, the metropolis formerly known as Detroit, is the world’s most magical city with a population of nine million and zero public safety laws. That’s a lot of mages, cybernetically enhanced chrome heads, and mythical beasties who die, get into debt, and otherwise fail to pay their rent. When they can’t pay their bills, their stuff gets sold to the highest bidder to cover the tab.

That’s when they call me. My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m a Cleaner: a freelance mage with an art history degree who’s employed by the DFZ to sort through the mountains of magical junk people leave behind. It’s not a pretty job, or a safe one—there’s a reason I wear bite-proof gloves—but when you’re deep in debt in a lawless city where gods are real, dragons are traffic hazards, and buildings move around on their own, you don’t get to be picky about where your money comes from. You just have to make it work, even when the only thing of value in your latest repossessed apartment is the dead body of the mage who used to live there.
There was so much goodness in Aaron's MINIMUM WAGE MAGIC that I'm sad it took me so long to read it from when I initially purchased it. A mix of bureaucratic misery, detective work, and magic, MINIMUM WAGE MAGIC has something for, quite literally, everybody. And it is the start to a new (favourite) series!

The worldbuilding in this is incredible! I loved seeing aspects of Detroit that I know and how it could be in the future if ~magic~ was a thing. I loved seeing how rebuilt and incredible it was because that's the way Detroit should be. Overflowing with mages, magical creatures, dragons, and gods, I wanted to be actually sucked into the story so I could live there. But I was so engrossed in the story that I felt like I was there.

The characters are incredibly written. Some of their personality traits were annoying and predictable but that's the case with well-written characers. I am so into how strong Opal is as a character, a woman, and someone who has to deal with bureaucratic bullshit. I also loved her relationship with her AI and with Nick. Both were great supporting characters that will definitely develop so much more as the series continues.

I liked that magic wasn't used as the be all, end all to everything and that some "old" technology (aka what we have now) was still being used. It helped centre me in the story and understand what type of technological advancements there were in the story and could be in the future.

I really enjoyed this one (and finished it in record time!) so I would recommend you check it out. It's a good starter into the world of Adult Fantasy because it still has that "coming of age" aspect and some really fun magic. I am excited to continue with the series!

What are some of your favourite Adult SFF books?

29 Jan 2020

#Discussion: Three Months Worth of Books!

29 January 1 Comments

Three Months Worth of Books!

I am notoriously bad at sticking to TBRs but I have some books that I would really like to get through this winter so that I can stay ahead of my reading and read through books I really want to read! 

If you have read my 2020 Reading Goals post, you know that I want to read smarter, not more, so I am taking my time and reading books that I actually am excited about, not the newest fads or only ARCs.

So here are some of the books that I want to read over these next three months (February to April) and I hope I inspire you to read them too!

Clicking on the cover will take you to the Goodreads page for that book.

What books are you going to read soon?

27 Jan 2020

#Review: A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness

27 January 0 Comments


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness coverAuthor: Patrick Ness
Series: N/A
Source: Purchased from Audible
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2015
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

The bestselling novel about love, loss and hope from the twice Carnegie Medal-winning Patrick Ness.

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don't quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there's a visitor at his window. It's ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
This was so good and so heartbreaking. I probably shouldn't have listened to it on the train into work because now I'm a MESS. But highly recommend this one!

It was beautifully written, pulled on all the heart strings, and holds onto your mind, body, and soul while explaining that sometimes you have to accept your truths, even if they are hard ones to wrap your mind around.

I had no expectations going into this one (because I had seen people talk about it, had heard about Ness's books, and knew there was a movie but hadn't like read about this one specifically), but it was an Audible Daily Deal so I scooped it up. And I'm so glad I did.

I am completely speechless about how breathtaking and beautiful it is. I think everyone should read this, especially if they have dealt with grief and loss. This helped me process through emotions I didn't know I had and made it so I could come to terms with what I needed in my life.

I definitely recommend this one, especially the audio if you have a chance to pick it up that way. It added a layer to the novel that was so deep and wonderful.

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

24 Jan 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: THE TIME OF CONTEMPT by Andrzej Sapkowski

24 January 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!


The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski cover
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Series: The Witcher #4
Source: Audible
Publisher: Orbit/Hachette Audio
Publication Date: August 27, 2013

The New York Times bestselling series that inspired the international hit video game: The Witcher

Geralt is a witcher: guardian of the innocent; protector of those in need; a defender, in dark times, against some of the most frightening creatures of myth and legend. His task, now, is to protect Ciri. A child of prophecy, she will have the power to change the world for good or for ill -- but only if she lives to use it.

A coup threatens the Wizard's Guild.
War breaks out across the lands.
A serious injury leaves Geralt fighting for his life...
... and Ciri, in whose hands the world's fate rests, has vanished...

The Witcher returns in this sequel to Blood of Elves.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Read my review of BLOOD OF ELVES!

I really enjoyed this one and thought it was a good continuation of the story. The dinner event and subsequent fight scene were written perfectly. There was enough detail to let us feel like we were there but not so much that it took away from the rest of the story. I highly enjoy and recommend this series!

I loved so much of this book, especially once Geralt and Yennifer reunite and attend the party together. I loved how politics intermingled with cattiness and general amazingness. The boyfriend and I like to say we are a healthier version of Geralt and Yennifer because we have the banter without the murders.

But Ciri is really coming into her own and I am so here for her learning how to be a person without centering her identity on Geralt or Yennifer. She is learning that she's a combination of both of them and that is so heartwarming to me because FOUND FAMILY and ADOPTED PARENTS is everything I could have wanted from this. Especially as we learn more about her grandmother and how she basically used Ciri to be a mini version of herself.

I also love that even though this series as a whole is about Geralt, the series is not about Geralt too. It is about everything else that pressures him to be who he is and how that affects the decisions he makes (even when he doesn't want them to). I just love seeing him as a main character, but also not. Because this isn't necessarily about him.

I can't wait to continue this series (and there are so many scenes from this book that I want to see in the Netflix show!!!) and see how this all plays out.

What are some of your favourite Adult SFF books?

23 Jan 2020

#Pondathon Sign-Up + TBR!

23 January 1 Comments
Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.

What is the Pondathon?

The Pondathon is a co-operative and story-driven readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon is to read books and collect points to protect the friends over at The Quiet Pond from the encroaching malevolent forces that threaten our friends in the forest. Have fun participating in the Pondathon readathon by joining one of five teams, each with a unique way to collect points and signing up! You can also follow the story of the Pondathon as it unfolds, and participants can also complete 'side quests' during the readathon to collect extra points. The readathon takes place from January 24th 2020 to March 7th 2020. More information about the readathon can be found here.

Information about Joining the Pondathon

  1. To join the Pondathon, simply sign up anytime between January 18th 2020 to March 5th 2020.
  2. Choose a team, create your own animal character for the Pondathon and create a character card!
  3. Create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with '#Pondathon' in the title or your tweet. Share the character you have created and your character card!
  4. Link back to this post so that others can find this readathon and join in.
Share your updates on your blog/bookstagram/booktube and social media. You are more than welcome to tag @thequietpond or @artfromafriend on Twitter or Instagram in all your updates! We'd love to see all of the beautiful and awesome characters that you create!

I'm joining...

My Pond Character

My Pond Character is named Pepper and she is an angelic floof that helps turn pages and stay focused on the task at hand (usually petting her). She is a team member of Team Xiaolong and is helping Xiaolong with the frontlines and the darkness that is threatening the pond. Because Pepper is a black cat, she can blend into that darkness and bring her angelic light abound to push back those dark forces and turn some of them to the light! She is ready to protect.

My Pondathon TBR

22 Jan 2020

#Discussion: Five 2020 Debuts I Need Now!

22 January 0 Comments

Five 2020 Debuts I Need Now!

I am always excited for the new crop of debut YA/MG authors! 2020 is no different and there are so many really exciting releases coming up. Last week I talked about 2020 releases in general, but today I'm telling you all about some debut novels that you should definitely add to your TBR!

Clicking on the cover will take you to the Goodreads page for that book.

What 2020 debuts are you excited for?