What I’m Reading (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

More posts are coming. I have some reviews that I’m writing up, and I may try to get some book tags and such up soon as well.

But, I figured it would be a good idea to have a quick post to update you all about what’s going on in life and reading and all of that.

So my new position at work is going pretty good, and I’m actually getting an okay amount of reading time in each day so that’s cool.

Oh, and when I’m not at work and I’m not just lounging around reading, my fiance and I have been trying to do some television binge-watching. We are hoping to finish season 2 of Stranger Things today, and oh my goodness, it is such a good show. Oh, and I’ve also gotten him into Agents of SHIELD, so we’ll jump back into that show after we catch up on Stranger Things.

Now, when it comes to reading, let’s just cover the WWWs. If you don’t know what I’m talking about there are WWW posts that tend to go up on a lot of blogs each Wednesday. In those posts you talk about What book you most recently finished, what book you are currently reading, and what book you hope to start next.

I most recently finished reading The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco. I will absolutely be getting a review up very soon because this wonderful book will be out early next month and I want to tell you all about how great of a time I had reading it.

My current read is Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins, and I am really enjoying it. I’m hoping to have a review up for it as well before it is released in early March, but I also learned that it was apparently originally published in 2014 by a different publisher. Hopefully that means we won’t have to wait too long for the release of the sequel, which was originally released in 2016.

The book I’m hoping to get to next is…probably Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, which will be released in April 2018. But, considering it is also Nordic in atmosphere, like my current read, I might need to read something else instead. So, I may be reading More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer.

So, I think that is about all for now. I promise that there will be a few posts (at least) up next week. Until then, what books are you reading, and are there any books you are looking forward to reading?

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What I’m Reading

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s post is going to be a shorter one, but that’s because I pretty much want to spend my afternoon/evening reading. I have a couple books I’m reading right now and I’m really enjoying them, and I have a couple ARCs that I really want to get to soon.

So I’m going to talk about the books I’ve finished recently, the books I’m reading currently, and the books I’m hoping to start next.

My most recent reads were both comic books. One was Saga, Volume 8 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and the other was The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 6 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson. I’ll have to do a comic review for them soon, but I really enjoyed them.

I am currently reading a few books right now. The book I’m currently taking with me to work is Homeland by R.A. Salvatore. It is the first book in the Legend of Drizzt series of books (you know, because 20 hours of D&D each weekend isn’t enough for me apparently. I need to read fiction set in the D&D universe as well).

The other books I am currently focusing on are The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco, and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I loved reading The Bone Witch last year so I was extremely excited to receive an ARC of the sequel, and I will totally have an early review up soon. As for book two of the Illuminae Files, I paused halfway through reading it because I had heard from so many people that the cliffhanger was a big one…and I didn’t want to have to deal with that wait. As the third book is out next month, I think I can finally finish reading it.

Finally, for the books I’m really hoping to read next: well, I have Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins to read thanks to early approval from NetGalley, More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer, also because of NetGalley, and then Phantom Pains and Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker.

So pretty much I have a lot of great books to read and review coming up for all of you.

And now I’m off to work on reading some more. I’ll see you tomorrow for my next recommendations post.

Review: The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Hey all, Dani here.

So the book I’m reviewing today is one I read back in December as part of Diverse December, and it was such a powerful read, especially as it is a true story. I was sold on the book based on the title, then the cover, and finally the summary. Because it is so easy to get me to read books if it is about libraries or bookstores, etc.

Anyway, let’s just jump into the review.

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Summary

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

As I mentioned before, the title of this book caught my interest, and the summary drew me in even more. I appreciate stories like this, and getting to learn more about some of the experiences of those who lived through the Holocaust is something I consider to be important.

To read about Dita, who risked her life to protect just a few well used and battered books was nothing short of inspirational to me. It is also worthwhile to note that the author of this book actually had the opportunity to sit down with the real Dita and hear her tell her story, and to get details to help expand the story that he was writing. I appreciate that there was so much attention to detail, and I honestly feel like I am getting a story that is more like a biography in a partially fictional format.

Honestly the only reason I marked the rating down a little bit is because I think the book’s writing felt a bit distanced, but that is likely because it is a translated text. It is still a worthwhile read, and I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy historical reads as well as those who appreciate books about books.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

January Wrap Up and February TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Success! I managed to get posts up every day this week. I am going to try and keep going with this trend, because I have 21 reviews that I need to write up, the next few recommendation posts for the month of February need to be written, I have at least ten or so book tags that I can prep (if I have the time), and there are a couple other fun random posts I would like to do in February. So, as you can see, if I can find the time to write up these posts, I actually will be able to have regular posts up for a couple of months at the very least.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. No, today is about going over all the books I read and purchased in January, and then to discuss the books I’m hoping to read in the month of February.

So let’s just get started.

I read 11 books in the month of January, which is a pretty good number, though I’m still a bit upset that I didn’t get a few more finished. Still, they were all 4 and 5 star review books, so that’s great. I already have reviews up for a couple of them, and reviews of the rest are hopefully coming soon enough.

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking — 4 stars

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West — 4 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 7 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 8 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 9 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 10 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed — 5 stars

Vox Machina Origins, Issue #4 by Matthew Coville, Matt Mercer, Olivia Samson, Travis Ames, and Chris Northrop — 5 stars

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills — 4.5 stars

The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg — 4 stars

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking — 4 stars

All right, well that’s it for my reading wrap up, and now it’s time for my January book haul, complete with my January OwlCrate unboxing. I liked the OwlCrate box, though I was sad that I didn’t guess what the book was ahead of time because the day my subscription box arrived, I also received a package from Barnes & Noble, so now I have two copies of the same book. Oh well.

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Honestly, with the January OwlCrate, the exclusive cover for The Cruel Prince is nice, but I prefer the original more this time around. The wax melt burner is a nice addition to the box as well, and I think I’m going to have to make a print wall for all the lovely art prints I keep getting in these boxes. The February theme is Hidden Worlds and the OwlCrate booklet says that the book pick is a unique story that is about modern day fairy tales with a hint of darkness, so I need to try and figure out what the book will be so I don’t continue to have multiple copies of some books.

Finally, let’s talk about my February TBR. A lot of it is ARC review reading, but I’m not complaining, because I am so excited about these books.

I also plan to finish reading Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, and it is time that I can finally let myself finish reading Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, because we are getting pretty close to the release of Obsidio.

Basically, I have given myself a pretty hefty reading list for the month, and hopefully I’ll be able to actually accomplish it all.

Well, have a lovely weekend everyone–probably when you are reading this post I’ll be at Barnes & Noble buying more books. My fiance pointed out that we hadn’t gone book shopping in a while…gotta love how he indulges my book buying addiction. I’m going to try and have some more reviews, book tags, and more up for you next week. I think I’ll be able to carve out a few hours of blog prep time this weekend.

Comic Review: Vox Machina Origins Issues #3-4

Hey all, Dani here.

I know, what is this awesomeness…three posts in three days. I actually am starting to somewhat feel like a book blogger again. Hopefully I can keep going with more posts. Transitioning back to my old job has not been as easy as I had hoped it would be.

Anyway, obviously I have reviewed every issue of this comic series so far (find my reviews here: issue 1, issue 2, and issue 3–hmm, so apparently I didn’t review that one. I guess I’ll do that now too), so there was no way I was going to skip reviewing the latest installment.

Let’s just get started.

 

Summary

Keyleth and Tiberius find themselves in unsavory company, but that’s the only kind of company to be found in Stilben. Paid by the Clasp to stop the attack on the peasants, our heroes follow their noses and uncover an alchemical laboratory hidden in the city’s sewer.
They arrive to find a pair of half-elves fighting a gnome and a half-giant. With all the people tracking her in one place, the architect of the swamp curse springs her trap…
• Based on the hit show from Geek & Sundry!

The sinister Iselda has captured Vax, and Vex must swallow her pride to ask for aid from other heroes. But when they refuse, Vex decides to retrieve a friend outside of town … but not before Keyleth catches up to her and pledges to help.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

These comics are just so darn good, especially since the new campaign has begun and we have started with a bunch of all new characters who are only at level 2. It pretty much makes you think back on the early days of Vox Machina, which we never got to actually see on the show, but these comics definitely cover those times.

They aren’t even a group yet. They are three separate groups, but I am really seeing the beginnings of them coming together to become the awesome heroes of Tal’Dorei that they eventually become.

Okay, for those of you who aren’t already aware, this comic series is based on the pre-campaign tales of the group Vox Machina from the web series Critical Role, which is a show where “a group of nerdy ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons.” It has been airing on Geek & Sundry for a couple years now, and it is probably the geek hobby/show/whatever that I’m most passionate about.

I could honestly say so much about what Dungeons & Dragons has done for me or meant to me the past couple years, but that is a whole separate post. Instead, I’ll say that this is a fun way to learn about the characters, and if you give these comics a try and you enjoy what you read, perhaps you should either check out the episodes on Geek & Sundry’s YouTube (there are now 118 of them, and they are typically 3-5 hours each), or you can also get them in a more condensed podcast form (I have heard they are more like 1 hour per episode) found wherever you can listen to podcasts.

Anyway, back to the comic. All the amazing, humorous, and witty dialogue just makes my day. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve chuckled at something one of them says (typically Scanlan, but he’s the bard so it makes sense that he would say some spectacular things). And I actually also really enjoy having Tiberius around; it has shown me how much I miss the early days of the show, though I love all the little story points that happen because Tibsy eventually left.

There are so many great moments in these issues, and then you partner that with fun writing, and wonderful art, and it just makes for a fabulous reading experience…for the roughly 25 pages or so of content that we get in each issue.

Issue #4 is absolutely my favorite of the group so far, but I feel like I say that each time a new one comes out. We get to see Keyleth wild shape into her Minxy form (seen on the cover of Issue #4), and there are some lovely moments with Scanlan and Vax, and Scanlan and Grog. Plus we finally get a wonderful mention of one of my favorite missing members of Vox Machina…namely Vex’s companion animal, who just happens to be a brown bear, though that hasn’t been revealed in the comic yet. It simply ends with her saying she needs to go out to the woods to pick up a trinket she left behind. What is clever about that is that her bear’s name is Trinket, and he is awesome.

So I’m really looking forward to Issue #5 because we’ll get Trinket involved. Though I’m still wondering if we’ll actually get to see Percy in this story arc, because he’s only really been in the intro part of like Issue #1.

I honestly hope that Dark Horse comics decides to give us more than just the 6 issue arc we’re in the middle of currently. There are so many more early adventures for Vox Machina that could be covered, and obviously we Critters will pretty much buy anything related to Critical Role.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this lovely single issue comic (or any of the previous issues) at Amazon, Dark Horse, and Comixology. After the whole 6 issue arc is completed, there will be a bound release available as well.

Review: Love Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Hey all, Dani here.

My goodness, I have been a truly awful book blogger lately. I didn’t even get my regular recommendation post up last Thursday, so I’m sorry about that. I am currently working to try and get at least a couple posts up this week for all of you. Because it is completely true that I have a rather lengthy list of manga and comic reviews I can write up, and I also have a bunch of book tags that I can put together relatively quickly. It’s really just about sitting down and taking the time to write them up.

Anyway, today I just have to put up a review for one of the books I was most highly anticipating for the year of 2018. For the past few months I had heard so much about this book, from other bloggers and vloggers being excited about it, to hearing a few really good reviews.

So, let’s just jump into this.

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Summary

A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape–perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Oh my…this book was so good. Maya was such a fun protagonist, and by that I mean that her love of making movies and studying cinematography was just so clear and it just helped me enjoy her so much. I love seeing how people/characters just seem to light up when they talk about something they are passionate about.

I can also say that it was really cool that the crime mentioned in the summary of the book doesn’t happen until around the halfway point, so we get to spend a lot of time getting used to Maya, her friends, her family, and her normal life before everything is turned upside down.

There was also an interesting culture clash as Maya’s parents had immigrated to the United States and Maya was born there, so her parents and all their friends and such were still very much rooted in the culture of where they grew up, whereas Maya is pretty much the average American teen, so she ends up arguing with her parents about things on a somewhat frequent basis.

But you know what, it’s nice that we have a YA book where the parents are actually present, and they truly parent their child. Though after the terror attack I feel that they definitely head into very overprotective parent mode.

I guess the only part of the story that didn’t completely wow me was the romance plot, but I can say that I still liked it. The problem for me was that the one guy Maya liked was with someone else for most of the book, and when Maya thought that he had broken up with his girlfriend, others still saw them together and it made it seem like they weren’t actually broken up. Honestly though, I guess that does have a sense of realness to it, because when I was a teen (which was seriously a little over a decade ago, but still), there were a number of wishy-washy couples, where you weren’t sure if they were or weren’t together at any given time.

Okay, so I want to very briefly talk about a part that really impressed me with this book, but I’m going to have to be pretty vague, because I don’t want to spoil things. At the end of the book, Maya makes a decision about whether to stay at home according to her parents’ wishes, or head off to New York and film school like she would like. Her decision, and how others respond to her decision, did not go as I had thought it would, and I was actually really pleased with that.

So overall I am so glad I read this book, and it is definitely worth the read. It ranks higher than Dear Martin for me, but I still need to read The Hate U Give and see where it falls in the ranking. Having books that focus on issues of race and discrimination and different cultures is massively important for our world today, and I hope that all you lovely readers get a chance to pick up books like this one.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Love, Hate & Other Filters from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

The Road So Far (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

Why mess with the tradition I started last year? I might as well keep using the awesome “Supernatural” reference for my retrospective over the last year. You can find my overview of 2016 here.

Today also happens to be my 2 year blogaversary. I started this blog in 2016 to help me cope with my paternal grandmother’s death. Well, technically that was the catalyst for starting it; I had been thinking of starting up a blog again for a while because I needed to talk about books with someone.

2017 was such a rollercoaster year for me, and yet, looking back I wouldn’t change any of the lows I went through. Not only because the highs really kept me afloat, but also because the lows allowed me to fully understand how great the highs were.

Anyway, in January I found out that I was approved for the vacation days from work that would allow me to go to Book Expo and BookCon. Though I knew I was going alone, I knew that I would have a fun time surrounded by other book lovers and getting to check out a bunch of upcoming releases.

Also in January, my parents separated after 30 years together, and started the process of getting a divorce. The drama and issues from this event would send shockwaves through roughly 2/3 of the year.

I lost myself in books, both reading them and buying them. I pushed myself to work more on my blog, and to start interacting more with other members of the book community. It was the start to me really feeling like a good book blogger. But in those early months it was also the way I had to cope with what was happening in my life. Well, my books and Dungeons & Dragons.

It was Dungeons & Dragons that introduced me to the man who I would start dating in April. As it turns out this would be the event that helped me get through everything else. Admittedly, I know some people in my real life got annoyed with how much I gushed about my guy and how great things were. I can’t help it that my life started to feel like I was part of a romance story.

After my trip to NYC for Book Expo and BookCon, my blog really started to take off. I reached 100 followers, and later in the year 200. I’m not sure when follower 250 came around, but it might have been just before 2017 ended. So thank you to each and every one of you who has joined me in this process. You are all amazing.

Even with my work and my relationship, I somehow managed to still keep up with all of my reading and blogging, and actually I started having posts go up every single day, something I never would have thought I would be able to do.

I participated in quite a few readathons over the course of the year, from both sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathons, to a few other assorted events. All in all I think those helped me connect with more of you, and to read a bunch more books. The 24 Hour events always seem much more successful to me than the week long events, but I still keep trying with them. Hey, any excuse to read more, right?

I rekindled my fondness for manga in 2017, and I can honestly say that I am devouring so many of them. My list of manga reviews waiting to be written up is getting decently long.

Oh, and my boyfriend and I were able to go to Indianapolis in August with another friend of ours for a one day pass to Gen Con, which is a gaming convention. There we were able to get a lot of books, dice, and games, as well as to meet the cast of Critical Role. It was a really fun day.

For the 12th time I participated in NaNoWriMo, and managed to earn my 12th win, but I realize that the novel that came out is mostly incoherent. With any luck I’ll be able to start from scratch and re-write the book in 2018. I’d actually love to be able to share it with the world. And it would be nice to really get back into writing (and possibly publishing) again.

And I managed to do a TBR purge and go through a list of well of 800 books on Goodreads, taking it down to just over 400 books. I imagine this will be something I’ll have to do again soon, but I still feel pretty good with where I’m at now.

But, the greatest event of 2017 was towards the end of December. On Friday, December 22nd, on a day when we thankfully had a shutdown day at work, my boyfriend and I went shopping at Barnes & Noble where he both bought more books than me and spent more money than me. You guys, that rarely happens. You’ve seen my typical book hauls. I usually get a heck of a lot of books.

After that shopping trip, we made our way to the zoo, where we walked around for a couple hours, looking at all of the animals and then also checking out the massive holiday light display they put up each year. And it was while sitting on a bench overlooking Conservation Lake at the zoo, that my wonderful boyfriend sank down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was honestly just like a scene out of a Hallmark channel holiday movie, and I so look forward to seeing what our future will be like.

I hope you all had some moments of 2017 that were really nice as well, and I hope that we all have a very nice 2018.

Comic Review: Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, can you believe that we’re almost a whole week into the new year already? And here I am still with a huge stack of books from 2017 that I want to review. So I’ll be scattering these review posts throughout the next couple months, sometimes pre-scheduled, and sometimes to fill a gap when necessary. I’m changing shifts and jobs at work starting next week so I’m going to need to figure out a new schedule for reading and blogging.

Having a buffer of posts makes me feel a little better about it all.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure most of you have heard me raving about not just the anime for Avatar, but also this comic book continuation that bridges the gap to Korra. This story arc was the one I was most looking forward to because it focused on Zuko looking for his mom.

So let’s just jump into this.

Summary

For years, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have burned with one question—what happened to Fire Lord Zuko’s mother? Finding a clue at last, Zuko enlists the aid of Team Avatar—and the most unlikely ally of all—to help uncover the biggest secret of his life.

Enter the Forgetful Valley

As Fire Lord Zuko continues his quest to uncover his mother’s fate, a shocking revelation causes him to question everything he knows. It’s an opportunity that his sister, the deadly and insane Azula, will not fail to take advantage of as she joins Zuko and his friends, Aang, Katara, and Sokka on their journey into a mysterious forest from which some people never reemerge…

The Fate of the Fire Lord!

Avatar Aang travels to the spirit world to parlay with an ancient power, bringing Fire Lord Zuko ever closer to discovering the truth about his mother’s fate—and his own past. Yet Zuko’s sister Azula is becoming increasingly dangerous, threatening to ruin everything that Zuko, Aang, Katara, and Sokka have struggled to achieve on their search!

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Okay, so again, I got this story in the set of paperback volumes, though you can get a hardcover bind up that has all three together. But seeing as how I feel a need to have matching sets, I had to go with paperback to match my copy of The Lost Adventures. So this story picks up right after The Promise, and features Fire Lord Zuko learning some more information about his mother and asking Team Avatar to help him find her.

Now obviously with Zuko now in charge of the Fire Nation, he can’t just leave his people without leadership. So while he goes on this search, Zuko puts one of my favorite characters, Uncle Iroh, in charge. If you know anything about the show/comics, then you can probably guess what Iroh’s first act is. And if you said to create a Fire Nation Tea Appreciation Day, then you would absolutely be correct. What made that even better is that by the end of this little trilogy/story, it turns out that Tea Appreciation Day was a success. I love that Iroh is such a fan of tea, and I even like that after this is all over, he returns to his tea shop in the Earth Kingdom.

But that is just a tiny little moment in the grand scheme of this tale. I actually really enjoyed that the comics gave us flashback scenes so we could get more information about Zuko’s mom’s past. That was really cool and I liked what it added to the story. And oh man, all the ups and downs of this arc. Whew.

The end of part one left me shocked at a certain revelation, and I had no choice but to immediately grab the second one. Not only were there twists and turns, ups and downs, but there were a number of secrets and lies as well.

I don’t want to say too much more, but I think this was definitely my favorite trilogy from the comics (though I still have two of the trilogies to read, so that statement could change). If you are a fan of Avatar and Korra, then I absolutely recommend that you pick up this series.

Where to Buy

You can pick up Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, Comixology, or your local independent book store (or maybe even comic store).

December Wrap-Up and January TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, 2018 is off to a great start already, don’t you think? A lot of cool books have already been released, and we have a large number of great books releasing in the next few months.

However, today we are not here to talk about that. No, today I am here to recap everything I read in December, as well as to share my OwlCrate unboxing photo, and of course, my December book haul. Obviously, as it was Christmas, I ended up getting quite a few books.

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 1 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 2 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 3 (5 stars)

Dear Martin (4.5 stars)

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! (4.5 stars)

The Librarian of Auschwitz (4.5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search Part 1 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search Part 2 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search Part 3 (5 stars)

Searching for Billy Shakespeare (4.5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Rift Part 1 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Rift Part 2 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Rift Part 3 (5 stars)

Gunslinger Girl (5 stars)

A Madeline Treasury (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 3 (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 4 (5 stars)

Heroine Complex (4 stars)

The Forgotten Book (4 stars)

Waterworld Vol 1 Ezra (5 stars)

One Punch Man Vol 1 (5 stars)

One Punch Man Vol 2 (5 stars)

One Punch Man Vol 3 (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 5 (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 6 (5 stars)

Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 Vol 1 (5 stars)

Obviously I read a lot of manga in the month of December. For my Diverse December TBR though, I didn’t do that great. I only read 4 books from the list of 13 I had pulled together. I do still plan on reading the other 9 books from that list though, so expect more diverse reads reviews in the future. As well as a bunch of manga reviews because I do plan on writing up reviews for pretty much all of these. It will make a nice bank of drafted posts I can use if I ever need something to fill a space in my schedule.

Okay, and now I guess I will move into my OwlCrate unboxing portion of this post.

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I really enjoyed this box, especially that Harry Potter tote bag. I am getting a lot of use out of it so far. Oh, and the planner should come in handy too, especially since it has pages to keep track of the books you’ve read and what rating was given to them.

Now I guess it is time to move on to the book haul section, and I am not at all ashamed to admit that this is a considerably larger haul than what I normally end up sharing. BUT, to be fair and completely honest, some of these books were purchased by my boyfriend, but I’m including them here because all of the books are being stored in our library.

But before I get into the books we purchased or were given to us as gifts, I first need to mention a couple of books I won or received.

 

First is this ARC of The Hazel Wood, which I won in a Goodreads giveaway, my first time in over four years. I had actually stopped checking on if I had won or not so I was completely surprised when this book arrived in my mailbox. Nevertheless I am very happy to have it, so expect a review soon. Second, is The Heart Forger, which I did not win in a giveaway, but there was no note inside or even a return address. What was inside the package was a signed bookplate, a bookmark, and a Bone Witch sticker. My assumption is that this came via the publisher, and I am so excited about this. I absolutely loved the first book and raved about it in 2017, so to get to read this one early as well makes me very very happy.

Okay, well here it is, the moment I’ve been looking forward to but also dreading. I might as well just get it over with and get all my book purchase photos in this post already.

 

So, what do you think? Did we get enough books? Haha, no of course we didn’t. Books are fantastic, and I am so happy that I have friends and family who basically just give me gift cards so I can get the books I want, or that they ask for recommendations for books on my wish list.

The final portion of this post, of course, is the January TBR

  • Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen (NetGalley)
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (Goodreads Giveaway)
  • The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller (NetGalley)
  • Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
  • Don’t Cosplay with my Heart by Cecil Castellucci
  • Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
  • Everless by Sara Holland

Now, I’ll probably end up reading a few more manga volumes as well, but I’m not making them a priority. Then again, they are super easy to read, so who knows what will happen.

Cover Reveal and Review: Waterworld Vol 1 by Rachel E Kelly

Hey all, Dani here.

I am super excited today to get to reveal the cover and give an early review for the next installment in one of my all-time favorite book series. It was at Wizard World Ohio Comic Con in Oct/Nov 2014 that I was first introduced to the Colorworld series. At the time they were only a couple months away from the release of the third book and they were still just getting started with the convention tour.

I was quickly pulled into the story and the adventures of the characters, and from that one of the best friendships in my life began to form. Since then I have worked two conventions with Colorworld Books, and have been lucky enough to read Shadoworld and Dreamworld early (and now Waterworld).

I will be completely honest right now when I say that I am a part of Team Colorworld and am one of the copy editors for the books. But I don’t let that get in the way of my thoughts and opinions of the books. But thank you to Rachel Kelly for allowing me to be a part of the Colorworld story and journey, and for sending me digital copies of the books to read for review.

You can find the rest of my reviews for this series at these links: Colorworld, Teleworld, Lumaworld, Shadoworld, and Dreamworld.

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Summary

At Soldier Field in front of sixty-thousand, Gabe Dumas of The Human Movement (THM) delivered a gripping charge against Wendy Whitley of the Guild. To everyone watching, she conceded more than just the stage that day when she waived her speaking slot. No one knew what had happened behind the scenes, that Gabe’s plan to aid California was a result of a private communication between him and Whitley. No one realized that what appeared to be a widening of the gap between Whitley and Dumas was actually both THM and the Guild’s first acts of concession.

This wasn’t the only game-changing event happening behind the scenes in Chicago. That same day, unbeknownst to Wendy or Gabe, Ezra Whitley was enacting his own plan, demonstrating a power that, until then, everyone had thought was impossible. Moments after Gabe Dumas spoke his closing words, “Let us show them and ourselves what can be accomplished when Humans move!” the skies opened and rain drenched everyone inside the stadium… but not a single person outside of it.

This is Ezra’s story.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

First off, let’s talk about the cover. I was wondering what sort of cover we would get after the gorgeousness that was Dreamworld. I was hoping for some more white, because only Colorworld had that distinction and every other book has had slightly varied shades of black. So I was glad to see that this cover has some white and then I love the swirl of color from the bubble.

Second, let’s talk about how this particular book will be different from the others. Dreamworld was a massive book, and I loved every minute of it. But Waterworld probably would have been longer, as it covers 6 different POVs that interconnect a bit and everything will all converge by the end. But trying to get those individual stories positioned properly in one book can be difficult. So a decision was made, and now each one will come out as an individual volume. Then, after all six are out then a collected volume will be released known as The Six, and it will have all of them combined in one book.

So, basically, my Colorworld Books shelf in my library is going to expand greatly in the coming months. The Illustrated version of Dreamworld should be out this year, and I do believe the comic book should start being released sometime soon as well.

Wow, okay, so I’ve been blathering in this review section for a few paragraphs already and I haven’t actually started the review. This was a fun and interesting installment. It basically covers what Ezra was going through during the events of Dreamworld, and then the last several chapters take us past the end of the last book, which was really cool.

I like Ezra as a character; I have since the very beginning. He is such a wonderful geeky fanboy, and the way he supports Wendy’s “superhero” training and efforts is awesome. Also, he is known to have some clever and hilarious lines. But I don’t feel like he was as witty in this particular story…which honestly makes complete sense considering the situation he finds himself in. Though, I was highly amused whenever Ezra wanted advice from Gabe and so he started imagining what Gabe would say. Ezra did a rather good job at imitating Gabe.

This story is also heavily influenced by my absolute favorite character of this whole series. It has been a little while since I last read some of these books and I have missed the wisdom of Uncle Moby.

Oh, and watching Ezra’s math ability at work, as well as watching it grow and develop was pretty darn awesome. Yes, everyone, Ezra’s superpower is math, and I think that is wonderfully fantastic.

So basically, I yet again enjoyed reading the latest installment in this series and I cannot wait to see what other POVs we get. I’m betting one of them will be Kaylen and that is a story I have immensely been looking forward to.

Where to Buy

Right now you can pre-order Waterworld Vol 1 directly from Colorworld Books. This book is expected to be released on December 31, 2018.

On or after release day, you will be able to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I will always recommend buying from Colorworld Books, because then you can have lovely signed editions on your shelves.