Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (42)

Hey all, Dani here.

As it turns out, all of my reading plans changed last Wednesday, just a few hours before my What I’m Reading post went live. My author friend Rachel E Kelly sent me her latest book for copy editing, and Wednesday Books approved me for an e-galley of Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan.

So I set aside my current reading and upcoming reading plans to start on both of those books.

But I haven’t had a lot of reading time overall, so currently I have no books to report as finished in the last week.

By the time this post goes live, I should be around 60% through Wicked Saints, so I imagine that I will finish it in the next couple of days. My big debate is that this book won’t be released until the beginning of April 2019. Should I just prep up a review and schedule it for closer to release day, or should I have the review up before the end of the year even though it will be a very early review?

It shouldn’t take me a whole lot of time to finish Waterworld Volume 2 either, because I tend to fly through all of Rachel’s books.

Which means that I will absolutely be jumping into new books within the next couple of days. The only question is what I will pick up next.

These are my top options for my next books to read. It will just really depend on my mood after I finish my current reads. Will I be in a contemporary mood? Because both From Twinkle, With Love and Pride both fit the bill for that, or perhaps fantasy with Phoenix Unbound or Empire of Sand.

Obviously right now I am focusing on tackling some of my diverse reads I have on my bookshelves, as we have started Diverse December, a reading challenge hosted by my blogger buddy Kathy from Books and Munches. I have so many great books I am hoping to read before 2018 is over, so we’ll see how many books I’ll finish and review in the coming days.

Frankly there are just so very many books I want to read and I don’t have as much free time as I would like to read them all closer to their publication dates. So I just have to settle with reading as many as I can in the free time I can find in my schedule.

I hope you are all having a great reading week, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.

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Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

November Wrap Up and December TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

It is the last month of the year. Holy moly. Where has 2018 gone? Well, I can say that it has been a pretty productive year for me overall. My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal was originally 100 books, then 120, and currently 130, a goal I will absolutely be beating within the next couple of days. But I’m not changing it again so we’ll see where I end up in another month.

But before I truly focus on December, it is time to reflect on everything I read in November, as well as what I watched. Then let’s not forget my Owlcrate unboxing and my monthly book haul.

Oh, and I should also say THANK YOU SO MUCH! Yesterday I reached 500 followers on this blog, and it is honestly something I never would have expected when I started my blog. Thank you for following me and joining me on this journey to talk about books. I will be having a 500 follower giveaway post up soon, so stay tuned for that.

All right, let’s start off with what I read. As always, if I have a review up for the book the link will be included just in case you’d like to check it out.

Amazing Fantastic Incredible – A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee — 5 stars

Seasons Turning by Donaya Haymond — 5 stars

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco — 5 stars

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald Official Screenplay by J.K. Rowling — 3.5 stars

The ABCs of D&D by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland — 5 stars

The 123s of D&D by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland — 5 stars

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White — 4.5 stars

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan — 5 stars

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White — 5 stars

Of course, now that I’ve talked about what I’ve read–and I think I did pretty decent for the month as a couple of the books were longer ones–it is time to talk about what I watched.

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindewald (3.5 stars), Ralph Breaks the Internet (5 stars), Galaxy Quest (5 stars), Firefly series (5 stars), Serenity (5 stars), Doctor Who series 2 (5 stars), The Princess Switch (4 stars), A Christmas Prince (re-watch 5 stars). I’m in the middle of the third season of Daredevil, and I’m continuing the watch through of Doctor Who with my fiance, and of course we are keeping up with the second campaign of Critical Role and loving it.

So it has been a pretty busy month of reading and watching.

Up next: book haul time. I picked up a decent number of books from Book Outlet at the beginning of the month, and I couldn’t pass up the newest release from my buddy Donaya. The bound Illustrated collection of Earthsea novels is absolutely stunning and I am so glad to have it in my collection. Finally there are the books I bought during Black Friday weekend. The final picture in this is technically the books I’ve purchased for Christmas presents, though the Miles Morales book was one I bought for my fiance so it is pretty much mine as well.

And the OwlCrate unboxing. I loved this month’s box of goodies. My fiance really enjoyed making the wishing bracelet, and the wax seal is pretty awesome. I might honestly use it for my wedding invitations, once we set a date, that is. The skull planter is interesting, and that Dumbledore and Fawkes sticker as well as the art print will be heading to my bookish art wall very soon. That pillowcase is awesome as well, but my favorite thing from the box is the book. It is a fantastic read and I definitely recommend it (though content warning for sexual assault if that would trigger you).

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Finally it is time to talk about my December TBR. Most of my reading plans for the month have already been documented in my post about Diverse December and the Short-a-thon, but I also would really like to finish reading Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon before the end of the year.

Also, my writer friend Rachel E Kelly sent me Waterworld Part 2: Charlotte for copy edits. I think the book is scheduled to be released at the very end of the year, so I will definitely be reading that ASAP.

Finally, I was lucky enough to be approved for an e-galley of Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan, a book that will be released in April 2019, and I am currently absolutely obsessed with it.

So those are the books on my TBR for December. What reading plans do you have to finish up 2018? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (40)

Hey all, Dani here.

I’ve read some books! Woohoo! Now I realize that overall I’ve actually read quite a few books–hence why I am a book blogger. But so far this month I’ve been feeling like I’m not really reading as much as I normally would in a month, and it has been frustrating me. But I’ve actually made some progress with books, and that makes me happy.

Anyway, welcome to my weekly post where I talk about what I’ve read in the past week, what I’m currently reading, and what I’m hoping to start reading soon. Honestly, I’m somewhat thinking about changing the title of this series of posts and expanding it a little bit. Because I want to talk about some of the other stuff I’m doing and trying in my life. So I might change it to Weekly Round-Up or something like that. If anyone wants to shout out any series title ideas, I will welcome suggestions.

For now, let’s just talk about what I’ve been reading.

Last week I talked about starting Seasons Turning by Donaya Haymond. As it turns out, I actually had a couple hours of downtime at work, so I read the whole dang book. And this was Wednesday, so I technically finished the book before my last post went live. I felt like I was in an awesome reading groove finally. And then all I managed for the next couple days was 50ish pages of Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco. Then, on Friday, I read the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald by J.K. Rowling. In the moment that I finished reading it, I was still lost in the nostalgia glow of being back in the wizarding world, but after seeing the movie on Saturday, and processing things even more, overall I’m actually a little disappointed with it. Oh, and I finally managed to finish reading Kerri Maniscalco’s latest release. So yay, I finished three books in a week. That is fantastic.

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Okay, now it’s time to talk about what I’m currently reading (and loving), and that is Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I’m about 80 pages in at the time of writing this post (aka Tuesday evening), and I have a feeling that I will finish this book pretty quickly. Oh, and I guess I’ll also mention that I’m still working my way through Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, but I’ve only read like 10 or so pages since my last update. I think I’ll actually make it a focus to finish this before the end of the year.

As for what I’m hoping to start reading next…well, I’m not exactly sure at the moment. I may pick up The Monster of Selkirk Book Two: The Heart of the Forest by C.E. Clayton. I just learned on Goodreads that the fourth book was just released, so I have a bit of catching up to do still. But I may pick up Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell next. I’ll just have to see what mood I’m in once I finish my current reads.

Well, I suppose that is all for now. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Graphic Novel, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Signal Boost, Writing

October Wrap Up and November TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

I had to mostly pre-write this post, because it is now (or will be when this post goes live) November and I need to prioritize writing my novel over writing my blog or reading for fun. So I don’t know if I’m going to have a huge TBR for this month. But that’s okay, because my wrap-up for October should show that I did plenty of reading.

Endless Quest: Big Trouble by Matt Forbeck (5 stars)

Endless Quest: To Catch A Thief by Matt Forbeck (5 stars)

Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill (5 stars)

Wild Embers: Poems of Rebellion Fire and Beauty (4 stars)

My Hero Academia, Volume 15 by Hideo Horikoshi (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vigilantes, Volume 2 by Hideyuki Furuhashi (5 stars)

Fairy Tail Zero by Hiro Mashima (5 stars)

Fairy Tail, Volume 3 by Hiro Mashima (5 stars)

Rule by Ellen Goodlett (4.5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 1 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 2 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 3 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 4 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 5 by Nagabe (5 stars)

All the Feels by Danika Stone (5 stars)

Black Clover, Volume 2 by Yuki Tabata (5 stars)

Black Clover, Volume 3 by Yuki Tabata (5 stars)

Estranged by Ethan M Aldridge (4 stars)

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (4 stars)

The Monster of Selkirk: The Duality of Nature by C.E. Clayton (4.5 stars)

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (5 stars)

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel (4 stars)

Make a Nerdy Living: How to Turn Your Passions Into Profit, with Advice from Nerds Around the Globe by Alex Langley (4 stars)

Whew…that was a nice list of books finished this month. I am also trying to prep up a bunch of reviews from all of these reads so they can be posted throughout the month and beyond. I actually have a huge list of reviews I need to write, so I may have quite a few posts coming for the rest of the year.

Okay, now onto what I’ve watched this month. Honestly, not nearly as much as everything I’ve read. So let’s just jump into the list: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl — 4.5 stars, The Magicians, season 2 — 5 stars, Hocus Pocus — 5 stars, Halloweentown — 5 stars, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge — 5 stars, The Spiderwick Chronicles — 4.5 stars.

Obviously I have my usual ongoing watches, namely Fairy Tail and Critical Role Campaign 2. The Fairy Tail watch has slowed down a little bit, because I watch it with my fiance and he has recently been distracted by the new Spider-Man video game.

It’s book haul time!

Oh, and if I’m talking about my book haul from October, I guess I should also briefly mention my unhaul from October as well. I ended up removing 94 books from my library.

Now this is where my wrap-up post usually features my monthly Owlcrate unboxing…but my post office delivered my Owlcrate to another apartment in my building, and the package was apparently stolen from that other apartment’s doorstep. I was so excited about the October box too. It featured exclusive Owlcrate editions of both Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa and Pride by Ibi Zoboi. So I have filed a stolen package claim because the package was insured, but since the box was sold out, I’m betting I won’t be able to get the lovely signed editions anymore.

Finally, it is time for my November TBR. This is definitely a tentative TBR, because I should spend more time focusing on writing than reading. But the next round of the Manga Madness readathon is coming up next week, and I still have a decent stack of books I’d really like to read, so…these are books that I may or may not get around to this month.

Okay, well that is all for today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, NetGalley, Signal Boost

Review: Bookish Boyfriends: A Date with Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt

Hey all, Dani here.

So I finished this book back in July, and I meant to write a review back then, but I guess I got distracted and never actually wrote it up. Considering the fact that this was also a NetGalley read for me, getting the review up will help my feedback ratio. Sadly I’ve been a little lax on my NetGalley reviews this year, so I’m going to try to work on that for the rest of the year.

Anyway, let’s just jump into the review.

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Summary

In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences.

My Thoughts

Rating: 3.5 stars

After reading the first 30% of this book, I was ready to give up on it, but I pushed on in the hopes that it would stop being so immature. Many of the characters followed the same immature whims that can also be seen in the story of Romeo & Juliet. It honestly made reading it feel so tedious.

But somewhere around 45% or so, Merri started to really mature and start figuring things out, and as she stopped obsessing over R&J and started diving into Pride and Prejudice, I started to find myself really drawn into the story a lot more, and I started flying through it. That was really nice because the book wasn’t really feeling like a YA to me. It definitely fits more into the younger side of YA. It was almost trying too hard to be a cutesy romance with a focus on book boyfriends versus real boyfriends, and I don’t think it quite hit the mark for me.

The second half of this book probably raised my rating up from the 2 or 2.5 stars that I was starting to think this book would get. Overall this book has a 3.6 star rating on Goodreads, so I guess I’m not alone in feeling underwhelmed by this book, but there are some people who still see themselves in a character who fantasizes about the guys in books and gets that romantic feeling over what they see as a swoon-worthy person.

Apparently there is a second book coming in May 2019, and it will follow Merri’s little sister Rory, and the main book focus is supposed to be Little Women. So I will probably give it a try, and hope that it gets a little better.

Where to Buy

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

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Manga, Readathon, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (36)

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome back to my weekly post where I talk about the books I’ve read in the past week, the books I am currently reading, and the books I am hoping to start reading soon. This week is a fun wrap up, because last weekend I participated in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, so I get to include my wrap up in this post.

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But first, let’s talk about the book I read prior to Dewey’s Readathon. I managed to fly through Fairy Tail Zero by Hiro Mashima, and all I can say is that I want more story following Mavis and the early days of the Fairy Tail guild. I started another book but did not finish it before it was time to focus on the readathon–thankfully I did finish it after the readathon, so I’ll talk more about what that book was in a little bit.

Okay, now let’s talk about what I read during Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. The readathon started at 8:00 am on Saturday, October 20th, for me, but due to making chili and needing a shower, I didn’t start until 8:30 am, and my first read was a graphic novel called The Girl from the Other Side. Immediately after that I picked up Black Clover, Vol 2. Of course I was distracted a little bit from reading by needing to call my local post office and try to figure out why I never received my Owlcrate that they said they delivered to my doorstep. At 10:30 am I started All the Feels by Danika Stone. Then came the other time suck of my day…my regularly scheduled Dungeons & Dragons session. I did manage to keep doing a little reading while playing though. But at 1:30 pm, I tried to start The Monster of Selkirk: Book I: The Duality of Nature by C.E. Clayton, and I quickly realized that it was a book I needed to focus my whole attention on so I set it down for after the session.

Unfortunately later in the session is when the post office informed me that the place where they had delivered my package had never seen a package on their doorstep, so it must have been stolen. I’ve never had books stolen from me in my life, and I was so very much looking forward to the October Owlcrate box. It completely ruined my mood and made me want to stop reading for the day. My fiance, the amazing man that he is, suggested that I needed a trip to my happy place, otherwise known as Barnes & Noble. So we went, and I bought a number of manga and graphic novels. Yes, I went and bought the rest of the series for The Girl from the Other Side because it was what I really wanted to read. Expect a series (so far) review coming pretty soon. I need to gush about this series.

This led to me being able to jump back into reading for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. At 11:20 pm, I started The Girl from the Other Side, Vol 2. At 11:37 pm, I started The Girl from the Other Side, Vol 3. At 11:52 am, I started The Girl from the Other Side, Vol 4, and at 12:06 am, I started The Girl from the Other Side, Vol 5. That is all of that series that is currently released, because Volume 5 just came out. Then, at 12:24 am, I started Black Clover, Vol 3. But all the emotional drain from the day left me tired, so at 1:06 am, after finishing that last manga, I crawled into bed with my fiance.

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When I woke up it was 7:15 am. I rolled out of bed, grabbed my glasses, went to the bathroom, and then curled up on the couch with The Monster of Selkirk: Book I again, and read for the remaining 40 minutes of the readathon, managing to complete 62 pages of the book.

So overall for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, I started 9 books, finished 8 of them, and read a total of 1,626 pages. That isn’t bad, though in reality I only read one book from my TBR and then made it through about 20% of another one. Oh well. Sometimes you have to be flexible with these things.

But I’m not finished yet, dear followers. Nope. I have read a couple other books this past week.  That book I mentioned before, the one I started before the readathon but didn’t quite finish? Well, that book was Rule by Ellen Goodlett. Obviously once I finished that, I had to finish up The Monster of Selkirk Book I: The Duality of Nature by C.E. Clayton. With any luck, I’ll have reviews up for both books fairly soon.

I guess that means it is time to talk about my current reads. For that I have one that I should technically be starting around the time this post goes live, actually, so I’ll go ahead and count it as a current read. Of course, it is a graphic novel, so I also imagine that I’ll finish it today as well. That is The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell. It just looks cute and fun, and there was a coupon for it at Barnes & Noble when we went on Saturday, so I’m excited. My other current read is for a series that I have pretty much been binge reading the past couple months, and that is Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell. This is the third book in what is supposed to be a six book series, and the new cover releases have been each month over the last few months, but the fourth book isn’t coming out until…December? I think. So I’m probably going to pick up de Castell’s other series to hold me over until I can continue this series.

As for what I’m hoping to read next…well, that’s a difficult question to answer. I’m actually doing pretty good with my October TBR. All I have left is Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Mansicalco, and The Lost Queen by Signe Pike. But both of those are pretty lengthy reads, so I may pick up one to read this month, but the other will probably get pushed back to November. Plus, honestly, right now I kind of want to pick up more from my Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon TBR, since I pretty much abandoned it. I’m thinking about picking up Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel next. Then again, I did get my hands on the newest volume of The Wicked + The Divine, so I should probably read that soon too.

How was your latest week of reading? Have any good books you are dying to recommend to pretty much everyone? Let me know in the comments. That’s all for now, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (34)

Hey all, Dani here.

It has been a good week, but not a very productive reading week. Doctor Who came back on, and I’m liking the Thirteenth Doctor so far. And my fiance and I took my mom to the Renaissance Festival on Saturday–it was her first time there and she had a great time. It was Highland Weekend, so there were lots of kilts and a great deal of bagpipe music going on. Oh, and I met one of the most fierce and badass women, named Dame Jaclyn. She was one of the full-armored knights for the joust. On the first pass she took a poorly aimed lance that hit pretty much in the gut/ovary area. Then on the second pass she was unhorsed. But she got back up and mounted the horse again to go for the third pass. Dame Jaclyn said that in armor she weighs about 200 pounds and her opponent weighs more like 500 pounds in armor. It was an impressive showing, and I’m glad I got to talk to her and get her autograph after the joust was completed.

I read two books in the last week. Actually, I read both of these last night. But again, they are choose your own adventure books so they are pretty darn quick reads. With Big Trouble, I made a couple of bad decisions so it took about three tries to make it all the way through the adventure. Oddly enough, I made it through the first try with To Catch A Thief. So what did I learn from these four Endless Quest books (the fighter, the cleric, the wizard, and the rogue)? Well, apparently I have the easiest time surviving if I am in the mindset of a rogue. Which is weird to me because I tend to play clerics the most and I am generally pretty good at surviving in D&D.

Anyway, on to what I am currently reading.

Well, I’m still reading Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis. I am really into the story, but I can admit that part of me is worried that this is the last book in the series or that it will leave off on a massive cliffhanger. Either way I don’t know that I’m ready for the book to end, which I think has slowed my reading speed a bit. Plus, obviously I got distracted by other books.

Okay, so I made it another 20 pages into Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. Overall I’m not doing too bad with my progress on this, especially since I’ve been in a Highlander mood. Granted, this one doesn’t have nearly as many Scots in kilts in it, but it’s still a good read. If I keep this up then I should reach my goal of reaching at least page 400 by the end of the month.

I also started reading a poetry book I picked up at the end of last month and I am so loving it. The poems are definitely resonating with me, and I plan on having a gushing review of the book up shortly after I finish it. For now I’m a little over halfway finished and I can definitely say that I recommend Fierce Fairytales: Poems & Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill.

What I plan on reading next is probably…hmm…I’m thinking the next book I’ll pick up is Rule by Ellen Goodlett.

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This book is giving me some Three Dark Crowns vibes, sort of. So I can definitely say that I am looking forward to diving into this read, and hopefully I enjoy it.

So what books are you reading? I’d love to know, so let’s talk books in the comments. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Signal Boost

September Wrap-Up and October TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

September has come and gone, and now we have opened our calendars up to October. That is just such a crazy thought to me. How are we this close to the end of 2018 already? The weather is starting to cool down where I am and the leaves are beginning to change color.

What I love is that as it gets colder outside, all I want to do is to curl up under a blanket inside. Oh, and naturally I want to have that cozy beverage of hot tea or hot cocoa beside me while I’m enjoying all the extra reading time. This is definitely the time of year where I want to delve into longer fantasy reads, or just larger TBR stacks in general. The cold weather and I just do not get along.

Anyway, it is time once again to wrap up everything I both read and watched over the last month, before diving into my book haul, my monthly OwlCrate unboxing, and my tentative TBR for this lovely and spooky October. It has been a pretty good month, so I’m excited to talk about everything with all of you.

First up, let’s go over everything I managed to read in the month of September.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco — 5 stars

Fairy Tail Vol 1 by Hiro Mashima — 5 stars

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry — 4 stars

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep — 5 stars

Fairy Tail Vol 2 by Hiro Mashima — 5 stars

Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake — 4.5 stars

Captain Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Hero Vol 1 by Kelly Sue Deconnick — 4 stars

Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell — 4.5 stars

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake — 5 stars

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco — 5 stars

Endless Quest: Into the Jungle by Matt Forbeck — 4 stars

Endless Quest: Escape the Underdark by Matt Forbeck — 4 stars

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Next up is what I watched for the month. Now, I can’t exactly fully count some of my watches, because while we were at our hotel for our renaissance faire weekend, SyFy was doing a Star Wars movie marathon, and we ended up watching part of Episodes 2, 3, and 4, but not enough of any of them to fully count them as a watch.

The Emperor’s New Groove (5 stars), Princess Diaries 2 (5 stars), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (4 stars), The Princess Bride (5 stars), Scott Pilgrim vs the World (5 stars), My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (5 stars), Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (5 stars), Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (5 stars). As always we are continuing with watching Critical Role Campaign 2, as well as keeping up with My Hero Academia’s current season.  Oh, and we are continuing with our watch through of Fairy Tail, and have finished season three of the show. I am currently so obsessed with the characters and the world of this anime. So, expect to see me start reviewing the manga volumes that I have read very soon. The final watch I need to mention is the fact that I managed to get my fiance to watch A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning (5 stars) on Netflix, and he actually really enjoyed it; I believe we will be watching the rest of the series soon. Our main focus right now is Fairy Tail because the final season of the anime will be airing starting at the end of the month, and it would be really cool if I am caught up by then.

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Oh boy…now it is time for my book haul for the month. We went to Barnes & Noble twice this month, and made a trip to Half-Price Books as well. Pretty much that alone should tell you about my lack of self-control when it comes to adding to my library.

Wow, okay, that was a big haul. Let’s just move on to my OwlCrate unboxing. This month’s box was pretty cool too. I’m definitely happy about the fingerless gloves. Oh, and apparently the October box will have two hardcover books in it, so I am absolutely looking forward to getting this next box.

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Finally, I guess all that is left is my October TBR. I’m going to start with a smaller list, because I’m definitely in a bit of mood reader time right now. Also, October is when the next session of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is being held (Oct 20th), so I will be posting a TBR for that when we get a bit closer to that time.

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Clearly based on my September reading, I need to read Escaping From Houdini soon, and the same goes for Charmcaster. These are both series that I am enjoying so so much. Then I have a little fairy tale poetry collection, which I’m sure will be a pretty quick read, so that will be nice. Rule is about three illegitimate daughters fighting for the crown, and honestly I sort of get a little Three Dark Crowns vibe from it all. Finally, The Lost Queen is a story about the sister of the man who would come to be known as Merlin, and it is described as appealing to fans of Outlander, so I am willing to give it a shot.

Oh, and I do think that I have selected my TBR for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, but I’m just going to prep the post, and you all will see it in another week or so.

That should be all for today, but I will be back soon with more bookish content. Let me know in the comments what your favorite book purchase was in September.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (32)

Hey all, Dani here.

After last week’s impressive update, I can say that this week just might be a little disappointing. I did not have nearly as much reading time. Or, I guess I technically had about the same amount of time where I could have been reading but I didn’t because of other things. That happens sometimes.

I’m still having a pretty good reading month for September though, and I’m looking forward to my reading for the rest of the week, as well as coming up with my October TBR…because, yikes, October is right around the corner.

In other bookish related news, I just watched the final trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald, and can it be November already so I can see this movie? I love Newt, and I think Jacob is one of my favorite characters. After watching this trailer, my fiance said that he thinks the Fantastic Beasts series could be something he ranks higher than Harry Potter, and honestly, I agree with him on that. And I love Harry Potter.

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Anyway, let’s talk about books. Over the last week, mostly during break times at work, I managed to finish reading Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. Just like with the first book in the series, this one snatched hold of my thoughts and interest and just didn’t want to let go. These are such interesting characters and plots and I’m glad that I finally gave these books a chance. Expect me to get around to reading the third book pretty soon.

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Moving on to current reads. So, I guess I’ll mention that I finally picked Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon up again. This is an interesting series, and I have enjoyed everything I’ve read so far, but I can also say that this isn’t a series that I fully focus on. I read 100 pages of this book a few months ago and then set the book aside. Well this week I picked it up again and have read another 100 pages. I definitely consider this to be a side read or a backburner read. Could I keep reading and finish this book in just a few days or so? Well, yes, and that could happen, but if it doesn’t then I’m not super concerned about it. Besides, this way I don’t really ever need to worry about “droughtlander,” like some people. Of course, when If finally finish reading this book then I’ll be able to watch the second season of the show. Because I’m trying to avoid spoilers so I’m not watching ahead of what I’ve read.

My other current read is one that I have been putting off all month, but no longer. It is my most highly anticipated release of the year, and it is about time I start reading. I am so nervous and excited to read Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis.

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I don’t know what I’ll read after I finish this book. It honestly depends on how quickly I get through this one, and what mood strikes me next.

So what books are you reading? Anything you’d recommend? I’m always looking for new reads to add to my impossibly large TBR. Thanks for reading everyone, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Recommendations, Signal Boost

Blog Tour Review: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Hey all, Dani here.

I am so happy to be posting this review today, as part of the blog tour for Jennifer Estep’s new fantasy novel, Kill the Queen. This book will be out in the world in just one week, on October 2nd, but I have had my eye on it for a few months now. So when I was offered the chance to sign up for the blog tour, I jumped on it, and thankfully I was approved.

Because of this I must give a huge thank you to Let’s Talk! Promotions for approving me to be on the book tour, and I must also thank Edelweiss, as well as the publisher Harper Voyager for granting me early access to this novel. As always, I need to say that being granted a galley (or being part of the blog tour) did not affect my rating or review in any way.

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I have read six of Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, plus the first novel in her Mythos Academy series. In all actuality I own about a dozen of her books that I haven’t read yet. She is an author whose work I follow, but I don’t desperately reach for the newest release as soon as it is available.

But this one sounded really interesting to me, and I wanted to see how a primarily urban fantasy and paranormal author took on a more epic fantasy style tale. Plus it is tagged as Gladiator meets Game of Thrones, so I was definitely intrigued.

Okay, let’s just jump into the review.

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Summary

The thrilling first novel in the Crown of Shards epic fantasy series combines magic, murder, and adventure when an unlikely member of the royal family suddenly becomes a contender in a clash for the crown . . .

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of combat, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I read this book so quickly, and honestly I did not want to put it down–though I had to because of things like work and food. Oh, speaking of food…I’m just going to say that I do not recommend reading this book on an empty stomach, because as with pretty much everything I’ve read by Jennifer Estep, her descriptions of food are just so vivid and realistic that I ended up being so darn hungry. There are so many details about the smell and the taste and the appearance that you feel like a banquet has been laid out in front of you.

Another comment I will make on this book is the writing style. Fantasy is a genre I read most frequently, and so I’m used to the differences in style and tone for epic fantasy versus urban fantasy versus historical fantasy, etc. This book has the scope of an epic fantasy, with a fascinating world, an intriguing magic system, and decent political intrigue, but written in the style I would expect from an urban fantasy. It is a sort of conversational style that makes you feel like the narrator is sitting in a lounge with you and telling you a story.

I guess if I had to have a complaint about the book, it is that there were times when I would have liked more elaboration in the gladiator training, but instead there were time jumps that propelled the story forward a week or two instead and progress in fighting ability had occurred during that time. But really, that isn’t a complaint that is going to reduce my rating or anything.

Oh, and the potential romance. Wow. I really want to say more, but frankly, I should just tell you all to grab the book and read all of this for yourself. Needless to say, I am absolutely counting down until the release of the second book in the trilogy.

Where to Buy

You can currently pre-order this fantastic read from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookseller. It will be released in just one week, on October 2nd.

JENNIFER’S BIO AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. 

Jennifer writes the Crown of Shards epic fantasy series. Kill the Queen, book #1, will be released on Oct. 2.

The Crown of Shards series focuses on Everleigh Blair, a member of the royal family who is distantly in line for the throne of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. But when the unthinkable happens, Evie finds herself fighting for her life—both inside and outside the gladiator arena.  

Jennifer is also the author of the Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, Bigtime, and Black Blade fantasy series.  

For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter. You can also sign up for her newsletter.

Website: http://www.jenniferestep.com/

Blog: http://www.jenniferestep.com/blog/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JenniferEstepAuthor?fref=ts

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Jennifer_Estep  (@Jennifer_Estep)

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/580315.Jennifer_Estep

Newsletter signup: http://www.jenniferestep.com/contact-jennifer/newsletter/

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So thanks for checking out my review, and be sure to check out the other awesome bloggers involved in this blog tour. Some of them are even hosting giveaways so you don’t want to miss your chance to possibly win those.

That is it for me today, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.