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

What I’m Reading (23)

Hey all, Dani here.

As predicted last week, I actually did finish Save the Date by Morgan Matson, approximately one or two minutes before my post went live on the blog. Oh well, I guess that means I’ll just count it for this week’s post.

Speaking of, let’s just go ahead and jump into everything. Welcome back to my weekly post where I discuss the books I’ve finished recently, the ones I am currently reading, and the ones I would like to start reading in the next week.

After I had finished the newest Morgan Matson summer read, I jumped into Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone, which I read pretty darn quickly. That was nice. I will have reviews for these books coming soon. Next I jumped into Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd, which is a Catana Comics collection, so obviously it was a super fast read. I also have a review of Catana Comics coming soon, so stay tuned for that.

Those books alone would have been great, and pretty good for a week’s update, but I just kept on reading.

After those, I started diving into my books for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, which is taking place right now. I am doing really well when it comes to completing my TBR for this week long event. I finished My Hero Academia Vigilantes Volume 1, before starting And I Darken by Kiersten White. Though that is an almost 500 page book, I read it in under two days, and now I am desperate to read the rest of the trilogy, so I guess I know what will be happening after the Bibliothon is over. Thankfully I managed to push past those desires to continue with my TBR by picking up Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. It is a dark and gritty post apocalyptic story that will appeal to fans of the TV show “Supernatural.” Thankfully it also managed to hold my interest right after finishing the amazingness that was And I Darken.

It is currently the middle of the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, and so far I think I’m doing all right. I didn’t figure that I would be able to complete all of the reading challenges. Honestly, I didn’t even really think I would be able to complete my four-book TBR, but I am definitely surprising myself. So for my planned reads, obviously I will be trying to finish my TBR. Granted, the only other book actually on my TBR for this is City of Lies by Sam Hawke, so that is my current read. Though, I would also like to see if I can maybe finish reading Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines.

As for what I would like to read next, the obvious choices are Now I Rise and Bright We Burn by Kiersten White. Hopefully finishing this trilogy doesn’t threaten to put me in a slight reading slump. But I don’t exactly know what I’ll read after them…I mean, aside from the books I have ready for Dewey’s 24 Hour Summer Reverse Readathon coming up soon.

So I think that is all for today. Thanks for stopping by, and let me know down in the comments if you have read any of this books (or have them on your TBRs). If not, let me know what wonderful books you have recently finished or are currently reading. As always, I will be back soon with more bookish content.

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Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

Manga Review: My Hero Academia Vol 9

Hey all, Dani here.

The more I write these reviews for MHA, the closer I get to running out of reviews to write. Seriously, right now there are only 13 volumes of My Hero Academia released for me. Volume 14 will be released in early August, and then Volume 15 arrives in early October, so unless I really get reading on some other manga series, this weekly manga review post will slow down for a little while.

But that’s okay. Sometimes it is fun to be completely caught up on a series and build up that anticipation for the next release. So, without further ado, let’s just jump into this review.

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Summary

Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

It’s off to summer camp for Midoriya and the U.A. students! But this is no ordinary vacation—it’s high-impact training where the students are expected to develop their Quirks even further! The teachers have set up some tough challenges, but none will be as difficult and as life changing as the threat a new group of enemies poses. What’s even worse is who the villains’ target is and why…

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

This particular volume kicks off a new story arc for the manga, one that I think is the most intense yet. I do believe this is also where season three of the anime starts. What was fun for me when I made it to this volume is that the third season of the show hadn’t premiered yet, so this is where my reading started to go ahead of what I had already seen, which meant I had no idea what was going to happen.

We are introduced to new characters, mostly heroes, but also a young boy named Kota, who honestly was one of my favorite characters because he acted so differently from most of those we have met in the series…and when we learn the reason why, it only makes me appreciate his character and his developing storyline more.

Much like you would expect for anything having to do with a school that specializes in training heroes, this is not a standard summer camp. Because of everything that has happened in their schooling so far, they really need to develop their Quirks more and train even harder so they can be ready for what is coming for them.

I liked seeing what each of the characters do to work their Quirks more and strengthen up. For some it involves physical strength training, while for others it means finding ways to boost the duration they can use their abilities. And it is even harder for the students who didn’t pass their final exams, because they have additional schooling on top of everything else.

Seriously, this was a pretty fun start to what is a great and yet terrible story arc. A lot of things change after this training camp. But if you want to know more, you’re going to have to read the manga (or watch the anime).

Where to Buy

You can pick up this (or any) of the volumes of My Hero Academia from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Book Releases, Books!, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Why am I adding a week long readathon to my schedule right now? I don’t typically have the greatest luck with these sorts of events, but I’m in a reading mood, and I’m hoping this will help give my TBR a bit more direction. The bibliothon goes on twice each year, in a summer session and a winter session. It is hosted by several different Booktubers, Bookstagrammers, and Book Bloggers. You can find out more by checking out the videos here.

Anyway, I’m going to try and read as much as possible, but if I can complete some of the reading challenges then that is definitely a bonus.

The first important part to mention is that this readathon is being held from July 14th through July 20th.

Each session, there is a group read, and after the week is over, they meet to discuss it. For this particular session the group read selection is The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. I already read this book a couple months ago, so obviously I’m not going to be doing this challenge.

There are six other book prompt/reading challenges:

  1. Choose from someone else’s TBR
  2. Try the first chapter of three books and then pick one
  3. Read a book that has been on your TBR for over a year
  4. Read a predicted 5 star read
  5. Own voices — different than you
  6. Read the last book you bought

Here’s what I have on my TBR so far: And I Darken has been on my TBR for over a year, My Hero Academia Vigilantes is a predicted 5 star read, Trail of Lightning is an own voices novel, and City of Lies was part of my most recent book haul.

I’m still looking at other people’s TBRs for a good selection for that one. And I don’t know what three books I’ll pick up to read the first chapters before picking one, so that’ll probably be a random choice.

But hopefully I’ll be able to read all of these books. I think a couple of them are a decent length, so we’ll see what happens.

Are you participating in the Summer Biannual Bibliothon? Let me know in the comments, so we can keep up with our progress through the week.

Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

Manga Review: The Ancient Magus’ Bride Vol 1

Hey all, Dani here.

It is time for me to introduce a new series into my Manga Monday posts, because I have no more volumes of One Punch Man to review (until I read more, that is), and this particular series is one that I have started and really enjoyed. Of course, that being said, there are only like 8 volumes out in English right now, so that’s a little bit of a bummer. Oh well. The characters and the story are really interesting, and I’m glad that I decided to give it a try.

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Summary

Enter the Magician’s Apprentice

Her name is Chise Hatori, a penniless orphan troubled by visions. Sold as a slave to an inhuman mage, she is about to begin a strange new life, filled with magic, fairies, and other beings of a fantastical nature.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Wow, that book summary gives you very little to go on, but I promise that this series actually is full of magic and beings of a fantastical nature. Plus Chise is a pretty interesting character, as is the inhuman mage who buys her to become his apprentice and his wife. I’m sure a lot more will be revealed about this arrangement in time, but for now it is just something that makes you want to keep reading so you can hopefully get all the answers.

Oh here, the Goodreads summary might not be the greatest, but the Book Depository summary is better. I’ll toss that in here:

Chise Hatori has lived a life full of neglect and abuse, devoid of anything resembling love. Far from the warmth of family, she has had her share of troubles and pitfalls. Just when all hope seems lost, a fateful encounter awaits her. When a man with the head of a beast, wielding strange powers, obtains her through a slave auction, Chise’s life will never be the same again. The man is a “magus,” a sorcerer of great power, who decides to free Chise from the bonds of captivity. The magus then makes a bold statement. Chise will become his apprentice – and his bride! 

I first learned of this series because my fiance was watching the anime. That seems to happen quite frequently with my manga reads, if I’m being completely honest. I’m totally fine with that. It is how I found My Hero Academia, One Punch Man, Blue Exorcist, and The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

Of course, I also wasn’t really paying that close attention to when he was watching the show, so I have no clue what is going to happen. I will say that so much happened in this first volume. It left me wondering how in the world so much could be put into such a small number of pages without it feeling too rushed.

Much like Chise, we are completely thrown into this world, with the magic system and the magical beings being introduced to us as the story progresses. But I was just so fascinated by it all, and so hooked by the story. It made me really glad that I originally decided to buy the first two volumes during one book trip, and then I bought the next two the trip after that. (And I’m buying Vol 5-8 very soon).

I think this also means that I’ll probably need to watch the anime as well. I really enjoyed this first volume, and I flew through it because I just wanted to learn more, and I really didn’t want to put it down.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this first volume of The Ancient Magus’ Bride from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

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

What I’m Reading (21)

Hey all, Dani here.

Happy Independence Day to my fellow citizens of the United States.

Okay, so on Monday, the place where I work announced that inventory was still too high and we needed to have a couple more shutdown days. They had already decided on a plant wide shut down for this Thursday and Friday (which just means Thursday for me because I work four shifts of 10 hours each week), but now they have added on next Monday and Tuesday as days off as well. This does not bode well for my paycheck (or my fiance’s, since we work at the same place), but thankfully we plan to spend our time wisely…by staying at home and reading and playing games instead of going out and spending money doing things. With any luck I will definitely kick this month off with a decent number of books finished.

So that means I may need to plan ahead for my reads for the next week. I am totally okay with this, because I am in a reading mood.

Let’s start with books I have finished since my post last Wednesday. I finished two more volumes of My Hero Academia, which means that I am all caught up with the series until the next volume is released in August. I also managed to finish Bookish Boyfriends: A Date with Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt, and I’ll have a review up for that soon.

My current reads are The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. Going is still slow on the latter book, but I am absolutely loving the newest release by Mead–though it is making me want to reread the other two in the trilogy to try and piece together other connections I may have missed.

Finally, as for what I’d like to start reading in the next week. Oh man, I can make an intimidating list right now because of all these days off work. Okay, I think I have it figured out. I would like to start reading (and hopefully finish) Save the Date by Morgan Matson, From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon, Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone, and All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor.

That looks like a pretty decent list, and they are all contemporary (ish), so I should fly through them pretty quickly. And that about does it for today. I hope you all have a lovely day, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

Manga Review: My Hero Academia Vol 8

Hey all, Dani here.

It is Manga Monday time again. This is where I continue on with my reviews for all of the manga I was reading at the end of last year. In particular this includes one of my favorite series, My Hero Academia, which is a superheroes-in-training story. Of course there is so much more to that, but I greatly enjoy both the manga and the anime, and would recommend both to anyone who enjoys a good story of students with powers learning how to use them and become heroes.

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Summary

Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

The U.A. students have reached the practical portion of their final exam, but they didn’t expect to have to beat their own teachers in order to pass! Paired with his archrival Bakugo, Midoriya has to try to take on none other than All Might himself. Working with Bakugo is one thing, but is giving everything he’s got to beat All Might more than Midoriya can handle? And in a nearby arena, Yaoyorozu and Todoroki endure a similar struggle. All the while, a sinister new adversary prepares to make a move… 

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I feel so sorry for Midoriya, consistently being put in a position to work with or against Bakugo. They already have enough encounters and issues without the school putting them in these positions. But I also realize that looking at the talents of both Bakugo and Midoriya, if they actually did legitimately team up and work together, they could be a very powerful duo…not that I actually anticipate that happening.

Seeing how the different pairings worked together (or didn’t) to take on the practical portion of their final exam was interesting. It was also cool to see the strategies all the teachers formulated for taking on their chosen duos.

I also love how we get to see the villain perspective too, especially since sometimes I can’t exactly figure out what they’re up to.

And of course, I love that this volume is leading us up to the summer camp, and all of the training and growth that is sure to come from it. Through this series I have found that whenever they have an internship or an event like the sports festival, the students tend to learn quite a bit, as well as grow quite a bit in their Quirks and their techniques.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this and all other available volumes from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

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

June Wrap Up and July TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

We have officially made it halfway through 2018. And I have to say that I actually didn’t read as many books as I would have liked in June, but that’s okay. I had a bit of a weird work schedule, being sent to different departments and different areas to fill in. Some days it really wore me out, which led to my fiance and I watching TV or movies instead of doing a lot of reading. What I can say is that now that we have caught up on a couple of shows, we plan to take a little bit of a break from Netflix to read. I predict a better monthly wrap up for July.

Okay, let’s get started.

The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara — 3.5 stars

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland — 5 stars —review coming July 6th

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin — 5 stars

The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas — 4 stars — review coming July 3rd

My Hero Academia, Vol 12 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 13 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

I also want to take a little time right now to mention the TV shows and movies that my fiance and I devoured in the month of June, because that honestly helps to explain why I didn’t read as many books. Plus they are still stories to take in, so though they are not enjoyed in the same way as books, I think they will count. And if you like me including this as part of my wrap-ups, let me know, and I’ll continue keeping track of what we’re watching for future posts.

Love, Simon — 5 stars, Tomb Raider — 5 stars, The Last Airbender — 2 stars, The Incredibles 2 (twice) — 5 stars, Legends of Tomorrow (season 3) — 5 stars, The Flash (season 4) — 4.5 stars, Peter Rabbit — 5 stars, Black Panther (again) — 5 stars, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant — 3.5 stars, John Carter — 4 stars, Batman: The Killing Joke — 4 stars, xXx — 4 stars, Warcraft — 4 stars, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb — 4.5 stars, Dungeons & Dragons — 3 stars, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (again) — 4 stars

And now it is book haul time. It was a pretty good month for buying books. First up, we made a trip to Half Price Books, and I found three books in really good condition, including one I have been wanting to have a physical copy of for a while (Blood Bound). Other than that, every one of my books came from Barnes & Noble, except for the hardcover of Hounded by Kevin Hearne, which I got from Subterranean Press. It is an exclusive limited edition, and I absolutely love the cover. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for the rest of the series.

 

Next up is my monthly Owlcrate unboxing. It was such a fun box, and I am very much looking forward to reading the book, because it sounds like a great summer contemporary read. My other favorite item is that Mason Jar mug, and I will definitely be using that for my at home drinks while reading.

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Finally, I guess it is time to come up with my TBR. My friend Kathy over at Books & Munches is hosting Sci-Fi July, and while I am not dedicated myself solely to books in the science fiction genre, if I can read at least one of these books, I will consider my participation a success. Obviously, between the four sci-fi picks and the large stack of other books I’d like to get to, I don’t expect to get to all of these, but hopefully I’ll be able to read a decent number of them. Oh, and I’m also trying to read some of my Netgalley backlog as well, so I have a lot of books to choose from. Expect plenty of reviews to come after all of this.

That is all for today, I do believe. Well, I am off to read some more. I already started The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead, and I am really enjoying it so far. Happy Reading everyone, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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

What I’m Reading (20)

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, it is Wednesday again already. Where is the time going? Seriously, the next time I do this post, it will be July. That is still pretty crazy to think about. Also, I can’t believe that I have been doing this post series for 20 weeks now. That is pretty good consistency. So anyway, let’s just go ahead and jump into my discussion of the books I have finished recently, the books I am currently reading, and the books I am hoping to start soon.

I actually had a pretty good week for finishing up books. I’m not going to actually have a full review up for Dragons Love Tacos, but I will say here and now that it was an absolutely adorable book, and I will be reading the sequel. The artwork was really fun, and the story itself was rather amusing. I already have a review up for The Unbinding of Mary Reade up on the blog, and I will have reviews up soon for both Dread Nation and The Supervillain and Me.  All in all, I’m pleased that I was able to start finishing up some books, because I was starting to feel a bit lazy for not having actual progress to report.

As for my current reads, I’m not making as much progress as I would like with these, but I am enjoying both. With A Closed and Common Orbit I am missing the majority of the cast from the first book, as this one is more of a companion sequel, and follows Lovelace the AI as she adjusts to being in a body instead of being an onboard ship AI. So it is slow going, but I am enjoying it. For my other read, I’m actually craving a bit more contemporary, and I also am trying to play catch-up on some of my NetGalley reads and reviews, so I’ve picked up Bookish Boyfriends, which follows a 15 year old girl who loves to read and thinks that romance in books (and boys in books) are better than reality. I’m only about 10 chapters in, and it is a cute read, but I’m waiting for stuff to really start happening.

Then comes what I am hoping to start reading soon. Obviously this is the end of the month, and I should be trying to finish up as many of my June TBR reads as I can. And considering I have actually only picked up one of the books I added to my TBR (that would be A Closed and Common Orbit), I have plenty to choose from. I think I will probably choose one of these two, but we’ll see how I’m feeling once I finish my current reads.

And I think that about does it for today. I hope you all are managing to fit some reading time into your lives, and I would love to know what you’re currently reading. Have a wonderful day and I’ll be back soon with another bookish post.

Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

Manga Review: One Punch Man Vol 4

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome to another Manga Monday. I hope you all are enjoying these posts. I know I’m certainly glad that I’m once again starting to post more reviews and content on here. Trying to keep to a regular posting schedule has been good for me, and I’ve managed to get it to where I can write up about a week’s worth of posts in just a couple of days (usually over the weekend and on Tuesday evenings).

Anyway, it is time for my next review for this hilarious parody hero series. Let’s get started.

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Summary

A manga series that packs quite the punch!

Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem-he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Saitama is now a certified hero! And with that title comes great responsibility-he’s required to perform one heroic deed per week. While Saitama makes the rounds to meet his quota, and incoming threat from outer space is screeching toward Earth…

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

So Saitama is now a certified hero…which means he just goes back to his usual boring routine, just waiting for something to show up that might actually be a worthy foe. What I loved about this is that Saitama clearly didn’t pay attention to all the rules and such for certified heroes, because he needs Genos to remind him of his heroic deed quota.

This leads our intrepid protagonist to go on a wild run through the city as he tries to find some sort of criminal activity that he can stop so he keeps his certification. It is much harder than he thinks, which honestly is just amusing. Because in racing around like a crazy person, trying to find trouble, he actually ends up causing citizens to panic, because his actions don’t appear to be those of a hero. Instead he seems like a nervous person up to no-good.

That is one of the things I love the most about this series, how it stands unique among the overpowered superhero genre because it is technically a parody of that theme. I love seeing how they subvert tropes or play along with stereotypes. It honestly makes it even more interesting for readers (or viewers–since I technically started with the show and then started reading these).

So, this is actually a series I’m surprised that I ended up enjoying and picking up. But I would definitely recommend this to others, because it is definitely worth experiencing. And I’m going to have to read some more volumes of this so I can continue to review the series. I need an evening of manga reading, which I might end up doing either tonight or tomorrow. It sounds like a nice way to spend a few hours.

Where to Buy

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

Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

Manga Review: My Hero Academia Vol 7

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome back to another Manga Monday review post. I’m making a pretty decent dent in my manga review backlog…at least until I sit down and spend a few hours reading them, because I think it takes me about a half-hour to read one volume. You see my dilemma with these, right? I read them so easily and quickly that it creates a massive list of reviews to be written.

Anyway, once again I’m back to gush about students studying to be superheroes, with the next installment of the wonderful series My Hero Academia.

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Summary

 

Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Midoriya has learned a few tricks from Gran Torino, but some things just have to be experienced to be understood. Even though he’s not ready, when the League of Villains attacks in the town of Hosu, Midoriya rushes to help Ida, who is engaged in a life-or-death struggle with Hero Killer Stain. Stain has some very particular ideas about heroes and their place in society—and he means to purge every hero he can find!

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I love Gran Torino! Is that enough of a review for you guys? Just kidding. I have plenty more to say about the internships. It is really cool for UA to have this internship program set up for the students, because I think it is a great way for everyone to learn more about using their Quirks to help people and also some of what the heroes do when they aren’t out saving the day.

What was interesting about this internship story arc to me was the different ways of approaching the choice of places to do the internship. For example, seeing Ochaco accept an internship not to learn more about her Quirk, but instead to learn more about the physical aspects of being a hero. So, in her internship, we see her learning basic hand-to-hand combat and self-defense techniques. I think that is a great way to become a more well-rounded hero, to use this training time to learn more in an area where you are weaker.

Then you have Midoriya, who is interning with Gran Torino–a man who had trained All Might, meaning he should be able to help Midoriya learn more about using One for All. What is so cool about this bit of training is that so far we’ve pretty much seen our darling main character pretty much trying to imitate his idol. But this is where I think we start to see the seeds being planted for his own style in the future. Obviously he’s going to try and hold on to being just like All Might for a while longer, but I think learning to use his legs more will actually make for a really cool hero’s journey.

And obviously Iida’s choice in internship is a personal one. He just wants to work in the area where his brother was severely injured, and it sucks that he is not being the smart and responsible class leader we know him to be. But, I think this starts him down an interesting story path as well, one that I know will impact his decisions later in the series.

Sometimes these reviews are a bit difficult for me to write, since I’ve read and watched everything that is out so far, which makes some of these volumes feel like they took place such a long time ago. But, overall, I still think this series is fantastic, and I am excited to pick up the newest volume, which recently came out, so I need to get myself to the bookstore sometime soon.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this and any other volume of this series from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.