Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Review: Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Title: Darkdawn
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #3
Genre: Fantasy/Adult
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019
Edition: Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Source: Library

  The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.
  Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

Mild spoilers for past books.


So, I am slightly a wreck. I have no idea how people who read this series as they were coming out managed to wait between books. I borrowed all three from the library, so there was a small wait, but not the year+ between books. And I really love how the author made fun of his own writing and took shots at himself. It gave me many moments to laugh at.
This book was quite the rollercoaster.

 I loved the dynamic between Mia and Jonnen, and them growing close, him coming to terms with being lied to his whole life and that the man who raised him isn't the man he thought he was.

I still don't know how I feel about Mia and Ash being together. I think since I read them so close together I'm still not quite over Tric's death in book one. Not enough time to heal. But I am glad that Ash was given a bit more of a redemption arch in this book. 

I really loved the plot of this book. I don't know what would be considered a spoiler for people. Book one was kind of Magic School setting, book two was Gladiators, this book was more search and rescue and a bit of treasure hunting. I loved everybody's growth, especially Mia's. 

I was never sure where this book was headed, what the next big twist was going to be, or who was going to die next. Speaking of deaths, there are two that shocked me, but only one of those made me sad. The other was just really unexpected.

The climax of the book was insane, and I need to go buy these books so I can re-read them and annotate them and re-read my favorite scenes over and over.

The ending was what I would call bittersweet. I still kind of don't know how to feel about it. I would love to have more books set in this world. The magic system is really unique and interesting.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Changes In My Reading Life

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish,
And moved to That Artsy Reader Girl 
To take part, just pick your top ten, and add the link here.

For a minute there I wasn't sure if I had 10. These are all the changes I've noticed, mostly this year. Some are from when I started blogging though, since I didn't start until 2012/2013.

1. I am a more picky reader. I used to just read any book I could find, even if it didn't really sound that interesting to me. Quality over quantity as it is.

2. More recently, I have been trying to branch out more with my reading tastes.

3. I use my library way more now than I did when I first started blogging. Granted, I didn't know that I could borrow eBooks when I first started.

4. I am a more critical reader. I used to be way more forgiving of (bad)tropes and cliches.

5. I don't read as much contemporary anymore. This goes hand-in-hand with the more critical reading. 

6. I stopped doing book/blog tours. They stopped being fun, and it made blogging feel like a chore, more than a hobby. 

7. I can read a lot faster than I could before I started blogging. 

8. I can remember more of what I read after more time finishing a book. Even a couple years ago I had to write my review immediately after finishing the book, or I'd forget too much.

9. For a while there I was forcing myself to post a review a week, and BOY that was tough. It went along with the chore thing; and reading some books that I wasn't really digging just so I could post a review a week.

10. I feel less guilty about DNFing books. I already didn't feel guilty, but I felt the need to explain myself sometimes. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Music Monday: Backstreet Boys (2019 album)

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to Music Monday! This weekly meme was created by Lauren @Always Me. Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately! If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up

I debated on sharing the name in the title of the post, I went back and forth on it. And ultimately I decided to just go with it. I mean, with my varied musical tastes (Though this past year it's mostly been K-pop, I kept finding new songs/groups I wanted to share, sorry if that got old for some people.) and I've never been actually ashamed of what I listen to so, why start now?

I had heard they were coming out with a new album, so on a whim, I decided to check if it was actually coming out/had come out. And I really like it.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Book Beginnings | Friday 56 | Friday 50/50 | Blogger Hop | The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke || Favorite/Least Favorite Book Tag

Please join us over at RoseCityReader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

This is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice
These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

I was at a cross between this and Darkdawn as the book to share this week. But as Darkdawn is the final in a series, and this one seems to be a standalone novel, there was less risk for spoilers.

  Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life.
  When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies' one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere

Book Beginning:
They say dying makes you thirsty, so we always gave our marks one last drink.

Friday 56:
"Crows are messengers of the dead," Runa said, the old snap back in her voice.

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50/50 Friday is a new weekly link-up hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts' blogs.

This week is Favorite and Least favorite Book tag, this is going to be hard... I love book tags.

I really enjoy the annual end of the year survey, though I missed it last year. Mostly I just forgot about it. Completely spaced on it.
Here are other Tag's I've done.

I honestly can't think of one...

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Book Blogger Hop
Click Here to add your link

Q: Do you think that overall work morale would be improved by having a "book lunch", sponsored by the company, at least once a month, or perhaps once a week?

A: Probably not. Not everybody gets the same level of enjoyment from reading, and not everybody has the same taste in books if it becomes a book club deal. It might make things worse for some people, being "forced" in some ways to read a book they don't really care about.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Review: The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

Title: The Serpent's Secret
Author: Sayantani DasGupta
Series: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1
Genre: Middle-grade/Fantasy/Mythology
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 27th, 2018
Edition: Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Source: Library

  (Only she doesn't know it yet.)
  On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey . . . until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents' fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.
  To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they've come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it.


This was a cute, fun book. This is definitely one of those middle-grade books that's more geared for youngish (9-12-year-olds) kids, and less accessible to everyone (The Harry Potter/Nevermoor books). Not a bad thing, but some of the jokes were very young, and the dialog from the child characters was a little outdated at times.

Now, I am neither Indian-American, from or ever been to New Jersey. But, I just feel like this book could have used more work. Some things were glossed over, and while I know this is a children's book, that doesn't mean plot points can't be fleshed out more. There was also a heavy focus on, for lack of better phrasing, snot related gross-out humor. It's been a while since I was 12, but I remember enough to know that kids that age are a little too old to find that stuff funny. I hope not anyway.

The characters, I liked them. But I did find myself getting annoyed at the main character, Kiran, for how she talked about people, especially girls her age, who cry, regardless of the reason why. It started to sound a bit like girl-hate, and I don't think it's a good idea to instill in the minds of kids that age that if you cry you are useless and pathetic. Those words weren't used, but it was implied. (I already returned the book to the library, so I can't share any quotes.) Neel and Lal, I liked them. But Lal wasn't in the book as much, and he didn't really get any character development.

What I loved about this book was the focus and exposure to Indian folklore. I don't know a lot about it, and that's what drew me to this book initially. There's been a heavy focus for decades on Greek/Roman mythology, and I think it's high time for the rest of the world to have their culture featured in books, for all ages.

I might still read the sequel, though I am not in a hurry. I do what this series to succeed, regardless of my critiques. Other culture's mythologies should be featured.