Wrap-Up: r/Fantasy Reading Bingo 2018

FantasyBingo_Leticia_12_2018I must confess that at a certain point in the year I lost track of the Bingo Challenge and my reading went to other directions. I think that one of the reasons was that I wasn’t always lucky with my picks for the different prompts, so eventually I distanced myself and started prioritizing shorter Readathons with the idea that I still had enough time to finish the Bingo later, but April came and the last four remaining books to complete the card remained unread. I completed only one of the rows entirely, even if I managed to read four prompts in all five rows.

Since I like no stress attached to my reading goals, I decided to post my final results in this Wrap-Up even though. And the unread books I chose for the last year’s challenge will be read, eventually. Not all books I chose for the challenge were for me, but I still liked going out of my favourite authors scope and trying new ones.

In addition, certain prompts were very interesting so I also read more than one book for them, I will be adding the additional books when I consider them special enough to mention.

 

1st Row:

Novel that was Reviewed on r/Fantasy

I chose Nice Dragons Finish Last by (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron for this challenge and even started reading it, but somehow got distracted by other books, so I still didn’t finish reading this.

 

Novel Featuring a Non-Western Setting

The Killing Moon (Dreamblood #1) by N.K. Jemisin

I liked this book even if I considered it quite slow-paced (even for epic fantasy). The relationships, magic system and world could have been much more fleshed out too. I’m yet in doubt whether I will go on reading this Duology or not.

Additional Book:

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

Awesome story world with Ifrits, Ghouls, Marids, Peri, Djinn and multi-layered characters. I’m following this series for sure.

 

Five Short Stories

I chose to read the anthology “The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories” by Mahvesh Murad (Editor)

I set it aside after reading five stories, mainly because I expected mainly a fantasy anthology when I started reading this and, true, all stories there have fantastic elements, but apart from this they are a mixture of genres. Therefore, I’ll finish reading this when I feel like reading literary, slice-of-life, or magical realism short stories.

 

Novel Adapted by Stage, Screen, or Game

For this prompt I read the whole trilogy of Ruby Red (Edelstein-Trilogie #1) by Kerstin Gier,  Anthea Bell (Translator)

Kerstin Gier is my new favorite fantasy and young adult author even if I don’t read her books in their original language, German. I may try it though sometime with “Die Mütter-Mafia” books. The whole trilogy was told in a light and humorous way that makes it a real treat for a relaxing afternoon. I also like the tension created by the time-travel plot and multi-layered characters. This was an entertaining, page-turner trilogy. The Audiobooks, narrated by Marisa Calin, were also very good.

 

Hopeful Spec-Fic

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

This was a different kind of science-fiction, quite enjoyable and focused on the characters and human interactions.

 

2nd Row:

Fantasy Novel that Takes Place Entirely Within One City

Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures #1) by Kami Garcia,  Margaret Stohl.

This was entertaining, very romantic and full of magic atmosphere. I watched the film based on this book, and will eventually go on reading this series.

 

Self-Published Novel

I had chosen Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Arcane Ascension #1) by Andrew Rowe for this, but unfortunately lost track of it. This remains in my TBR though.

 

Novel Published Before You Were Born (1973, GenXer here!)

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (first published 1955)

This book was a trip, you will want to jaunt yourself after reading it, LOL. Some allowances have to be made since this was written in the 50s, but I can fully understand why this is in a science fiction masterworks list. All the settings this book goes through, often in a disturbing, and very possible dystopian way, make it the revered classic that it is.

 

Any r/Fantasy Goodreads Group Book of the Month

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells.

Murderbot is a very original character, you can see why this novella has won the 2018 Hugo Award. I’ll be following this series.

 

Novel Featuring a Library

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Sometimes I read outside my favorite genres and with that I discover a great read. This wasn’t unfortunately the case here, but it could be due to Horror not really being a genre I enjoy. I started this book due to all good reviews on Booktube, but found it too confusing and at a certain point I stopped caring about the characters and plot and DNFed the book.

 

 

3rd Row:

Subgenre: Historical Fantasy OR Alternate History

Servant of the Underworld (Obsidian and Blood #1) by Aliette de Bodard

I mainly picked up this book because it is extremely rare to find books with an Aztec setting. I liked the original world building/story elements in this book. I can imagine that for someone who likes the blend of mystery/historical fiction this is a four/five star read.

** spoiler alert ** One of the reasons I rated it three stars is that for me alone the main character’s arc was very slow paced dragging the plot with it. I couldn’t understand why Acatl acted the way he did most times, always in doubt whether he should act, blending aloofness and insecurity with resourcefulness. It was part of the story, but it was also shocking how Acatl and others sacrificed animals all the time without a second thought on the waste and cruelty of their way of life, and how quickly they dismissed people’s deaths as every moment occurrence. I wonder if the Aztecs were really like that or if they were more like us, willingly ignorant of the brutality of our world most of the time? An original, thought-provoking and interesting read in any case.

 

Novel Published in 2018

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

This book was an entertaining page-turner. I liked especially the original characters, and the well-constructed fantasy world with historic background. I’ll be checking out the next books by this author.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Thomas Nelson–FICTION for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Novel Featuring a Protagonist Who is a Writer, Artist or Musician (NOT: Kingkiller Chronicles)

Wintersong (Wintersong #1) by S. Jae-Jones

Were it for the writing style and the original premise and setting alone I would have given this book five stars, but the main relationship in this book is so… ** spoiler alert ** I’m not really sure of how to finish this phrase, perhaps: “hopeless-through-the-whole- book-until-the-end-when-I-was-happy-that-it-was-finished”?

I’m tired of stories were the heroine is unnaturally and endlessly humble, selfless and self-sacrificing and the (anti) ‘hero’ is cruel, blase, cold and treats other women badly because supposedly they were not as great as the heroine is.

Perhaps this is how fairy tales are supposed to be, but to me it feels really outdated and even unfair as gender roles go? I’m tired of the trope of “there isn’t a bad man, only a man who has not found the perfect woman to change him for the better,” because for teenage girls this is not the best thing to believe in. Perhaps the purpose of the story was to show that the heroine was better off without that troublesome relationship, but it didn’t feel as if she made the decision of finishing the relationship herself. No, she was freed by the cruel ‘hero’ because ‘she was better than the other girls.’

I cringed every time Liesl said ‘Mein Herr’ to her husband, always so subservient and meek. Again, this was only another of the story elements but it made everything sound so old fashioned. True, the Goblin King helped her to grow up enough to express her music, but did she really need him to become a composer or to be happy at all? Perhaps the next book in the series will answer this question

 

Novel Featuring a Mountain Setting

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas.

It’s with the same characters from the trilogy, that I liked well enough to reread, but extremely little really happens. I hope the next books have more plot to them.

My pet-peeve with novellas is that they are mostly too short to introduce as many new and interesting things as a novel, and this one felt like a long epilogue of the third book. I would rather have a spin-off based on any other character than the main ones, or a collection of different POVs from side characters.

 

2017 r/Fantasy Top Novels List

The Goblin Emperor (The Goblin Emperor #1) by Katherine Addison.

This is so hyped but I can’t see what’s that all about…

The story reminds me of “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen. However, the stakes, the tension and the action of the mentioned book aren’t present at all. The main character has a lot of time to think, meditate and complain about life… I’ve already read 110 pages and not much happened. I don’t manage to care enough to read everything. This book isn’t for me.

 

4th Row:

Novel with Fewer than 2500 Goodreads Ratings

Blood of Wonderland (Queen of Hearts Saga #2) by Colleen Oakes.

I expected more from this sequel after enjoying the first book so much. It felt flat and rushed up, I was just wondering why characters were acting into certain directions, it felt forced with the main character, Cheshire and Wardley.

The story world just went by, interesting but not being really explored in detail, although this seems to happen often in YA.

 

Novel with a One Word Title

Armada by Ernest Cline.

I liked this even if I still prefer “Ready Player One” by this author. I would love a next book where Zack Lightman would meet the aliens and try to find out what they are plotting 😉

 

Novel Featuring a God as a Character

I chose The Curse of Chalion (World of the Five Gods #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold for this prompt, but haven’t read it yet. However, all Bujold books are on my TBR!

 

Novel by an Author Writing Under a Pseudonym.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

I started this but stopped because I could not bring myself to go on reading. I’ll perhaps pick this one later again, right now I find it too slow-paced and I don’t fell like committing to a very long series when the first book isn’t for me.The world is interesting though and it left me curious enough to watch the first season episodes based on the books. **spoiler alert**  Sigh… I’m really tired of zombies whether they come from ice or space, and I think they spoil every story they appear in. To me zombies always seem like a cheap and cliché plot device to add action to a plot the author has no other stakes for.

Subgenre: Space Opera

The Empress (The Diabolic #2) by S.J. Kincaid

I’m in doubt how to rate this book, it was quite original and full of really unexpected plot twists.  I wonder how the story is going to continue and can’t wait for the next book.
Audiobook: The reading of Candace Thaxton was as five stars good as in the first book.

 

5th Row:

Stand Alone Fantasy Novel

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

This was an original take on vampire stories and the world building was awesome.

I found it somehow slow paced and thought that a couple of flashbacks were placed too late in the story, but I was happy to find similarities between this book and The Cruel Prince.

This book should be getting a sequel.

 

Novel by a RAWRR Author OR Keeping Up With the Classics

I chose The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company #1) by Glen Cook but couldn’t get to it.

 

Novel from the r/Fantasy LGBTQ+ Database

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo.

I liked more this sequel than the first book in the Duology due to all the feels and the depth of the character stories.

Additional Book:

China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh

This was very well written, a literary, slice-of-life, dystopia. At the beginning I thought Zhang aloof and could not relate to him, but as the story progressed I understood that it isn’t easy to survive in a world that condemns most things about you. I considered the chapters with the other characters really great too and loved the story set in Mars.
A beautiful book, to be read without hurry, as the awesome food-for-thought about human condition that it is.

 

Format: Graphic Novel (at least 1 vol.) OR Audiobook

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 (Paper Girls #1- #4)

#1- I like it but the story is all over the place. I’ll go on reading and see where is going.

#4- Finally we start to get some answers after three volumes of saying “Um, what just happened” like one of the robots in the series and we go on reading this page turner.

Additional Graphic Novels:

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine – (Bitch Planet (Collected Editions) #1) by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Goodreads Author) (Writer),  Taki Soma (Illustrator), Valentine De Landro (Artist), Robert Wilson IV (Artist)

This is awesome, I would recommend it to anyone, especially with how politics is going nowadays in the world.

Bitch Planet, Vol. 2: President Bitch (Bitch Planet (Collected Editions) #2) by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Goodreads Author) (writer),  Taki Soma (artist), Valentine De Landro (artist). –    This is awesome and everybody should read it. 😉

 

Novel Featuring the Fae

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

This book has nice descriptions, a really nice cover, premise, and so much hype that I was completely underwhelmed by it.

It could have been better but the pace was terribly slow and at a certain point I wasn’t caring anymore about the story or the characters. I dropped it on several occasions because nothing interesting was happening. Even the romance was insta-love, and it also dragged. For me this was only an over hyped book where the hype had not real reasons to be there.

And you, do you agree/disagree with my opinions on the books I picked? And have you already committed to a year-long reading challenge?

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My favorite books of 2018 (only now, but rich in content like a Lungo)

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Now it’s already 2019. It took me long enough to write this post, after Christmas cookies, a lot of shopping for presents, and the family reunion when all those presents were exchanged and a harmonious meal was shared. January also went up quite quickly while I participated in a science fiction Readathon I’ll be soon wrapping up here, but now finally I’ll post my 2018 favorite books.

And I have a lot of books to chose from. I read 130 books, mainly Fantasy, Science-Fiction and a surprisingly great amount of Young Adult and Graphic Novels. I didn’t expect it, but many of my YA reads were 5 stars.

I had a lot of fun reading all the books by S.J. Kincaid I could find, marathoning through eight Deluxe Editions of Fables by Bill Willingham and thankfully discovering new authors, since the favorites I already follow and auto-buy don’t write new books as fast as I read them.

I also had a fair amount of unfinished book and books which hype didn’t hold as I read them. And a couple of series sequels that failed to impress me, with the result that I’ll be abandoning them. I wonder if I should write about about the last year’s let-downs or about series I won’t be following anymore? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

For now, I’ll talk about the five star books and a couple of honored four stars. Here they are:

 

5 Star Champion Series I already finished or that I’ll be continuing next year

1) The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

When it comes to this book the hype is deserved. I loved the world building and the ‘cruel prince’ is a very interesting character. I’m curious to be seen how this story will develop in the next books. I am, in any case, on board. Now in January I also started listening to The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) Audiobook and I’m loving it.

 

2) “The Bone Season” and “The Mime Order” (The Bone Season #1 and #2) by Samantha Shannon.

In both books the world building is quite extensive and that alone was already worth at least 4,5 to 5 stars. There is even a spin-off called “On the Merits of Unnaturalness” which further explains it’s rules, but, although I haven’t read it, I could follow the various ‘voyants’ classes that appear in the book.
I also liked Paige because, although she was likable, she wasn’t exactly a standard romantic heroine. She could be contradictory, seemed to be too cynical and suspicious sometimes and only at the end of the book, you could see all her layers. Perhaps she’s not everybody’s favorite type of main female character, but I found that really refreshing after so many perfect fictional girls out there. I also liked the flaws in all other characters, I think this contributed to give depth to the story.
I also read The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) and I loved the sequel development, the world building is still awesome and the characters so greatly multi-layered. This is a not hyped, but extremely interesting series. I can’t wait to read the next book.

 

3) The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

Awesome story world with Ifrits, Ghouls, Marids, Peri, Djinn and multi-layered characters. I’m following this series for sure.

 

4) “A Shadow Bright and Burning”, “A Poison Dark and Drowning” and “A Sorrow Fierce and Falling” (Kingdom on Fire #1, #2 and #3) by Jessica Cluess

This series isn’t nearly as much hyped as it should be. It is an awesome series, with unique and unforgettable multi-layered characters, and so many surprising plot twists.
Like the Bone Season series, it is also original and many levels above most fantasy YA series I’ve read. It has a rich fantasy and historical world and one of the best heroines I’ve found since ever. 😉
I would recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy with a strong female character and complex side characters as well.
I heard this whole series as Audiobooks and the performance from Fiona Hardingham was awesome too.

 

5) “The Diabolic” and “The Empress” (The Diabolic #1 and #2) by S.J. Kincaid

Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot. I could not stop hearing the Audiobook until the last sentence of this story. This was the best book I read (“heard”) in the first six months of 2018, and this is saying something about how perfectly written this story is.
This is my first book by this author but I’ll surely take a look at all her other books. and go on following this series.
The Empress was quite original and full of really unexpected plot twists. I wonder how the story is going to continue and can’t wait for the next book in this series. This book goes connects to the universe of the other trilogy of Kincaid, Insignia, so I would read that trilogy before reading this second book.

The reading performance of Candace Thaxton in both Audiobooks was quite awesome too.

 

6) “Insignia”, “Vortex” and “Catalyst” (Insignia #1, #2 and #3) by S.J. Kincaid

I picked the first book after reading Diabolic from the same author and liked it too, even if Diabolic is still my favorite. Tom goes through so much, you can’t help but sympathize and feel super worried for him. The themes of this series are quite important in the present light of things, this trilogy stands above the usual YA Dystopia. All the feels and themes in this series! If you have to choose only one Dystopian YA trilogy to read in your whole life choose this one.

 

7) “The Queen of the Tearling”, “The Invasion of the Tearling” and “The Fate of the Tearling” (The Queen of the Tearling #1, #2 and #3) by Erika Johansen

This trilogy is an awesome mix of fantasy, and dystopia, a real page-turner with great characters, story and oh, all the politics! It isn’t exactly YA as it contains strong scenes of domestic abuse that may be a trigger for some people, but in my opinion the portraying of all the injustice added to the value of the trilogy.
I recommend this trilogy if you like original books with unexpected plot twists, well-written POVs (you end up caring a lot for secondary characters like a jailer with a disability and a gate guard!), and multi-layered characters. Erika Johansen is an author I’ll keep in my radar for sure!

 

8) “Bitch Planet Vol. 1” and “Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch” (Bitch Planet (Collected Editions) #1 and #2) by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Taki Soma (Illustrator), Valentine De Landro (Artist), Robert Wilson IV (Artist)

This is an awesome graphic novel series. Everybody should read it, especially with how politics is going nowadays in the world. 😉

 

9) The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1) by Helene Wecker.

A jewel, I loved everything about this book; the writing style, the story, the theme, the characters, the setting and the ending. It’s a new classic and going towards literary fiction, but it has tension until the last page.
I also liked the Audiobook narrator: George Guidall. I’m waiting for The Iron Season by the same author.

 

10)Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

I won’t talk long about this book because it it hyped with great reason and everybody raves in detail about this. 😉 I liked more this sequel than the first book in the duology due to all the feels and the characters stories depth. I’m surely waiting for King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo to meet her characters and the Grishaverse again.

 

11) Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Really good, original Sci-fi! This book was so well written, the story world so rich and the characters so likable! I found a new favorite author. I’ll be waiting for Children of Ruin (Children of Time #2).

 

And a Standalone: 12) China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh

Nowadays standalones have turned to be rather the exception. This was very well written, a literary, slice-of-life, dystopia. At the beginning I considered Zhang aloof and could not relate to him, but as the story progressed I understood that it isn’t easy to survive in a world that condemns most things about you and could sympathize. I considered the chapters with the other characters really great too and loved the story set in Mars.
A beautiful book, to be read without hurry, as the awesome food-for-thought about human condition that it is.

 

Wow, this was a long post, I could still rave about my four star reads of last year, but then this would end up with two thousand words LOL.

Let me know if I should follow up with four stars, three and disappointing set asides and DNFs.

And at last, which were your favorite books from last year? Let me know in the comments.

The One Readathon To Rule Them All Round 2 #theonereadation

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Don’t Have a Degree in Reading and other Booktubers listed in her video have now launched a second round from this awesome fantasy Readathon.
I was gladly participating of Round One in April this year. If you would like to see what I was reading then, here’s are the posts from the first’s round TBR and Wrap-Up
I’ll also participate now in the second round, which goes from November 17 to December 1, but I plan to post my wrap-up only when most of the books in my long TBR have been read.
Now, without further ado, here are my choices for each challenge.

The Shire

Reread a favorite fantasy book
This is the only challenge I haven’t yet a book for. It could happen that I pass on it too, since I rarely reread books.

Bree

Read a fantasy book set in a non-European influenced setting
I’m undecided between Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)  or The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1).

Have you read any of them? Which would you recommend me?

Fangorn Forest

Read a fantasy book with magical/supernatural creatures

Have you read any of them? Which would you recommend me?

Rivendell

Read a fantasy book with LGBTQIA+ rep (author/MC/POV)
The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate #1)

Moria

Read a grimdark fantasy book or a fantasy book w/ spooky elements.
The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company #1) 

Lorien

Read a fantasy book published by an indie press
Sufficiently Advanced Magic
I found this list quite helpful.

Isengard

Read a fantasy book with a villain MC/POV (morally grey MC/POV is acceptable!)

Grendel

Helm’s Deep

Read a fantasy book that is a standalone
The Goblin Emperor

Rohan

Read a fantasy book w/ a female MC. Here is a very interesting  list for this challenge.

The Curse of Chalion

Gondor

Read a fantasy book w/ POC rep (author/MC/POV)

Partials (Partials Sequence, #1) 

Minas Tirith

Read a fantasy book
I’ll still pick a book for this, probably any book of fantasy I read in the meantime that it isn’t yet on this list.

Mordor

Read the conclusion to a fantasy series (standalones count) or the most recent installment of a series.
For this final challenge, I’ll pick the last book of the Queen of the Tearling series,

The Fate of the Tearling.

For more book recommendations check the original video and the other creators and co-host videos.

Captain’s Log: Tome Infinity & Beyond Wrap Up #TomeInfinityAndBeyond

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This is my wrap-up, a month late since I was without time to write a blog post when the Readathon finished. Better late than never, so here are my reviews:

My Traveling Itinerary

 

I was leaving Earth with Ship D reading a new to me Author

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers.
This was a different kind of science-fiction, quite enjoyable and focused on the characters and human interactions. Rating: 4 Stars

 

On the Asteroid Belt I was reading a Space Opera

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey.  Even if the premise and world were interestingI set it aside after forty pages because I was bored with its slow pace and new character introductions. I’ll perhaps pick this one later again, right now I’m in doubt if I want to commit to such a long series. Rating: No Rating since I DNF it.

 

In Saturn I was reading A Book With Circles On The Cover

The Grey Moon by Timothy P. Callahan. The story was quite centered in the characters and their relationship, almost in a slice-of-life sort of story. I would have liked if it would have been less focused on the relationship details and more on the science fiction itself, or if the pace would have been a bit faster. I found the kind of relationship depicted interesting though, it is seldom that you read a story where the effects of one of the partners working too much is talked about, therefore Rating: 3 stars.

Uranus, Hahaha – Reading A Book Featuring Some Comic Relief

Armada, by Ernest Cline. I liked this even if I still prefer “Ready Player One”. I would love a next book where Zack Lightman would meet the aliens and try to find out what they are plotting, LOL. Rating: 4 Stars

Neptune, Reading A Science Fiction W/ Fantasy Themes Or Vice Versa

I read the Innkeeper Chronicles series, which now has three books and liked it a lot. It’s a mixture of Paranormal Fantasy and Science Fiction. Here are my reviews of the three books:

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)

There ain’t no real vacations without an Ilona Andrews book… 🙂
I liked this book, just missed a bit more description and focus on the main character herself, especially when all side characters, even the dead dogs, got good descriptions.
The sci-fi and fantasy story world felt a bit rushed at times too, but I hope to get to know more about it in the next books of this series that I’ll be following for sure. Rating: 4 Stars

Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles #2) 
This was awesome, an entertaining series in any case. Rating: 5 Stars

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)
When it’s the next book in the series here? Rating: 5 Stars

And finally I’ll arrive in my new home planet,

Pluto, where the goal was to Read A Vintage Science Fiction Book (25+ Years Old)

The Inheritors of Earth by Gordon Eklund, Poul Anderson.

This was vintage original sci-fi at it’s best. Rating: 5 Stars

And after setting camp in Pluto, I decided to go on reading…

 

Other Sci-fi books I would recommend

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

This book was very interesting, romantic and a real page-turner. I recommend this for anyone who likes their sci-fi with a lot of action and unpredictable quantum physics twists. Rating: 5 Stars

Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This book is not standard new-adult science fiction, but a well-written, and touching story in a, quite possible to happen, dystopian future.
Amelia is a heart-warming, relatable and real heroine. The theme of a woman giving her best and even tough being taken for granted is shown in detail (I found the symbolism with the rat very clever) and the heroine arc is lovely.
I hope there are more books with Amelia’s life on Mars and will be checking out future books by this author.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Innsmouth Free Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Rating: 5 Stars.

China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh

This was very well written, a literary, slice-of-life, dystopia. At the beginning I thought Zhang aloof and could not relate to him, but as the story progressed I understood that it isn’t easy to survive in a world that condemns most things about you. I considered the chapters with the other characters really great too and loved the story set in Mars.
A beautiful book, to be read without hurry, as the awesome food-for-thought about human condition that it is.  Rating: 5 Stars.

And you? Have you read any great sci-fi or any other book you would recommend?

 

Tome Infinity and Beyond Readathon**CREATED BY**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Tome Infinity And Beyond TBR!

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The Tome Infinity and Beyond is a Science Fiction (yay!!!) Readathon created by Brushing Bookends

(I’ll leave all  other links at the end of this post).

According to the Tome Infinity And Beyond Mission Log our journey  has already started on the 7th September and it will last until the 21th, leaving us with two weeks to find our new home planet.

This is my traveling itinerary:

I’m leaving Earth with Ship D reading a new to me Author: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers.

Once I’m in the Asteroid Belt where my goal is to Read A Space Opera Adventure, I’ll read Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey, a series that has been in my radar for a year already.

 

In Saturn I’ll Read A Book With Circles On The Cover: 
The Grey Moon by Timothy P. Callahan

 

Uranus, Hahaha – Read A Book Featuring Some Comic Relief:
I’ll read Armada, by Ernest Cline.

 

Neptune, Read A Science Fiction W/ Fantasy Themes Or Vice Versa, I’ll read the Clean Sweep series by Ilona Andrews,

 

And finally I’ll arrive in my new home planet, Pluto, where the goal is to Read A Vintage Science Fiction Book (25+ Years Old):
The Inheritors of Earth by Gordon Eklund, Poul Anderson.

 

I’ll be posting my wrap-up in as soon as I finish my space journey!

 

Tome Infinity and Beyond Readathon**CREATED BY**

2018 – Mid Year Book Freak Out TAG

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Time for my Mid Year Book Freak Out TAG!

I’m sharing with you the best and worst books I’ve read this year so far.

The picture of Pisa’s tower has not much to do with this post, but I visited it in a rainy summer day and, God, it’s so hot and rainy here now in end of July! So why not, right?

If you want to check out who started this, here is the Original Tag:
Chami – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03gz6k0IB-Y
Ely – https://www.youtube.com/user/MidnightBluex

 

Questions:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

That is difficult to choose, but one of my favorites this year was “The Diabolic” by S.J. Kincaid.
Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot, in my case I could not stop hearing the Audiobook until the last sentence of the story. The reading performance of Candace Thaxton was quite awesome too.

I also must mention The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen, this was awesome fantasy, a real page turner with great characters, story and oh, all the politics! I’ll definitely go on reading this series and Erika Johansen in one of my new favorite authors. This isn’t just YA though, it has some violence and darkness in it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

“The Empress” by S.J. Kincaid was quite original and full of really unexpected plot twists.
I wonder how the story is going to continue and can’t wait for the next book. In the Audiobook, the reading of Candace Thaxton was as five stars good as in the first book.

 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Many books would fit here as an answer, I could make a list with at least twenty books or so, lol. One of them is “Six Wakes” by Mur Lafferty.

 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

At the moment there are six unreleased books I’m waiting for, one of them is “A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire, Book Three)” by Jessica Cluess.

 

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
(I would like to thank NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. The writing style, the characterization, the story itself… I could rant here about all the things I didn’t like, but let’s leave it at that.

 

6. Biggest surprise.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky was a really original and surprising science-fiction book with spiders! This book was so well written, the story world so rich and the characters so likable.

 

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Four, new to me, favorites:

S.J. Kincaid

Jessica Cluess

Erika Johansen

Adrian Tchaikovsky

 

8. Newest fictional crush.

Not a crush, but Prince Cardan, from “The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)” by Holly Black is a very interesting character. Let’s see how his character arc develops in the next books of the series.

 

9. Newest favorite character.

Maven Calore from “War Storm (Red Queen #4)” by Victoria Aveyard was an interesting villain. I wonder if the series is really finished now and if we’ll never hear from those characters again. I need more books in this series!

 

10. Book that made you cry.

None, I usually don’t read books that make people cry, so this rarely happens to me. Instead I’ll answer my own question out of the blue: A main character who was so unlikable and annoyed you so much you couldn’t enjoy the book.
This would be Quentin Coldwater from “The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)” by Lev Grossman.
** spoiler alert ** This book was (for me) like if someone would have taken Holden Caulfield and threw him in Hogwarts and Narnia. He disliked every fantastic things that crossed his way, was a depressed teenager dragging himself through a magic story world filled with other equally annoying characters, and met the love of his life, spoiling things completely even though… The only likable character, his girlfriend, dies at the end of book 1 making him even more depressed.
I stopped reading for awhile after Quentin was left stranded, and picked it up weeks later just to see he was meeting the rest of his selfish friends to go on in an epic adventure that will have probably no other effect on him but to keep him tortured and depressed, so yeah, I want definitely out of this character’s emotional mess. I’ll stop reading this series. I gave this book though, 2 stars, for the originality, and its inspiring, latent emotional turmoil, a masterpiece somehow, even if not for me.

 

11. Book that made you happy.

This would be “Herding Cats (Sarah’s Scribbles #3)” by Sarah Andersen
I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This comic book was funny and very relatable, especially for artists. Sarah Andersen’s comics are awesome and surely make me laugh.
I enjoyed the thoughts on what’s happening on the Internet today because I have thought about that lately often enough, and I agree that sometimes you need to back away so that you get a pause of the firestorm of opinions. Therefore, the “Guide For The Young Creative.” with its “Part One: What’s Happening?” and “Part Two: Artist Survival” made a lot of sense to me.

 

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

The anime by Hayao Miyazaki based on the book “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year.

I mostly don’t write long, essay-like reviews like a professional reviewer, but mainly my opinion on the book, mentioning what worked or not for me.

My favorite review this year so far was on the book “The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1)” by Helene Wecker which was: A jewel, I loved everything about this book, the writing style, the story, the theme, the characters, the setting and the ending. It’s a new classic and going towards literary fiction, but it has tension until the last page. I also liked the Audiobook narrator: George Guidall.

14.Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I consider the cover of “A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)” by Jessica Cluess quite beautiful. This was very much fun to hear, a page-turner in audio format. The story was interesting, the characters reminded me of Pride and Prejudice, and the audio performance from Fiona Hardingham was well done. I’ll surely go on reading this series.

 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I would like to read nonfiction books on writing, my goal is ten per year. So far I have been quite slow on doing that, I hope I manage to read them eventually.

And you? Consider yourself tagged if you would like to answer these questions and don’t forget to leave a link to your post here.

The one Readathon to rule them all – TBR #theonereadathon

 

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I’m hyped for this Readathon, created by  Don’t Have a Degree in Reading

So I put together a TBR list for between April 29 – and May 12, 2018!!! 

I won’t dwell on explaining the Readathon rules or challenges since this was already done so well by the booktubers involved. Take a look at the Readathon hosts links at the bottom of this post for more information. 

I also found great book recommendation links on this Youtube video: 

Kitty G

I confess that I’m in doubt whether I will manage to complete all those challenges with my daily life limited time and preparations for a trip to Brazil, and it could also happen that I change one of my TBR choices. There is nothing I like so much as jumping out of a planned TBR ;-). All considerations aside, here are my choices for each challenge:

 

1. Read a fantasy book written by a POC Author

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova

 

2. Read a fantasy book w/ a POC MC

The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1) by  Helene Wecker. I know, this one has been a benchwarmer for a long time, but I hope to be able to finally read it.

 

3. Read a fantasy book under 300 pages

Less than 300 pages is usually too short for me. I often get a feeling that the story was undevelopped and rushed, but The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton could be interesting.

 

4. Read a fantasy book 1,000+ pages 

Since I already read all GOT series, I consider a challenge to find another fantasy book with 1000 pages that I would like to read at the moment. Perhaps I’ll read a series adding to 1000 pages instead?

Another idea would be to read The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss, but this will only happen if I have time to read the first book of this series and decide to go on with the series.

In any case, I’ll probably read 1000 pages during the Readathon.

5. Read a fantasy book that is a stand alone

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is a stand alone as far as I know.  And I’m planning to read more from this author since I liked The Cruel Prince.

 

6. Read a fantasy book written by a non-English speaking author

The Last Wish (Saga o Wiedźminie #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski, Danusia Stok (Translator). A lot of people seem to be crazy about The Witcher and there is even a game inspired on this series. So it’s time I check it out.

 

7. Read a fantasy book set in a non-European location

The Killing Moon  by N.K. Jemisin. I heard the world is based on Egypt and the plot has something like ‘dream magic’. I also hear all the time about this author, so I’ll check one of her books..

 

8. Read a fantasy book w/ LGBTQIA+ rep 

China Mountain Zhang by von Maureen F. McHugh. This is classic sci-fi that won a lot of prizes. It seems interesting.

 

And you? Any Readathons you are participating in? If you will participate in this one or another leave a link to your blog/youtube channel on the comments.

 

 

 

Readathon Hosts: 

Don’t Have a Degree in Reading: https://bit.ly/2n0D854

Beck’s Books: https://bit.ly/2uGhpVg

Ally Evans: https://bit.ly/2qQ4KeT

Chris Bookish Cauldron: https://bit.ly/2mSgITj

Read and Find Out: https://bit.ly/2F3BTJx

thatbookishgamer: https://bit.ly/2JdPlwG 

James Chatham: https://bit.ly/22EbOpf