The One Readathon To Rule Them All – Wrap Up #theonereadathon

ring-1692713_960_720

The One Readathon To Rule Them All is a readathon that happened between April 29 – and May 12, 2018.
I managed to read 5 books and complete 5 of the 8 challenges. I’m quite happy with my results since I started this readathon with the very optimistic TBR of nine books. I will go on reading the remaining books even if the readathon has already finished so I can update this blog post later.
So, without further considerations, here is my Wrap Up:

1. Read a fantasy book written by a POC Author

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova
My review: 3 stars. ** spoiler alert ** I think I would have liked this book more if it had not be so centered on the main character and her inner struggle with being a bruja, but more on the people surrounding her which were only mentioned when directly conected to the main character. Many interesting secondary characters, especially Nova and Rishi, felt not fleshed out enough.

2. Read a fantasy book w/ a POC MC

The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1) (audiobook) by Helene Wecker.
My review: 5 stars! 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’m happy I finally got to read this great book and placed it among my favorites of this year. I also liked the Audiobook narrator.

3. Read a fantasy book under 300 pages

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton.
My review: 1 star. I considered this book thoroughly disappointing. 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.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4. Read a fantasy book 1,000+ pages

This challenge will be updated later as it isn’t yet finished. I heard that The Kingkiller Chronicle series that I was planning to read for this challenge isn’t yet finished, so I’ll probably wait for the last book in the series to start reading the first two books.

5. Read a fantasy book that is a stand alone.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.
My review: 4 stars. 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 vampire story should be getting a sequel.

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

This challenge will be updated later as it isn’t yet finished. I am though, still quite interested in The Witcher series.

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

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin.
My review: 3 stars. 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 series or not.

8. Read a fantasy book w/ LGBTQIA+ rep

I acquired China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh especially for this readathon and also The Black Tides of Heaven (The Tensorate Series) by J.Y. Yang later, due to recommendations. I plan to read both books and update here later on.

Advertisements

Winter Writing/Reading Wrap Up

Now it’s Easter, time for my Winter Writing/Reading Wrap Up!
I’ve terribly neglected this blog the last three months, writing short stories instead. On the plus side I am going forward with my short story anthology, which has now 32k of well revised words. I’ll publish my anthology this year, unless I pick some of the short stories to turn into novellas or even novels. I’ve been thinking on listening to my awesome and inspiring beta-readers who often ask me for 50k words in the world and characters of the short story I sent them, so I’m still considering my options carefully.
Now that I talked about my writing, let’s move to the best books I’ve read in winter.

1. Winter Theme: Faeries

fairy-2197787

I must confess to being into books with a new paranormal creature this year: Faeries. Because Shapeshifters were so last year. (Only joking, I still like Shapeshifters).

So far I have found only a couple of five star series reads and a couple of somehow meh, 3 star reads from series I’m not going to pursue further. It’s been a challenge to find books with Faeries, the Political Intrigue and less clichéd romance that I prefer, so I would appreciate any Faerie book recommendation on the comments.I won’t dwell in the 3 star books I read, but praise the 5 star ones, which were:

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

I’ll be looking for more Holly Black books in the future. When it comes to this book the hype is deserved, I loved the world building and the ‘cruel prince’ is a very interesting character. It remains to be seen how this story will develop in the next books. I am, in any case, on board.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1 – #3) by Sarah J. Maas

This series turned into a favorite of mine from book 2 onwards. I even reread #1 and #2 after reading #3 to be able come back to the its awesome Faerie World while I wait for the next book in the series.

2. Winter Theme: Dystopia

all-1784292

I’ve been reading loads of Dystopia lately. I don’t have a reasonable explanation for it, it’s one of those things that just happen, you reading series after series of pessimistic future scenarios to a point where the series blur.
In the sea of Dystopia most books qualify as four stars for me. They are entertaining, and so quick to read I can binge read the whole series in one or two weeks. From the series I’ve been reading I would give honorable mention to:

Shatter Me series (Shatter Me #1 – #5) by Tahereh Mafi 

This series improved with every new book, with very interesting character arcs, and

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid

A very special book. I was listening it as an audiobook that managed to be my favorite so far in 2018; Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot, in my case I could not stop hearing the audiobook until the last sentence of this story. This was my first book by this author but I’ll surely take a look at her other books and go on following this series. I found the reading performance of Candace Thaxton in the Audiobook quite awesome too. This book is also interesting if you want an entryway from YA Dystopia into Space Opera, another awesome sub-genre of Science Fiction.

I also read the next book in this series The Empress (The Diabolic #2) and was surprised at all the twists. I have no idea about how the next book in this series will be, but taking from another great series from Kincaid (Insignia #1 -#3) which was awesome I can only think that it will be equally original and outstanding, so naturally I can’t wait until Fall to read The Diabolic #3.

Have you read these books and liked them too? I am looking for more Faerie themed or Space Opera books recommendations so feel free to suggest any you liked.

My 5 favourite books of 2017

So, I’m a bit late, but I got a cold between Christmas and New Year, so I just had time to wrap up the last reading year now. So here are my conclusions:

  • I was reading a lot in 2017. — 153 books — although…

Half of these were comics or graphic novels that I usually read much faster than a normal book.

  • 60 were science fiction, fantasy, or a combination of young adult and other genres.

I rarely read outside my favourite genres, only one contemporary thriller and a couple of historical fictions. I know people advise you to do that, but “je ne regrette rien” 😉

  • My favourite books of 2017 are mostly quite well known.
  • 6 were non-fiction books, all about writing techniques. I started many books on writing but finished few of them, I take a long time to read non-fiction because I don’t only read them, but mostly study them.

In this year it often happened that a hyped book had the right reasons to be loved by all Booktubers, although there were also cases where they would fail to impress me in the same manner.

I discovered new favourite authors and a few “never-to-read-again” and “how-can-people-actually-like-this?” books. Let me know if you would like me to go all ranty here on the blog.

But overall it was a very nice reading year.

So, here are my (kind of) 5 favourites of 2017!

1) The Saga series (Single Issues #1 – #43)
I read all single issues of this amazing series, I just couldn’t stop. It was amazing! Brian K. Vaughan now appears as number one in my Goodreads list of most read authors due to all the Saga single issues I read. I consider him now an auto-buy and read asap author.

2) The Grisha Verse Trilogy
Leigh Bardugo is a queen! (as I heard on booktube). I really liked this trilogy, and can’t wait to read “The language of Thorns” by the same author, now one of my favourites too.

3) The Night Circus.
Magical, awesome, and special. I was looking for more books from Erin Morgenstern and couldn’t find it. I guess I have to break my rule of no-rereading while the TBR tsunami isn’t tamed and reread this book.

4) Artemis
Andy Weir’s books make you laugh (a lot), while you visit extremely well-built and possible, on-the-near-future corner of (thankfully) not-dystopian sci-fi worlds. I like dystopia, but I read this book on my cell phone while my Kindle was recharging. This is saying something about how great I found this book.

5) The Illuminae Files (#1 and #2)
I’m absolutely spoiled for boring sci-fi after this series. These books were page-turners, full of action, great characters (my favourite is AIDAN), and all the graphic elements, for this reason, I would recommend the books even if people liked the Audiobooks too. All the hype around these books is well deserved, I can totally understand why people freak about these books, lol.

Books I read while I had ‘almost no internet’.

boy-2950397_1920

Let’s first clear this up: by ‘almost no internet’ I mean having the slowest of connections in a very old cell phone where most apps didn’t work. I was mainly using only Gmail for two months. So, during the busy autumnal days, I was:

-Writing emails like in the old Pine days,
-Watching a lot of DVDs (mostly Vampire Diaries, a guilty entertainment activity like reading the Selection series)
-And visiting the small bookshop of my town, which deserves a lot of support and has awesome author readings. I went to a reading with Elia Barceló and absolutely loved how the author made her book a lively experience for us. Now I want to read all her books :-). I still didn’t get to that, but even though these last weeks I managed to tackle my previous TBR list reasonably well.

The books I’ve read: 

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon – 5 stars

In this book, the world building was quite extensive and that alone was already worth at least 4,5 stars. There is even a spin-off called “On the Merits of Unnaturalness” which further explains it.
Although I haven’t read the spin-off I could reasonably follow the various ‘voyants’ classes that appear in the book.
I also liked Paige because, although she was IMO 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’ll be surely following up this series to see how the story goes on.
(I would like to thank NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. )
 
 

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber – 4 stars

** Spoiler alert **
Quite nice though some things round up too easily at the very open end. I’m still in doubt if I’ll go on reading the series.
 


The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden – 5 Stars

A beautifully told, interesting story with a Russian fairytale setting. I’ll be following this series for sure.
 
I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House UK for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman (Goodreads Author), Meagan Spooner – 3 Stars

** Spoiler alert ** The romance in this story was well done, it’s just that it was the main part of the story at the expense of world-building, story development, and pace. And there were many extremely repeated tropes too, while the resolution was really fast and the end left open for the next book.
So I may go on reading this series, but I’m not so much in a hurry.


All the Birds in the Sky (All the Birds in the Sky #1) by Charlie Jane Anders – 3 Stars

I’m a bit in doubt about what to say in my review. I liked the story and the ending although I would have liked more if it would have gone to more depths in its original and interesting premise and tried less to be everybody’s taste in an amusing way.


P.A.W.S. (P.A.W.S. #1) by Debbie Manber Kupfer – 4 Stars

What a cute shapeshifter story, I could not put this book down.I’m curious as how the story will go on too.


Artemis by Andy Weir – 5 Stars

First things first, I considered Weir’s second book as good as “The Martian.”

I’ve read some reviews where people complained about characterization problems, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying the book and considering the heroine refreshingly funny in her tomboy flawed way. I also liked her name – “Jazz”- that is so cool.

As a Brazilian, I found a couple of details in the ARC I would have pointed out as not so really Brazilian, so I wonder if these details were later changed in the final version of the book.

In any case, I couldn’t put this book down or stop laughing. So it’s one of my favorites this year as “The Martian” was one of my favorites in 2015.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Crown Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Now in Dezember I just have three weeks to wrap this reading year up.  I have around six books in the middle that I’m currently reading, so I’ll try to finish at least a couple of them before 2017 is over. Then I’ll write my favorite blog post of the year with my favorite 2017 books, stay tuned. 😉


And you, how was your reading year? Any new year reading goals?

 

 

 

Book Series Winter Wrap-Up

IMG_6324

 

In January, February and March and April (yeah, we still have snow shower in April, so for me, it still counts as a last winter’s month) 😉 I read around 41 books. I think this is the year I read most so far, not counting the years I wasn’t registering every book I read on Goodreads, but with this large enough number, I considered writing a blog post with short reviews on all the series I will (or not) go on reading.

 

Series I won’t go on reading.

 

In the last four months, there were around four first-in-a-series books that I would react to with, “Nope! Not at all,” either because the books were written to another audience, or because the books were really beyond terrible, so I decided to drop their series, even if I am a series follower at heart.
I considered talking about these books here, but on a second thought, that would make this post too ranty, so if you are curious to see which ones, take a look at my list of “series-I-will-not-finish” on Goodreads.

 

Series I will (eventually) go on reading (or not, it depends on my TBR)

 

Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano
A quite dark dystopia, this first book just felt like an introduction to the story world since not many questions were answered here. Let’s see what the next books will bring.

 

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
I found this story quite original. I also liked the characters and their original world. Blue with the clairvoyant mother and friends and the raven boys. That said I think that things moved at a much slower pace than most YA books I’ve read lately, not many answers were given at the end and the characters seem to be still at the beginning of their journey. Even though it was an original book, so I may go on with this series even if I rated the first book 3.5 stars.

 

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

I liked the story world and most of the characters. The story wraps up quite well in the end, without giving many hints on how the characters or the story could go on. So I’ll probably go on reading this series, even if I see no reason to hurry.

 

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

This book is slower paced than most science-fiction dystopia books I’ve read, but this perhaps due to the characters relationships being in the foreground. This slower pace, in my opinion, also created a better world description and story development, so it was all right. I liked the way the story was told even if the book finishes with a hook. And the touching role the Dylan Thomas poem played in the story was so beautiful, that it alone won my good opinion on this book. I’ll probably finish this series later.

 

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton

I wasn’t too impressed by the first book of this series, but it could be due to me getting a vampire story overload? At the moment I’ve already read more than thirty books with vampires on them, so I feel I’ve seen a lot of the tropes already. This book was written in 1993 before vampires acquired the twilit hype that would also weaken them, so it’s not the book’s fault and I’ll probably read a couple of books more to make up my mind about this series. I’m just not in a hurry.

 

Series I will (definitely) go on reading.

 

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

This book is so good you will take your time reading it, so it lasts longer. And so far I can remember, it’s one of the best epic fantasies I’ve read. So I’ll definitely go on reading this series.

 

Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga #1) by Colleen Oakes

I really liked this book and I’m curious to read the next book in the series. IMO the first book of a series has to leave enough mystery, enough hooks for the second book, otherwise, I don’t feel so eager to read it. But this first book was quite successful in that, so I can’t wait to read the sequel.

 

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

I didn’t start reading this series now in winter but read The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass 0.1 – 0.5) and Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) in January.  So even if I rated both books 4 stars and felt a bit wary of the heroine changing her mind about love interests all the time, I’ll go on reading this series.

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

After reading the Throne of Glass series from the same author I was seriously underwhelmed by two-thirds of this book. The story only starts to go at a faster and more interesting pace after page 250, when the heroine finally starts to commit to her journey and Rhysand, the best character in this series, finally gets a more central role in the story. I found the second book much better than the first. This was a book I felt like fist pumping and shouting ‘yes’ with the heroine choices. I couldn’t put the second book down. So let’s see how the rest of this series will develop. I’m even afraid of the next book not managing to be as good as the second one.

 

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

I’ll go on reading this series even if I always complain in the reviews about the science fiction component of the story being forgotten in name of romance and action.

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs

I read Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) and read that the next book will be again someone getting kidnapped, a plot similar to other books in this series, but since I like the characters I’ll go on reading this series, for now.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

This year I was waiting for Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) for a couple of months. The same day it was released, in the same paperback size as the rest of my collection, I ordered it. I gave it five stars and now I must wait full of curiosity for the next book.
Oh, the joy of long book series!

 

 

Series I finished.

(In the rain, a violin plays a dark melody of longing.)

 

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

I read the five books in this series in one week and consider them all highly entertaining page-turners. An ideal series if you just want a break.

 

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

The Grisha Trilogy, in my opinion, deserved all its hype. I read it on my e-book reader, but I’m seriously considering buying the whole series in paperback just to have it. I liked the series enough for that.

 

And you, have you read any of these series and had a different opinion on them? What is your favorite unfinished or finished series? Do you know any YA, Fantasy or Science fiction series you would like to recommend to me? Or do you prefer reading stand alone books?

Let me know in the comments.