Writing Update #15

I’m starting to feel like these updates are pointless.

I’d hoped to have good news, and say I’d finished my revisions…but another month has passed and that’s not the case.

It’s not for a lack of wanting to write. I do write. I write blog posts, and these shiny new ideas that pop into my head. I just don’t work on my SF WIP. And it’s also not for a lack of wanting to work on my SF WIP. I feel the need, the urge to get back to the characters, the world. I want to work on it, I just sit down and stare at the document.

Maybe it’s a whole culmination of things that put up this wall in my brain. Maybe I’m just lazy.

But despite the few shiny ideas, and random scenes that have popped into my head, I’ve started taking baby steps. I started with re-reading the chapters I’ve already revised. Other than a few typos, I made no changes to the story.

Then, once I finished re-read those chapters, I moved backwards, to my last full draft. I can’t even tell you the last time I read it in full, so in an effort to familiarize myself and inspire myself, I decided to read it.

It’s kind of crazy how much I’ve changed as a writer since I wrote that last full draft. I was feeling insecure about my revised draft, thinking that I’d maybe cut too many words, condensed it too much. Turns out that feeling of insecurity is unfounded, because I actually can’t stand how wordy and long winded, I was in my last full draft.

I know I need to continue to reread it, but damn. Now, it’s not all bad, there are some scenes that I like, that I ultimately condensed, but on an overarching scale, it’s so clear to me now that, that draft was entirely too long.

I remember feeling slightly miffed when people told me that. Now, comparing it to my current draft, I know that this one is right.

I’ve known what the story is for a while now, and pat of the reason I don’t feel inclined to write is that it’s written in my head, and I get annoyed when I open the doc and it’s not completed. It’s ridiculous, because the book isn’t going to write itself, and I could probably easily knock out the last half of the revisions if I would just sit my ass in a chair.

So, that’s the new goal.

Finish re-reading the draft, and then knock out the second half of the revisions.

On the topic of other things, I’ve written – I’ve been bombarded with scenes and new ideas that won’t leave me alone.

There’s one project I’ve dubbed Phantom City WIP. I kind of have a whole premise for this idea. It’s sort of a sci-fi, zombie apocalypse, dystopian book.

Another that’s this Upper YA/NA Vampire Book. I legit only have one scene, and not much else, but it’s been sitting in my brain, marinating.

I also have the project I’m dubbing Pandemic WIP – I might’ve mentioned this one in the last Writing Update post. I was able to combine 3 different story ideas/scenes that didn’t have much in the way of plot. Surprisingly they all work really well together.

Finally, and I’m getting so far ahead of myself on this one, but inspiration struck, and I had to write it. It’s a scene from my SF WIP…well the hopeful series that I would love to write after the first one. It would either be at the end of Book 2 or the very beginning of book 3. It’s a pretty emotionally charged scene and I legit couldn’t think of anything else, so I had to write it.

You know, I started this post feeling really shitty. Like an imposter who will never amount to anything with her writing. Sometimes it just takes a little reflection to realize that what seemed like an unproductive writing month, really wasn’t. Sure, I didn’t work on the WIP I probably should have been working on, but I have been writing, and I took steps to get back to actively working on my WIP. I need to give myself a break.

If you’re working on a WIP, I hope you’re giving yourself some slack, and are having better luck than me. One of these days we’ll finish our WIPs!

 

ApollyCon 2020 Giveaway Winners!

Let Sammy and I start off by saying, THANK YOU every one of you who entered this giveaway. You all blew our expectations out of the water. Sammy and I each have posts announcing the winners, so make sure you check out her post over on Lady and Star. We’re super thrilled at all your excitement for these bags of books and bookish goodies.

So far 2020 has been a bit of a mess, but we hope these prizes bring a little joy to the chaos that’s been 2020…so far. We can only hope that time becomes relevant again, as of right now it feels a bit nonexistent. Days seem to blur into one another, and the most enticing thing is staying in bed all day. But in the meantime, here are some new books and goodies for you to enjoy. Each of these boxes are stuffed completely full of book of various genres and formats, including some exclusive book box swag of various fandoms.

We are both very grateful for your help in promoting this giveaway – we saw all your retweets and comments. It was so much fun seeing which Jennifer L. Armentrout books were your favorites. There were some that surprised us, and others that we expected to see. Though, really there isn’t a bad choice.

Initially we had planned for 4 US winners and 2 International winners, but we don’t appear to have any international entries. Since this seems to be the case, we opted to pull two more US winners, who will get an eBook of Jens’s From Blood and Ash.

Winners will be emailed a Google Form to fill out with their shipping/mailing information. You will have 24 hours upon receiving the email, to fill out the form and email it back. Once we have your information, we will ship out the box containing your prize. Due to COVID-19 and potential shipping delays, we will be emailing you with your Tracking Information when we have it available. The plan is to pack and mail the boxes hopefully by the end of the week – upon receiving a filled-out Google Form.

Now without further ado, the moment you are all waiting for – THE WINNERS!

THESORBETJOURNEY: Giveaway Winner Announcement !!

4 ApollyCon Bag Winner:

  1. Kati Zollinhofer
  2. Alissa White
  3. Belle Ellrich
  4. Lindsey Smith

From Blood and Ash eBook Winners:

  1. Linda Cruz
  2. Robyn Best Huffman

We want to thank you all again for participating in this giveaway – it wouldn’t be possible without you. We hope to do more of these in the future – together and individually, so make sure you continue to follow both of our blogs! We even post giveaways over on our other various social media platforms, so keep your eyes peeled for those there. Sammy and I hope that you enjoy your boxes of books and bookish goodies! Winners will also be tagged on Twitter and emails should be in your inboxes by 12PM EST on April 29, 2020. Please let us know if you haven’t received an email by this time.

Thanks again to everyone who entered! You’re the best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently Reading & Watching #14

I sat down to write this post, and my mind just went blank. I’m exhausted.

Girl Reading GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I’ve been spending a lot more time reading, than actively watching anything, but beyond that, Animal Crossing: New Horizons eats a lot of time. I also have like zero drive to do anything productive. I’m even starting to hit this point where books are starting to feel a bit like a chore, but blogging has been my constant through the whole COVID mess, so I don’t want to give it up. I’m also really enjoying the books I’ve been reading. I think it’s just mainly this book I’m currently reading. I’m not super invested and I don’t know if there’s going to be a love interest, and I’m just not sure.

I’ve also fallen down a “kiddie” show rabbit hole, but I don’t give a damn, the show is addicting and I’m way too invested.

Days have started to seriously blur together, and I need life to resume. I’m starting to feel cooped and caged and I need to be able to go out and do things.

Anyways, let’s jump into the post.


BOOKS:

sunshieldSunshield – Emily B. Martin

I requested this on NetGalley months ago, and I’m trying to figure out if I read the synopsis at all before requesting. Whatever intrigue I felt when I made the request, I don’t know where it went. I’m roughly 20% into the book, and I’m bored. I keep clicking out of my kindle app to open other apps. It’s making reading slow. Also, this is a dense book, I don’t fully understand the world, and I think it might be more of a political fantasy, and that’s not really my thing. I also feel no connection to any of the POVs, and I think that I already know how (arguably the main POV) is connected. But there’s no strong desire making me desperate to find out if I’m right or not. I’m definitely going to try and power through it, in the hopes that it gets better, but I don’t want to make any promises.


WATCHING:

I thought about listing everything I’m currently watching, but really, there are only 2 shows that I’m watching with any consistency.

Chat Noir Ladybug GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir (Netflix)

Don’t ask me what made me start watching this. Blame COVID and the need to turn my brain off. But I’m hooked. It’s weirdly addicting and I’m totally here for the conflict? I do wish the stakes were a tad higher, and for maybe the good guys to not win every battle, but it’s a Disney show meant for much younger kids, so I get it. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I run out of episodes.

the neapolitan novels | TumblrMy Brilliant Friend (HBO Go)

 My dad started this, thinking it was going to have Godfather vibes…what he didn’t realize that it’s a foreign show, with English subtitles. It’s also incredibly captivating. Like, you can’t stop watching. It’s set in Italy, in a town outside Naples in ~1950. Women are still very much second-class citizens and treated as property, and the story follows two young girls, both incredibly smart, as they grow up and learn to navigate the world. One is very much a rule follower and the other isn’t. We’ve blown through season 1 and now are onto season 2, and you legit have no idea what to expect in each episode. It’s based off a book with the same name.

And as a little bonus, here’s what I’ve been listening to –

img_9075These are all a part of my SF WIP playlist:

Beyond the View – Chance Peña

Up, Up & Away – Chance Peña

Vanish – VG LUCAS

Time’s Running Out – VG LUCAS

Shipyards – The Lake Poets

Symmetry (Dark Version) – SYML

(Latest Purchase)

img_9072The Prince of Egypt (Original Cast Recording)

This is the soundtrack for the new West End production, and I need the world to open back up so I can go to London and see this show. The soundtrack is phenomenal. It’s the movie, but with a tad more, and I’m sure the show is visually gorgeous.

Okay, that’s it! I’m exhausted and I might actually get in bed before 1AM tonight! Hope you all are staying safe and sane!


What are you currently reading, watching, or even listening to?

 

Book Review: Nightborn (The Hollow King #2)

NightbornTitle: Nightborn

Author: Jessica Thorne

Pub. Date: May 26, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Like deep dark water, it pulls them down. The faint fire of magic within them flickers and dies. Their eyes turn black as night. They are nightborn now.

Grace Marchant has been many things: streetwise orphan, rebellious servant, and now beloved companion of Prince Bastien, heir to the throne of Larelwynn. But their sunlit happiness is not destined to last. The golden magic which brought them together in purest passion is threatened by strange and ancient forces. Innocent people are becoming nightborn – cruel, deadly, unrecognisable to their loved ones – and these two young lovers are the only ones with power enough to stop it.

In times of peace, striking a deal with their closest enemy would be unthinkable, but now their only hope is to ally with the neighbouring Valenti royal family: manipulative, cunning, and always with an eye on the Larelwynn throne. The partnership comes at a devastating price… if Grace wants to defeat the nightborn, she must watch Bastien marry a Valenti princess.

Grace knows she must make this heart-wrenching sacrifice for the good of the whole kingdom – but she also fears the magic in her veins, usually so warm and bright, is turning cold as deepest midnight. A beguiling darkness whispers to her from within. Is Grace herself becoming nightborn?

Time is running out. With Bastien promised to another, and a stony distance growing between them, will Grace find the source of the nightborn curse before every last soul is consumed by the darkness?


This will be a spoiler free review and thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

In the words of Oliver Twist –

Oliver Twist - Please Sir, I Want Some More GIF by John | Gfycat

Just replace “sir” with “Jessica Thorne”.

I have no idea if there is a book 3. I really hope there is a book 3. I don’t know what would happen in a book 3, but I want it.

I legit just finished reading this book, and I’m speechless. So Much happens in it, and I went through the range of emotions. Rage – I wanted to throw my phone across the room because of a certain thing that happens to Bastien early on. Then my heart was breaking for both Bastien and Grace. Then I was raging again, then nearly sobbing, and then the whole ending was just me switching between the sobbing, mind blow, shocked, angry emojis.

I went through a freaking gauntlet of emotions with this book and it was so damn good.

There really isn’t a calm moment in this book, and it keeps you turning the page…though the thing that happens to Bastien early on had me so angry on his behalf, I had to take a thirty-minute break and watch funny animal videos on Facebook.

Y’all, I’d die to protect Bastien. He deserves to be protected. That poor boy needs a freaking hug. If you’ve read Mageborn you know why, since you’ll know a bit of his backstory. If you haven’t read Mageborn – go do it, stop reading this post, and got read it – then I don’t know how to explain it without spoilers.

I guess you could say, that his agency is taken from him by people who want nothing more than to control him.

Gah, that sounds like a spoiler, but it’s also very super vague. Forgive me.

I legit cannot think of another way to describe what happens to him, that’s not dangling a carrot in front of you, taunting you with knowledge you don’t have.

So, go read Mageborn. You have enough time to do so before Nightborn comes out in May.

I loved this book – I hope that’s clear, but I was a little bored in the very beginning? Maybe it’s just because I struggled to remember what happened in Mageborn (despite having read it in January…I’ve read a lot since then). I’m chalking it up to that, since it does pick up pretty quickly. I think it was only the first 15% that I struggled through a bit, and then things started coming back to me. This book is nothing, but a bunch of tension filled, longing glances, I’m not good enough for her/him, and I ate that shit up. Like, hell yes. I want the pining, the self-doubt, the, I’m so madly in love with that person that the best thing I can do is to force myself not to be with them, because I’m not worthy. Sound logic, right?

Give me more.

Watching how Grace and Bastien navigate all these obstacles that are thrown their way was so fun and honestly, rage inducing and heartbreaking. They both go through so much, as Grace fights with a seductive dark voice in her ear, and Bastien remembers more and more, and constantly has to be reminded that he’s worth saving – that whatever he’s done when his agency is forcibly taken from him by others, he’s not to blame. They fight for so much, for each other, for it all to be repeatedly ripped from their hands. As the reader it hurts to watch them suffer so much, but it’s also entertaining as hell.

While this book is nothing but non-stop action, I do think that it’s primarily a character driven novel, and we get to see how these characters (mainly Grace and Bastien) grow, change and evolve, what sacrifices are they willing and not willing to make.

We’ve already established that I just want to give Bastien a hug and protect him. But I think this book has solidified Grace Marchant as one of my favorite female heroines. She’s a bad ass, skilled guard, who dishes sass and snark and will die for those she claims as family. She’s fiercely loyal and even when all hope seems lost, she does not give up. But we kind of see this other side to her in this book. She isn’t just this assured fighter, who puts her life on the line constantly. We get to see the softer side, the jealous side, the terrified side, and those sides aren’t locked behind a wall of propriety. Grace is very much (at times) a very vulnerable girl, who just wants to belong. I think so often, when bad ass female characters are written, they aren’t always super vulnerable, or they’re only vulnerable after suffering some kind of massive trauma. While Grace doesn’t have it easy by any means in this book, and goes through some pretty traumatizing things, we get to see glimpses of a girl who gets jealous, or hurt, or just doesn’t know what to do when things aren’t okay.

I don’t know, maybe I’m rambling, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her break a little bit, seeing that tough outer shell crack and break as the world around her threw more and more at her. I felt her heartbreak, her will to save those she cares about. I think Jessica did so well with her character…with all her characters. She makes you feel for all of them.

There are also some very satisfying moments for other characters, that just make you want to scream, yes! but in the way, where karma bites them in the ass for the shit that they’ve done. It’s super satisfying.

The ending of this book is perfect. I wasn’t sure how this story was going to come to a close, but I’m so not mad. I am curious though to see if there is going to be more. With the way it ended, it was a bit open. I hope there is more because I’m not ready to be done with Grace, Bastien, Ellyn, Daniel, Misha, Rynn, Kurt and the rest.

If you haven’t already, go read Mageborn – you can check out my spoiler free review here. If you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas and/or Elise Kova, you’re going to fall in love with this series and these characters. So, do yourself the favor and start this series. Both of these books kept me up until the light started shining in through my window. Perfect binge-able books.

Have I convinced you yet?

Partial Book Review: To Sleep in A Sea of Stars

tsiasosTitle: To Sleep in A Sea of Stars

Author: Christopher Paolini

Pub. Date: September 15, 2020

Rating: TBD


It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.


This will be a short spoiler free review and thank you NetGalley for providing a free partial copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I went into this book expecting to love it and hate it. Love it because it’s everything I want in SF book, hate it because I only have a partial eARC and I don’t know if there will be full ARCs. I also went in expecting to be super mad, again, because I don’t have the whole book.

Let me tell you, the wait until September is going to kill me, because I need to know what happens next. Like a desperate, aching need.

Christopher Paolini has written the book I’ve wanted for a long time. It feels so much like some of my absolutely favorite Sci-Fi TV Shows – Farscape, Stargate…

In fact, the way this partial eARC left off, it gave me serious Stargate Universe vibes, and the non-ending (if you’ve seen the show, that might be a slight spoiler) to that show still drives me mad. The only consolation is that, there is more to this book, I just have to wait for it. Which, honestly, doesn’t console me much, because I’m dying with how the partial ended.

Y’all, what I did read was so good, so captivating and I was instantly sucked into this world he created. There was a moment in this, that I legitimately stopped breathing while I was reading. The action was so tense, so emotional, and the outcome of that scene is – well, I don’t want to spoil, but it had my heart pounding.

I really like Kira and how she’s this pawn in a much bigger plan and isn’t really thrilled with how events turn out for her. I’m so anxious to see how this continues, because where this partial ARC ends, I’m dying to know. I NEED to know.

I’m sure exactly how much of the book I’ve read, I know it’s long, but judging how I felt and the emotions I went through with just this partial, come September I might be wrecked.

Since I haven’t read the full book yet, I’m giving this a 3.5 – rounding up for rating sake, but I have no doubt that this is going to be a 5star read from me, and something I read over and over. I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far and I’m still a massive Christopher Paolini fan.

NetGalley Update – Apr’20

I’ve been trying to read through a bunch of NetGalley releases, since Warmaidens and Majesty are up for request – I’m trying to give my reviewer rating a boost before I request.

So, I figured now would be a good time for a little mini NetGalley Update – what’s currently on my shelf, and what’s pending.

I haven’t requested Warmaidens or Majesty yet, since I want to give myself the best chance possible, and I’m so close to that supposed magical 80%.

So, here is what I’ve been approved for –

Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 6.36.25 AM

Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 6.36.28 AM

I have my next few books already planned out, Nightborn, Sunshield and then Shielded.

Then my focus will be on the other 2 June releases. Hopefully after those three books, my rating will be high enough to give me the best chance at being approved for Warmaidens and Majesty.

These are the books that are still pending –

Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 6.36.35 AM

Honestly, my hope isn’t super high, I definitely don’t think I’ll be approved for the second Camelot Rising book, and The Midnight Lie is already out. But I’ve been surprised before, so I’m not entirely discounting it, I’m just keeping my expectations low.


Final Note: The Giveaway I’m co-hosting with Sammy over at Lady and Star ENDS MONDAY, so if you haven’t yet, and still wanted to, make sure you click HERE and you’ll be redirected to the original blog post with the Rafflecopter link, plus all the rules! Make sure you do the FIVE MANADATORY tasks, if you want entered!

The bags are stuffed full of Advanced Rreader Copies, Finished Copies, Apollycon Swag as well as Book Box Items! It only takes a few minutes to enter, and you could win an entire bag full of fun bookish goodies!

Book Collection: Christopher Paolini

img_8969Hi Christopher!

I’m sure we all have an author that we fantasize meeting and upon meeting, you think you’re going to calm, cool and collected. You think that your brain won’t fritz, and you won’t go completely starstruck, because authors are just people after all.

You would think.

Eragon was published in 2005, but I think I found it in 2007…or at least I remember reading it over and over and over again in 2007. I remember reading the book and falling in love with the idea of telling my own stories. I’d been reading for years, since by 2007 I was in sixth grade…seventh grade? Honestly, I don’t feel like doing the math, but I’d been reading for years and falling in love with stories. But something changed when I read Eragon – and I read that book so much that it’s basically falling apart.

img_8975I fell in love with the idea that I could write my own stories, that I had that ability to craft something that would make me, and others feel the way this book did. I’ve honestly lost track of how many times over the years I’ve read Eragon, but I do remember reading it roughly 7 times in the course of like 7-9 days in 2007.

I still don’t know how I managed that, but I breezed through the book over and over that Spring Break. I think I brought other books with me, but either they didn’t hold my interest, or I read those too. Honestly, it’s been so long. This was back when I lived in England, my family and family friends, rented a villa in Spain (I don’t remember exactly where) for Spring Break. There’s a lot about that trip I remember, from pulling a small child from the frigid deep end of our pool, to my brother getting sand in his eye and scratching his cornea (long story, all of it) but mostly I remember reading Eragon in various places. My bedroom, by the pool, on the plane rides, in car rides…that book traveled with me for that entire vacation. I read it over and over and over again, never growing tired of the world, it’s characters. I still have the plan boarding pass to Spain tucked in the book, the only thing I ever used as a bookmark.

Then fast forward a few years, I’m a sophomore in high school, and I’ve reread Eragon a few more times, Eldest was read, as was Brisingr, and we were tasked to write a paper on someone we admire – at least I think that was the topic. My high school sophomore year was so long ago now, I don’t remember specifics, but I remember I chose Christopher Paolini as my topic. Hell, maybe I was a tad obsessed, but prior to Eragon, writing my own stories was something I never thought possible, and when I learned that he wrote it initially as teenager, my mind was blown. If he could write a book at roughly my age, then I should be able to as well.

img_9008Also, by this point, I’d been writing, but it was all garbage. That’s not me being too hard or unfair to myself, I legit mean it was all garbage, but we have to start somewhere.

So, I wrote this paper in 2008/2009, got an A and went on with my life.

Fast forward another few years, it’s 2012, I’ve started my first truly serious attempt at writing a novel (there was a fantasy WIP attempt prior to my SF WIP, but it didn’t go anywhere), and I learn that Christopher Paolini is going to be in D.C. for the National Book Festival in September, and no matter what I was going. I told my parents, my mom agreed to take me, and so we planned the trip.

I had these grandiose plans that I was going to meet Christopher Paolini, and I was going to tell him how much I loved his book, how much it meant to me, and how because of it, I was now writing my own book. I was going to tell him that his book legit changed my life and made me want to be a writer.

img_8973Now, maybe you’re wondering how that went…maybe you already have an inkling based on how I opened this post.

Y’all, I was mute.

Nothing came out of my mouth.

If I hadn’t been repeating myself for days leading up to the event, my mom wouldn’t have been able to step in for me and tell him everything I wanted to say. I was meeting my idol and I lost my shit. I just stared and smiled, and let me tell you, I immensely regret my inaction and inability to form any kind of coherent thought that day. How foolish I must’ve looked, standing there, as Christopher signed my tattered copy of his book, unable to say anything, because oh my freaking god, it’s him.

img_8974It’s weird, that day is so vivid, but also so vague in my mind. I do remember him being impressed that my copy was so beat up, that it has a ripped cover, and bent pages, and basically lays completely flat because the spine is broken. I don’t remember if I managed to say anything at all, or if he said anything to me, or what actually happened, apart from his comment about my copy of Eragon. I left that singing with my copy of Eragon and Inheritance signed (1 book signed, per person – so I chose book 1 and 4).

img_8977My signed, tattered, falling apart, paperback of Eragon is easily my most prized book. It’s something that I will never part with. Unlike a lot of my other collection posts, where I have numerous copies of every book in which ever author’s published list, I don’t feel the same need to collect numerous copies. That paper back copy of Eragon is worth so much to me, it has such a personal tie to who I am, and how I got started writing, that it holds so much more value than numerous copies. I don’t have that same drive of needing to collect like I do other books.
I love collecting numerous copies, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t feel that way with these books. These books came out as I was figuring out who I was, what I wanted to write. I guess I kind of consider them steppingstones of my journey in becoming a writer. I would be wrecked if anything ever happened to that book, and I hope nothing ever does.

img_8978I’ve said it for years, that when I publish my first book, I’m planning on dedicating it as such –

To JK Rowling who taught me to love reading, and to Christopher Paolini who taught me I could write.

I feel like I can’t appropriately explain the emotional connection I feel to and for this book, but I’d run back into a burning building for it.

Maybe one day I’ll get to meet Christopher again, and maybe I won’t lose my shit, and maybe I’ll be able to form words and tell him how much his book means to me. I can only hope I get that chance, but until then, I’ll just have to show y’all my collection and anxiously anticipate his upcoming releases.

I also want to note that I have a partial eARC of his upcoming book To Sleep In A Sea of Stars and it’s fantastic and waiting until September for the rest of the book may kill me. It’s the Science Fiction book I didn’t know I needed, and it feels like some of my favorite SF shows – but I won’t go into too much detail, since I’ll have a mini review going up later this week.

Now that I’ve talked way longer than I thought I would, let’s take a look at what is probably my smallest collection of books on my shelf.

img_8970

Pictured (top to bottom): US PB Eragon, US HC Eragon, US HC Eldest, US HC Brisingr, US HC Inheritance

My 5 book collection of Christopher Paolini books. Years ago a friend managed to find me hardcover copies of Eragon and Eldest as I wanted a hardcover set, and had my OG paperback copy, and the newer paperback copy of Eldest. She some how managed to find two copies that weren’t completely beat to hell, or weirdly very expensive. So now I have a matching hardcover set, and my prized, tattered paperback, and I love them so much.

Links: Eragon / Eldest / Brisingr / Inheritance 

tsiasosAs I stated early in the post, I also have an eARC of his upcoming book- To Sleep In A Sea of Stars and so far it’s amazing. It’s only a partial ARC, but what I’ve read has been so good.

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

If you haven’t already, you should check out the Inheritance Cycle, and come September, check out To Sleep In A Sea of Stars. All of these books should be on you radar.

Book Review: The King’s 100

the kings 100Title: The King’s 100

Author: Karin Biggs

Pub. Date: July 21, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Sixteen-year-old Piper Parish, princess of the loveless, STEM-only kingdom of Capalon, is a disappointment to her citizens and to her older sister, the queen. When Piper receives an anonymous note stating her mother is still alive and living in the enemy kingdom of Mondaria, Piper chooses to risk death in effort to prove once and for all that she’s not just the queen’s defective little sister. With the companionship of Chip, a piece of tech embedded in her wrist, Piper flees Capalon and enters a world where love and emotional expression are unrestricted.

Posing as a singer for the enemy king’s court of performers, the King’s 100, Piper risks death if she is revealed to be the Capalon princess, but discovers that living a life without the freedom to love might actually be the most dangerous risk of all.

The King’s 100 is a glittering sci-fi love story woven among the camaraderie singers, drummers and magicians by debut author, Karin Biggs.


This will be a spoiler free review and thanks NetGalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I hadn’t heard of this book prior to seeing it on NetGalley. I liked the cover, it sounded interesting, so I downloaded it. I stayed up all night reading it and didn’t go to bed until after 6:30AM…time means absolutely nothing anymore and my sleep schedule is royally fucked.

If you like books like, The Jewel Thief by Amy Ewing, Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch, The

Selection Series by Keira Cass, or even The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld, you’re probably going to enjoy this book.

World-wise, I was really reminded of the Uglies world, but plot wise, it felt similar to The Jewel Thief, Perfected and the Selection books. Ultimately, The King’s 100 was just an enjoyable, quick read and once you start it, you don’t want to put it down.

I do think it was a little rushed, and I do hope that there is a book 2, because I have questions and it doesn’t feel like the story is over. It feels like it’s just getting started, and if that’s the case, I want more. I want more Piper, I want more Ari, I want more of all their friends and the court. I want more of the court intrigue, I just want more.

I liked the mash of sci-fi, with fantasy and this sort of modern day feel. It was wholly relatable (on a world level) while still feeling fantastical. Kind of like the kingdoms that are the settings for a lot of the newer Barbie movies – random comparison, I know, and if you’ve seen some of the newer ones, then you know. Don’t, judge, those movies are feel good.

I really loved how Piper and Ari’s relationship progressed. It was cute going from their meet cute to then follow them on their journey. I loved how realistic it felt, while they both tried to navigate their feelings and what they thought. We see a lot of internal struggle from Piper, who, based on where and how she was raised, has to learn to deal with and accept these new feelings. I also really loved, how ‘fish out of water’ Piper felt in Capalon but was just as equally out of place in Mondaria. I really enjoyed watching her navigate and figure things out, and along the way, start to realize who she is, and what she wants in life.

If you’re looking for a quick, enjoyable, cute romance read, with a fantastical sci-fi setting, full of glittering gowns, music and magic, you’re going to want to check this book out when it comes out in July!

Book Review: Of Silver and Shadow

of silver and shadowTitle: Of Silver and Shadow

Author: Jennifer Gruenke

Pub. Date: February 16, 2021

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.


This will be a spoiler free review and thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I almost didn’t read this.

At least, I almost didn’t read it this month. I’m so glad that I did. I mean, I’m also really annoyed because this book was so good, and now I have to sit on it for months, without any idea if there is a book 2. I really want there to be a book 2. I need a book 2. I need more of these characters, this plot, this world. I still have so many questions and if I’m being really honest, I really just want more Darek.

Y’all, I got major Anya and Dimitri vibes from Ren and Darek. So, if you’re a fan of Anastasia, you might want to check out this book when it comes out next year.

Freaking Darek.

Swoon.

Y’all, I have no idea why I love him so much, but I do and freaking hell, why can’t fictional characters be real.

Don’t answer that.

I also almost didn’t read this book because 1) the date got pushed, which led to 2) the lack of drive to read it. But dammit, I made my schedule, I’m going to stick with it. So, I sat down and opened the book.

To be honest, the book didn’t entirely grab me from the beginning. I felt that the writing style was a little stiff and a little repetitive. I kind of feared that this was going to be too similar to Diamond City – which I read earlier this year and didn’t love.

Then I couldn’t put the book down, and I think I stayed up until 5:30 reading, and I got the ending and I wanted to scream, because omfg the book is so good and the characters, and the world, and the story, and just everything. I still don’t really know how to put into words how I feel, but I can tell you that I haven’t stopped thinking about this dang book for 2.5 days and I just want more. I really want there to be more. I could easily read, 2 maybe 3 more books in this world. And speaking of more books, that’s my only complaint with this book. I felt like it could have been 2. While the book was fantastic, and I will be recommending it to everyone, a lot happens, and I wish Ren and Darek’s rivals to lovers’ relationship had been a little more ‘slow burn’. I just wanted more time in this world and with the characters and this book just felt a tad rushed.

I loved Ren, Darek, Adley and the other key players. I think if you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir, you’re going to enjoy the cast of characters in this book. Ren is very much out for herself, the world cast her aside, so she casts it aside. Besides her best friend and another friend’s dream she took upon herself, she’s selfish, egotistical, rude, snarky and full of scathing remarks. She’s really good at what she does, and staying under the radar, until she meets Darek and his brother. They turn her life upside down and do nothing but cause her problems.

Darek and his brother have a plan, it’s daring, bold and just about downright suicidal, and they need Ren. She’s an unwilling participant right to the end of the book, with outside needs driving her participation, not the goodness of her heart.

Darek can’t stand Ren and finds her reckless attitude aggravating and her lack of care for the kingdom she lives in infuriating. They’re both full of heated attitude and their quiet appraisal of each other is so fun to read. I’m always down for a rivals to lovers storyline.

Whenever I think of a scene that captures their relationship, it’s this –

1997 gifs Page 5 | WiffleGif

fox animation | Tumblr

Like I said, such Anya and Dimitri vibes.

I loved this book and I really hope that there is more to this world, more for these characters. This book is a whole story, with enough left open to feed into more books, so I need y’all to preorder and buy this book, read it, review it and promote it, so we can get more Darek and Ren. I need more Darek.

Seriously.

I need more.

Unfortunately, Of Silver and Shadow’s release has been pushed back until 2021, but put it on your TBRs, have it on your radar. You aren’t going to want to miss this book when it finally does hit shelves. I doubt I’m going to stop thinking about it anytime soon. I’m so glad that my wariness and slight apprehension proved to be completely wrong, and that I read this book. Easily a new favorite, and if you give it a chance, it might be yours too!

Giveaway Reminder!

This is just a little impromptu post reminding you all about the Giveaway I’m hosting with Sammy over at Lady and Star.

Giveaway Qalo Ring Sticker by QALO for iOS & Android | GIPHY

You can check out my original post

here

and all other pertinent information is listed in detail in the original post!

These bags are completely stuffed – I needed help taping the boxes shut. So many books, plus box box sway and con swag…I’m honestly amazed it all fits.

Sammy and I want YOU to win, so make sure you go click through to the post and enter! Also make sure to do the FIVE MANDATORY tasks in the Rafflecopter.

And please share this giveaway with anyone you think might be interested!

Good Luck!!