Friday, December 6, 2019

Book Review | The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World is the first book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, and Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

I spent the last month reading this huge novel of epic fantasy. Even though the Wheel of Time series has been on my wishlist for the last almost 20 years, I don't know much about Robert Jordan or the background of this series. I plan to read the Tor.com series of articles (I've read the first few) and listen to the White Tower Pod podcast to gain more insight, but I decided to wait until after writing up my review.

My initial impression with The Eye of the World was it was extremely derivative of The Lord of the Rings. The first or second Tor article said Jordan did this on purpose to evoke the feeling of The Lord of the Rings. For me, it was beyond evoking a feeling. It was pretty much a rip off a LOTR, but I tried not to worry about it too much. The Wheel of Time series is HUGE. It can only be carried by LOTR so far. The amount of material taken from LOTR, however, did distract me heavily. I didn't start connecting with The Eye of the World until I was at least halfway through the book. (And it's 700 pages.)

I'm looking forward to becoming fully invested in the story. There were some great moments in The Eye of the World, but I don't think I'm there yet. I've already ordered book two, though, and I plan to continue with that one this month. I have a lot of hope for the series, and I'm happy to not only finally be reading it but happy to be reading it before the TV series is released, too. It was time!

I'm not recommending the series to anyone yet, but I'm anxious to see where the series goes. I'm also anxious to find out more about Robert Jordan and why he relied so heavily on existing fantasy tropes. If you have any spoiler free resources for The Wheel of Time series, please feel free to share!

⭐⭐⭐★★

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | December 1

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. December! Is anyone else panicking about the books you didn't get a chance to read this year? I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's best of lists this month! I'm going to get crushed by my TBR pile.

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review of the Silo Series by Hugh Howey.

I shared a few books that recently made it onto my wishlist.

I shared my ⭐⭐★★★ thoughts on Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.

Finished Reading



Skyward by Brandon Sanderson ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - So good! How does he do it?!

Currently Reading



I dove straight into Starsight when it arrived, but things were really crazy for my family throughout Thanksgiving and my concentration for reading did not exist. My goal is to finish The Eye of the World this weekend. Then I'll pick Starsight back up!

Recent Acquisitions




2nd and Charles had a Buy 5 Books, Get 5 Free sale for Black Friday. I found six books for me and four for my son. These are my six picks.

The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks
Greenglass House (Greenglass House #1) by Kate Milford
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn
Stepping on the Cracks (Gordy Smith #1) by Mary Downing Hahn

Current Distractions



I loved Frozen II, I did not love Knives Out, and Klaus was cute.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Book Review | Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Sawkill Girls is a YA horror novel by Claire Legrand.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

This is going to be a hard review to write, but I'm determined to review all of the books I finish reading. Sawkill Girls just didn't work for me. It has gotten a lot of love so there is definitely an audience, but I'm not in that population.

There was a lot going on with Sawkill Girls. Instead of being a blend of genres, it felt like it meandered from one to the next. It was a very long read for me, but a lot of reviewers I trust dug it so it might still be a good fit for you. The writing within the story was great. I would be willing to read another horror novel from Legrand. I just didn't mesh well with this one.

⭐⭐★★★

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

On My Wishlist {24}

On My Wishlist is where I share a few books that have recently made it onto my wishlist. These are the books that have recently caught my eye:

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor Books



A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he's given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

This queer fantasy romance needs to be on my shelf next year.



Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel #1) by Josiah Bancroft
Published January 16th 2018 by Orbit



The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

I keep thinking I need to read this series. Have you read it?



The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Expected publication: May 19th 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press



Peter Straub’s Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

I already have my preorder in for this one. I cannot wait!!



Are you planning to read any of these new or upcoming releases? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Series Review | The Silo Series by Hugh Howey

The Silo series is a dystopian/science fiction series by Hugh Howey.

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) by Hugh Howey

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) by Hugh Howey

For suspense-filled, post-apocalyptic thrillers, Wool is more than a self-published ebook phenomenon―it’s the new standard in classic science fiction.

In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.
Back in 2014, I read Wool and loved it. You can read my review here! I tried to read Shift (book 2) not too long after, and it just didn't hook me. After Tracy fell in love with Wool last year, I was anxious to try again. Tracy and I buddy read the last two books in the trilogy, and I'm so glad we did!

Shift (Silo #2) by Hugh Howey

Shift (Silo #2) by Hugh Howey

In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened.
Shift is quite a different read from Wool. Where Wool feels very much like a dystopian novel, Shift is more of a thriller. The characters are different and the tone is different, but it's very good.

Shift does eventually converge with the characters and happenings of Wool, but it requires a little patience and faith going into it. Shift is where we learn how everyone ended up living in the silos and who's really "in charge". I was excited to read more, and I knew I wouldn't wait so long to read the final installment in the trilogy.

Dust (Silo #3) by Hugh Howey

Dust (Silo #3) by Hugh Howey

In a time when secrets and lies were the foundations of life, someone has discovered the truth. And they are going to tell.

Jules knows what her predecessors created. She knows they are the reason life has to be lived in this way.

And she won't stand for it.

But Jules no longer has supporters. And there is far more to fear than the toxic world beyond her walls.

A poison is growing from within Silo 18.

One that cannot be stopped.

Unless Silo 1 step in.
The folks who told me I should try again to read Shift because it was worth it to finish out the rest of the series were right! Dust brings us back around to the characters and happenings that were taking place in Wool while still maintaining the thrills and characters from Shift. There is a lot happening! And there were a lot of revelations I was not expecting. I very much enjoy the way Hugh Howey writes. The only reason I'm giving Dust 4 stars instead of 5 stars is because you absolutely have to read Wool and Shift to understand what you are reading in Dust. The overall series as a whole, though, gets 5 stars from me.

Silo Series: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | November 24

I am officially on Thanksgiving vacation this week! I plan to put up the Christmas tree, read, read, read, host Thanksgiving, work on the blog, and shop (online, totally online)!

New blog alert! My twitter friend Amanda Rock is now blogging at Amanda Reads Horror so be sure to check that out.

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐★★ review of Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn.

Do you have any favorite Mary Downing Hahn books? I'm looking to read more books by her.

I shared a few books that recently made it onto my wishlist.

I shared my ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ thoughts on Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

Finished Reading


Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma

Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I loved this! Thank you Tammy for putting this on my radar!!

Currently Reading


A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs Skyward by Brandon Sanderson The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

I read the first novella (The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky) in A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs. I'm hoping to read the second novella before my vacation week is up!

I started reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson this morning and OH MY GOD. By the end of the prologue I was declaring this one a favorite (and I don't even like prologues!). I don't want to do a THING today but read this book.

I'm still reading The Eye of the World with a small group on Instagram. I'm just about to the halfway point, and I'm starting to enjoy it a lot more. (I've been enjoying it but it has been soooo derivative of LOTR so far so it's been hard to connect with it.)

Recent Acquisitions


The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

I have the best of friends!! Toni sent me a package with the following four books. I can't wait to read them all!! The finished copy of Monster, She Wrote has a really lovely reference to Ladies of Horror Fiction. ❤️

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters
Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering
Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton
Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Book Review | Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca is a gothic classic by Daphne du Maurier.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.
I read Rebecca last year as part of the first Ladies of Horror Fiction readalong. It was so good and so fun to read it along with the community. I joined a brand new (in person) book club a couple of months ago, and the first book they voted on to read last month was Rebecca! I'm taking that as a very good sign.

It was really great to revisit Rebecca all over again (even though it had only been a year!) I really love Daphne du Maurier's writing. I enjoyed the characters even more this time around since I already knew who was a nitwit and what decisions everyone would make. Their transformations were easier to see this time around, and I just really enjoyed it.

Rebecca is a beautiful book. There's mystery and suspense and surprises, and I highly recommend it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

On My Wishlist {23}

On My Wishlist is where I share a few books that have recently made it onto my wishlist. These are the books that have recently caught my eye:

Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4) by Rachel Caine
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Thomas & Mercer



She’s investigating a cold case no one else could—by going places no else would dare.

In spite of a harrowing past still haunting her, Gwen Proctor is trying to move forward. Until a new assignment gives her purpose: the cold-case disappearance of a young man in Tennessee. Three years missing, no clues. Just Ruth Landry, a tortured mother in limbo. Gwen understands what it’s like to worry about your children.

Gwen’s investigation unearths new suspects…and victims. As she follows each sinister lead, the implications of the mystery grow more disturbing. Because the closer Gwen gets, the closer she is to a threat that looms back home.

In a town that’s closed its ranks against Gwen; her partner, Sam; and her kids, there’s no bolder enemy than the Belldene family—paramilitary, criminal, powerful, and vengeful. As personal vendettas collide with Gwen’s investigation, she’s prepared to fight both battles. But is she prepared for the toll it could take on everyone she loves?

It's probably super obvious that I'm waiting for this one. I love this series, and I'm anxious to read the new one!!



The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
Expected publication: March 24th 2020 by Knopf Publishing Group



From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on an island in British Columbia. Jonathan Alkaitis works in finance and owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it's the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent's half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: "Why don't you swallow broken glass." Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship. Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of northern Vancouver Island, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.

I'm really curious about this one. I will probably wait to see how the reviews fall before taking the plunge.



Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Henry Holt and Co.



Liv Fleming's father went missing more than two years ago, not long after he claimed to have been abducted by aliens. Liv has long accepted that he's dead, though that doesn't mean she has given up their traditions. Every Sunday, she and her lifelong friend Doug Monk trudge through the woods to check the traps Lee left behind, traps he set to catch the aliens he so desperately believed were after him.

But Liv is done with childhood fantasies. Done pretending she believes her father's absurd theories. Done going through the motions for Doug's sake. However, on the very day she chooses to destroy the traps, she discovers in one of them a creature so inhuman it can only be one thing. In that moment, she's faced with a painful realization: her dad was telling the truth. And no one believed him.

Now, she and Doug have a choice to make. They can turn the alien over to the authorities...or they can take matters into their own hands.

This YA horror is also being billed as science fiction. Yeeesss! I need this in my life.



Are you planning to read any of these upcoming releases? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Book Review | Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

Deep and Dark and Dangerous is a middle grade horror book by Mary Downing Hahn.

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

A family secret is at the root of Mary Downing Hahn's story of supernatural events in Maine. Ali, 13, is eager to spend her vacation with Aunt Dulcie, helping to care for her little niece, Emma, in the lake house where Dulcie and Claire, Ali's mother, spent summers. Claire, who is phobic about water, is dead set against her going but is forced to agree. The vacation by the lake turns unpleasant when Ali and Emma meet a mean, spiteful kid named Sissy. Emma idolizes and imitates Sissy, becoming bratty and hostile and accepting Sissy's dangerous dares.

Sissy keeps talking about Teresa, a girl who drowned under mysterious circumstances when Claire and Dulcie were kids. At first Ali thinks Sissy is just trying to scare her with a ghost story, but soon she discovers the real reason why Sissy is so angry: she is the ghost of Teresa and blames Claire and Dulcie for her death.

What a perfect book to read on the heels of reading Violet by Scott Thomas {review}! This book could have easily been his inspiration behind writing Violet.

Deep and Dark and Dangerous is a middle grade ghost story. I really enjoyed the ghosty bits of this one. It's a great book for young horror lovers. I would have loved it back in my Lois Duncan days!

Unfortunately, the characters didn't always work well for me. The main character is Ali, and she often flipped from being mature to acting like a young child. This is probably true to life, but I think middle grade readers would appreciate spending time with her more than I did. I didn't find the 6 year old character to be very realistic either, but I'm not exactly the intended audience.

If you are looking for a spooky story set on the lake, Deep and Dark and Dangerous is a quick (and younger) ghostly tale.

⭐⭐⭐★★

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | November 17

Thank you to everyone who responded regarding your FTC statements on your reviews. I was thinking of writing up a post for those who had questions, but the FTC has a pretty good write out of the guidelines and FAQs here if anyone wants to go over them: The FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking

I'm having a mid month panic because I haven't really finished reading anything this month. November was going to be a no review copy, all personal reads month and it's been super light so far! (I'm also in Thanksgiving panic mode since I host my family, and my house is so not ready for inspection.)

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ review of Little Paranoias by Sonora Taylor.

I shared a few books that recently made it onto my wishlist.

I shared my ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ thoughts on the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull.

Finished Reading


The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve ⭐⭐⭐★★ - I discovered this middle grade horror while discussing Native American authors with the Ladies of Horror Fiction team. I had to have it! I'll post more thoughts on it soon.

Currently Reading


Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

I'm just over halfway through Ormeshadow, and there is so much to love so far. I know I'm going to want more when it ends.

I think I'm only one day behind in my own readalong of The Eye of the World. It's going well, though. I'm determined to stay the course! It's huge and very fantasy.

Recent Acquisitions


H.P. Lovecraft, the Complete Omnibus Collection, Volume I: 1917-1926 by H.P. Lovecraft, Finn J.D. John A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher Poetry Magazine November 2019

H.P. Lovecraft, the Complete Omnibus Collection, Volume I: 1917-1926 by H.P. Lovecraft, Finn J.D. John - These omnibuses are huge. What a nice way to fill in any Lovecraft holes. I will need to get volume II as well.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher - I've been on the fence with this one, but Bark's review convinced me I needed it.

I also received my November edition of Poetry Magazine.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Book Reviews | Fablehaven #1-5 by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven is a middle grade fantasy series from Brandon Mull.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull




For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.

Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken -- Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good -- powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most.

Not only is my 10 year old now reading from my bookshelves, he's selecting books I haven't read yet. I admit to being jealous when he started reading Fablehaven. During this first book, he thought the series was one step below Harry Potter, but it managed to surpass Harry Potter in the second book. After finishing book two, he made a comment about how badly he wanted me to read this series so I threw my TBR out of the window. Sorry commitments, I'll come back to you some day!

I have my doubts that Fablehaven will surpass Harry Potter for me, but it is a great series! I really loved this first book, and I'm excited by how much my son loves reading fantasy. He has an amazing year of reading ahead of him.

Fablehaven is a sanctuary for mystical creatures. That sounds lovely and all, but mystical creatures are arrogant and dangerous. The main characters in Fablehaven discover their grandparents are the caretakers of Fablehaven, and a lot of adventure ensues. I can't wait to see what happens in the rest of the series. It's a middle grade book, and while it's magical and adventurous, it goes to some really dark places, too. I highly recommend this one to middle grade fantasy fans. If you don't read middle grade (I'm sorry to hear that), this is a great series to gift a young reader who does.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull




At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother Seth find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures.

Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists -- a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper -- to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power.

Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world.

Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble?
Why is this not a movie series?

I'm really enjoying the Fablehaven series. It is just the pick me up I've been needing lately, and I'm having a blast reading this series with my son.

The creatures and the action and the roles of the main characters really kicked into gear in this second installment. I love that the main characters are brother and sister. Brandon Mull writes kids so well.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull




Very strange things are afoot at Fablehaven. Someone or something has released a plague that transforms beings of light into creatures of darkness. Seth discovers the problem early, but as the infectious disease spreads, it becomes clear that the preserves cannot hold out for long. In dire need of help, the Sorensons question where to turn. The Sphinx has always given sound advice - but is he a traitor? Inside the Quiet Box, Vanessa might have information that could lead to a cure - but can she be trusted?

Meanwhile, Kendra and members of the Knights of the Dawn must journey to a distant preserve and retrieve another hidden artifact.

Will the Society of the Evening Star recover it first? Will the plague eclipse all light at Fablehaven?

Grip of the Shadow Plague took a turn toward the darkness! A shadow plague is taking over Fablehaven and turning the light creatures into dark creatures. YES! Only it wasn't dark enough for my sick and twisted soul. Give me all of the darkness!

I'm still really enjoying this series. The kids are evolving and becoming much more independent characters. I'm a little sad by this because I enjoyed the presence of their grandparents in this series. Parents always disappear in MG/YA books. I understand why, but I would like to see more books where the parents are present.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next one. We get dragons!

⭐⭐⭐⭐★



Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull




Brace yourself for a shocking secret.

Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton’s Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap — a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth?

The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next?

Book 4 of the Fablehaven series was a fun one to buddy read with my son! The title is Secrets of the Dragon Santuary and there were secrets alright. I was happy this one started out with the grandparents being back in the picture. As per usual, though, Seth and Kendra are off to save the world (or at least Fablehaven). There was some interesting world building and magic in this one. You definitely have to suspend some disbelief, but hey, good times.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★



Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull




After centuries of plotting, the Sphinx—leader of the Society of the Evening Star—is after the final artifacts needed to open the great demon prison, Zzyxx. If the legendary prison is opened, a tide of evil is certain to usurp control of the world.

In an effort to intercept the final artifacts, Kendra, Seth and the Knights of the Dawn race to strange and exotic preserves across the globe. The stakes have never been higher. The risks have never been more deadly.

In this explosive series finale, allegiances will be confirmed and secrets revealed as the forces of light and darkness collide in a desperate, climactic battle to control the keys to the demon prison.

I'm done! It was tough getting through 2,412 pages of a series in a short period of time, but the Fablehaven series was a really solid read. Keys to the Demon Prison is my son's favorite book of all time now. What a successful ending! Kendra and Seth are so grown up, and I may have gotten a little teary at their parents at the end of this one.

There is a sequel series (Dragonwatch). My son has already flown through the first two and is finishing up the third one that was just released this month. I'm choosing to sit that one out, but he's loving it. If you enjoy middle grade fantasy, definitely give this one a chance. Otherwise, gift it to an up and coming reader in your life.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



I really enjoyed getting to read these with my son. Overall, I give the series ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

On My Wishlist {22}

On My Wishlist is where I share a few books that have recently made it onto my wishlist. These are the books that have recently caught my eye:

Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Published May 28th 2019 by Solaris



Chilling story of a lost astronaut on an alien artefact from Arthur C. Clarke award-winning Adrian Tchaikovsky

My name is Gary Rendell. I’m an astronaut. When they asked me as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “astronaut, please!” I dreamed astronaut, I worked astronaut, I studied astronaut.

I got lucky; when a probe sent out to explore the Oort Cloud found a strange alien rock and an international team of scientists was put together to go and look at it, I made the draw.

I got even luckier. When disaster hit and our team was split up, scattered through the endless cold tunnels, I somehow survived.

Now I’m lost, and alone, and scared, and there’s something horrible in here.

Lucky me.

Lucky, lucky, lucky.

After reading Mogsy review of the audio for Walking to Aldebaran, I'm convinced I need it in my life!



Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne
Expected publication: August 25th 2020 by Tor Books



Terminally Ill salvage pilot Ash Jackson lost everything in the war with the alien Vai, but she'll be damned if she loses her future. Her plan: to buy, beg, or lie her way out of corporate indenture and fine a cure.

When her crew salvages a genocidal weapon from a ravaged starship above a dead colony, Ash uncovers a conspiracy of corporate intrigue and betrayal that threatens to turn her into a living weapon.
Tammy featured Architects of Memory in her Future Fiction feature. I really want to check it out!



Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker
Published August 20th 2019 by Henry Holt and Company



Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship.

The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe.

When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.

Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

Is it possible for a book to be too perfect? I want to find out.





Are you planning to read any of these new or upcoming releases? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Book Reviews | Little Paranoias: Stories by Sonora Taylor

Little Paranoias: Stories is a horror collection from Sonora Taylor.



Is it a knock on the door, or a gust of wind? A trick of the light, or someone who’ll see what you’ve done?

“Little Paranoias: Stories” features twenty tales of the little things that drive our deepest fears. It tells the stories of terror and sorrow, lust at the end of the world and death as an unwanted second chance. It dives into the darkest corners of the minds of men, women, and children. It wanders into the forest and touches every corner of the capital. Everyone has something to fear — but after all, it’s those little paranoias that drive our day-to-day.
I've been really excited to check out Little Paranoias. Earlier this year I read Sonora Taylor's novel Without Condition, and I was looking forward to checking out more of her work. (She also published a story on the Ladies of Horror Fiction podcast so be sure to check that out!)

One thing I really loved about this collection was the varying lengths of all of the stories. From flash fiction to poetry to longer stories, it never felt repetitive, and I never got bogged down. I have a hard time sitting down with a collection or an anthology and reading it straight through. I didn't have that trouble at all with Little Paranoias. Each of the stories held on to my attention, and I flew through the collection.

Fall is the best time of year for reading short stories, and Little Paranoias is a solid collection I would recommend putting on your list.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Review copy provided by author

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | November 10

Hola todos. It's blogging day! This is the first weekend I've been home in... I can't remember. After the long, hellish week I just had, I was determined at all cost to be home.

I'm behind in NaNoWriMo, too, but I'm OK with that. I'm learning a lot about how and when I can write in my current environment which is progress.

There was a lot of misinformation being thrown around on twitter yesterday regarding FTC disclosures. I'm curious: what do you say in your reviews when you receive a book for review purposes? I always say "Review copy provided by ______".

The Goodreads Awards are live for voting. There are a lot of women horror/horror adjacent authors on the list this year. That was great to see!


Imyril and Dear Geek Place are hosting SciFi Month this month. I'm hoping to add in a scifi book or two this month.

Finished Reading



The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead [dnf] - This was not my cup of tea. I made 35% and just couldn't go on. It's my book club's current selection so I have major guilt about showing up this week just to say it was an impossible task, but I don't want to use the only time I have reading something I don't like.

Coco by Walt Disney Company ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - It bugs me that "Disney Press" is the author. Every other publisher is able to credit novelizations. Anyhow, I'm trying to strengthen my Spanish listening skills so I bought the Coco novelization on audio. It's really good!

Currently Reading



I'm hosting a readalong of The Eye of the World on Instagram, and it starts tomorrow. I'm so sorry, I should have said something earlier. If anyone wants to jump in, please let me know and I'll get you added to the group. We are reading through the end of the month.

Recent Acquisitions



After falling madly in love with To Be Taught If Fortunate {review}, I bought Becky Chambers' Wayfarers series. And no, my books don't match. I bought the first book from Book Depository, the second book from Amazon, and the third book from 2nd and Charles because it was the most cost effective way to buy them. I'm trying not to let it bother me. :)

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!



This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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