Sunday, January 23, 2022

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | January 23

I hope you all had an excellent weekend! I'm getting this post out pretty late in the weekend, but I'm trying to stay on top of my updates this year.

Are any of you watching The Book of Boba Fett? It's so good. I'm so excited for what's to come. If you are watching, you know what I'm talking about.


Posted Last Week


A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange


Book Review | A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw
⭐⭐💫★★

2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To

On My Wishlist | Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham

Book Review | The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange ⭐⭐⭐⭐★


Finished Reading


Mine by Delilah S. Dawson Unsouled by Will Wight Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder

Mine by Delilah S. Dawson ⭐⭐★★★ - This was not a favorite. I will have a review out either this week or next.

Unsouled by Will Wight ⭐⭐⭐★★ - I'm so happy to finally be reading this series.

Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder ⭐⭐⭐★★ - This is a collection of horror poetry. I probably won't post a review since it's hard enough to review poetry - a "good" 3⭐ poetry review is even tougher.


Currently Reading


Soulsmith by Will Wight Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule

Soulsmith by Will Wight - I'm continuing on with Will Wight's Cradle series. This is book two.

Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule - I started reading this last summer, and I guess I lost interest. I've started over. It's not really pulling me in, but I want to catch up with the rest of the High Republic books.


Added to the TBR


Strange Nests by Jessica McHugh

Strange Nests by Jessica McHugh - I loved her collection A Complex Accident of Life last year.



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

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Book Review | The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange

The Ghost of Midnight Lake is a middle grade horror-adjacent mystery novel by Lucy Strange.

The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange

From award winning author Lucy Strange comes a thrilling ghost story about a strong willed heroine who will follow even the most restless spirit in order to untangles the dark mystery of her own past.

It's 1899. The Earl of Gosswater has died, and twelve-year-old Agatha has been cast out of her ancestral home - the only home she has ever known - by her cruel cousin, Clarence. In a tiny tumbledown cottage, she struggles to adjust to her new life and the stranger who claims to be her real father. While adjusting to her new fate, she learns that the shores of Gosswater lake are haunted, and soon comes face to face with the spirit of another young girl who's soul will not rest. Could the ghost of Gosswater hold the key to Aggie's true identity?
I'm pretty sure I read The Ghost of Midnight Lake just because of that cover! Thankfully The Ghost of Midnight Lake was so much deeper than my reason for picking it up in the first place.⁠

Despite having such a lovely print copy, I decided to listen to this one on audio. It's narrated by the author, and I think this added an additional layer to an already wonderful book.

The Ghost of Midnight Lake opens up with Agatha finding out her parents who have passed away are not her biological parents, and she must uproot and go live with her "real father".

The Ghost of Midnight Lake is full of mystery, friendship, family, and villians.

This is the first book by Lucy Strange that I've read. I realized after finishing this that she's the same author who just released Sisters of the Lost Marsh as well. I look forward to reading more by Strange in the future.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★
4/5 stars

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

On My Wishlist | Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham

Have you read anything by Daniel Abraham? I haven't read any of his previously series (including The Expanse which he co-authored as James S.A. Corey). I'm super curious about his upcoming release Age of Ash. Let me know if you've read it or plan on reading it! It's the first book in a new series Kithamar, and a lot fantasy reviewers are saying great things so far.

Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham

From New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author Daniel Abraham, co-author of The Expanse , comes a monumental epic fantasy trilogy that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year, where every story matters, and the fate of the city is woven from them all.

Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold.

This is Alys's.

When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why.  But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives. 

Swept up in an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.

Did you add anything to your wishlist this week?



This post is being shared as part of Can't-Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Heartbreak Bay by Rachel Caine Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

Heartbreak Bay by Rachel Caine

Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall

The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne


Long Lost by Jacqueline West Survive the Night by Riley Sager The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Long Lost by Jacqueline West

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix


Billy Summers by Stephen King My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones The Hidden by Melanie Golding

Billy Summers by Stephen King

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

The Hidden by Melanie Golding

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Monday, January 17, 2022

Book Review | A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Source: personal purchase. This is a review of my reading experience.

A History of Wild Places is a horror-adjacent mystery novel by Shea Ernshaw.

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called "Pastoral," this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it… he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.
I've never read any of Shea Ernshaw's YA books, but I was really excited to check out her adult debut. It sounded very twisty and unique, and I was ready to take what I thought would be a pretty trippy ride.

In the end, I did wind up liking A History of Wild Places, but it was a struggle to get there. The book is broken up into four parts. The first part follows Travis - a private investigator of sorts - starting out on his journey to find a missing woman. These 50 pages are all told through Travis' first person perspective. It took me a while to get use to a literary first person adult narrative, but by the end of those 50 pages I was hooked and ready.

This is where my first big issue came in. Part two switches everything. Suddenly the reader is following three different characters (all still in first person narrative) who are living with this strange cult in the woods. I had to reorient myself all over again. I spent most of A History of Wild Places trying to decide whether to DNF or not.

This book obviously worked a lot better for other reviewers than it did for me. Even though I struggled pretty hard with it, the concept is unique enough that I recommend you try it out for yourself if you've been interested in reading it.

⭐⭐💫★★
2.5/5 stars

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | January 16

Do you get to have a long weekend this weekend? My kids had a half-day on Friday and have Monday off so it's nice to have a long break (even though we just returned from the holidays).

This was a great reading week for me - my first 5⭐ of the year! Have you landed on a 5⭐ read yet? If so, let me know what you read!


Posted Last Week


The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes Ophie's Ghosts by Justina Ireland


Book Review | The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
⭐⭐⭐💫★

Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection

On My Wishlist | Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Book Review | Ophie's Ghosts by ⭐⭐⭐⭐★


Finished Reading


The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - I really enjoyed this one. I wound up listening to the audiobook which was narrated by the author.

Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I loved this one! I will have some thoughts out some for each of these.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney ⭐⭐⭐💫★ - I enjoyed this one, but it was a little frustrating, too.


Currently Reading


Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder Unsouled by Will Wight

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire - I'm taking my sweet time with this one. I think I'm a little nervous!

Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder - This is OK so far. Nothing is really jumping out at me yet, but I'm enjoying it.

Unsouled by Will Wight - I started listening to this last night, and I'm really enjoying it. I've heard so many great things about this series, and it sounds like every book just gets better than the last.



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

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Book Review | Ophie's Ghosts by Justina Ireland

Source: preordered purchase. This is a review of my reading experience.

Ophie's Ghosts is a middle grade horror/mystery by Justina Ireland.

Ophie's Ghosts by Justina Ireland

The New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation makes her middle grade debut with a sweeping tale of the ghosts of our past that won't stay buried, starring an unforgettable girl named Ophie.

Ophelia Harrison used to live in a small house in the Georgia countryside. But that was before the night in November 1922, and the cruel act that took her home and her father from her. Which was the same night that Ophie learned she can see ghosts.

Now Ophie and her mother are living in Pittsburgh with relatives they barely know. In the hopes of earning enough money to get their own place, Mama has gotten Ophie a job as a maid in the same old manor house where she works.

Daffodil Manor, like the wealthy Caruthers family who owns it, is haunted by memories and prejudices of the past--and, as Ophie discovers, ghosts as well. Ghosts who have their own loves and hatreds and desires, ghosts who have wronged others and ghosts who have themselves been wronged. And as Ophie forms a friendship with one spirit whose life ended suddenly and unjustly, she wonders if she might be able to help--even as she comes to realize that Daffodil Manor may hold more secrets than she bargained for.

Yes! Ophie's Ghosts is an Odd Thomas type of book for kids!

The night Ophie's father is killed is the first night Ophelia Harrison sees ghosts. Her father wakes her to insist she and her mother hide just before their home is burned down. Ophie and her mother then move to Pittsburgh to work in Daffodil Manor.

Ophie can see and communicate with spirits. Her relatives warn her against communicating with haints, but she wants to help the ghosts around her.

I really like Justina Ireland's writing. I enjoyed her YA duology Dread Nation and Deathless Divide, and I was excited she wrote a middle grade novel. I was not disappointed! 

I loved Ophie, and I would love to read more Ophie books in the future. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐★
4/5 stars

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

On My Wishlist | Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes is one of my most anticipated reads. I love a mix of science fiction and horror. I can't wait to finally read this one next month!

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn't yet ended.

A GHOST SHIP.
A SALVAGE CREW.
UNSPEAKABLE HORRORS.


Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed—made obsolete—when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.

What they find at the other end of the signal is a shock: the Aurora, a famous luxury space-liner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick trip through the Aurora reveals something isn’t right.

Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Words scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold onto her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora, before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.

Will you be reading Dead Silence this year? 


Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid Piranesi by Susanna Clarke The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray


The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder Monstrum Poetica by Jezzy Wolfe A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder

Monstrum Poetica by Jezzy Wolfe

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw


Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Monday, January 10, 2022

Book Review | The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Warning: Lackluster review ahead. Proceed with caution.
Source: personal purchase. This is a review of my reading experience.

The Way of Kings is the first book in The Stormlight Archives series by Brandon Sanderson.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan's motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

I'm finally hooked on The Stormlight Archives, but this book was a struggle. I tried reading this back in 2011, I think, but I wasn't ready for it. The learning curve was too steep for me, and I had no reason to have faith in Brandon Sanderson at the time.

There's a reason no one can really explain what this book is about. It's a book of world building and character introduction. It's Sanderson so it has plenty of brilliant moments. I love all of those moments so much and I'm excited to continue on with this series, but The Way of Kings can't stand on its own, and it took me an entire year to get through it.

But like I said, it's Sanderson. I have fallen in love with these characters and the magic system, and I also have 100% faith that this series is going to be incredible.

If you haven't read Sanderson, I honestly wouldn't start here unless you are used to reading epic fantasy with a steeper learning curve. I'd start with the first Mistborn trilogy and go from there. That's not to say I don't recommend The Way of Kings because I do recommend it. It's not as accessible as his other works, but I know it will be worth the effort.

⭐⭐⭐💫★
3.5/5 stars

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | January 8

Happy weekend to you! This week the kids returned to school, and I returned back to work. Returning after the holidays gets harder every year. 😆 

I hope your reading year began with something amazing. Are you trying to do anything different this year with your reading? For me I'm hoping to quit putting off books I really want to read.


Posted Last Week


A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera

Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the First Half of 2022

On My Wishlist | A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

Book Review | Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera ⭐⭐⭐⭐★


Finished Reading


A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw Ophie's Ghosts by Justina Ireland

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw ⭐⭐⭐★★ - I think I'm going to wind up landing on 2.5 or 3 stars. I'm still mulling this one over. I can't decide how I feel about it.

Ophie's Ghosts by Justina Ireland ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - I loved this! It was like an Odd Thomas type of book for kids.


Currently Reading


Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange by

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire - I've started reading the latest Wayward Children book. I'm loving it and nervous all at the same time. Seanan McGuire is going to break my heart, I just know it.

The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange - I'm also really enjoying The Ghost of Midnight Lake. There's a lot to this middle grade novel, and I'm loving it.


Added to the TBR


Monstrum Poetica by Jezzy Wolfe Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder Where the Drowned Girls Go by eanan McGuire

Monstrum Poetica by Jezzy Wolfe and Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder are horror poetry collections that I am really looking forward to reading this month.

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire - The latest Wayward Children novella. I started this one right away.


The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray

The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown - I received my preorder of The Girl in the Lake. I'm looking forward to reading this new middle grade horror release from India Hill Brown.

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter - I have an audio copy of The Rage of Dragons, but I couldn't resist getting a print copy after releasing picking up the sequel to this one.

The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray - I came across an early edition of this at Barnes & Noble this week so I grabbed it. I love this cover. I haven't read The Rising Storm yet, but I hope to catch up on my Star Wars High Republic soon!



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

Jennifer

Subscribe: rss Follow: twitter goodreads Contact: email

Follow Me on Twitter! RSS Feed Email Me! Friend Me on Goodreads! Follow Me on Instagram!

 
Powered by Blogger