Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Worlds I’d Want to/Never Want to Live In

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. You don’t have to do all ten. Instead you can do three, five, fifteen, whatever you want. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

This week’s theme is Bookish Worlds I’d Want to/Never Want to Live In. Continue reading

Review | An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

30969741Title: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published: September 26th, 2017

Average Goodreads rating: 3.66

My rating: 4

Format read: Audio

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life. Continue reading

The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library #4) by Genevieve Cogman

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“Irene made a private mental resolution that if she ever became a queen, her throne would incorporate a cushion. Also a convenient bookcase.”

Here we are again with Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library series. This is the fourth book in the series that I have read and reviewed and Cogman never disappoints. We are once against back with Irene Winters and her friend/coworker/dragon/assistant/whatever Kai. They both work for The Library whose employees go between different worlds and dimensions in search of rare books to bring back and add to their collection. This Library exists between worlds and is only accessible after years of training to become a Librarian.  Continue reading

Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

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“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.” 

I bought Roar back in June when it was first released and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since. The cover is lovely and it was nice to pick it up, look at it, and put it back down from time to time. I even opened it once and made it through the first chapter before I put it back down again. Why was I hesitant about reading it? The book has been billed as a fantasy romance and, well, romance just isn’t up my alley. Finally, last week I was feeling blue and thought a little romance might be just the pick me up I needed so I reached for this book and settled in on the couch with a steaming cup of tea. Continue reading

Book Spotlight – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (Upcoming Release)

I’ve been kicking around post ideas in my head for a while now. For some time all I mostly did were weekly memes with a review thrown in every Friday. It felt stale, boring, and lacked originality. I began trying to come up with different post concepts and this one popped into my head late one evening as I watched Jon Snow do his brooding hero routine on my TV screen.

The idea is to spotlight a new or upcoming release every week. I hope to showcase mostly new/debut authors with this but there will certainly be some favorite or well-known authors thrown in as well. Lets give this a shot and see how it goes, shall we?

Continue reading

Game of Thrones Book Tag

Game of Thrones returned to us last week with their season seven premiere. I know I’m not the only one that got head over heels excited about it. In honor of it’s return I thought I’d do the Game of Thrones Book Tag! I found this over at Thrice Read and it was originally created by Biblionyan.


 

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HOUSE LANNISTER: HEAR ME ROAR – Name a book that you originally loved, but upon a re-read realized that it wasn’t so great after all.

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When I first read Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire over a decade ago I adored it along with the rest of her vampire chronicles. Upon a re-read a few years back, I realize I had outgrown my love of Lestat. While it did make me a little sad, because I really loved Lestat, it makes sense. My taste in books has certainly changed since then and broody vampires and definitely no longer up my alley.

 

 

 

HOUSE STARK: WINTER IS COMING – Name your most anticipated book release for 2017.

Well, 2017 is more than half over at this point but there are still a few books coming out that I’m looking forward to. The one that stands out most to me is Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. This one is set for release tomorrow, July 25th, and I know I’m going to be picking up pretty soon after it is released!

HOUSE TARGARYEN: FIRE AND BLOOD – Name a book that you felt completely slayed with fantastic characters, plot, pacing, etc.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. I enjoyed this book far more than I had expected to. The plot never got dull and most of the characters were fascinating. This book is going to be a favorite of mine for years to come.

HOUSE BARATHEON: OURS IS THE FURY – Name a book that ended with a cliffhanger ending that genuinely pissed you off.

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Don’t even have to think about it, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. While reading this book I had become completely invested in the characters and plot and could feel a really good story coming. Then, just as things start getting good, BAM! end of the book. Pissed me off pretty royally. Felt like the book ended up just being all set up to get people to read the next book in the series. Still makes my blood boil.

 

 

HOUSE MARTELL: UNBOWED. UNBENT. UNBROKEN. – Name a book, or book series, that’s been on your TBR since the dawn of time.

The Return of the King by Tolkien. I have been trying to read that sucker, legitimately, for over a decade. Maybe I’ll manage to finish it at some point before I’m dead. Really starting to doubt it though. The never ending descriptions themselves may kill me before then.

HOUSE BOLTON: OUR BLADES ARE SHARP – Name the most graphic or disturbing book that you’ve ever read.

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24690 by A.A. Dark. This book was seriously messed up. Anyone in the slightest bit squeamish or sensitive should run for the hills if they see this book coming. Rape, cannibalism, violent murders, beheadings…it is pretty disturbing.

 

 

 

 

HOUSE TYRELL: GROWING STRONG – Name a book, or book series, that gets better and better with every re-read.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. I have been in love with these books since I was a small child and re-read them, usually, once a year. Each time I love them more. They are a happy place that reminds me of a care free child hood and hope for the future. Sometimes, we all need reminded of those times.


 

That is it for this Monday. I hope you all have a great week and keep reading!

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Lady Julia Grey Series (1-3) by Deanna Raybourn

 

“To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.”

I have not been shy about shouting my love for Deanna Raybourn’s books. In the past I have read and reviewed her first two Veronica Speedwell mysteries, A Curious Beginning and A Perilous Undertaking, both of which I feel I gave glowing reviews. Recently I have been a terrible book grump. Every story I have picked up I have ended up disliking even though their themes are up my proverbial alley. So, when I snatched Silent in the Grave off the shelf in the library I can honestly say that I wasn’t anticipating finding much joy in it. Especially not enjoying it so much that I end up reading the first three books in the Lady Julia Grey series in one week.

Whoops.

So, that brings us to today’s post. Today I will be discussing, as a whole, the first three books of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series. Honestly, I’m a little hazy on how many books are in this series. When you pull it up on Goodreads it gets into 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 etc. According to Raybourn’s website there are eight books in the series and novellas. Either way, several books, moving on…

Silent in the Grave starts with Lady Julia Grey witnessing her husband collapsing on the floor of their home. He had been ill for some time and Julia had been expecting his death but it was still a shock to her. Julia didn’t expect her husband’s death to be foul play so for the traditional year of morning after his death she was simply the grieving widow and thought nothing more about the circumstances surrounding his passing.

And that is where Lady Grey’s story begins. She along with the investigator Nicholas Brisbane embark on a journey to identify her husband’s killer. I must say that I completely fell in love with the characters in this book. Julia starts off as a shy, wilted thing. A mere shell of her former self. As she continues to investigate her husband’s death a strong and intelligent personality emerges. She is an unconventional woman for her time and she comes to embrace her uniqueness.

There is so much I can say about Silent in the Grave and the next two in the series. All of the characters show such depth. They are well thought out, have a purpose, and each has an unique personality. The mysteries themselves are fabulous. The first book has Julia’s husband’s murder and let me tell you, you will NOT see that ending coming. I never, not once suspected the killer. I reread the big reveal twice to make sure I understood it correctly. Simply amazing.

The next two books are also fantastic. Murder, mayhem, mystery, and a quirky little romance you aren’t sure is actually going anywhere. In the past I have made it abundantly clear that I am not fond of romance in what I read. The romance in these books, however, isn’t stifling. It doesn’t take the main stage in the story and you never feel like it detracts from what is actually going on. The focus is on solving the murders, connecting the dots, and finding hidden clues not on smoochy smoochies in the corner. However, I must admit, the smoochy smoochies are pretty heated.

I will say that the third book, Silent on the Moor, is not as good as the first two. The “who done it” becomes fairly obvious at an early stage which was disappointing. I kept hoping I was wrong. And the cast of characters for that mystery were not nearly as interesting as in the previous two books. It was still a good story, just not as good. I also think that the third one was not as good for me because of the setting. I just couldn’t picture the location in my head which made the story hard to follow.

Through this series and Raybourn’s newer series, the Veronica Speedwell mysteries, the author has quickly become one of my favorites. She writes strong, believable female leads and the stories she comes up with are completely engrossing. If you at all enjoy historical mysteries I would whole heartedly recommend picking up Raybourn’s books. You won’t be disappointed.


 

Read more about these books on Goodreads

Silent in the Grave | Silent in the Sanctuary | Silent on the Moor

 

 

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

I think we have all seen this tag hanging around the bookish sphere the last month or so. Who is late to the party doing it? That would be me. Story of my life. Anyway, TA-DA! Happy slightly-more-than-halfway-through-2017 book tag! Appreciate the second half of the year, folks. We are all going to blink and it is going to be Christmas. Going…too…fast…


Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This book blew me away when I read it back in January. I had picked it up on a whim and continue to be grateful to my freezing winter self for doing so. Schwab quickly became one of my favorite authors after reading this Shades of Magic trilogy.

 

 

 

 


Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

Hands down A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. I loved it so much I read it twice in a week. That takes a lot of affection and dedication for that monstrous book.


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

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Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack. I ordered this one pretty much right after it came out June 13th and it is still sitting on my shelf. I really need to get to it…

 

 

 

 

 


Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. This book will either be amazing or I will mock it mercilessly. There will be no in between, you can just tell.


Biggest disappointment.

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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. People rave so much about this book/series/author. I bet they organize sacrifices to it. With all the wonderful things I heard about it I expected to at least like this book, if not be over the moon for it. I wasn’t. I hated it quite passionately. I’m considering changing my review on Goodreads from two stars to one I hated it so much.

 

 

 


Biggest surprise.

24690 by A. A. Dark. I had not read a horror/thriller/whatever in a long time before I picked up this book. I can’t even really remember what drew me to it but I recall having that I MUST READ THIS BOOK feeling when I first spotted it. 24690 is definitely not for the faint of heart but for me at the time, it really hit the spot.


Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Pierce Brown, hands down. I hadn’t read any of his books, heard about him, nothing before 2017. How did that even happen? I’m so glad I picked up his Red Rising series. He has become one of my favorite authors. Not to mention his snarky, sharp humor on twitter gives me the jollies. Seems like a good guy that writes amazing books.


Newest fictional crush.

Striker from Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell mysteries. Granted, I have been completely obsessed with Raybourn’s books lately but Stoker would be amazing either way. Intelligent, resourceful, a bit prickly, and his roguish eyepatch all together make a fairly irresistible character.


Newest favorite character.

I’ve pondered this one for several minutes while browsing the list of books I’ve read this year and no character is really standing out for me as an overall favorite. There have been several I’ve enjoyed but none jump out enough to be considered a favorite. Hm…


Book that made you cry.

Literal tears? Nothing. The closest I got was a sense of fury when a certain character died in Golden Son by Pierce Brown. So many characters died in that book so I’ll leave you to guess which one.


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

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While I am certainly got a fan of Caraval by Stephanie Garber I can’t deny that the cover for it is absolutely striking. The one I have shown here is the US cover but the UK cover is equally as beautiful.

 

 

 

 


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

Any that strike my fancy? I don’t make a reading list and stick to it, I just read whatever gives me that spark in the moment. I have a nice TBR list on Goodreads and then I end up just picking up something at random. You never know.


Favorite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)

I love browsing through other reading blogs. There are a few that I will typically click on no matter what the topic is but for the most part I’m happy to browse and try to appreciate the wide variety of opinions and reading tastes in the community. Even though I do occasionally roll my eyes…


 

That’s all folks! I hope you have had a great first half of 2017 and feel free to leave a link to your mid-year tag in the comments.