Showing posts from July, 2014

DiverSFFy: More Than This

DiverSFFy is a new (sporadic) feature hosted by yours truly! The goal is to get the word out about books in science fiction and fantasy that do a good job of portraying people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives - be it race, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic levels, etc. I'd love it if you joined in - just link me to your posts in the comments or on twitter (@spidersilksnow)!
This week's pick: More Than This
The Rundown: Title: More Than This Author: Patrick Ness Genre: Science fiction, young adult, dystopian
A full synopsis and my review can be found by clicking here!
So what's so diverse about this book? What I love about this book is that the characters are incredibly diverse but are absolutely not defined by their diverse characteristics. In the first third of the book, there is just one character, Seth. Seth has died, or at least he thinks he has. He wakes up in a strangely familiar place and the last thing he remembers is a suicide attempt. As Seth trie…

Top Ten Tuesday 33 - Authors I Own The Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme:  Ten Authors I own the most books from

This is a strange list for me, because I don't buy a lot of my books anymore. I only buy books I love and plan on rereading, or books by my favorite authors. Even for my favorite series, I mostly only own the first or last books. Most of my completed series are from when I was a kid, so this list isn't really a reflection of my reading tastes anymore. Anyways it's still kind of fun to see the books I grew up reading! In no particular order:
1. J.K. Rowling, 7 books This is a bit of a no-brainer, isn't it? I read and enjoyed the Harry Potter series, and of course I own all the books. The fourth one is my favorite, which is why it's in the worst shape from being read so many times!
2. Christopher Paolini, 4 books
Another series I started reading as a child and kept up with as I grew up. I think I first read Eragon when I was in 4th grade. I thi…

Why I couldn't finish Hild

Title: Hild
Author: Nicola Griffith
Genre: Historical fiction, fantasy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild.
Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.
Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for…

Way of Kings Readalong: Wrap-up

So it's finally over. That was an amazing book! Thank you everyone for joining in and making my first readalong so much fun :)

I have said over and over again that Brandon Sanderson is a storytelling god. This book makes me believe it even more fiercely - it takes a mastermind to create such intricate worlds and piece together so many character and plot threads. He does such a great job of feeding you just enough answers/revelations to keep you happy, but keeps you hanging by dangling all sorts of questions for you to answer. Not to mention the bombshells he throws in at the end...

Having read Mistborn, I really should have been more prepared for disaster and mindblowing moments towards the end of the book. The end was just bombshell after bombshell - some were interesting revelations, and others were shattering.
The bombshells of this week:
1) Navani proves that Dalinar's visions are real, and says his unconscious decoding of an ancient language will help pave the way for mu…

Review: Ruins

Title: Ruins
Author: Dan Wells
Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, young adult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads summary:
Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.
There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.
This was a strong finish to a strong series, but not quite as good as I'd hoped it would be.

There are a few things that stand out to me about this series. The fist is the unflinching descriptions of the science and research behind disease, genetic engineering, an…

Review: The House of Four Winds

Title: The House of the Four Winds
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Genre: fantasy

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.
Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.
Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.
Full of swashbuckling adventure, buoyant magic, and irrepressible charm, The House of the Four Winds is a lighthearted fantasy romp by a pair of bestselling writers.

This book sounded like so much fu…

Way of Kings Readalong: Week 5

It's the final week of the Way of Kings Readalong! This week we are finishing up the book (pages 811-1002).
Dates chapters June 22 – June 28 Finish through Ch12 (page 210) June 29 – July 5 Finish through Ch28 (page 405) July 6 – July 12 Finish through Ch42 (page 600) July 13 – July 19 Finish through Ch57 (page 810) July 20 – July 26 Finish book (page 1002)
Again, you can tweet your thoughts and updates to me @spidersilksnow and use the hashtag #WoKRA. If you're joining late, you can always comment on older posts or link me to your posts whenever you have them up.
What has happened so far (spoilers!):Dalinar:

Dalinar experiences a vision of the Day of Recreance, when all the Radiants abandoned humanity. He is surprised to note that some of the highprinces are darkeyes. In the real world, he convinces Sadeas to join him and surprises everyone with their success.

 Shallan continues to figure out how to use the soulcaster, with no luck. The strange creatures in her drawings begin to a…

Review: Boy, Snow, Bird

Title: Boy, Snow, Bird
Author: Helen Oyeyemi
Genre: historical fiction, magical realism, adult fiction, retelling (very loosely)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary:
In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.
A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.
Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms …

Review: The Blind Assassin

Title: The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: historical fiction, contemporary, adult, (science fiction - only the story-within-the-story)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
"Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge"
More than fifty years on, Iris Chase is remembering Laura's mysterious death. And so begins an extraordinary and compelling story of two sisters and their secrets. Set against a panoramic backdrop of twentieth-century history, The Blind Assassin is an epic tale of memory, intrigue and betrayal...
Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors because her books are always both intelligent and profoundly moving. It's rare that a book that makes you question all sorts of social/economic/ethical questions is also the book that makes you cry because the characters are so heartbreakingly real, but somehow all of Atwood's books are like that. I also love how she portrays women with strength and dignity, but also…