Showing posts from August, 2017

Review: The Invisible Library

Title: The Invisible Library
Author: Genevieve Cogman
Genre: Steampunk, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies - think Doctor Who with librarian spies!
Irene must be at the top of her game or she'll be off the case - permanently...
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.
Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of dan…

Review: City of Stairs

Title: City of Stairs
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Genre: Science fiction, fantasy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:Years ago, the city of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to conquer the world. But after its divine protectors were mysteriously killed, the conqueror has become the conquered; the city's proud history has been erased and censored, progress has left it behind, and it is just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power. Into this musty, backward city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the quiet woman is just another lowly diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, Shara is one of her country's most accomplished spymasters — dispatched to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly harmless historian. As Shara pursues the mystery through the ever-shifting physical and political geography of the city, she begins to suspect that the beings who once protected Bulikov may not be as dead as they seem — and that her own …

ARC review: Mask of Shadows

Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Genre: Fantasy, young adult

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen's personal assassins named for the rings she wears -- Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal -- their world changes. They know it's a chance for a new life.
Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.

The premise sounded so cool (Assassin school! politics! revenge!) and I was really excited about the genderfluid MC, but …

The Reading Quest Update

I was on vacation for about a week, so that's why I haven't posted anything in a little while! Now that I'm back, I wanted to give you all an update on my first week of The Reading Quest.

I ended up shuffling the books that I picked for the Mage, some of them I replaced and some I moved to side quests. I got a bunch of library books off of holds all at once, so I was trying to make most of them count towards the Reading Quest! And as always, I want to try to read more stuff by marginalized authors/about diverse MCs so I might end up shuffling some more if I can find more diverse books to read :)

I also made a spreadsheet to keep track of points:

Definitely spent waaaaaaaaaay too much time picking the perfect fonts for my headers HAHA

So far I've finished two books for side quests and I'm currently reading two more for the Mage. The ones I've finished are The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (which was okay), and The Tiger's Daughter by K.A. Arsenault …

Book vs Adaptation: The Magicians

The Magicians is a pretty irreverent fantasy series: the whole point of it is to be subvert common fantasy tropes, like the idea of a heroic Chosen One and magical boarding schools being joyful experiences. The books are so snarky and subversive, and I wasn't really sure if the TV show would be able to capture that without being grating and annoying.
I can't really say if I like the books better or the TV series better, because they each do some things better than the other. The TV series made the main cast of characters a lot easier to relate to, and the casting was absolutely perfect. I found Quentin a lot more likable in the first season of the show compared to the first book. In the book he is just so broody and directionless and depressed (which is the whole point, but it's still tough to get through a whole book of angsty Quentin). Quentin on the show is all of these things as well, but the faster pace of the show means he grows out of it quicker and it's less pa…

Review: Crooked Kingdom

Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, YA

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets—a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Okay it's been four months since I read this book, so forgive me for the vague review - I don't really remember details anymore :/

I really enjoyed Six of Crows, because I love stories about heists and morally ambi…

Review: Seveneves

Title: Seveneves
Author: Neal Stephenson
Genre: Science fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:What would happen if the world were ending?
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.
But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .
Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait…

Bookish Eats: Soft Pretzels and The Queen of Attolia

In case you haven't been keeping up with me on Goodreads or Twitter, I recently re-read The Queen of Attolia (5 years after I read it initially). The first time, it was rough. I was bored, I was an impatient reader, and I didn't pay attention to the subtleties. I discovered after re-reading Name of the Wind that sometimes when you read a book years later, there's a chance you might like it a lot better! So I decided to re-read The Thief and The Queen of Attolia. Excellent decision, because now I am absolutely in love with the series, and King of Attolia is one of the best books I've read all year (and it's been a great year for books).

So.... what does this have to do with pretzels?

Quite a bit, actually! Like with Queen of Attolia, the first time I made soft pretzels from scratch, I was pretty impatient and didn't pay any attention to the subtleties of pretzel-making. For example, I didn't wait quite long enough for the yeast to make the dough rise, so th…

Review: Stormdancer

Title: Stormdancer
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy, steampunk, YA

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:(read at your own peril, I recommend picking this book up blind!)A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.
The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt,…