My Current TBR: May 2020

It’s only May 4th and already I’ve read three books! Glow, Monstress Vol. 1, and P.S. I Still Love you. I’ve been killing it already this month and I have so many more amazing books to read.

I’ve only mentioned it once before, but the way I pick my TBR is that I have a book for review and then I have all my personally owned books in a tbr document that I put into a random word picker to get the book I will be reading. This way I’m reading both books I own and my review books at a steady rate. What I appreciate about this system is that having my personal books being randomly picked means I don’t prioritize books I just bought over books that have been on my shelves for ages. Everything gets equal opportunity to be picked.

On to the tbr!

The Grace Year September 17th

Horns 

The Orchid Throne September 24th

Witchmark 

Diamond City Jan 28 2020

Luna new moon

Jack Keri is dead to me April 7th 2020

Pride and Prejudice 

Orchid Unshaken Diana’s release 

1984 

The miseducation of Cameron Post (friend’s Christmas gift to me)

Replica

The Orchid Throne may 26th

Glass sword 

The Fiery Crown Netgalley 

Flame in the mist 

The Lost City Netgalley 

Crazy house

The Morning Flower Netgalley 

All the birds in the sky

It came from the sky Netgalley 

All rights reserved 

Little Creeping things Netgalley 

Me Before You

What I love about this tbr is how mixed it is. From classics to Romance to a lot of fantasy, but also some thrillers and Sci-fi. I love all genres and having them reflect in my tbr as random as it is brings me joy.

I have to say I’m most excited to read Jack Kerouac is Dead to me and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Jack because I love Gae Polishner with all my heart and Post because I can’t wait to discuss it with the friend that got it for me.

As my Netgalley reads come in I add to the list and since I’ve started doing this for my tbr I’ve had so much fun! I don’t know if I’ll get to all of these books in this month, but I can’t wait to see where I end with once May finishes! I’m looking forward to the rest of the month.

I wish you all happy reading in May!

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Monstress Volume 1: A Review

Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: Easiest 5 stars of my life

Cover Rating: 10/10 there is no other rating accepted. The art of the cover and inside this amazing comic is top tear. I’m singing this artwork the highest of praise. It’s GORGEOUS! Perfect! Stunning! GLORIOUS! Sana Takeda is a QUEEN!

Publisher: Image Comics

Publish Date: July 19th, 2016

Number of Pages: 202

Received: My mom bought it on Amazon for me and I read it in one sitting as soon as it came in.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Opening Sentence: “It took three years to find a name.”

Musings:

This comic book was incredible! I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s been a few hours since I read it! It’s beautiful, stunning, gorgeous. It’s everything! The story is dark and gritty and gorgeous. The art is some of the best I’ve ever seen. I LOVED Monstress so much!!!!

What I loved:

The art. I mean.. duh. The art is fabulous. It’s dark and only I scene basically has lighter tones. It’s simply gorgeous. There is not a page that isn’t beautifully drawn and colored it’s just a chefs kiss top quality amazing work of art.

The Latin Influences. I love that the author put her heritage into writing this. The bits of Spanish here and there. The mix of latinex characters in a fictional world is something I live for. I can’t wait to read more and see what other influences pop up.

It’s dark. I love a dark story. This is exceptionally so. When your allies can’t trust you cause you might eat them and not know your doing so at the time it’s real. There is a lot of death. A lot of action. A lot of stakes. It’s really awesome.

Adorable history from a cat professor. This is a cute side thing that pops up every so often and though the history is dark having an adorable cat tell it didn’t fail to make me smile.

Great world building. This story feels massive even though it follows a single girl. The larger history and learning about the various races and kingdoms makes it feel like a billon stories could be written from the world. It’s incredible.

I just want to go jfidoenr wlap. I am fangirling so hard over this story that words don’t even matter. It’s all incomprehensible and straight feeling. It’s awesome!

All in All:

I LOVE THIS COMIC!!! It’s the first I’ve ever physically read and I adored every single second. I’M OBSESSED! It’s great!

About the authors

The QUEEN!

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

Another QUEEN!

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of over nineteen novels. She is the co-creator of the Eisner-nominated series MONSTRESS published by Image Comics. Her comic book work includes X-23, Black Widow, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She currently teaches a course on comic book writing at MIT.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Glow: Book 1, Potency: A Review

Glow: Book 1, Potency by Aubrey Hadley

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Cover Rating: 8/10 a beautiful cover! It works beautifully for the novel. It covers the sci-fi elements as well as what Harper is capable of being able to glow.

Publisher: Ruby & Topaz Publishing

Publish Date: June 16th, 2020

Number of Pages: 420

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

The Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it’s popped up in New York, and it’s wiped out an entire homeless shelter. The same night of the outbreak — thousands of miles away — Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, finds herself face-to-face with a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood.

As the world goes on high-alert from the Syndrome, Harper is kidnapped and taken to the Base of Ki, a massive dome with a sheening white city and fantastic technology … built by beings from another solar system.

There, she must form cross-species alliances to save her friends, family, and the human race before she loses all chance of returning to Earth.

Opening Sentence: “My hands are almost shaking too much to grasp the knob.”

Musings:

(Before I start this review I have a few things to say about the author. Aubrey Hadley is super sweet. I posted on Twitter about reading the book and how the Quarantine part hit hard during these times. She kindly tweeted at me and let me know that I was reading an older version of the book. She emailed me the new version and was so kind about it. It was one of the sweetest interactions with an author I have had.)

Now for my thoughts on the book:

I can’t really imagine something more terrifying then a syndrome showing up and killing people in mass. Add that with Aliens being behind everything and stripping apart everything you thought you knew about the world and it’s terrifying. Following Hybrid Harper through this novel and seeing how she deals with such a terrifying situation and stays strong is really cool.

What I loved:

The Idea. I liked the back story behind everything. Being a hybrid and growing up believing yourself to be human. Discovering who you are only to realize that if you don’t do something to try and save the Earth no one else is going to.

The light in the dark. This easily could have been a heavy novel. However, Aubrey kept it mostly light. When it hits it hits, but there was decent amounts of reprieve to balance the weight of what Harper is going through.

The contrasts. In the beginning your immersed in Harper’s home life. She’s dealing with heavy emotional abuse from her mom. She’s protecting her sister as much as she can. Then, being captured by beings from another world she must quickly adapt and keep quiet in order to be able to escape and help save as many lives as she can from the syndrome that threatens to end the entire human race. When you go from one part the other you feel like a fish out of water. Which is exactly how Harper feels being taken.

The question of whether or not the earth is worth saving at all. Morality in general is grey. It isn’t black and white. There is so much evil in the world. Being presented with only that evil and earth is better off rotting, but in Harper’s heart she knows that the good in people’s hearts and how much we try to do better makes the earth worth saving. It’s wonderful.

All in all:

I very much enjoyed Glow. It is a wonderful novel well worth the read. I love a good sci-fi and I really enjoyed this one.

About the Author

Aubrey Hadley has always loved two things in life: words and design. In 2005, she put writing to the side (she wasn’t sure if she was any good at it) and moved from her hometown of Sparks, Nevada to San Francisco, California to focus on a career in Human Interface Design. In 2012 — after working in the Tech Industry for a while — she decided to get back into writing and began her first novel, Glow: Book I, Potency.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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I Have a Crush on Sam Maggs

During Y’all west I found Sam Maggs. I hadn’t heard of her previously. I just had no idea she existed. Immediately hearing her talking and getting to know what she writes and a bit of her personality it was an instant crush.

Sam Maggs is one of the coolest authors I’ve come across. She writes for triple A video games, Marvel, and she puts in queer relationships in everything she writes. She is a queen. An absolute queen. I can’t wait for her new novel The Unstoppable Wasp!

The Synopsis:

“Bestselling author Sam Maggs brings Nadia Van Dyne (the Unstoppable Wasp) and her genius friends to life in an all-new original YA novel based on the world of The Unstoppable Wasp Marvel comics series.


Nadia Van Dyne is new to this. New to being a Super Hero, new to being a real friend and stepdaughter (to one of the founding Avengers, no less), new to running her own lab, and new to being her own person, far, far away from the clutches of the Red Room-the infamous brainwashing/assassin-training facility. She’s adjusting well to all of this newness, channeling her energy into being a good friend, a good scientist, and a good Super Hero. It’s taking a toll, though, and Nadia’s finding that there are never quite enough hours in a day. So, when she’s gifted a virtual assistant powered by the most cutting-edge A.I. technology that the world has to offer, Nadia jumps at the opportunity to “do less, experience more”-just like the advertisements say.The device works- really works. Nadia has more time to pursue her passion projects and to focus on new discoveries. But it’s never quite that simple, and not everything is as it seems. This thrilling adventure finds Nadia confronting her past as she tries to shape her future, and learning that sometimes the best way to effect big change is to think small-maybe even supersmall, Unstoppable Wasp-style. She’ll need the help of her genius G.I.R.L. (Genius In action Research Labs) squad and found family to save herself and (not to be too dramatic) the entire world as we know it. Along the way, Nadia discovers that when she teams up with the people who love her the most, they’re totally Unstoppable. Just another day in the life of your way,way above average teenage Super Hero.”

It sounds so amazing!

Also, I followed her on twitter and I realized that she also enjoys Tarot which is super cool to me because I hadn’t seen too many authors that are into tarot. The fact that I found a picture with Daleks made my heart burst cause I adore Doctor Who. I have a fat crush on Sam Maggs. I will support her and her work to no end. She’s so cool to me!

I never knew anything about game writing before she talked about it on one of her panels and I realized I’d adore game writing myself. I’ve always loved video games and I realized that one day being able to be on a team of authors doing game writing would be so fun for me one day.

Sam Maggs is so cool! I’m fangirling. I’m so happy to have finally heard of her so I can buy all her books and tell everyone to read them.

Anyway because anymore of my thoughts would pretty much be incomprehensible I’m just going to say this: I Stan Sam Maggs so hard. I love her thoughts on things and she’s one of the sweetest beans out there. I’ve never had a crush on an author before, but I definitely do have one on her. I’m so excited to read The Unstoppable Wasp (as well as her other books) and hopefully play one of the games she’s worked on one day.

I have never felt the need to write such a fangirly post for an author before. Sam Maggs is just the coolest. Anyway I’ll shut up now. I love her though. Ok imma stop.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly: A Review

Sea Spell (book 4) by Jennifer Donnelly

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Cover Rating: 9/10 it’s gorgeous! One of my favorite things about this series is the covers. They are stunning. The black and white with jacket to give Astrid the look of her personality it’s so well done. Eye catching for sure.

Publish Date: June 14th, 2016

Number of Pages: 357

Received: thrift store buy

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

At the end of Dark Tide, Book 3 in the Waterfire Saga, Astrid leaves her mermaid friends to confront her ancestor, Orfeo, the evil force behind the rise of the monster Abbadon. Orfeo possesses one of the talismans that the merls need in order to keep the monster locked up forever. But without the ability to songcast, how will Astrid be able to defeat the most powerful mage in history? Meanwhile, Serafina and her Black Fins train goblin troops for battle against her uncle Vallerio’s death riders. Will Sera ever see her beloved home–and her beloved Mahdi–again, or will the Volneros take over the mer realms while Orfeo takes on the gods themselves? Nothing less than the fate of the underwater world is at stake in this breathtaking finale.

Opening Sentence: “Manon Laveau, regal on her throne of twining cypress roots, regarded the merman before her.”

Musings:

You know a book is solid when it’s been two years between the time you read one book to the next and your not confused at all when your reading again and being reintroduced into the world. That in itself is an accomplishment. I’m in love with this riveting story about friendship and magic and doing anything to make things right in a time that is going terribly wrong.

What I loved:

The world itself! Jennifer does an amazing job at making you feel like your truly underwater. Her world building is incredible. There is no filler and every detail adds to the story in such a rich way.

The sisterhood! These girls have gone through so much over the course of this series. They’ve had drama between each other, two of them basically acted as enemies for a while, and together they’ve experienced so much loss. Through it all they’ve become so strong together and nothing could tear apart their friendship. They’ve lifted each other up and pushed each other to be the best versions of themselves. It’s such a beautiful thing of hope to see.

These lines:

I love great romance! These lines were so good especially in the deeper context of the rest of the story. Made my chest glow in joy. Had to take pictures and send them to my partner with the excitement I felt reading! I love these storylines!

The romance is there, but not at all central to the plot. The romances in this book are great and lovely, but the focus is centered around the girls friendship and their quest to save their realms from great evil. It makes me smile to see a book that has such a wonderful balance to it like Sea spell does.

The pets! I swear I love a book with pets. Plus, these ones are so unique. For example, the adorable octopus Opie owned by Marcos. I love it so much!

All in all:

I don’t want to be too spoilery in a review on a fourth book in a series. I’m just going to say that I greatly enjoyed Sea Spell. It was truly magical.

About the Author:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of the adult novels The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose, as well as the young adult novels These Shallow Graves, Revolution, and A Northern Light, winner of Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award. She lives and writes full-time in Upstate New York. You can visit her at jenniferdonnelly.com or follow @JenWritesBooks on Twitter.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Y’all West: Y’all Stay Home: Sunday Webinars

Today is day 2 of Y’all West Y’all stay home and I’m super pumped! Can’t wait to share all my thoughts on the Sunday festivities!

My Experience:

10 am: Middle Grade Storyball: StayHome Edition

This was such a sweet start. I love Pseudonymous Bach. He’s such a great moderator. I loved hearing about each of the authors books. They all sound amazing.

The story became a vampire with a universe under their bed. A dog is the villain.

11 am: Suckage is part of Writing

I haven’t read any books from the authors on this panel, but I’ve wanted to for ages. This is one of the more fascinating panels I’ve listened to just because it’s so writing focused. It’s good to just get words out there sometimes. You just want to build something bit by bit. Its fun to have fun with it. It’s always about learning day by day.

12 pm: Whodunnit and why do we care?

I really enjoy mysteries and thrillers and it was fun to hear these amazing authors talk about them and how they are different, but why they haunt us. It was interesting to hear about each of their processes. It’s fun that it can be so different for mysteries and how it has to at least be loosely planed.

1 pm: World-building Beyond Wikipedia

I love this! I enjoyed sitting back and listening to everyone talk books. Just a great fun time. I was so busy paying attention that I missed out writing about it. Just to me Jennifer Donnelly is a queen. All these authors are queens. This was a fun panel.

2 pm: Remember High School?

This panel was so sweet. I loved hearing about all the high school experiences and advice they give.

3 pm: LGBTQIA Q & A

This is one of the panels I’ve been most excited for. It’s definitely lived up to my expectations. All these authors are so incredible. This was so positive and wonderful. I loved hearing everyone’s stories. It was just one of my absolute favorite panels. The idea of inviting in instead of saying coming out is super empowering and beautiful. I loved hearing that.

4 pm: Writing Empathy

Just another fun panel. I’ve been so happy listening about their backgrounds and stories and it’s so fun. It also had this sad undertone just with the seriousness of some of the topics, but I very much enjoyed listening in.

5 pm: This American Life 2.0

I tried to listen in on the other panel I’d signed up for as well, but I really want to listen to these stories. It’s really unfortunate that yesterday they weren’t treated the way they should have been. Just an amazing panel! This was such a better panel then yesterday. I know I loved their stories yesterday, but today it was way more in depth and such a richer conversation. Such a powerful and strong panel. So good.

6 pm: Juvenalia

This was adorable! I loved every second. Just so cute. I loved all the writings. God this was amazing and funny. All the stories were amazing and I loved every second!

All in all:

This is what I needed to get back to the community and read and write so much more again. It was so fun and I’m so happy to have heard from all these authors. It’s just wonderful.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Y’all West: Y’all Stay Home: Saturday Webinars

This is the first ever time I’ve gotten the chance to attend Y’all west. I’m honestly pretty happy it’s online this time. I’ve never had the chance to attend dispute begging my mom every single year and for the first time this book nerd is getting to participate! This post is going to be all about Saturdays webinars. Things I loved. What I participated in. Any fun surprises that I got to experience. This is the all access post I’ve wished to read for ages.

Check out the yall west website for information and tomorrow’s schedule!

My Experience:

I woke up way before my alarm went off. I was just so excited! I’m so happy to be a part of this today. It’s just incredible. I’ve always wanted to and ahhhh I’m just so happy!

9 am: I read YA @ Home

To start I’m super excited to check out The Bridge! Hearing Bill’s story was something special. If I read any book from this panel I want it to be this one. It sounds so beautiful. I love how he talked about it. His personal struggle with suicidal ideation. God I loved how he decided to create something beautiful out of something so hard. I can’t wait to read it one day!

I love Jennifer! I’m just finishing reading the fourth book of her Deep Blue series and I love it. I’m so excited to read Poisoned! I’ll always read anything she writes!

Leah is a sweetheart. I loved hearing about You Should See Me in a Crown. I loved that she was just winging it and was growing up along with her character. It’s super cool. Every authors journey is different. Her story was so fun to hear about!

I didn’t realize that Jennifer was rejected for so long. It’s amazing that she went from that to being such an inspiration to me and so many others. It’s so wonderful to hear.

10 am: Opening Ceremony + Teanote AM Keynote

A fun little start to the festival. A cute little happy time. I loved it. I loved the cute little outfits. I haven’t read Little Women, but it was so fun to hear them discuss it all. Jo & Laurie sounds like such an adorable story. I’d love to check it out someday. The sisterly love in the panel was amazing. I enjoyed them talking about writing together. Such a cute panel.

11 am: Creativity in the Time of Corona

A fun time. This cast was really fun to watch. It was all about being kind to yourself and taking it day by day. Things definitely have changed. That it’s enough to take care of yourself and it’s such a pure and loving thought. All of them are such beautiful souls. It was really freeing to hear them talk. I loved it. That living and enjoying life is just as important as the work that your passionate about. Pretty much a do what you want and what’s best for you type of advice. It’s such a lovely thing.

On a side note hearing about how they write for video games was fascinating! I adored that aspect. Such an interesting and fun thing!

12 am: Modern Magic World-building

God I love fantasy. I love listening to all these fantasy authors talk about fantasy. It’s just the best feeling. I love what Adalyn Grace said about always chasing magic. I’ve always done that. God I love this so much. Essentially writing fantasy is such fun and that’s what makes it so fun to read. It’s pure escapism and what it reflects on the world after is a bonus. Everyone’s processes for writing fantasy was really fun to hear about.

As a side note every word out of Frances Hardinge’s mouth is a gem. She’s such a fun person to hear talk. I love her mind and the way she expresses herself it’s so delightfully wonderful.

This awesome answer came during this that I’m glad I saved cause otherwise it would’ve disappeared forever:

1 pm: Middle Grade Truth or Dare

Fun and cute panel. I wasn’t going to join in, but it’s been a gem of a panel. The banter between Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs was just so fun. I was laughing the whole time. The sarcasm was awesome and I got a lot of book recommendations for things I’ve never heard of that sound amazing.

2 pm: Truth Talking in Tough Times

This was a really interesting panel. Super informative. Very fun. Just a bunch of badass women talking badass things. Amazing! The toughest parts of life can inspire such hope and amazing ability to overcome. I loved watching this. Also how friendship can be a powerful tool for amazing things. As well as how powerful love can be in times of struggle. I especially want to read Lobizona. It sounds absolutely incredible.

Also the amount of empowerment and belief in the youth of our generation is beautiful. I love every one of these authors. This talk was amazing.

3 pm: Facing the Enemy: Hope, War, and Revolution

I love the female energy on this panel. All the books sound amazing. Feels like a chill podcast, but just with these amazing authors just talking about stuff. It’s so fun. I loved there ideas on hope. That was my favorite part of the panel. No matter what there is always hope and everything can just get a little bit better and a little bit better.

4 pm: This American Experience

Bill is back!!!! Yes! This panel is going to be amazing.

I love this panel it’s a very interesting and unique group of authors with all incredible books that I can’t wait to check out. I’ve been so immersed in the conversation, It’s been so powerful to me. Every person on this panel is amazing. All the books sound absolutely incredible and they all effect change and stand for creating a better world. It’s so empowering and hopeful. I love it.

Also having a white women whose very aware of being white among many marginalized authors in different ways was interesting. The conversation was a very unique one and I enjoyed it very much.

Edit: I do feel the need to address the fact that despite enjoying the chat and the authors dealing gracefully with a moderator that clearly should not have been the moderator. I’m linking the tweet to what was said and what the issues were. https://twitter.com/nekuthebooklock/status/1254227203971309568?s=21 this does not negate the fact that the discussions each author had about their book in spite of her was amazing to listen to.

5 pm: PM Keynote with Brandon Sanderson

Some straight advice on writing. Although I personally don’t entirely agree with it. It’s not really how I believe. It was interesting to hear, but it’s not exactly how I personally see dreams and what one is capable of. Or that it was framed in a way that resonated with me personally. I’m an optimist. I mean I get the ideas he’s discussing, but in reality I think it’s more that it’s forgetting the fact that we all start somewhere. That it isn’t an instant rise to everything we want, but it’s certainly possible. Even probable.

Here’s the thing although it’s not framed in the way I would put it, it’s basically the formula for releasing resistance (rather the ideas that would make you give up and make it harder to get published). So I have taken a bit of value from his story. I’ve seen things differently. But, weirdly it’s not so different from what I see and believe. Just in a very round about way.

His second point though is super solid advice. Being human means your interested in many things and that writing doesn’t have to be this innate thing that you live and breath and nothing else matters. It’s important to balance out your life and figure out what you want and how you work.

Also making things manageable in pieces is really important. Small goals are better then just having that big picture in your mind. It’s about the journey not just the end goal. Which is just the truth of big projects.

Favorite thing he said though is that writing books is like telepathy. Cause thinking about it it’s so true.

What you can do today is a wonderful mentality to have.

Side note macaw was adorable. He can use the force and it’s amazing!

6 pm: YALL Stay Home Smackdown

Just the opening was the best. So funny. I love whiplash. God this was the best. This ending has been glorious and light and funny and the best ever. I love everyone on the panel. It’s amazing. I love y’all west. It’s been wonderful.

Look at all these beauties.

Also highlight from Author Cribes:

God this was so funny. I loved it.

Then the pet roast with all the wonderful pets:

This cat is 90 in human years. Such an amazing one.

Then there was Masterpiece Emoji. Which was also so much fun to watch!

Then of course the ending dance party:

I can’t say how much fun I had today or how much this event and being able to finally participate has felt for me. It’s been absolutely incredible. I’m filled with so much love for this community. It’s been such a blissful day. Being an author is everything I want and just to finally be a part of this as a reader… it’s incredible.

I’m so excited for tomorrow!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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The Diabolic: A Review

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Cover Rating: 7.5/10 love the metallic. It’s so shiny and it is a very simple yet beautiful representation of who nemesis is as a Diabolic.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: November 1st, 2016

Number of Pages: 416

Received: Special gift from special person

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

Opening Sentence: “Everyone believed Diabolics were fearless, but in my earliest years, all I knew was fear.”

Musings:

The Diabolic is brutal, full of action, and takes place in an incredibly unique futuristic setting. I enjoyed the entire thing from beginning to end. It’s such a unique and fun story to read.

What I loved:

This line: sorry about the spoiler that this is, but god reading it was so good!!

Nemesis

Nemesis being a general badass. God, I love Nemesis. She’s been through crap. She has one of the hardest pasts I’ve ever read. It’s literally engineered her into being the beast that she is. She’s brutal and unapologetic and unkind (well if you mess with anyone she cares about) and she does what needs to be done. She doesn’t always do the “right thing”, but she does what she knows to be necessary based on who she is as a Diabolic.

Nemesis’s dog. Later on she gets a dog that’s just as beastly as she is and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever read. I love their relationship. It’s the best.

Nemesis learning to accept that she’s an emotional being. For a lot of the book Nemesis is cold. It’s not really her fault it’s pretty much the only way she could ever be as a Diabolic. As the story goes on she realizes she has the capacity to care. Her stepping into being something more then just a Diabolic, but a human being is one of my favorite things. It was so amazing to root for her as she realized she could love for her own choosing and not just who she was programmed to.

The futurism. This book is cool. That’s the only way to properly describe the unique and futuristic elements that make of the world. It’s so expansive and unique. Has it’s own particular politics. It has beauty bots that change people to be however they want to look. As well as inter-planetary travel. Everything is just so cool.

All in all:

This book is a fun read. It’s a blast. The only reason it’s not five stars is because while it’s incredibly entertaining there’s something about it that doesn’t quite make it five star worthy. I loved it though. I’m really happy to have gotten the chance to read it.

About the Author:

S.J. Kincaid originally wanted to be an astronaut, but a dearth of mathematical skills turned her interest to science fiction instead. Her debut novel, Insignia, was shortlisted for the Waterstones prize. Its sequels, Vortex and Catalyst, have received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist. Her next book, The Diabolic, comes out in the Fall of 2016. She’s chronically restless and has lived in California, Alabama, New Hampshire, Oregon, Chicago, and Scotland with no signs of staying in one place anytime soon. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012, followed by its sequels Vortex and Catalyst. The Diabolic was released in the fall 2016.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Autonomous: A Review

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 I usually wouldn’t give a cover like this, this high of a rating, but after reading the novel I couldn’t think up a more perfect cover. It’s simple, yet elegant. In a way, it tells you exactly what the inside story is about. If there was one image to describe what Autonomous is it is exactly what this cover is.

Publisher: Tor Books

Publish Date: September 19th, 2017

Number of Pages: 303

Received: The Tor Book of the month for a month I don’t recall.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

Opening Sentence: “The student wouldn’t stop doing her homework, and it was going to kill her.”

Musings:

Autonomous is a smart novel. In every sense of the word. It’s language is very scientifically based, yet not in a way that is overly complicated. It’s well-balanced and fun to read. Yet, it’s subject matter is often serious. This is one of the first adult novels I’ve read. I was not disappointed. It’s one of the most intriguing as Sci-fi novels I’ve ever read.

What I Loved:

The relationships. The relationships in this novel are more then just interesting they are eye-opening. In a world where bots and humans co-exist some taboo relationships were bound to happen and I enjoyed reading about what that would look like. Also, I love that Jack is casually bi-sexual. I love seeing books have people represented as exactly who they are and it being accepted. No one cares about Jack’s sexuality and I feel like that’s how things should be.

It’s really well structured. I have not geeked out on the structure of a novel in a long time. It’s not something I typically even notice so much, but Autonomous has this balance of storylines past and present with so many things going on, but not too much, but all of it is interesting. Everything is important in the novel. There is no filler. In a sci-fi this is a magical thing that I have not experienced before.

No one is truly the good guy. Sure, everyone thinks they are, but no one is totally clean of doing something wrong. The whole point of Jack’s quest is to right a wrong that affected over a hundred people’s lives in a very negative way. Except she still reads off as a hero. But, in the end to those effected by what she did, their lives were ruined. It wasn’t completely her fault, but to those families I don’t think it would matter.

Talk about anthropomorphizing bots. Humans tend to want to humanize everything. I know I do it when I see my dog have emotional responses to things we do. As well as her very unique personality. It is very human. Yet you can’t fully give a human identity to an animal, but with something that looks so human-like? The lines blur. It was super interesting to read about.

The actual political system. The government system in this novel is not the biggest part of the novel, but it is very much there. There are rules and regulations that very much effect the plot. Also an indenture system that blurs the lines between what it is to be human. Where bots can be autonomous and humans can be indentured slaves. It’s incredibly interesting.

All in all:

Not much more can be said without spoiling this beauty of a novel. It’s gorgeously written. Filled with incredible characters. Very human situations. Pirates and parties and addiction and injustice. So much substance with every turn of the page. Autonomous is well worth the read.

About the Author:

Annalee Newitz writes science fiction and nonfiction. They are the author of the novels The Future of Another Timeline, and Autonomous, which won the Lambda Literary Award. As a science journalist, they are a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and have a monthly column in New Scientist. They have published in The Washington Post, Slate, Popular Science, Ars Technica, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among others. They are also the co-host of the Hugo Award-winning podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Previously, they were the founder of io9, and served as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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My 2019 Year in Books!

2019 was a year that was entirely dedicated to my mental health. I decided to really put all my time into just feeling better and it really worked. I still read some in 2019 not nearly as much as I have in previous years, but I’m still happy that I read.

Here is my 2019 year in books!

As I said above, I didn’t read all that much, but of what I did read I enjoyed most of them. I don’t really have a goal for how many books I will read this year. But, I do know that there are many wonderful books in my life to read and I can’t wait to get to them!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! This post is a day late. I got a little sidetracked yesterday, but I hope you all enjoyed it anyway! 

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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