The State of the Reader: 6/28/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/21/17          The State of the Reader: 7/5/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden: Kept – There’s a Harry Potter vibe to this story with the orphanage being a combination of Hogwarts and Privet Drive, and the dourness of that extends to the mien.  There are some really bad “people” after the protagonist.
  2. Cracked by Eliza Crewe: Kept – I’m a sucker for just dessert stories (I wouldn’t have written about an assassin who only kills the most reprehensible if I wasn’t), and that’s exactly what this is.  The main character has the Dexter like desire to kill, but only focuses it on those who deserve it.
  3. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan: Kept – Books like this are the reason there’s no hard and fast rule about prologues.  Sometimes they’re integral in setting  not only the scene and mien, but also more subtle revelations about the world of the book.  Humans have found a way to exploit dragons for their literally blood, and what we’ve done to them is frankly horrifying.  This is all revealed in a report about a terrible accident involved massive loss of life.  However, it’s revealed more in the clinical details about the happening, reported as mere facets of information that upon rumination are quite disturbing.  Terms are sanitized: calling dragon blood “product’ as it is “harvested” for a corporation, and when the dragon manages to escape, there is mention of the cauterized stumps of its wings and how it was robbed of its ability to breathe fire.  Stories like this set up a reckoning that humanity is never prepared to answer.
  4. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare: Kept/Library – I was pleasantly surprised by this was, though the person who recommended it did tell me it was a bit different from The Mortal Instrument Series, which I couldn’t stand.  It takes place in the same world, but Clare’s work seems to have matured.  I’m genuinely interested in where this one’s going and the main character Kit’s involvement in it.
  5. Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt: Kept (RWTR) – Tell me a good story and you’ll instantly draw me in.  Keturah’s stories are certainly worthy of Death’s attention, and the reason why he spared her is exceedingly clear.  The sample for this ended far too soon for my liking and is currently on my to-buy-next shelf.
  6. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon: Kept – First book in The Deed of Paksenarrion series, and I’m very impressed.  I love Paks’s character, and I’m curious what she did to cause her father to change his tune about her as plainly shown in the far future prologue.  She refuses to accept the choice her father made for her (against her say so) to be married to a pig farmer, so she up and leaves, walking 30 miles in a day to join a military unit that accepts women.  I like that the man who becomes her commanding officer doesn’t seem to care a wit that she’s female.  He’s impressed that she walked 30 miles in a day to join up, is strong, knows how to march, and follows orders.  He also doesn’t take nonsense from any man in his unit that attempts to shame or vocally leer at her because of her gender.  I think I’m going to enjoy this novel/series.
  7. The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton: Kept – This is one of those books I saw for years in bookstores, but it never caught my interest then.  Now, it’s both disturbing and intriguing.  The beginning is so vague and yet so horrifying in partially explaining how the ill-made mute became that way.  He’s not really ill-made at least naturally, and I don’t think he was always a mute.
  8. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence: Passed – Reprehensible protagonists just aren’t my thing.  I’m assuming he becomes more sympathetic later on in the story, but the leader of a band that murders villagers and rapes their daughters just doesn’t do it for me even if there is a major Heel Face Turn at some point.
  9. The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias: Kept – I love creepy, religious centered fantasy where people sell their souls or make a deal with the devil.

Books Purchased This Week: 0

Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Saga, Volume 6
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 11, 2017
Date Started: June 17, 2017
Date Finished: June 22, 2017
Reading Duration: 5 days

The epic continues, but I’m not sure how I will when I finished the 7th and last one that’s currently out.  It’s a long time until January 2018.

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Series Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Date Added: December 30, 2015
Date Started: May 17, 2017
Date Finished: June 28, 2017
Reading Duration: 42 days

Thank god I already bought the second book in this series.  It means I don’t have to wait until I get to the bookstore to have it in my possession.  I do have a very short book to read in between, but I can probably finish that in less than an hour (it’s a very short book) and move right into A Torch Against the Night. 

Needless to say, this book is phenomenal.  Five stars without hesitation, though now that I’m thinking about it, I might want to at least slow down on reading the next book, since I don’t know if or when the third one will be out #SagaIssue

There’s an untitled third and fourth book on Goodreads, so the future looks bright for this series.

DNF/Unfinished Books This Week: 1

Title: Elijah Dart: Angel of Death
Author: Jonathan L. Ferrara
Date Added: November 2, 2015
Date Started: June 19, 2017
Date DNF: June 28, 2017
Reading Duration: 9 days

Media: eBook/Kindle
Final Progress: 58%

I will usually finish a book if I’ve read more than half of it, but I decided I’d put this one aside today even though I’m slightly over that threshold.  I adore the author’s whimsical writing style, but it was a little too heavy handed in the religious aspect for me.  I prefer my angels of death to reap more and proselytize less.  I was also a little offput by the “magic is evil” motif.

I think the story is cute, and I’d recommend it to the mid-grade/YA crowd.  I am planning on writing a nice review even though I didn’t finish.

Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Saga, Volume 7
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 11, 2017
Date Started: June 24, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 50%

Gah!  I’m already halfway through this even though I’m desperately trying to space it out by only reading one chapter a session.  It’s not slow enough, and the next one doesn’t come out until January ;_;

Title: Nightshade City.
Series Title: Nightshade Chronicles
Author: Hilary Wagner
Date Added: May 17, 2016
Date Started: June 23, 2017

Nightshade City

Media: Hardback (Library)
Progress: 24%

I almost, almost declared this one DNF today along with Elijah Dart: Angel of Death, but I decided to stick with it.  I’m happy I borrowed this from the library instead of spending money on it though.  It’s similar to Redwall insofar as it has sentient animals, but in Brian Jacques’s series, there are no humans, and the rats of the newly named Nightshade City have to contend with us, known as Topsiders, as well as their own ilk terrorizing them.

I’m really interesting in one young female Clover, who’s been picked by the reprehensible High Minster Killdeer as his “chosen one.”  You can probably guess what that entails.  Since this is a mid-grade/YA novel, it’s merely implied and not stated, but old enough children reading this might ask some questions.

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: May 26, 2017
Date Started: June 12, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 52%

The war preparations in this book remind me a little of Mass Effect 3, probably because I’m watching a Let’s Play of Mass Effect 3.  Instead of the Reapers though, Feyre, Rhys, and crew are preparing to battle the King of Hybern, whom I keep wanting to call the King of Winter, because Hybernia…winter…you get it.  But there’s already a High Lord of the Winter Court named Kallias, so that wouldn’t be right.  Anyway Hybern wants to re-enslave humanity and bring back the elitist order where the High Fae continue to rule over the Lesser Fae, and since Rhysand used to be one of those Lesser Fae (as in Illyrian) and Feyre used to be human, you can guess how they feel about this.

Title: Talon
Series Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Date Added: May 24, 2016
Date Started: June 10, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 65%

Oh man, Ember and Garrett are in deep, as in love.  How is a dragon with a place forged in her society by higher powers and a soldier who’s been hunting and killing her kind his entire life ever going to work out?  Well, one, by being honest with each other, though neither of them can be of course.  How is the truth going to be revealed?  Only time will tell.  What I find interesting is how both of them were brainwashed and are being used by their respective organizations.  Neither of them have ever been allowed to just be teenagers, and that’s wholly unfair.

This is going to be one of those book series that I read, add, and buy just like The Raven Cycle.

Title: The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes
Author: Anonymous
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: May 8, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 64%

I’ll be happy when I finish this.  I wish the poems were more cohesive.  I’m going to read The Prose Edda at some point.  Not right after since I don’t own it, but eventually.

Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 2

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

No update this week, though she did just tag me in a tumblr post about fanfiction.  Curious.

Title: I Will Call You Home: A Recounting of the Fifth Blight
Author: AthenaTseta
Fandom: Dragon Age
Pairing: Leilana/Various

Templars make me grumpy.  If someone risks their life to save your village, they can damn well sleep where they please.

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 3

Title: The Emperor’s Blades
Series Title: Chronicle of the Unhewn Thrown
Author: Brian Staveley
Date Added: June 24, 2017
Recommended by: Cupcakes and Machetes

The blurb says fans of GRRM would enjoy this, and it comes highly recommended.  Court politics are always delicious and delightful, and current ones make me sad.

Title: Abstract Clarity
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: June 27, 2017
Recommended by: B. W. Ginsburg

The author just published this short story compendium last week and posted about it on her blog.  I felt it only fitting to add it to my TBR list.

Title: Don’t Close Your Eyes
Author: Holly Sedden
Date Added: June 28, 2017
Recommended by: By Hook or By Book

Another psychological thriller for my TBR list.  Here’s hoping it delivers a bit better than the last one I read.  Not that Silent Child was terrible, but the ending felt a little flat.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 469
Change from Last Week: 0

Books Added to Reread List This Week: 0

What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 6/21/17          The State of the Reader: 7/5/17–>







27 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 6/28/17

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 6/21/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Dude… the Devil’s Prayer is on kindle unlimited! And I have a sample of An Ember in the Ashes now. Of course the amount of books on my kindle to read already is major ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I started reading Spider-Gwen this week, which is an alternate universe take on Spider-Man but if Gwen Stacy had been bit instead of Peter Parker. It’s pretty cool so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, those templar…

    I’m enjoying reading about Talon. It seems like it would be a book I’d just adore, or one that I would hate. I’ll keep reading to decide if it’s one to add to my list 😉

    Oh! I actually have something exciting to talk about! (sort of) I’m reading through the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy! I saw the movie recently, and of course that made me want to read the books. I’ve started the second one. So far it’s good, but I’m withholding judgment until I finish the whole series. There are some things I love about the books, and one major thing I liked about the movie better, so I’m waiting to see how the books handle it before saying anything else.

    Up next after I finish plowing through those is The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan (a dystopian novel about folks in a world where they may always be being watched. I tried very hard not to spoil it for myself so I don’t know more haha)


  5. When I read The Emperor’s Blades, I was really mad that the rest of the series wasn’t out yet AND that it was the author’s only book to date. Fast forward several years and I just finally bought the second book in the completed trilogy and he just released another book set in the same world. I really need to start completing some of the series on my list lol.
    In Prince of Thorns, I don’t know that Jorg ever does much of an Heel Turn Face. It’s a revenge story with a crazy mother fucker at the forefront. The darker the better in my opinion but I’m a grimdark enthusiast. To be honest, people make a big stink about there being rape in the book and it is in past tense, in one sentence, in one book. Not that I am condoning anything! Just that you would think by people’s reviews that there is frequent detailed rape in every book. I’ve read so much worse in so many other books but people love to crucify the author of this series on one sentence. Besides all that, it’s definitely not a series for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really like the writing in Thorns and I loooove revenge stories, but I think the ones I’ve read are more noble? Is that the word? Maybe not but it’s more the vengeance taking has no problem mowing down baddies, but tends to leave innocent folk alone. Granted there’s always that “no one is innocent” philosophy, and if you’ve been so broken and fucked up by what you’ve experienced you just may not care about the collateral damage in order to achieve your goals.

      You kept mentioning grimdark. Is that a subgenre I’ve just never heard of?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Grimdark is epic fantasy that is very dark. (Often also called dark fantasy.) Prince of Thorns falls in that category. (So does ASOIF kind of.) The kind of stories where no one is safe and a ton of bad shit happens. It doesn’t shy away from the darkest parts of the world. Other examples would be Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy, and Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy. Jorg in PoT is really an antihero and he does not care about collateral damage.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I had Mark Lawrence on my TBR but I am now not so sure I want to read Prince of Thorns after what you said. I am still not able to find a fantasy series that could quench my A song of Ice and Fire series thirst, considering how the next part isn’t getting released. Do let me know if you have found any good series that could compare with GRRM’s series. I have only read the first 3 books in Mortal Instruments. I have a lot to catch up in order to read Lady Midnight I guess 😦 I have Emperor of Blades on my TBR too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • From what my friend said, he’s not for everyone (Mark Lawrence that is). Hm, well I can tell you what I’ve been reading and what I’ve heard is good!

      An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is one I just finished, and it’s phenomenal. You might also like The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. He’s a fan of GRRM himself, but…the third book in his series isn’t out yet, and the last one was published in 2011, the same year as A Dance With Dragons. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater was excellent and I loved Grace Draven’s Wraith Kings Series, but again the third book isn’t out yet. I didn’t initially like the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas, but by the middle of the second book, I was enraptured, because everything comes together/makes sense, and you understand why certain things occurred in the first If you have any interest in graphic novels, Saga is one of the best things I’ve ever read. Oh and GRRM has a TON of other stories out that could hold you. I’ve read both of his Dreamsongs Volumes along with Tuf Voyaging, and I own his Fevre Dream and am interested in his Wild Cards Series.

      If you’re on Goodreads and you want friend me and I can send you recommendations that way, too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 7/5/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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