The State of the Reader: 9/9/20

<–The State of the Reader: 8/26/20         The State of the Reader: 9/23/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 2


Finished: 2

Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Date Added: May 16, 2015
Date Started: February 13, 2020
Date Finished: August 30, 2020
Reading Duration: 199 Days

Cover of DraculaMedia: eBook/Kindle

Definitely see how this could’ve inspired/influenced GRRM’s Night King along with other malicious hive-minded entities that could have your friends spying for the enemy.  This novel was wild from start to finish in all the best ways possible, and its cultural influence cannot be understated.

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The State of the Reader: 8/26/20

<–The State of the Reader: 8/12/20         The State of the Reader: 9/9/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 1


Currently Reading

Title: The Luster of Lost of Things
Author: Sophie Chen Keller
Date Added: September 12, 2017
Date Started: July 22, 2020

Cover of The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen KellerMedia: Paperback
Progress: 27%

I can see where this story is going with the landlord, and I love how Lucy called him out when he played the victim of the people he’s threatening to evict.

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The Last Thing You See by Marie Batiste (Rachel Dixon #1)

Title: The Last Thing You See
Series: Rachel Dixon
Author: Marie Batiste
Date Added: March 26, 2020
Date Started: June 23, 2020
Date Finished: July 9, 2020
Reading Duration: 16 days
Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural/Paranormal, Horror, Mystery/Murder Mystery

Cover of The Last Thing You See by Marie BatistePages: 185
Publication Date: February 5, 2020
Publisher: Self
Media: eBook/Kindle


Riley Green’s parents came home one morning to find their daughter missing and human organs in their dining room.

Following a ten-month suspension, forced rehab and a tumultuous divorce, New Orleans Detective Rachel Dixon is finally stitching her life back together when she is called to a strange crime scene. Joined by her new partner, Elias Crowe an intuitive elf dealing with discrimination in the department, Rachel starts the search for Riley’s killer.

Soon the investigation leads them to a series of strange murders not just in the city but across the nation. Desperate to find the killer the detectives seek help from an undead blood analyst, a standoffish necromancer, a tree spirit, and a living sculpture. But when the killer seems to have set their eyes on Rachel all the help and magic in the world may not be enough to catch the elusive serial killer.

Join the detectives as they maneuver through a familiar world stitched together with magic, blood, and animosity.


Rachel Dixon is a flawed but intensely likable detective who is being overly punished for the mistakes she’s made in the past.  The world merged with a magical one around twenty years ago, and the oddness and curiosity around this event is maintained throughout the novel as even the inhabitants of it remain clueless to the entirety of the effects.  The characters treat the world like their world (as you do).  There’s no info dumping; you’re given enough to understand how things work, and that’s all it is.  It’s like if you lived in a reality where magic existed, you wouldn’t bat an eye at it when it manifests, because it would be as commonplace as a smartphone.

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The State of the Reader: 8/12/20

<–The State of the Reader: 7/29/20         The State of the Reader: 8/26/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 1


Currently Reading

Title: The Luster of Lost of Things
Author: Sophie Chen Keller
Date Added: September 12, 2017
Date Started: July 22, 2020

Cover of The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen KellerMedia: Paperback
Progress: 20%

This is one of those story’s you’ll enjoy if you love winding, whimsical writing with a heavy heaping of eloquence.  If that’s not your bag, you’d probably consider this too purple for your tastes, which is fine.  I don’t like how “purple prose” is used as a pejorative since it’s really just a stylistic taste.  If you like it, you like it; if you don’t, you don’t.

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Preacher, Volume 1: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis (Preacher #1) (DNF)

Title: Preacher, Volume 1:  Gone to Texas
Series: Preacher
Author: Garth Ennis
Artist: Joe R. Lansdale
Date Added: September 13, 2017
Date Started: August 23, 2018
Date DNF: August 23, 2018
Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural/Paranormal

Cover of Preacher: Volume 1, Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis and Joe R. LansdalePages: 336
Publication Date: 1995
Publisher: Vertigo
Media: Paperback – Library


One of the most celebrated comics titles of the late 1990s, PREACHER is a modern American epic of life, death, love and redemption also packed with sex, booze, blood and bullets – not to mention angels, demons, God, vampires and deviants of all stripes.

At first glance, the Reverend Jesse Custer doesn’t look like anyone special-just another small-town minister slowly losing his flock and his faith. But he’s about to come face-to-face with proof that God does indeed exist. Merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Jesse now possesses the power of “the Word,” an ability to make people do whatever he utters. He begins a violent and riotous journey across the country in search of answers from the elusive deity.


I love when I’m reading something and BAM, racial slur.  I was already on the fence about this and that sealed it for me.  This isn’t to say I’ve never read or never will read anything with slurs.  There are definitely valid reasons to use them in a work, so please don’t get it twisted and assume that’s the reason I shelved this.  It was more the final straw in a story I wasn’t that into in the first place.

This one of those narratives you’d think I’d be in love with: a small town preacher forcefully merges with a half-angel, half-demon being named Genesis and parts of the story takes place literally in Heaven with angels (Seraphi and Adephi), but it’s not really my style or aesthetic.  The story also jumps around so much, it comes off as frenetic.  I know it’s a big fan favorite (it has over four stars on Goodreads), but it’s not for me.

The State of the Reader: 7/29/20

<–The State of the Reader: 7/15/20         The State of the Reader: 8/12/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 3


Finished: 1

Title: Keturah and Lord Death
Author: Martine Leavitt
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: June 6, 2020
Date Finished: July 18, 2020

Cover of Keturah and Lord Death by Martine LeavittMedia: Hardback

This book hardcore reminds me I need to read Theodora Goss’s Heroine’s Journey essay.  It’s in my “to read” for research already, but it’s vital for essay references.  I’ve been trying to decide whether or not Death and the Maiden motifs are under the umbrella of Beauty and the Beast ones or vice versa.  I guess it’s sort of a literary “what came first?”  I want to say Death and the Maiden was first because motifs about Death are older than dirt, but I still wonder what fits as the better umbrella.  Is Death a “beast” type or is (being paired with) a beast a type of death?

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Supernice: Smile. Or Else. by Petra Jacob

Title: Supernice: Smile. Or Else.
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: June 11, 2020
Date Started: May 20, 2020
Date Finished: June 22, 2020
Reading Duration: 33 Days
Genre: Science Fiction (Sci-Fi)/Speculative Fiction, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of Supernice by Petra JacobPages: 284
Publication Date: May 30, 2020
Publisher: Self
Media: eBook/Kindle


A funny and gripping story about a tyrannical alien invasion in a sleepy seaside town.

Chirpy YouTuber Nick and his cynical teenage daughter Natasha have their lives thrown into turmoil one afternoon when the walls start swallowing people. Over the next week, more and more are snatched away, until the announcement is made: Earth is under new management. Aliens have taken control and they’re not happy with how humans have been behaving.

The new leaders introduce a series of increasingly oppressive rules. Make a single mistake and you’ll be taken away – to be transformed into an upstanding member of the community.
An upstanding, smiling member of the community with a brain like mashed potato.

As their town, and the world, are thrown into chaos and the streets are filled with grinning automatons, Nick and Natasha each find their own way to deal with the horror. Nick becomes a YouTube celebrity, convincing the public to behave. Natasha joins a makeshift rebellion working out how to dodge the alien demands. Each wants the best for the other, but they end up on opposing sides in humanity’s most vital and bizarre battle.

Will they ever be united against the real enemy? Will the human race become the docile drones that the aliens want? Or is universal niceness an impossible and undesirable dream?


Supernice reveals the disparity between how the younger and older generations view and deal with an alien invasion, and the author showcases this early in Nick and Natasha, the father and daughter MCs whose perspectives the narrative bounces between.  This isn’t to say neither of their viewpoints change/evolve, but it is fascinating to witness how easily some people are taken in for the benefits, while others, while afforded and seemingly offered some of the same, understand the deeper implications sooner and reject them despite the cost.

This is one of those stories where the bad happening seems almost good, similar to the sentiment of “we’re the virus” in response to the current global pandemic.

Remember kids, be fashionable not fashy

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The State of the Reader: 7/15/20

<–The State of the Reader: 7/1/20         The State of the Reader: 7/29/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 3


Finished: 1

Title: The Last Thing You See
Series: Rachel Dixon
Author: Marie Batiste
Date Added: March 26, 2020
Date Started: June 23, 2020
Date Finished: July 9, 2020

Cover of The Last Thing You See by Marie BatisteMedia: eBook/Kindle

This ended a bit more abruptly than I was expecting, but then I remembered that it’s a series.  The author does a fantastic job making you absolutely loathe the killer and his “associates.”  You know I love my sympathetic villains, but there’s something about having one that you just absolutely hate and want to see tortured just like their victims.  It’s something I’ve done before myself.  There’s a dark catharsis in having a character do despicable things so that you don’t feel terrible when your hero skins them alive.  I don’t know if that’s the route this is going to go, but I’ll be rooting for Rachel if it does.


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The Crow Box by Nikki Rae (Shadow and Ink #1)

Title: The Crow Box
Series: Shadow and Ink
Author: Nikki Rae
Date Added: July 8, 2016
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date Finished: August 22, 2018
Reading Duration: 13 day
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror

Cover of The Crow Box by Nikki Rae (Shadow and Ink #1)Pages: 164
Publication Date: January 14, 2016
Publisher: Self
Media: eBook/Kindle


The small wooden box is dirty, the size of a human fist, and sealed with wax. When Corbin takes it upon herself to clean it and break the seal, a voice she has tried to ignore gathers strength. Shadows play on the walls at night, and with a family history of mental illness, Corbin fears the worst. But the voice tells her it is real. That its name is Six and it will prove it in time.

Drawn to this mysterious entity, Corbin isn’t sure what to believe and the line between reality and her imagination blurs more every day.

Some doors should not be opened; can this one be closed?


This novel did many good things.  It established its characters really well from the start.  We know Corbin’s mother is a hoarder without the MC needing to blatantly say it, and it makes it all the more real because we’re shown.  She (the mom in this case) has some kind of mental health condition that allows her to collect disability (which in and of itself is a privilege), and she has her “good” days where she can put on a bathrobe, fix her hair and makeup, and cook burnt toast and runny eggs.

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The State of the Reader: 7/1/20

<–The State of the Reader: 6/17/20         The State of the Reader: 7/15/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 3


Finished: 1

Title: Supernice: Smile. Or Else.
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: June 11, 2020
Date Started: May 20, 2020

Cover of Supernice by Petra JacobMedia: eBook

Every single book I read by this author just gets better, and the first one I read, Riddled With Senses, was already excellent.  It’s like her take on current culture becomes more acerbic and accurate, because what occurs by the end of Supernice is exactly what would happen.  The mindset of people would absolutely lead them down heinous paths, and there would most definitely be others who’d oppose it.

Like I do with other books by self/indie published authors, I’ll be reviewing this next (or after the one I already have in draft) since reviews are way more important to get out for them.


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