Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (Magonia #1) (DNF)

This is an unfinished book review as I did not complete the book in question.  Sometimes a story doesn’t hold my interest enough or there’s a a fatal flaw in the writing that makes it impossible for me to read; however, I feel that I should still put up my impressions of the story and explain why I was unable to make it through.  These reviews will vary in length depending on how much of the novel I was able to complete.

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016
Date Completed: November 16, 2016
Percentage Read: 50%
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Pages: 309
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Medium: Hardback

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?


This book struck me as combination of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (which if you’re new to my blog, I absolutely adore) and Ubisoft’s Child of Light (which I also absolutely adore).  The latter due to the main character Aza’s “sickness catching up to her” and “being lost to this world,” but found by another.  That’s exactly what happens to Aurora in Lemuria.  The former mentioned is in the text itself.  Aza’s mien reminds me of Hazel’s sardonic whimsy in the face of tragedy.  Since these are two of my favorite stories, I was pretty well invested in this book.  Aza is a bit more over the top in her presumptuousness than Hazel, and it seemed more like the author was making her ostentatious for its sake alone.  Some would say the same about Fault, but I felt there was enough substance in the subtext to reign it in.

I still held out interest until the story shifted to Aza in Magonia.  Absolutely none of the characters there are likeable.  This could be because they’re not fleshed out or it could be because the author is trying to keep this air of mystery around their world.  No one will tell Aza anything, so subsequently we as readers know even less.  They are hollow as the bones of a bird, and there’s really no intrigue about them.  If one is going to do the “stranger in a strange land”” motif, the stranger needs to be informed about the land in which they find themselves, and we, as the readers, are along for the ride.  Without this information, we’re all just muddling along.

From the blurb it appears as though the author is attempting to set up a “should I stay or should I go” paradigm for Aza where she needs to decide if she’ll stay in her original, but newly found world or return to the “alien” world she’s always known.  Essentially, she’ll need to choose sides.  If this is the case, there’s much lacking, because at the point I stopped, I just wanted her to go home to her parents and potential love interest Jason, the latter who was far more interesting than anyone in the sky.  Because none of these characters are endearing, I don’t care about their struggles or the war for their world the blurb speaks of.  Why should I want Aza to stay amongst and fight for a people who tell her nothing, but expect her to know everything?  It was as annoying as it was unfair.  Now it’s possible that by the end, the reasons for their reluctance to inform might have become clear, but that doesn’t answer the issue of likability.  I found the same issue in a greater scale with The Maze Runner where none of the characters had much of a personality to cling to.  In Magonia, this is less of a case.  The (sky) characters have some semblance of personality; they’re just not likable.

I declared DNF at exactly halfway through.  I didn’t hate it; it just didn’t hold my interest very well, and I have too many books on my list to read.

Let me know what you thought of it if you read it!  I’m curious how others took the novel.  Feel free to spoil it for me in the comments, just mark spoiler for everyone else.

2.5 stars.

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The State of the Writer: 11/19/16

<–The State of the Writer: 11/12/16          The State of the Writer: 11/26/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 278,742
Prior Word Count: 278,505
Word Difference: +237
Status: Editing
Progress: Third edit/readthrough of Chapter 6

I no longer have any newfound pictures for this chapter since I’m on the third edit so I’m just using ones I think are appropriate.  The ones I’ve used before (save the one of the prior post, too) have all helped me visual certain parts, but since it’s all been written, that point is past.  I’m not sure if Aeris is literally standing next to a golden sea or just enveloped in golden light, but it’s quite beautiful and endearing, and I enjoy looking at it.

The third edit of Chapter 6 is progressing more like a readthrough.  I may be able to finish it this weekend, possibly tonight, but certainly before the end of the (US) holiday weekend.

Quote: “Do you hurt at all right here, little flower?”  He had found “the spot.”  Memory stole the fallen’s mirth the moment his fingers brushed.  No massive scar lay under his touch, only pink lines in myriad webs.  *My dire wound stains not her skin.  It only blackens my soul.*


Project: Review
Title: Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy IV Review
Subject: Review and analysis of Final Fantasy IV
Current Word Count: 12,437
Prior Word Count: 9966
Word Difference:  +2471
Status: In progress
Progress: Drafting Music section

I finished up the Story Analysis section last night, waxing both philosophical and metaphysical as I went.  The Music section might transcend to such a level, as well.  I adore the music in FFIV and feel this is the point where Nobuo Uemtasu really came into his own.  The review/analysis is finally winding down, and I can say with some confidence that I should have it finished and edited before the end of the month and possibly before the end of the (US) holiday weekend.


Project: Review
Title: Magonia Review
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016
Date Completed: November 16, 2016
Percentage Read: 50%
Genre: YA, Fantasy

I gave up on this after getting through half.  I already started the draft for the review, and I’m hoping it won’t take too long.  I have a few things to say about it obviously as to why I didn’t finish it.  I have it on my to-do list for today, but it’s not my top priority.


What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 11/12/16          The State of the Writer: 11/26/16–>

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The State of the Reader: 11/16/16

<–The State of the Reader: 11/9/16          The State of the Reader: 11/23/16–>

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.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 27%

Holy shit did we just have a major “all is lost moment” in this book.  I read a bit of the dialogue aloud, because it was that poignant.  I’m not sure what book is on my to-read list tonight, but I really hope it’s this one.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 85%

I’ve finished the section on the Free Cities and am about to start the section on the lands beyond e.g. the Summer Isles, Yi Ti, Sothoryos, etc.  I’m almost finished this, and soon I’ll have to pick a new reference to read.

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 50%

I’m exactly halfway through this book and I’m really losing steam. Ever since Aza woke in the world of Magonia, I’ve found more things to critique. I really don’t like any of the Magonians *spoiler* including her birth mother *end spoiler* and I want her to go back to her world and Jason (since all of this is in the blurb, I don’t feel like I’m giving anything away). It’s like the author made these characters extremely unlikable, and that’s a poor choice for the “torn between two worlds” paradigm.  If Aza is supposed to feel connected to this world so that there’s some conflict when/if she gets the chance to return to her own, Ms. Headley needs to start portraying that better.  This seems more like it’s an “escape at all costs,” and I don’t think that’s what she was going for.

I’m debating whether to continue with this or not, but I want to see if the author can turn it around, and I am 50% through.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 41%

This book keeps becoming more interesting as details about Rupert’s life are slowly revealed.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

I was supposed to read the next chapter of Darkness and Starlight, but I keep having to push it back.  I think it’s on the schedule for tonight, and I may have to push it back again.  This week and the last have been really hard for me to keep up with anything 😦


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: Timekeeper
Series Title: Timekeeper
Author: Tara Sim
Date Added: November 11, 2016

This tale of an alternative Victorian world controlled by clock towers was brought my attention by the irrepressible Writing Hufflepuff.  I’m a bit of a closet fan of time travel, loops, and theory, which isn’t too much of a shock if you delve into the stories I love.  They all have an eerie time factor involved with them.  This YA has that along with a lovely same sex romance done right (according to the WH), so I’m excited to add it to my TBR pile.

Title: The Moonborn
Author: D.F. Lovett
Date Added: November 15, 2016

This was one of those weird situations where I heard about one thing from two different sources in a short amount of time.  I received a Twitter DM from the author D.F. Lovett the other day asking if I wanted to read/review his book.  Due to me not having any time and currently embroiled in four other books, I had to politely decline, but since I know how hard it is to be a writer and readers are our lifeblood, I did ask him what the book’s title was so I could add it to my TBR list.  Upon hearing the title, a memory sparked in my head, because I knew I’d heard the name recently, and after some rumination, I recalled that Pat Sponaugle had reviewed it here on his blog.

It’s heralded as “Moby Dick on the moon.”  Now I’ve never read Melville’s door stopper, and I’ve never really had any interest in doing so, but that being said, the blurb for Mr. Lovett’s book is enticing, and who knows?  After I read this, I may investigate the Cliff’s Notes for Moby Dick. 

Update 11/17/16: Because I’m terrible at source information, I didn’t realize I already follow D.F. Lovett’s blog What Would Bale Do?  So here’s the link to it so you can read more about his new book , follow, and support!


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 519
Change from Last Week: +2


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased 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: 11/9/16          The State of the Reader: 11/23/16–>

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The State of the Reader: 11/9/16

<–The State of the Reader: 11/2/16          The State of the Reader: 11/16/16–>

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.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 26%

Another percentage of progress made on this extensive work.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 82%

It doesn’t look like I made much progress from last week where I was still at 82%.  Oh well.  I’ll try to catch up a bit before next Wednesday.

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 46%

The next chapter up switched back to Jason who I’m right now way more interested in.  Aza’s chapters have now becoming annoying for other reasons.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 38%

This charming story pulls me deeper and deeper in at every read.  It has such a delightful, whimsical air even amongst ever revealing tragedy.  I’m pretty sure I know why Rupert is the “ghost” of Buxton Manor 😦


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 3

Title: A Princess of Mars
Series Title: Barsoom
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Date Added: November 3, 2016

This is the book the ill fated John Carter movie was based on.  A few friends have sung the praises of the book as they bemoaned the movie, which was apparently neither marketed nor presented well.  A machete wielding cupcake dealer nudged me in the direction of this classic once and for all, and I’m willing to take the leap.

Title: IQ
Author: Joe Ide
Date Added: November 4, 2016

I have watched my shares of Sherlock Homes remakes so when I saw that this was another, I nearly passed it by.  I have Sir Arthur’s original series on my TBR list in classics, though I am of course familiar with the stories.  The lovely review by Kim prompted the add, and I became super excited when I saw the Sherlockian character is a Black guy.  I’m (very obviously) a champion of diversity and flipping the script.  I love when things are genderbent and/or racebent.  Representation is so important, and I was happy to see this wasn’t just a run of the mill modern retelling.  Now that I’m thinking about it, I do have quite a few Sherlock type stories on my list featuring women.

Title: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Date Added: November 8, 2016

How fitting on the day of a historic election I’m adding a book about a different type of apocalypse.  I was going to start drinking heavily as soon as I got home, but I have things to both update and post; plus the results won’t start coming in until 8:00 at the earliest.  I’ll probably start drinking around 7:30 as I hope (and pray…yeah this agnostic has been brought to that level) for the best.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 517
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased 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: 11/2/16          The State of the Reader: 11/16/16–>

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The State of the Reader: 11/2/16

<–The State of the Reader: 10/26/16          The State of the Reader: 11/9/16–>

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.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 25%

One percentage at a time I’m conquering this mighty compendium, hopefully better than the Irish tried to quell the Island of the Mighty, which has been a major plot point of late.  I probably would’ve read less had not something huge and horrible happened at the end of one chapter involving Branwen and her son by Matholuch who’s a total jackass (Matholuch, not the son).  I don’t want to give too much a way in case you fine people ever decide to read the Tetrology yourself (which I highly recommend you do).

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 82%

I’m still in the (so-called) Free Cities just about to read about Pentos, which probably factors much into the plot of Thrones much more than many think.  It’s the current home of Magister Illyrio Mopatis, a man whose relationship to Varys casts a great deal of suspicion on his rotund form.  There’s a reason Illyrio’s beloved, deceased wife has such an intricate description.  The flames tell me so…

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 39%

I’m back to being minorly annoyed by this book again.  I detest when characters ask more than reasonable questions and other characters see fit to assume the asking character should know the answer and then refuse to give it to them because of this assumption.  If they’re not giving the answer for other reasons then that’s fine, but the asking character is perfectly correct to be acting the way they are, and the other characters are almost gaslighting her for her behavior, and it’s both frustrating and annoying.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 32%

I had a moment with this book today.  Something happened that was really close to things I’ve been thinking about a lot (wow I’m being super vague I know, and it’s not just due to not wanting to give the plot away), but it’s something that’s not too unexpected given it’s a ghost story.  At least more of Rupert’s past has been revealed.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 11

Title: Soulless
Series Title: Parasol Protectorate
Author: Gail Carriger
Date Added: October 26, 2016

A lovely review by Ignited Moth prompted this add, plus I can’t resist good alliteration.  Then the premise itself is intriguing.  A soulless spinster is attacked by a vampire, which apparently breaks all rules of etiquette in this world.  Also one of my favorite authors Patrick Rothfuss also added it to his Goodreads list.  There’s wins all around.

Title: Lotus and Thorn
Author: Sara Wilson Etienne
Date Added: October 28, 2016

This is the second book based on the fairy tale Fitcher’s Brides I have on my list, the first being the titular rendition so linked.  This particular offering has a futuristic setting and a burning question of what really happened to old Earth.  It’s also recommended for fans of Tamora Pierce and Sarah Maas.  I’ve read the latter and have the former’s Throne of Glass on my TBR list.

Title: Double Dead
Series Title: Double Dead
Author: Chuck Wendig
Date Added: October 28, 2016

There are books about vampires.  There are books about zombies.  This is a book about both.  I’m utterly shocked that I’ve never seen one of those before.  How have the two types of undead never had a mixer?  It’s obscene.  Prompted by a review by Cupcakes and Machetes I had to add this for curiosity’s sake alone.  It appears to be a sort of gory humor novel in the same, er, vein as Evil Dead/Army of the Dead.  It sounds thoroughly enjoyable.

Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Date Added: October 28, 2016

Who likes story’s about ruthless, powerful, and unstoppable protectors?  No guesses?  This Shameful Narcissist of course.  They’re the subject and co-protagonist of nearly every story I’ve written so I was ecstatic to see something like this being reviewed by fellow blogger and readaholic Kim at By Hook or By Book.  It’s also a standalone novel, which is rare in this day and age.  Not that I don’t love a good series, but there’s something to be said for an author who can say all they need to in one book.

Title: Alex + Ada
Series Title: Alex + Ada 1-5
Authors: Jonathon Luna & Sarah Vaughn
Date Added: October 28, 2016

Another comic is added to my list with this one, which fellow gaming blogger Cheap Boss Attack praised in his weekly weekend gaming post.  It sounds like a more serious version of Chobits, which I enjoyed (the little of it I saw).

Title: Faller
Author: Will McIntosh
Date Added: October 28, 2016

I know stories about mass amnesia or even just main characters with amnesia are cliche, but they’re still so intriguing.  You want to know what happened in their past and why they’re where they are.  This is the reason they endure.  Hell, one of my story ideas involves amnesia, so I’m not immune to the trope.  By Hook or By Book’s review certainly didn’t hinder my interest in this novel.  What do all of the clue’s Faller finds in his pocket mean and does his odd name have more significance than his leap of faith?

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
Authors: Patrick Thorpe, Various Others, and Translators
Date Added: October 30, 2016

One of the fastest adds ever as I was scrolling through my Goodreads feed.  I’m already reading a fictional reference in The World of Ice and Fire, and I’d be more than happy to accept the quest of reading the history of Hyrule next.

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Series: Harry Potter
Authors: J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, & John Tiffany
Date Added: October 30, 2016

I had this on my list then I removed it for a couple of reasons that I’m regretting at deeper thought.  One, I read a major spoiler.  I know who the eponymous cursed child is and why they are so.  Two, I read some scathing reviews that said, amongst other things, that it was little more than a fanfiction of Harry Potter.  It wasn’t the fanfiction part that bothered me (of course), but between the spoilers and the almost universal panning, I thought it might not be worth my time, but then after a conversation at the Halloween party I went to this weekend, I thought better of it.  People might be panning it because it’s essentially a fanfiction of HP due to fanfiction stigma, which is infuriating.  It’s even possible that they don’t realize this is the reason for their bias, and if the story were not based on Harry Potter, it might actual be enjoyable to them. Who knows, but that’s how biases often work.  So I figured I’d add it back so that I could read and judge for myself.  I don’t have that “this is fanfiction” bias (obviously) and should be able to give an impartial judgment.

Title: Firstlife
Series: Everlife
Author: Gena Showalter
Date Added: October 31, 2016

I came across the second book while scrolling through my Goodreads feed.  I won’t say I read a spoiler, rather an obvious eventuality.  This book sounds fascinating.  It’s an excepted truth that this life is merely a dress rehearsal before your second, true life, begins, and there are two realms where you could end up.  These kingdoms are rivals and they both want the main character Ten on their side.  Our heroine has been locked in an asylum for over a year because she refuses to allow her parents to decide where she’ll live after she dies.  There’s also a boy involved because this is a YA, and there’s always a love interest, but besides that, the life/death aspect of the story sounds hella interesting.

Title: Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Date Added: October 31, 2016

I’m shocked I didn’t have this added already.  As most of you know I love Norse Mythology and am very lucky that it is a centerpiece in so many of my fandoms (FFVII and ASOIAF to name two).  I’m also a late fan, but a fan nonetheless of Neil Gaiman.  He uses quit a bit of it in his stories and decided to go back to the source.

Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Date Added: November 2, 2016

“Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.”

When a blurb hooks you, it hooks you.  What is this thing that drives people to violence like Cthulhu drives you to madness?  What’s in the bird box?


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 514
Change from Last Week: -9

I removed a bunch of Charles de Lint Newford books so that I only have one TBR from that series on my list.  When I read that one I’ll add the next.  I’ll probably go through my list at some point again to see if I have any other series I can cut down.


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased 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: 10/26/16          The State of the Reader: 11/9/16–>

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The State of the Reader: 10/26/16

<–The State of the Reader: 10/19/16      The State of the Reader: 11/2/16–>

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.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 24%

I can’t stress enough how well written this book is.  While it may take me until this time next year to finish it, I’m enjoying every moment of it.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 79%

I’m now on the section about the Free Cities, all “Daughters of Valyria” save for Braavos, which is decidedly not, since it was formed by former Valyrian slaves.  There was a very interesting part about a religious sect known as the Boashi’i, followers of the Blind God Boash.  An essential part of their doctrine was an extreme abnegation of self where a follower would put aside even their own names, speaking of themselves as only “a man” or “a woman” as opposed to “I,” “me,” or “mine.”  Though the cult of the Blind God died out over a thousand years ago, this mode of speech remained (ironically) among the noble classes of Lorath (another one of the nine Free Cities), and it’s how a mysterious character named Jaqen H’ghar (who initially claims to be Lorathi when Arya first meets him) speaks.  Given that he’s a follower of the Many Faced God and given that those followers also eschew their identities, this is not too odd of a coincidence.

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 25%

I’m totally into this book now. Something major has happened and the point of view has switched.  This answers the question why each chapter had “Aza” next to the number until I reached the current one, which now has “Jason.”  The parallels with The Fault in Our Stars are either lessened or the story has deviated away enough from that where I don’t mind.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 17%

This story is frankly both sad and adorable.  You really feel for poor Rupert dying (sorry…) for human contact and how he’s drawn inexplicably to Aaron.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani
Current Chapter: 14

It was quite an exciting chapter this time around, and it just sat in my inbox for weeks until I could finally read it.  I’m also ecstatic that my friend is doing better ♥♥♥

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: Elric of Melniboné
Series Title: Elric
Author: Michael Moorcock
Date Added: October 21

I watch too many Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire theorists on YouTube, and today I was catching up with one of my favorites (despite some disagreement) Preston Jacobs.  He does several series about the books/show, one of which showcases the difference between book and show.  There have been many an insight garnered from this series and its theorists, not the least of which have been revelations of my own…not necessarily just towards ASOIAF. 

Martin has many influences, and in this video, Preston speaks of Michael Moorcock’s Elric series.  I think he’s mentioned him before in regards to GRRM’s obsession with white hair.  Now, I could say a great deal about this, and have in other places, but even if Martin borrowed the idea from Moorcock, it’s legitimately far older, present in Jude-Christian leanings.

Either way, I was intrigued by it and welcome the chance to read classic fantasy that serves as a foundation for what we experience today.

Title: The Metaphysical Detective
Series Title: Riga Hayworth
Author: Kirsten Weiss
Date Added: October 22, 2016

Can murder be committed from beyond the grave?  This novel I randomly found while scrolling through Goodreads asks that question, and I’m intrigued enough to want an answer.  I was also sold on the fact that Riga explores the power of archetypes through the lens of Greek mythology and tarot.  Two things which I’m quite passionate about.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 523
Change from Last Week: +2


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Series Title: Stoker and Holmes
Author: Colleen Gleason
Date Added: August 1, 2016
Date Purchased: October 21, 2016
Media Type: Kindle
Price: $1.99

I bought this after receiving a message from Cupcakes and Machetes on Goodreads that it was only $1.99 on Kindle.  Hell yes!  Even if I hate it, I only spent $1.99.  I waste waaaaaaaaaay more money on other things.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Purchased: October 24 2016
Media Type: Kindle
Price: $5.99

I had no idea I’d added this book so long ago.  In an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff (and remove said chaff from my TBR list), I downloaded around 25 samples on my Kindle, and this was one of them.  I have some experience with the author due to her ShiverWhile I didn’t finish it, it’s not an Unfinished and remains on my TBR list.  The book in question is even more intriguing.  The writing is so tantalizing and lush, and I wanted more from the sample I read.  It was only $5.99, which I consider pretty cheap for a book I’m bound to enjoy.


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: 10/19/16      The State of the Reader: 11/2/16–>

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The State of the Reader: 10/19/16

<–The State of the Reader: 10/12/16          The State of the Reader: 10/26/16–>

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.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 22%

I seriously doubt I’m going to finish this before the end of the year seeing as I only go up a percentage a week and there are far less than 78 weeks left.  Hell 78 weeks is like a year and half so by that count I’ll be finished this by 2018  It’s okay though. I’m enjoying the read.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 75%

There’s a good chance I will finish this one before the end of the year and most certainly before The Winds of Winter comes out.  I’ll be lucky if the 6th book is released by this time next year, let’s be honest.

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 13%

I’m ready to get to the more fantasy part of this book.  The author keeps teasing it in the “everyone thinks Aza is hallucinating” or “her visions are due to her illness” type of way, and I just want to see what this magical world (that I assume is called Magonia) is like.  So far Aza’s witty for the sake of witty attitude hasn’t become too grating, and I’m hoping it stays that way.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 6%

I’m enjoying this so far.  The pacing is good, the main character Rupert is both intriguing and sympathetic, and the story presents a lot of plot coupons that need to be cashed in.  It’s 400 pages, so I’ve got quite a ways to go!

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 10/12/16

<–The State of the Reader: 10/5/16          The State of the Reader: 10/19/16–>

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.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 21%

This is probably my favorite out of the three books I’m reading right now.  It’s such an awesome compendium of Welsh mythology.  I’m still on the second book/branch, reading about a marriage that is not going well.  To appease his people, the king not only set the queen aside, but forced her to be a scullery maid.  This…actually kind of happens in my short story.  Not in quite the same way, but forced drudgery is similar.  There’s a ray of hope though for retribution is coming.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 72%

I read ten pages of this book this week, but since the volume is huge (as in size.  It’s an oversized book), that’s probably equivalent to around 30 pages.  There’s still around a hundred pages left, but as it’s more of a reference book,  many of the pages are filled with pictures so it’s not a true one hundred.

I’m about to read about Dorne, which is the only region of Westeros to resist the Targaryen conquest.  The dragon lords had to compromise with the Dornish, which is why those southern most leaders still style themselves Prince and Princess.

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 7%

I finished Chapter 1 and made some headway on Chapter 2.  I like the writing style, but it can be a bit too over the top.  I think that’s what’s stalling me.  I did reach the part where Aza glimpses the ship in the sky, so hopefully things will get more interesting than mundane soon.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

My fanfiction writing friend updated a chapter this week, but it’s not on my schedule to read until Friday so no progress in that regard.


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 1

Title: Test Your Cat: The Cat IQ Test
Author: E.M. Bard
Date Added: October 11, 2016

Look, I’m not even going to pretend that I’m ashamed.  I want this.  I want to know if my buff orange tabby who’s mostly Siamese is really the genius I believe.  He’s outsmarted me dozens of times, which probably says more for my intelligence than his.  He also might be too lazy to care about any of the tests this might contain, but he’ll do damn near anything for food.  Either way, no shame over here hehe.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 559

New thing I suppose.  I removed around ten books based on the samples I downloaded this week, and I downloaded around 30.  Some of them I definitely like and will keep, but if I can whittle down my TBR list below 500, I’ll be very happy..


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased 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: 10/5/16          The State of the Reader: 10/19/16–>

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The State of the Reader: 10/5/16

<–The State of the Reader: 9/28/16          The State of the Reader: 10/12/16–>

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.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Khalarea the Fallen
Series Title: Tales of Yagath
Author: Claus Augustus Corbett
Date Added: April 3, 2016
Date Started: September 19, 2016
Date Finished: October 2, 2016

I’m planning on writing a review of this one.  Actually, I think I have it on my day planner for tonight, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.  More than likely I’ll do it this weekend.


Books Unfinished This Week: 1

Title: The Scarlet Mantle
Series Title: Tales of Yagath
Author: Claus Augustus Corbett
Date Added: October 2, 2016
Date Started: October 2, 2016
Date Unfinished: October 3, 2016

This is the sequel to Khalarea the Fallen above, and it’s the book my unknown friend was telling me about a while ago where the author risked sales to put a content warning.  While I definitely appreciated that, the story unfortunately didn’t hold my interest.  I’m not planning a separate, unfinished review, but rather I’ll talk about the issues I had with it when I review Khalarea.


Books Currently Reading: 3

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 19%

I’ve reached the part of the book where they’re talking about the Black Cauldron.  Now anyone who remembers Disney’s darker era (and I’m mean that both in the macabre sense and the lower quality sense.  It’s been called “the film that almost ruined Disney”) might recall the movie The Black CauldronThat was the catalyst for getting me to read The Prydain Chronicles, and it’s how I got to where I am reading this today.

The Cauldron is just as terrible and tempting as it was in the books.  It reminds me of how the wights act in ASOIAF of course, and otherworldly, glowing (green) eyes that indicate a power unknown in control make me think of that and FFVII.  There’s a fantastic video speculating why the wights’ eyes glow like they do, and the implications are a bit chilling.  Considering that VII has that layer of manipulation, and it most certainly does concern people and abominations with glowing eyes, I come to think the usage of this trope is not coincidental, and the implications of it are older than once believed.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 69%

I’m currently reading the section on the Stormlands and the time before the Andal invasion.  Huh, wasn’t I already talking about Song above?

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 3%

I bought this book a few months ago on a failed “I’m just going to get one thing from Target” run.  The cover is magnificent and the story seemed intriguing.  Since I finished Miss Peregrine last week, I needed another general fiction/fantasy.  I picked this up off my shelf and reread the blurb, which I never noticed invoked both the novel The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and the video game Child of Light by Ubisoft Montreal.  The faulty lungs for the former, and the death/escape to another world for the latter.  Since these are two of my favorite things, I thought the combination would be perfect.  So far it’s a little bit too Fault like with her “lungs not understanding air” (“my lungs suck at being lungs”), and even the snarky attitude is similar to Hazel Grace, but I like the language even if it is a bit metaphor heavy, and I’m curious about this world (which I assume is called Magonia) that Aza Ray (which sounds a lot like “ashre” so maybe some religious symbolism in the name.  I like names with religious symbolism attached…in case you didn’t know) finds herself in.  Hoping to get there soon.  I’m only 3% in so I’ve a ways to go.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 1

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

I’m so happy my friend has been feeling up to updating her stories including this one!  She’s also close to finishing my Northern Lights and has impeccable timing since I’ll probably start posting The Broken Rose within the next few weeks.  Ah, if only I could be so lucky.  She has Chapter 13 finished.  I’m guessing she’s going to take the story to the end of the game, though I’m not sure since she didn’t actually start at the beginning.

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 7

Title: Bambi’s Children
Series Title: Bambi
Author: Felix Salten
Date Added: September 28, 2016

I didn’t know Mr. Salten wrote a sequel to his Bambi, and since I added that to my To Be Reread list, it’s only fitting that I add the second book to my TBR list.

Title: The Stolen Child
Author: Keith Donohue
Date Added: September 30, 2016

A story written from the point of view of the changeling and the child so stolen as their lives eventually converge in dual searches for their truth.

This was one of those adds due to a review on another book by Kim over at By Hook or By Book (er the review is by Kim not the book hehe).  It’s the same author Keith Donohue and his novel The Motion of Puppets, which I didn’t add as it didn’t really pique my interest.  The review was also much less enthusiastic for this than for the this book and the next.

The Stolen Child looks like it would be something I’d highly enjoy.  I like both fairy tales and tales about fairy, which are rarely the same thing.

Title: The Boy Who Drew Monsters
Author: Keith Donohue
Date Added: September 30, 2016

This was added due to the same review above.  There’s a definite eerie vibe to this book that just pulls me.  Despite my claims to being frightened of horror, I’m inexplicably drawn to it, or maybe not so inexplicable if I really drill down into the psychology.  I put horror motifs into nearly all the stories I write, and my favorites contain them as well.  The novel boasts strange drawings that come to life, ghostly apparitions, and drowning motifs.  It’s a trifecta of darkness.

Title: The Scarlet Mantle
Series Title: Tales of Yagath
Author: Claus Augustus Corbett
Date Added: October 2, 2016

This is the second book in the Tales of Yagath series, added after I finished the first (as indicated above).  This is the book my friend (whomever they may be) was referring to when the said the author risked losing sales in order to provide a content warning.  It’s also the reason I bought the first book since I respected him for taking that chance in order to give an oft needed warning.

The main character has bright violet eyes, which mark her as a Targaryen demon/witch, and for that she needs to die.  The blurb both directly mentions she’s abused by the hunters who find her, and the author has a warning at the end to leave no doubt as to what type of abuse.  It’s a short story at only 41 pages, so hopefully it will be quick if brutal.

Note:  This is the fastest turnaround I’ve ever had on a book.  I both added, bought, and declared it an unfinished all within a week.

Title: Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics
Author: Jason Porath
Date Added: October 3, 2016

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed today and came across this tome shared by a friend.  I’m a fan of rebellious women.  We tend to make more waves than our sweet princess counterparts.  We also tend to graduate from mere princess status fairly quickly.  I mean Daenerys is a queen 🙂

Title: The Catalyst
Author: Helena Coggan
Date Added: October 5, 2016

So the story behind this book makes me feel like a total failure.  The author wrote this when she was thirteen, and now it’s published two years later.  She’s less than half my age and a hundred times more successful.  Yeah…I feel great about myself at 36 and still a rejected writer 😦

The world is divided into magic users and non-magic users, and the magic users, or Gifted, brutally control whom they call the Ashkind, and am I the only one pronouncing that like “ash-keent” instead of “ash-kind?”  It just seems appropriate.  But the main character and her father have a major secret, and an old enemy is threatening a catastrophic war.

This was reviewed by Kim over at By Hook or By Book and through that, I know there are some angel and demon shenanigans going on, which is a big draw.

Title: The Six-Gun Tarot
Series Title: Golgotha
Author: R.S. Belcher
Date Added: October 5, 2016

I’m not even mad at Cupcakes and Machetes for “making” me add this book, because it sounds fucking amazing.  I’m a fan of mixing genres when the brew turns into gold (figure my favorite story is sci-fi/fantasy fusion with tons of religious symbolism, mythology references, and horror motifs, so…), and the name of the city (and series) makes me think there will be religious symbolism all over the place.  While I’m not usually a fan of westerns, neither will I turn down a good sounding book based on one petty reason alone.


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 1

Title: The Scarlet Mantle
Series Title: Tales of Yagath
Author: Claus Augustus Corbett
Date Added: October 2, 2016

Bought on my Kindle.


I added two shelves to my Goodreads this week: passed-based-on-sample and downloaded-sample.  The first shelf is an exclusive (meaning in GR lingo, a book can only be on that shelf) and is for books I downloaded a sample for and decided not to read based on that.  The second shelf is for the samples I download so I can keep track of them.  I decided to go through Amazon on my lunch break and see what I could send to my Kindle.  I’m probably add more tomorrow and try to download all the samples I can.  This should help clear out my TBR list.

I’m also thinking about adding a really-want-to-read shelf since there are some books (like The Six-Gun Tarot above) that I’m super excited about, but they can get buried in the flurry of so many.


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: 9/28/16          The State of the Reader: 10/12/16–>

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