The State of the Reader: 12/5/18

<–The State of the Reader: 10/24/18          The State of the Reader: 12/19/18–>

A weekly 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.

Books Purchased: 9


Books DNF: 2

  • A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton (Meredith Gentry) – Somehow or another LKH made silver hair boring.  I didn’t think that was possible, but she did it.  “But his hair was uniquely his own, silver, like metal beaten into hair.”  Are you…fucking…kidding me?  I didn’t even finish the first chapter and I took the rest of her books of my TBR list.  I love her earlier work, but you can tell she now only cares about collecting a check.
  • The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton (Flipped Fairy Tales) – Fuck abusive parents and fuck kindness when you’re being abused.  I know I have a huge issue with blaming the victim in stories like this.  I want to shake them and tell them to not put up with it, even though I know intellectually that that’s not fair.  It’s not the victim’s fault their abusers are trash.  I’m much more cognizant of it in real life, but in stories I hate a particular type of naivete in protagonists.  I think I hate when naivete is unrealistic even for fairy tales.  The MC is actually shocked her drunken, abusive father is willing to sell her to a whorehouse in order to pay his debts and continue to get his fix.  It just bugged me that she wouldn’t expect this from a man who’s done nothing but beat and belittle her since her mother left.  This is a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling, which isn’t one of my favorite stories in the first place, and I’m not invested enough in the character.  The ironic thing is this story is what got me interested in the Flipped Fairy Tale series in the first place.  I added it then realized it was the “second” in the compendium so I read Shadows on Snow first,which was okay.  It’s not like they’re in any order; I think it’s just the order Huchton wrote them.

Books Finished: 5

Title: Alex + Ada: The Complete Collection
Series Title: Alex + Ada
Author: Jonathan Luna
Artist: Sarah Vaugn
Date Added: October 28, 2016
Date Started: June 17, 2018
Date Finished: October 28, 2018
Reading Duration: 133 days

Alex + AdaIt didn’t take me this long to read this entire collection; I just split it up to pad my reading total.  The Complete Collection is made up of three books, but I read the one pictured above.  People rated the second and third higher than the first, and I’m not really sure why.  It’s an excellent series, and even though it doesn’t do anything new, it refines many previously touched on points in fiction involving AI sentience.

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Shadows on Snow by Starla Huchton (Flipped Fairy Tales #1)

More book reviews can be found here.

Title: Shadows on Snow
Series Title: Flipped Fairy Tales
Author: Starla Huchton
Date Started: July 30, 2017
Date Finished: August 15, 2017
Reading Duration: 16 days
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Romance, Young Adult

The cover of Shadows on Snow by Starla HuchtonPages: 250
Publication Date: November 3, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Media: eBook/Kindle


Once upon a time, a dark evil crept into my kingdom, stealing my loved ones and the happy life I knew. The world turned against me, and I swore to become stronger, to keep myself safe.

Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, hair dark as ebony, skin as pure as the freshly driven snow, and I became the only one who stood between him and death.

Once upon a time, our stories intertwined, and now, healing my heart may be the only way to save us all from the evil that threatens to destroy what little we have left.


I’ve always loved fairy tale retellings, so much so that I write them myself and infuse the all to familiar tropes in all of my works both fanfiction and original.  Starla Huchton has taken it upon herself to delve into terrain fairly well trodden in order to present the old in another new way.  Since this is the first of her stories I’ve read, I’m going off of assumption here, but it appears as though what she’s flipping is the gender of the participants.

The seven dwarfs are now seven sisters (who still manage to be princesses in their own right), the evil queen is an evil king, and Snow White is an ebon-haired, snow skinned prince named Leo who is a kind capable ruler that any man would be willing to follow and many a princess would want to marry, but he’s not the main character; the Rae is.

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The State of the Reader: 10/11/17

<–The State of the Reader: 10/4/17          The State of the Reader: 10/18/17–>

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. The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton: Kept – The second book in the Flipped Fairy Tales series seems just as promising as the first.
  2. The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin: Kept – This is one of the books I broke my “one book per author” rule for since I had it on my “Blogger Recommendations” list.  I own the first book in Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy, so chances are I’ll read that first, but it was hard to turn down a book in a series called Dreamblood.
  3. The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue: Kept – Another book I broke my fore mentioned rule for.  I always think of A Monster Calls whenever I see this book.  I guess because “monster” is in both their titles.  The beginning of this has potential in the prologue with its “dream house” setting.
  4. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue: Kept – This completes the triad of books that break my “one book per author rule.”  The “wonder” is a little girl who apparently lives off of air.  Curious how the author is going to tackle the “breatharian” controversy.
  5. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Kept (RWTR) – It only took the first two sentences.  I’m not even joking: “On the morning we were to leave for our Grand Tour of the Continent, I wake in bed beside Percy.  For a disorienting moment, it’s unclear whether we’ve slept together or simple slept together.” I laughed aloud at my desk.  It’s just the most appropriate line and exactly what I’d expect from a story with this title and premise.  I initially put it on my library shelf, but just switched it on my to-buy shelf.
  6. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss: Kept – It opens with a funeral.   My favorite thing!  I’ve already read and liked the author’s other work, and a story about the daughters of fictional monsters sounds interesting enough to borrow from the library.

Books Purchased This Week: 3

Title: The Stillness of the Sky
Series Title: Flipped Fairy Tale
Author: Starla Huchton
Date Added: August 16, 2017
Date Purchased: October 3, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

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The State of the Writer: 8/20/17

<–The State of the Writer: 8/13/17          The State of the Writer: 8/27/17–.

A weekly post updated every Sunday 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: 266,548
Prior Word Count: 266,752
Word Difference: -204
Status: Editing
Progress: Reviewing Chapter 11

This is the second “letter” chapter (with Chapter 5 being the first), but as I was doing my preliminaries last night, I ran into an integral question.  Is this chapter necessary?  With writing or more specifically editing, that’s something you always want to ask.  Is this chapter/part necessary to the story?  Is it needed to further your and therefore the characters’ goal(s)?

My idea with the letter chapters was to show the past, present, and future through Aeris’s eyes.  The first letter is all about her horrible past and her struggles to reconcile it with the wonderful present.  There are ideas of worthiness and blame she has to wrestle with along with a sort of survivor’s guilt.  She was saved from that horrendous existence, but she can’t stop thinking about those who are still suffering, and that’s tearing her up inside.  She wonders why she was worthy to be rescued when she could physically “take” the worst kinds of abuse, because she’d just come back, but others would actually die.

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The State of the Reader: 8/16/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/9/17          The State of the Reader: 8/23/17–>

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. The Pendragon Protocol by Philip Purser-Hallard: Kept – Arthurian Knights in the modern day with modern technology doing what they do best.  Certain types of urban fantasy are growing on me.  I like the speculation of how classic fantasy characters and tropes would look with modern technology.  It was also inexpensive, so I now have it on Kindle.
  2. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough: Kept – I hoping this psychological thriller is more satisfying than the last one I read.
  3. Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold: Passed – It just didn’t grab me.
  4. One by Sarah Crossan: Kept (RWTR) – I had no idea this was written in free verse lending it a lovely poetic air.  I was already interesting in it for it’s subject matter (conjoined twin sisters), though I have a feeling I’m going to be a bawling mess by the end.
  5. Dweller by Jeff Strand: Kept (RWTR) – Gripping from the very first sentence, and the monster (or monsters) from the blurb are clearly sentient.  At only $2.99 I had to buy it.
  6. Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory: Kept – This has been a week of cheap samples.  I keep reading samples for books that are really inexpensive on Amazon.  This is a zombie story with a twist (of course, since zombie stories are old news now).  The Mayhall family finds the body of a pregnant teenager with a seemingly dead baby, but though the child has no pulse, he appears to be “alive.”  They hide the child from the authorities who will kill him (sounds similar to The Last of Us), keeping his existence a secret until circumstances force the boy, whom they name Stony, to run.  This is the second Daryl Gregory book I’ll have read, the first being The Devil’s Alphabet, which had a great deal of potential, but was ultimately disappointing.  I hope Raising Stony Mayhall doesn’t fall into the same trap.
  7. The Children of Húrin by Christopher Tolkien: Kept – This was one of those books that had too much introduction, so I didn’t actually get to read any of it, but it’s the work of J. R. R. Tolkien edited by his son, so I have high hopes.  I was also able to borrow it on Amazon Prime.  Apparently, you can do that with some books with the limit being ten at a time.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: The Pendragon Protocol
Series Title: The Devices Trilogy
Author: Philip Purser-Hallard
Date Added: January 15, 2017
Date Purchased: August 10, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.95
Retailer: Amazon

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The State of the Reader: 8/9/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/2/17          The State of the Reader: 8/16/17–>

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. Dreadnought by April Daniels: Kept (RWTR) – When I come across a book with a transgender main character, it’s going on my really-want-to-read list for the representation alone.  It doesn’t hurt that the first page instantly makes you feel for her.  All she wants to do is buy some damn nail polish.
  2. Doon by Lorie Langdon: Kept – This starts off as your typical YA high school drama (and I’m not saying this to diminish the drama that happens in high school or invalidate any of the very real feelings about the fore mentioned), but it comes off realistically and not trite despite the common subject matter of a girl fighting with her boyfriend over another girl.  If the mundane aspects of the fantasy are presented in such an interesting way, I have high hopes for the more magical ones.
  3. Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff: Kept – It was hard not to think of Redwall Abbey while looking at this, since it takes place in Red Abbey, which is a sanctuary for abused women and girls.  The MC’s peaceful life is upended when the newcomer Jai arrives, and I want to know how.  The book was pretty cheap on Amazon Kindle, so I suppose I’ll find out soon.
  4. Nemesis by Brendan Reichs: Kept – Every year on the main character’s birthday, she’s killed by a mysterious assailant, afterwards waking up still quite alive, but like any person who doesn’t get off on their own murder, she wants the cycle to end.
  5. Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke: Kept – This is the fourth sample I read in one day, and I honestly can’t remember what the hell the book is about.  I remember the cover is pretty and I liked it enough to keep.  Haha, what’s the point of me doing this Sample section if I’m not going to have something to say about the books?  Oh, it’s about parallel realities.  Totally up my alley.
  6. Gilded Cage by Vic James: Kept – It’s interesting enough for the library list.  The magic users are the elite and if you’re not one you have to serve a magical family for ten years as an indentured servant.
  7. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge: Kept – It’s about a tree that grants favors if you tell it lies.  That’s not going to end poorly at all.
  8. The Borrowers by Mary Norton: Kept – I read The Borrowers Afield years ago when I was a child, but it was the second book in the series, which I could tell even then without knowledge of the first.  The Borrowers and their life/situation already seemed well established (or rather in upheaval since they had to leave their cozy home).  I’d like to see how it all begins.
  9. Red Rising by Pierce Brown: Kept (RWTR) – The opening line.  “I would have lived in peace.  But my enemies brought me war.”  Yes.  Hell yes.  The language.  The stakes.  The oppression.  I can tell this is an epic tale worthy of my attention.

Books Purchased This Week: 1

Title: Maresi
Series Title: The Red Abbey Chronicles
Author: Maria Turtschaninoff
Date Added: December 18, 2016
Date Purchased: August 5, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

Total Price: $2.99
Average Price: $2.99

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The State of the Reader: 8/2/17

<–The State of the Reader: 7/26/17          The State of the Reader: 8/9/17–>

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. The Moonborn: or, Moby-Dick on the Moon by D. F. Lovett: Kept – A book by a fellow blogger that has a thousand times more excitement in the first page than the classic had in the entire novel?  Of course!
  2. The Jekyll Revelation by Robert Masello: Kept – I haven’t read the classic this is based on or rather springs from, but it’s a well known narrative, and I’m sure I”ll be able to get by.
  3. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers: Kept – This is touted as a space opera, and given how much I loved Saga paired with the few pages of the sample I read, and I think it’s a good find.
  4. Hyperion by Dan Simmons: Kept – I’m wracking up the sci-fi lately with this one, the above and the first sample book.  The language is a bit tech/jargon-y, but I’m used to that in fantasy, too.  I’ want to know why these Time Tombs are so deadly.  I want to know the nature of the Shrike.  I want to know about the seven pilgrims.
  5. The Secret Life of Souls by Jack Ketchum & Lucky McGee: Kept – It’s a dog story, and the dog better not die.
  6. The Martian by Andy Weir: Kept – I love stories that start after the disaster has occurred.  Even if the explanation is kind of boring (which it normally isn’t for me), you know at least you have something to look forward to in the aftermath.  I like the way it’s written as a journal, and since I’ve never seen the movie, I’m going into it fresh.
  7. Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen: Kept (RWTR) – I loved the voice from the get-go and when I realized the main character is half-Black, half-Native American and she’s pretty much an unwanted foundling who’s treated little better than a slave, that was all I needed.

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: The Moonborn: or, Moby-Dick on the Moon
Author: D.F. Lovett
Date Added: November 15, 2016
Date Purchased: July 27, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $4.99
Retailer: Amazon

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