The State of the Reader: 6/21/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/14/17          The State of the Reader: 6/28/17–>

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. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey: Kept – I’ve only read one book that involved Mercedes Lackey, and it was a collaboration with Piers Anthony, If I Pay Thee Not in GoldThis held my interest enough to give it a try.
  2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: Kept (RWTR) – This is currently one of the many books with giveaway contests on Goodreads.  I doubt I’ll win, but I’d buy I plan to buy it eventually anyway.  It’s so beautifully written with such a dark premise.
  3. Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene: Passed – This comes off as overly religious and preachy.  I love religious symbolism, but this book seems like it’s going to have some judgmental moral at the end of it as to why the town is shrouded in darkness, and I just have no interest.
  4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu: Kept (RWTR) – I saw this book in Target a few months ago, but didn’t make the purchase because I wasn’t sure.  I regret not doing so.  The beginning is haunting as the main character Adelina overhears her father literally sell her to a merchant in order to pay off his debts, because no other man would want her due to the ravages of the “blood fever.”
  5. The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Green: Passed – The beginning is very confusing and jumbled.  I’m guessing the author wants to introduce the premise of what it feels like to “jump” into the minds of other species, but that’s already enough of an odd concept that obfuscating it even more makes the narrative damn near impossible to follow.  I was hoping for something akin to how GRRM describes warging in ASOIAF, but the beginning of this book is unfortunately a convoluted mess.  The blurb sounds really interesting, and I hate to pass on it, but it really lost me at the start.
  6. The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer: Kept (RWTR) – I’m surprised by this one.  I thought I was going to pass on it and didn’t consider it would wind up on my really-want-to-read list, but the way the people of this fantastic version of Venice are subjugating and abusing mythical creatures such as mermaids and stone lions calls for a great reckoning.
  7. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: Kept (RWTR) – This book was fascinating from the start.  Set in the Gold Rush Era, the main character is a girl who can sense gold, yet her family is still struggling.  Her father has some kind of ailment, and her parents don’t seem as overjoyed with her ability as you’d think.  I’m guessing because if anyone knows about it, they’d try to exploit her, and this seems to be the catalyst of the story.
  8. A Thread in the Tangle by Sabrina Flynn: Kept – I think if I hadn’t added the last two books to my really-want-to-read list I would’ve added this one, too.  Sometimes I reconsider and do that later, if a story stays with me, because this one is introduces some fantastic dynamics.  The one character (who appears to be more than human) is clearly not afraid of the emperor, and he seems to care far more about the monarch’s daughter than her father does (what is the title for an emperor’s daughter anyway?  I guess you could still use princess), seeing as the emperor is threatening to lock a four year old in the dungeon until she can be sold.  WTF.
  9. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: Kept (RWTR) – This book is a dream to someone who loves both magical realism and angels.  The main character may not be one for true, but having the wings of a bird is close enough for me.  The  language is lush and beautiful, and this is firmly on my to-buy-next shelf.  I could’ve purchased it on Kindle, but this is one of the novels I want to own a physical copy of.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Author: David Eagleman
Date Added: May 7, 2017
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $16.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: Tigana
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Date Added: February 9, 2016
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $22.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

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The State of the Reader: 6/14/17

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

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. Starglass by Phoebe North: Kept – I kept it, but I didn’t read that much of the sample.  Too many dead mom feels :\
  2. The Passage by Justin Cronin: Kept (RWTR) – I would’ve bought this had it not been so expensive.  Stories this immersive come along once in a blue moon, and the brief sample painted a picture I wish more people could understand: how poverty, domestic abuse, and lack of support utterly destroys lives.  Some people have no one to turn to when everything goes wrong, and they are driven to make undesirable choices when in reality there is none.
  3. Everlost by Neal Shusterman: Kept – I took it off my really-want-to-read list because the language is a bit juvenile, and I was expecting it to be more profound.  I think it’s more mid-grade than YA, so the author chose simpler language I suppose.
  4. Anomalies by Sadie Turner & Colette Freedman: Passed – Just rereading the blurb again told me this would have to blow me away with its prose for me to keep it.  It didn’t and the title makes me think it’s going to be in a similar vein to Divergent, which I was lukewarm on anyway, so this is going into my passed bin.
  5. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: Kept – The gentle writing in this reminded me of how the early 1900 were romanticized, not how they really are.  While that narrative isn’t true, there is still a beauty in the lie.
  6. Fire, Fury, Faith by N. D. Jones: Kept – There’s a dearth of paranormal romance that features people of color, so I like to support whenever I can.  Plus this is about angels, my favorite thing ever.
  7. Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia: Kept – The writing is lush and pretty, and there’s something endearing about the android main character Mattie.
  8. Among Others by Jo Walton: Kept – Though the blurb puts this book into the fantasy genre, what I’ve read so far could just be considered magical realism or even magical wishism.  Nothing particularly magical has happened or rather the supposed magical thing could be chalked up to coincidence.  The language of the writing and the fact the main character loves reading sci-fi has me intrigued.

Books Purchased This Week: 6

Title: Gaslight Hades
Series Title: The Bonekeeper Chronicles
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: June 11, 2017
Date Purchased: June 11, 2017

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

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The State of the Reader: 6/7/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/31/17          The State of the Reader: 6/14/17–>

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 Names by Don DeLillo: Passed – I read White Noise by the same author in my postmodern literature class, and I loved it, but this one just didn’t catch me at all.
  2. All Fall Down by Christine Pope: Kept – I love the main character’s blunt, no-nonsense voice.  It works perfectly for her role.  I also love that she’s a doctor in a medieval fantasy setting, and she’s respected as such for the most part.  The only people who don’t respect her are the slaver’s who’ve captured her, obviously.  She makes it a point to say that her order values science so she’s not like the religious healers they compare her to.
  3. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Kept – It didn’t strike me as hard as The Raven Boys, but Maggie Stiefvater still has this way about her writing that’s just so alluring.
  4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: Passed – I really wanted to like this one.  I talked myself into adding it after seeing it pop up in my newsfeed a few times.  I won’t say I should’ve just passed on it without giving it a try, because you never know, but the story just doesn’t grab me.
  5. Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds: Kept – The mystery of what killed off this alien civilization almost a million years ago overrides my dislike of the main character.  He could just be driven, but if there’s something called a “razorstorm” coming your way, it seems logical that you’d want to get yourself and people out of there.  I’m also wondering if this is a Reaper like situation.
  6. Alive by Scott Sigler: Kept (RWTR) – Holy shit does this story drag you into a world of fear of confusion.  The main character starts off locked in a coffin, and she has to fight her way out.  She finds herself in a room with 11 other caskets and a plaque by hers with “M. Savage” on it, which is all she knows of her name.  I want to know what’s going on.
  7. The Archived by Victoria Schwab: Kept (RWTR) – If this hadn’t been so expensive, I would’ve bought it immediately.  The Archived in question are the dead, and the story starts out with two deaths and a whole bunch of secrets.
  8. The Crow Box by Nikki Rae: Kept/Purchased – I wasn’t as excited about this one as the above, but it was interesting and not that expensive.  The main character Corbin (which sounds a bit like corvus, the Latin word for crow) is plagued by a voice she doesn’t know is real or fake.  She worries about her mental health in seeing her mother’s struggles, and there’s a little poem in the beginning that suggests this is a kind of ghost story.

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Saga, Volume 5
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 6, 2017
Date Purchased: June 6, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $7.35
Retailer: Amazon

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The State of the Reader: 3/22/17

<–The State of the Reader: 3/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/29/17–>

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.

Books Unfinished This Week: 1

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017
Date Unfinished: March 13, 2017
Reading Duration: 30 days

Media: Hardback
Final Progress: 38%; Page 135

Before I talk about the status of this book, I should first explain the “Unfinished” status.  It’s different from “Did Not Finish/DNF.”  I used to call my DNF books “Unfinished” (I know, hella confusing), but I decided to differentiate.  DNF means I have absolutely no interest in finishing the book.  It was either not for me and/or I found the writing not up to par; and it’s likely not a book I’m ever going to pick up again.

Conversely, “Unfinished” consists of books I either didn’t finish for reasons that have less to do with their quality or books I’m setting aside for the time being.  Prospero Lost falls into the latter camp.  It’s not a bad book by any means, but it’s not really holding my attention as hard as something else might right now, and I have so many books to read.  I may come back to it at a later time, but I do intend to write an Unfinished review at some point in the near future..  I need to buy more bookmarks …

So as suggested last week, I’m going to shelf Prospero Lost for the time being and move onto the next book on the fantasy/sci-fi/general fiction shelf.


Samples Read This Week: 7

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: Kept (RWTR) – This book starts off so strong and intriguing and also has one of my favorite elements: mental manipulation/mind control.  The first chapter lures you in with the lovelorn plight of a lonely guard then it utterly blows you away with the unexpected.
  2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: Kept (RWTR) – Holy shit do I really want to read this.  It has FFVII, Hunger Games, and Mistborn all over it.  The elite, ruling class literally has silver blood (Silver…Elite ahhhh!) whereas the lower class has common, red blood.  The main character Mare has a voice similar to Katniss, and she and her people are as downtrodden as Mistborn’s skaa.  While I didn’t finish Sanderson’s series for various reasons, I still loved the idea behind it, the detail, and the world building so books that contain similar themes are of interest to me.
  3. Ratha’s Creature by Clare Bell: Kept – I grew up reading animal based fiction/fantasy (e.g. Watership Down, Tailchaser’s Song, Fantastic Mr. Fox, etc.) and was introduced to this story through an 80s/early 90s cartoon CBS Story Break.  The writing reminds me of what I grew up with, so there’s a definite nostalgia factor involved.
  4. Written in Blood by Anne Bishop: Passed – This book has a 4.30 rating, and I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Bishops Black Jewels Trilogy in high school, but this book just didn’t do much for me.  I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s urban fantasy, and I’m really hard to please in that department.
  5. Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil: Kept (RWTR) – This book throws you right into the fray or should I say flood.  The opening line is gut wrenching, since the catalyst for the story has already happened, and the main character is recounting how everything occurred.
  6. Chime by Frannie Billingsly: Passed – While I loved the fairy tale aspect and the slight subversion with the dead stepmother (as opposed to dead mother), the writing just wasn’t for me.  The main character liked to double back on her sentences and almost seem like she was speaking to the reader, and it was jarring and took me a bit out of the story.  I also found out that this could be considered urban fantasy, so that’s another strike.
  7. Consider Phelbas by Iain Banks: Kept (RWTR) – This is a sci-fi novel written almost poetically.  It has more of a fantasy flare to it, which I really like.  I’m a fan of what I used to call sci-fi/fantasy fusion, which I found is already been named science fantasy.

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: The Golden Bough
Author: James George Frazer
Date Added: February 21, 2012
Date Purchased: March 17, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.00
Retailer: Amazon

There’s nothing cheaper than something free, and this is a book I’ve wanted for years.  I may still pick up a hard copy, because I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do the combination of reference and Kindle (I usually have fantasy/sci-fi/general fiction on there), but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

Title: Silent Child
Author: Sarah A. Denzil
Date Added: March 13, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: January 28, 2017
Date Started: March 19, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 8%

I love the taste of the words.  They’re random, scattered, and deliciously mad, yet they weave the lives before you in such brazen relief.  The narrative doesn’t have just one direction; it has all directions dependent on which way the characters, the carriers of it, decide to go.  It’s equal parts worrisome (to the outside observer and stodgy adult) and equal parts devil may care.

I’ve seen a paltry few shows about British teens (the only one coming to mind right now is The Misfits), and I have to agree with the assessment by Roll Magazine on the back cover that standard portrayals of their American counterparts are tame/genteel in comparison.  I’m looking forward to where Jitty and gang take me.

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: March 4, 2017
Date Started: March 5, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 38%

Speaking of American teens hehe.  Blue and crew are much tamer in comparison to the fore mentioned, but what they’re seeking is more than wild.  This installment seems to be focusing more on Gansey and her, which makes sense since that’s how it all started (plus the title does heavily suggest she’ll be center stage).

Title: The Quantum Door
Author: Jonathon Ballagh
Illustrator: Ben J. Adams
Date Added: February 18, 2016
Date Started: March 3, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 71%

I’m really curious what the final act of this novel is going to bring.  The main concern of the first two parts was solved, but then something else happened at the end of second.  The book has been very stingy in showing us what’s really going on.  Why is there a quantum door in the first place?  How is that other world connected with our own?  Why is the nature of that world what it is?  Are there other worlds?  And more questions that would be spoilerific to post here.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 45%

The latest chapter was on time travel, which Professor Hawking has some doubts on.  He brought up the question of “If time travel is possible, why hasn’t anyone from the future come back to visit us?”  He went over the idea that it might be highly regulated, but humans will always be what they are, and it’s highly likely that someone would slip through the cracks.  It’s possible that time travelers are among us, and we just don’t know about.  They’re either good at keeping the secret or more likely if they told anyone in this time, they wouldn’t believe them anyway.  Maybe that’s the real paradox.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 76%

I officially like the third section of this compendium the least.  The main character is the least likable and the most dastardly and selfish.  It’s hard to come back from aiding and abetting your brother in such a heinous crime, and even after the siblings were punished (more or less duly), they still showed little remorse for what they put that poor maiden through.  There’s also a creep factor in that Gwydion proposed marriage to his own sister (ugh and ew) to which she wasn’t really disgusted, but rather just said the New Tribes didn’t like it.  Granted, I love ASOIAF so this shouldn’t be too out of sorts for me, but it’s still super icky.  The sister Arianrhod isn’t that much of a treat either.  When she came to the court, she did the whole “it’s the victim’s fault for getting my brothers in trouble” thing, and I wanted to pull out all of her hair.  It’s really interesting how the first two parts had main characters of honor and grace where this part you really can’t sympathize with them, and you hope they get an eternal comeuppance.


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 from RM, but I need to hop on tumblr to check out the pics from PAX East she said she’d post 🙂

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

I read Chapter 2 last night, and oh my god…it’s so well written.  It doesn’t even matter that I haven’t played Dragon Age and I’m not that familiar with the culture of the Dahlish elves.  I could learn about it from Athene’s story.  Words from their language is seamlessly woven in, and even though there’s a glossary at the end of each chapter, it’s really not that hard to figure out the gist of the words.  I  may try to read two chapters a session so I can catch up.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 1

Title: The Vagrant
Series Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman
Date Added: March 20, 2017

This came up as a recommendation after I bought Silent Child.  The blurb was a bit more elaborate on Amazon.  It mentioned seraph defenders and something else angelic, but even the shorter blurb on GR would’ve been sufficient for me to add.  The nameless protagonist carries a legendary sword and a baby, and that’s too odd of a combination for me to pass this up.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 442
Change from Last Week: -7


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: 3/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/29/17–>

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