Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #2)

Title: Fool Moon
Series Title: The Dresden Files
Author: Jim Butcher
Date Added: January 17, 2013
Date Started: May 26, 2018
Date Finished: June 27, 2018
Reading Duration: 32 Days
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Mystery

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #2) coverPages: 401
Publication Date: January 1, 2001
Publisher: Roc
Media: Paperback

Harry Dresden–Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work–magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses–and the first two don’t count…

Where do I even begin?  Not only is this book astoundingly predictable, but the main character’s overbearing White Knight complex is arguably the catalyst for a friend’s death and the start of everything.   Harry’s refusal to give her any information leads to her making a fatal error, and you can see it coming from a mile away.  It’s bad enough he does this to one of his student’s, but when Dresden does the same thing to Karen Murphy, the fucking police chief, it’s impossible not to call him out for his sexism.  Murphy is a police lieutenant with experience, and it’s goddamn patronizing, which is exactly what she tells him.  She’s not his daughter.  She’s not his student.  She’s a an experienced cop who has every right to take the risk.  If she has the information and knows something is dangerous, it’s her choice whether or not to follow through.  While I get Murphy might know all the ins and outs of magic, it’s still not Harry’s call, and the truth is his unwillingness to supply information is why his other friend wound up dead.

I said what I said gif - A Black woman with blonde hair gesticulating/pointing with her left hand

Then later, Murphy tells him not to keep secrets from her, and what does Harry do?  He doesn’t tell her about the car potentially tailing him, nor about the spell he could use to find the killer.  Then he has the fucking audacity to blame her for no longer considering him a friend, when he’s the one jeopardizing the friendship with his actions.  I can’t feel sorry for him for this or when Murphy arrests his ass.  All he had to do was let her know what was going on, and the only reason he didn’t was because of his ridiculous White Knight thing.

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Soulless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #1)

Title: Soulless
Series Title: Parasol Protectorate
Author: Gail Carriger
Date Added: October 26, 2016
Date Started: April 26, 2018
Date Finished: June 1, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural/Paranormal, Paranormal Romance

Soulless by Gail Carriger coverPages: 357
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Media: Paperback (Library)

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. 

First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Note: I borrowed this from the library with the thought it was a graphic novel/manga.  While there is a manga (which I also want to read after I finish the series), I didn’t realize it was based on the book, and that is what I wound up getting.

Nothing makes me happier than when a novel I’m dicey on becomes an utter delight.  I considered DNFing this because of the, how should I say it, Victorian bigotry that’s presented more as Alexia’s navigation through it rather than her own personal fixation.  She has to be concerned with her spinster status, huge nose, and darker skin (courtesy of her Italian father) because everyone, including and especially her mother and half-sisters, judge her for it.

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Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #1)

Title: Moon Called
Series Title: Mercy Thompson
Author: Patricia Briggs
Date Added: August 23, 2016
Date Started: September 6, 2017
Date Finished: September 27, 2017
Reading Duration: 21 days
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal Romance

Moon Called coverPages: 298
Publication Date: January 31, 2006
Publisher: Ace
Media: eBook/Kindle

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water..

Mercedes Thompson walks two worlds: one as a first class mechanic (yes…she’s a mechanic named “Mercedes”) while the other is a bit more supernatural.  With her fingers (or paws) in so many ponds, Mercy acts like a liaison between werewolves, vampires, fey, and humans, since she can’t be counted among any of them and can therefore serve as a sort of neutral party.  Unfortunately, aspects of her nature haven’t always had positive results, since she was forced to flee her foster home (and hometown) because of it.

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An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel

TitleAn Unattractive Vampire
Author: Jim McDoniel
Date Started: July 27, 2017
Date Finished: August 22, 2017
Reading Duration: 26 days
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Humor/Satire

The cover of An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDonielPages: 309
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sword & Laser
Media: eBook/Kindle

Jim McDoniel’s debut novel, An Unattractive Vampire, is a darkly comic urban fantasy of ancient horrors in suburban cities. After three centuries trapped underground, thousand-year-old Yulric Bile—also known as the Curséd One, the Devil’s Apprentice, He Who Worships the Slumbering Horrors—awakens only to find that no one believes he is a vampire. Apparently he’s just too ugly—modern vampires, he soon discovers, are pretty, weak, and, most disturbing of all, good. Determined to reestablish his bloodstained reign, Yulric sets out to correct this disgusting turn of events or, at the very least, murder the person responsible. With the help of pert vampire-wannabe Amanda; Simon, the eight-year-old reincarnation of his greatest foe; and a cadre of ancient and ugly horrors, Yulric prepares to battle the glamorous undead. But who will win the right to determine, once and for all, what it truly means to be a vampire?

An Unattractive Vampire begins as a cleverly tongue-in-cheek novel with a similar silliness and satire to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, seamlessly steering your sympathies towards an unholy monster and its last remaining followers.  A subversion of a subversion, the story takes the new(ish) idea of the beautiful, more modern vampires and makes it absurd with the introduction of the Nosferatu-like Yulric Bile, who’s been entombed beneath a garishly pink painted house for 300 years.   Of course in looking at the history of vampires, the beautiful types are absurd, as well (from a historical point of view), but when a paradigm exists for a while it becomes the norm, so the idea of an ugly vampire is not only outlandish, but also obscene.

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Descendants by Rae Else (The Arete Series #1)

Title: Descendants
Series Title: The Arete Series
Author: Rae Else
Date Added: March 5, 2017
Date Started: April 1, 2017
Date Finished: April 28, 2017
Reading Duration: 27 days
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Fantasy – Urban Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: 226
Publication Date: April 12, 2017
Publisher: Smashwords
Media: eBook/Kindle

Shares Paradigms With: The Mistborn Series, Hunger Games

There are lots of stories about the children of gods. But what about those cursed by the gods, and their descendants…

El, a seventeen-year-old has inherited an ancient and deadly power. She loses control of it, causing a horrific accident, and becomes the prey of a secret organisation known as the Order.

Forced from her family and home, she hides in plain sight amidst the crowds of London, and is thrust into a world that she never knew existed; one full of Arete: beings who possess extraordinary powers like hers.

Arete are beings that can trace their lineage and powers from Ancient Greece. They claim their inheritance does not come from the gods, rather legend says they are descended from cursed beings, such as Medusa.

At the heart of their world is the kerykeion, the symbol that protects them from the humans and the humans from them. El is trapped between two factions, one that has built an empire around the kerykeion and another that is determined to bring it down.

As she is drawn deeper into the conflict, the only way to find the truth is to take matters into her own hands, and the line between friend and foe becomes dangerously blurred.

Descendants is the first book in the Young Adult, Urban Fantasy trilogy: The Arete Series.

I was given an eArc copy by the author, and I’ll do my best to give an honest and fair review.

This first book The Arete Series  has a fascinating premise that deviates from the typical “children of the gods” motif.  The Arete are descendants of beings cursed by the gods such as Medusa, but it’s more of a Cursed With Awesome situation.

Arete powers are organized along elemental lines.  There are fiery drakons, watery sirens, airy typhons, and I can’t remember what the earth Arete are called.  However, they also have the power of manipulation, which can work both on other Arete and humans who are often derisively referred to as “andreko.”

El, the main character is a drakon, so she has fire powers, and she also has a controlling gaze.  The main action of the story begins when El inadvertently causes one of the patrons at the art house she works in to jump off a bridge.  The man survives, but using her powers has the risk of alerting the dreaded Order her grandmother Helene has been hiding her from her entire life.  With the catalyst for the story in place, El’s estranged mother Anna returns to take her to a safe house in London.  Helene, herself, is a powerful Arete, but she put out her eyes, thereby nullifying her powers, so that she could hide from the Order.

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Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (DNF)

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016
Date Started: January 25, 2017
Date DNF: February 8, 2017

Pages: 296
Publication Date:
September 20, 2016
Progress: 20%

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…

The fact I didn’t finish this book proves that I don’t like every story with a dead mother paradigm.  God. Damn.  That sounds super cynical, but usually that’s my kryptonite for sympathizing with a character, and it usually holds my interest throughout any tale.

Vassa in the Night is based on the Russian fairy tale “Vassalisa the Beautiful,” a story I’ve never read, but I surmise it’s their version of Cinderella.  I’m still interested in reading the original source even if an offshoot didn’t hold my attention.  What drew me to it in the first place was the emphasis on the personification of “night,” and the prologue seems to promise that this will be a prevalent plot point.  I love when abstract concepts are incarnated into entities with (free) will, but the snippet at the beginning was probably supposed to tide the reader over until later.

I think Vassa fell flat for me because I was expecting a story more like Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, and instead I got an urban fantasy (as opposed to a Helprin’s novel, which is more magical realism).  UF is probably my least favorite subsection of the fantasy genre.  I just don’t have much interest in reading about established, mundane cities regardless if you slather a veneer of magic over their grime, and holy shit…I just realized that FFVII could arguably be considered (among other things) an urban fantasy especially considering Midgar is supposed to be an analogue of New York, so I’m totally talking out of my ass.  Let me attempt to mitigate.

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The State of the Reader: 1/4/17

<–The State of the Reader: 12/28/16          The State of the Reader: 1/11/17–>

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 Currently Reading: 4

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 48%

I’m pretty sure I read a bit of this this week, but not enough to move the percentage needle.  I’m currently at a part where the greatest concern seems to be a false king and a secret paternity.  The prince of the new tribes believes his father to be one man, but he’s actually someone else, and this particular individual (along with the prince) is one of seven survivors of the Welsh’s war with the Irish.  Intriguing much.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 61%

You know it’s bad when the first sex scene between the characters does nothing for you, and their parting doesn’t move your heart one bit.  I don’t feel too bad giving this away, since it’s a general staple of romance narratives.  They fuck and they part, though not necessarily in that order in every narrative.  My biggest issue with this story is how abruptly Feyre and Tamlin fell in love.  It went from her having no interest in him to being head over heels for the High Lord.  There was little to no progression in the feeling, nor was any attraction painting prior to Chapter 18.  The one good thing I can say about this (and it’s kind of selfish but…) is I’m going to be extra diligent about such a paradigm when I reedit my own paranormal romance.  My biggest fear with stories like that is the romance doesn’t seem authentic, and that’s the problem I’m running into here, because there wasn’t adequate build up in the beginning.  I’m more than halfway through and still curious about what’s causing the blight.  The dialogue is at least well written and fairly witty, so there’s that to its credit.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 10%

I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas from my in-laws, and I absolutely adore it.  I was looking into purchasing one myself, since they’re only around $50, which is more than fair for a tablet.  I don’t see the need to drop $300-$500 on an iPad, when I’m really just paying for the name.  The Fire has 16G of space, and I’ve been using it to read and watch Let’s Plays on YouTube.  I downloaded a few apps as well, and may get one of those games you can play with your cat, because I’m that kind of person.

I prefaced with this because the KF is how I’m reading the above book, and I absolutely love it.  The main character Blue is a non-psychic in a family of female clairvoyants, but she’s always brought to a churchyard every year with her mother as the soon-to-be-dead march past.  She’s apparently an amplifier, even though she can’t see them herself. Well that changes (of course) this year when Maura (Blue’s mom) is replaced by Neeve, Blue’s aunt.  Blue sees a dying boy named Gansey who goes to the rich kid’s school in their town of Henrietta.  She usually stays away from them, but of course now the young woman is drawn into their world.

I’ve always been a fan of Ms. Steifvater’s writing ever since I read the first few chapters of Shiver.  It was a gift for a friend so I was never able to finish it (it, too, is on my extensive list).  The instant I read the sample for this, I knew I’d have to download it, and since I’ve taken to reading a chapter (or more) on my lunch break, I’m certain I’ll finish soon.

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: 8%

Lately to escape how terrible things are (and going to be) down here on Earth, I’ve been watching/listening to YouTube videos about quantum physics, astrophysics, dark matter, dark energy, the origin of the universe, neutron stars, the end of everything, and the like.  It makes my brain waves flutter especially when I consider eternity and the fact that nothing really matters (but ironically within that everything does).  While I erroneously think I’m smart enough to study such things, I at least know I need a remedial crash course, and Mr. Hawking’s Universe in a Nutshell is a fine beginning.  I actually started reading this book years ago, but like many things, put it to the side, and didn’t pick it back up until now.  It’s written in very rudimentary language for the average person to understand.  It’s a good starting point if you’re curious about life, the universe, and everything.  I’d also recommend reading Douglas Adams’s Live, the Universe, and Everything, as well.

Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

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

I’m seriously worried about my friend runicmagitek, and I sincerely hope that she’s just been so busy with the holidays that she hasn’t had time to check her tumblr.  It’s the only way I have of contacting her (especially since AO3 doesn’t have a messaging system).  This is what is a bit sucky and often terrible about online friendships.  If something happens to someone you only have the barest of information about, you’ll never really know.  Not that I’m a stalker or a creeper, but I am a worrier.  Here’s to hoping I hear something soon ;_;

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 6

Title: Dissonance
Series Title: Dissonance
Author: Erica O’Rourke
Date Added: December 30, 2016

This was a lucky find as I was scrolling through my Goodreads.  I’m fascinated by alternate universes and sort of subscribe to the multiverse theory.  I believe it’s a possibility, and there’s been some scientific evidence to support.  Until such a day when we have concrete proof, I shall take these inventive little tales about a heroine who can navigate between these realities, keeping the dimensions in harmony.

Title: Gilded Cage
Series Title: Dark Gifts
Author: Vic James
Date Added: December 30, 2016

The commons serving the elite is nothing new in story or reality.  The only difference in this tale is the elite’s power is magical as well as monetary.  All commoners must serve them for ten years, and the protagonist, Abi, is in servitude to England’s most powerful family.  In true Stockholm Syndrome fashion, she falls for one of the noble-born sons (ah hypergamy).  I’m not averse to stories with well used tropes.  I feel that messages can become more powerful in repeat.

Kim of By Hook or By Book brought up a decent critique about diversity in her review here (which is why I added this in the first place), but I’m hoping that won’t detract too much from the overall message of the story.

Title: The Blackwell Family Secret: The Guardians of Sin
Author: Jonathan L. Ferrara
Date Added: January 1, 2017

After finishing The Ghost of Buxton Manor, I went to Mr. Ferrara’s Goodreads’ page, following him as an author and added his other book.  I also tweeted him my love of his story, followed his (and Aaron’s) YouTube page (I already follow their WordPress), and discovered there’s going to be a sequel to Ghost.  In the interim, I believe I’ll read up on the true history of Rupert Buxton and Michael Davies, while I work on my Ghost review.

The Guardians of Sin appears to be another paranormal adventure involving spirits and secrets, also guardian angels, serpents, and the unleashing of the Seven Deadly Sins, so I’m now even more interested.

Title: The Count of Monte Cristo
Author: Alexander Dumas
Date Added: January 4, 2017

The most memorable reference I have for this book is from the movie V for Vendetta, where the titular character, played by Hugo Weaving, shows it to his “captive” Evey, played by Natalie Portman.  I know it has a happy ending (or at least the movie does), and I know from the blurb it’s about a man falsely imprisoned.  The reason I added it now is because of a comment on Deviant Art about The Broken Rose.  One of my readers was wondering if the story was going to take a Monte Cristo angle to which I (internet) laughed and responded that I’d never read it, but I’d have to add it to my TBR list (huh…the abbreviation for “to be read” and The Broken Rose are exactly the same.  That’s hilarious).  She replied that the novel was a bid stodgy, and I might want to entertain myself with the movie.  I figure I’ll give the book a try though.  I could always use more classics for my list.

Title: The Lie Tree
Author: Frances Hardinge
Date Added: January 4, 2017

A tale of a tree that will give you truth for every lie, and the bigger the lie, the greater the truth.  I’m also interested in the incongruence of a main character named Faith who thirsts for science and secrets, and the secret of the tree is too great for her to resist.  Drawn into the search by her disgraced father’s journals, Faith enters a world of lies, danger, and the truth that can unbind it all.

Title: The Bear and the Nightingale
Author: Katherine Arden
Date Added: January 4, 2017

The book channeled both a Cinderella vibe with the dead mother replaced with a cruel stepmother and ASOIAF with it’s fairy tales about Frost, a blue-eyed winter demon.  It seems to spin itself like a meta-fairy tale.  There’s an even deeper ASOIAF connection as Vasilisa and her siblings’ nursemaid warned them to keep the old rituals and honor the spirits of house, yard, and forest in order to protect their home from evil and keep dark things at bay (e.g. Craster in Song), but the stepmother forbids it.  The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa seems to know that more hinges on the rituals than mere rote.  I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale, and I love stories that mix paradigms with others I already love.  I have a feeling the stepmother may be an agent of Frost or something like that or Frost may not be as terrible as he seems.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: +6
Change from Last Week: 540

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

Books Purchased This Week: 10

I received all of the books I ordered from Amazon in between last week’s post and this week’s.  I believe I usually do the full breakdown, but owing to the fact I have ten books to add, I’m just going to cite the title, author, brief comment, and a link to the SOTR where I included it, if available;  I’ll just link to Goodreads if not.

  1. The Sword of Maiden’s Tears by Rosemary Edghill – I remember exactly why I wanted this one.  Check this description in the blurb:  “He was tall, with long, silvery hair, catlike eyes…” DONE.  That’s all I needed.  Added and bought as soon as I could find it.
  2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab – I recall downloading a sample of this and loving both the language and the story.  Even though I didn’t finish that excerpt, with books I’m sure of, I don’t always have to.  There are three realities, and the protagonist can traverse them all (this sounds similar to the Dissonance added above.  Again, I love stories of the multiverse).
  3. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill – There are just way too many amazing things about this book to adequately put into words, and I haven’t even read it yet.  It twists the story of the wicked witch, the stolen child, and the admirable hero on its head, throwing in magic by moonlight, and the “girl” in question looks brown on the cover.  Yassss.
  4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – Thanks to social media, I already know what the allegory for this is about, and I’m hoping that’s not going to spoil it too much.  I won’t reveal what I know just in case it is, since knowledge given can never be taken back.  Ah, I just read the blurb about the main character’s mother receiving her “treatments,” so it may not be as big of a spoiler as I thought.  The last line of it still twists cold through my heart.  “This monster is something different, something ancient, something wild.  And it wants the truth.” *shivers*
  5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente – I have a hit or miss relationship with Ms. Valente.  Okay, so really on one miss (Palimpsest), and one I’m going to give another chance (In the Cities of Coin and Spice [The Orphan’s Tales #2]).  The title itself intrigues me, and while I was a bit lukewarm on the sample, I still have high hopes.
  6. Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplight – It wasn’t just the silver haired lady on the front cover (though I have to admit that was a draw), but also my love of stories set in modern times with historical, magical undertones.  Because let’s face it, those immortal beings are still going to be around, and how would they fit into our current age?  Also, the title is a clear homage to Milton’s Paradise Lost so there’s that.
  7. Dying of the Light by George R R Martin – Of course my favorite author is going to have a place on this purchased list.  My goal is to read all of his stories (not necessarily this year, but in my lifetime).  Like many of Martin’s stories, this one contains a jilted lover set on a world similar to ours just slightly off kilter.  The oddity in Dying is the perpetual twilight, a trope I’ve seen used in Final Fantasy IX with the city of Treno, and in WOFF as well.  I’m actually in the Eclipsed Region right now.  If there was every a land for me, that would be it.
  8. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna Marie McLemore – Another moon based fairy tale steeped in roses, silver, and magical realism.  There aren’t nearly enough books of that latter ilk.  It’s difficult to do.  To ride that line between fantasy and reality.  Make people believe the wonders are just out of sight.  What a lovelier world this would be if that were only so.
  9. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter – Something about the title of this sparked my interest.  If you couldn’t tell from the moon based stories I have on this list, I’m a bit of a night creature.  If you dig enough to peel off the first layer, it’s easy to see how my two favorite series (Final Fantasy and ASOIAF) are quite a bit moon obsessed, too.  It’s not so much the moon per se as the night it often lights.  I also have this fascination with “night in the city” motifs.  What am I talking about?  I don’t really know how to explain, but as much as I love bucolic settings in fantasy, I do enjoy urban ones if done to my specifications.  I’m not really a fan of urban fantasy, rather I like when urban settings are made fantastic, if you get what I mean.  Magical cities a la mythopoetic New York as seen in Helprin’s Winter’s Tale.  Vassa seems to hum to that same melody invoking Russian folklore and what appears to be a manifestation of Baba Yaga.
  10. Locke & Key, Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez – I need to up my comic book reading game, and there’s no time like the present.  I was actually in a comic book store on New Year’s Day and saw this along with Saga.  I considered picking up Saga, but it was $50 for the first volume!  I guess the Saga will not continue.  I’m not sure how I’m going to fit comics/graphic novels into my reading cycle.  If I’m going to read them alongside my regular four or use them as my fantasy/general fiction.  The latter is sounding more feasible unless the elder gods compel me otherwise…

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: 12/28/16          The State of the Reader: 1/11/17–>







The State of the Reader: 8/24/16

<–The State of the Reader: 8/17/16          The State of the Reader: 8/31/16–>

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: The Red Rose
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: August 8, 2016
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: August 23, 2016

This was a nice quick-read mystery that I highly recommend along with the first book in the series The Jade Dragon.  I’ll be writing a full review of this hopefully by the end of the week.

Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week:

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 77%

I finally finished the chapter on Malkuth, and I’m about to start the one on the Qliphoth or Unholy Sephiroth (emanations from the left hand of God).  After that the format of the book changes to be more instruction like for practical workings so I’m not sure how much of that I’m going to read.  We’ll see when we get there.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 7%

I read two and a half chapters in one setting this week instead of my customary one.  This compendium continues to delight.  Ms. Walton has a wonderful way with language.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 13%

I added this book on the May 11, 2016 State of the Reader post.  The instant I picked this volume up in the bookstore a tingle ran through my bones.  I knew it was going to be extraordinary, and I have not been disappointed.  It grips you from even the prologue, which is amazing since prologues are considered out of vogue these days and Ransom Riggs is a new writer, (or rather this is his first published book) so I know the story is fantastic since newbies are usually castigated for making that faux pas (I removed the prologue from my original WIP for that very reason).

This is a mystery that involves a murder, but the murder is only the start.

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 10%

I added this book on the June 16, 2016 State of the Reader post.  Like the first story I read by this author, Spectrum (reviewed here), Sigil immediately grips you.  Each chapter so far hangs you on a cliff and you have to see what happens next.  Murder-mystery in a sleepy (Irish) town is certainly something that’s been often done, but the unconventional priest detective puts me in the mind of another unconventional murder-mystery 3 Gates to the Dead by Jonathon Ryan (which I’ve reviewed here).  The author himself is from Northern Ireland so there’s a powerful and authentic voice behind every word.

If you didn’t notice I’m currently reading four books instead of my customary three.  I noticed I was getting a bit of reading done on my Kindle right before bed with The Red RoseI’d already decided I was going to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children next, and realized that since Kindle reading (on my phone at least) doesn’t require a light, I could snatch some pages up before going to sleep.  I used to read from my Kindle prior to jazzercise (back when I was able to go ;_;) and have noticed I can even get some chapters read at work during lunch.  I’m always trying to get as many finished read as possible especially considering I’ve over 500 on my TBR list.  Since I managed to read 10% in only about a day, I think this plan has merit.

Therefore I’ll now be doubling up on my fantasy/general fiction reading since I can have both a physical book and a kindle copy going concurrently.

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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library #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: The Invisible Library
Series Title: The Invisible Library
Author: Genevieve Cogman
Date Added: June 14, 2016
Date Completed: July 26, 2016
Percentage Read: 17%
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 329
Publication Date: January 15, 2015
Medium: Paperback

“The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies – think Doctor Who with librarian spies!

Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently…

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.”

I really liked the concept of this book: a secret and eternal library as the hub of multiple worlds.  It definitely seemed like what it claimed, librarians with a Doctor Who twist.  The novel starts out strong with the main character Irene masquerading as a serving girl in one of the many alternative worlds in order to get her hands on a book unique to that universe.  It was adventurous, bold, and fast paced, but my issues came in the after when the world of the library was introduced.

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This is one of the many articles/review that I have reblogged from Caffeine Crew, the collaborative geek blog I write for.  I am in the process of truly posting these here on my personal blog.  While they will be edited for any prior missed errors, I will not be really updating them beyond that so some information could potentially be outdated, erroneous, or defunct.


I was looking between reading this and reading The Mortal Instruments Series (which I attempted and…no.  Maybe I’ll write an “Unfinished” review of City of Bones, but suffice it to say I was unimpressed)..  I looked up Divergent, the first book in the eponymous series, and immediately fell in love with the language and taste of the verbiage so I knew I would have to make a run to the bookstore and pick up a copy.  It’s written in the present, which is very weird as I’m used to stories being written in the past tense for things that have already happened; it lent an air of mystery and suddenness to the narrative that fit very will with the world Veronica Roth was trying to project.


This is a dystopian YA set in the ruins of what used to be Chicago.  Human society is now split up into factions: Dauntless (the courageous), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the scholarly), Abnegation (the selfless), and Candor (the honest).  There are also people who are factionless, but they live on the edge of society and are dependent on the kindness and help of others (mostly Abnegation) to survive.  The Abnegation faction serve as the heads of the society as it is thought that their selflessness makes them the most prudent of choices as a leader who wants nothing for himself will be the best to guide others.  Erudite are the teachers and scientists; Dauntless are law enforcement; Amity are the peace loving hippies, but also server as society’s main food supply with Erudite technology, and the straightforward Candor act as judges.

The main character Beatrice Prior is a sixteen year old Abnegation and the story opens on the day she will choose whether to stay in that faction or decide to be something else.  Now granted this choice hinges on an aptitude test that usually only gives at most two possible directions, but Beatrice is presented with three possible paths: she can stay in Abnegation or become Dauntless or Erudite.  Something thought impossible.  She also finds out that she is divergent.  Something very dangerous.

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