Book Review: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

ByFireAbove_hc.inddMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire is an adult fantasy novel about alchemy, language, math, and family. The story follows Roger and Dodger who were created by Reed to embody the Doctrine of Ethos which would allow someone to control how the world works. Adopted by different families Roger is all languages and works while Dodger is math and logic. When they connect as children talking to each other in their minds they know something is different about them and that it could be dangerous.

The story takes the reader brought different points of Roger and Dodgers life as they try to figure out why and how they are connected and how they can change plans made for them.

If you are interested in reading Middlegame I would recommend being familiar the fantasy genre as this does turn some fantasy tropes on its head. Also their is some dark material in this book primarily related to attempted suicide and the aftermath.

Middlegame is not an easy book or story to explain but it’s beautifully written and one of Seanan McGuire’s bests works. It’s one of my favorite book that I’ve read this year and I read it at the exact right time.





Fae Crate Nameless Hangover Kit

IMG_0373For different books FaeCrate do Hangover Recovery kits for the book hangover you will have after finishing the book. They did a Mini Kit for the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Mass.

IMG_0375This kit did not come with a book just bookish items so it is perfect for those who love the series and want merch connected to the books and series as a whole. The bookish items included were a Aelin plushie (which FaeCrate include a plushie with every hangover kit), an Amulet of Orynthin Necklace which is long enough for an adult, and a Wyvern enamel pin. I chose to buy the up graded kit which included a set of Dust Jackets for the US Hardback editions of the Throne of Glass books.

I liked this box but I think that some of their other Hangover kits have been much better. Originally, I didn’t love the Dust Jackets but they’ve grown on me and I love the spines. I bought the hangover kit for the dust jackets so the other items didn’t matter to me. I do think that I will sell the plushie in the future.

Book Review: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #4)

91478Summer Knight by Jim Butcher is the fourth book in the Dresden Files series. This book follows Dresden as he deals with the consequences of starting a war against the vampire courts. The main plot focuses more on the Fae Courts and his deal with Leananshidhe who sold it to Mab, the Winter Queen. Dresden must now work for Mab and attempt to find out who killed the Summer Knight.

This book gives more information of how the different Fae and other creatures work in this world. As well as finally showing us the White Council of Wizards. We get some more of Harry’s back story and how he became a member of the White Council. I really liked the new characters introduced especially Ebeneezer McCoy and Elaine as they give more information on Dresden’s past.

The main conflict of the story is that Dresden needs to find out who killed the Summer Knight before war can break out between the Fae Court while also proving himself to the White Council which if he doesn’t they will let the Vampire Courts kill him.

Every book of the Dresden Files keeps getting better and better. When I first started the series I didn’t know if I would continue with it but the world and stories which are better in each book keep bring me back.

May 2020 OwlCrate

Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as decor or for a pin/builtin board. May’s theme is Rebels with a Cause.IMG_0395

Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books.This months items included a wooden magnet, a set of stainless steel straws, pot holders inspired by Hart of Iron, and vinyl stickers.

Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. This months book is Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova.  In a world inspired by Inquisition-era Spain, Renata has been forced to carry out the King’s wrath killing many of her own people. Now a spy working for the rebels Renata must complete a top secret mission and uncover the secrets of her past.IMG_0397

In May two books where included the new hardcover and a graphic novel, Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries. Witchy is set in a world where hair length determines ones powers as a witch but having hair that’s too long will get you killed. When the Witch Guard conscription comes Nyneve must find her own path and create her own future.

June’s theme is All the World’s a Stage.


Book Review: The Anti-Virginity Pact by Katie Wismer

52831943The Anti-Virginity Pact is a Young Adult debut contemporary novel by BookTuber Katie Wismer. The story follows Meredith Beaumont, a Preacher’s daughter who happens to be an atheists. When her best friend Johanna convinces her to sign a pact that states that they both won’t be virgins at the end of their senior year of high school things don’t go as planned and Mare must make the decision as whats more important her reputation and relationship with her parents or the person she wants to be.

The Anti-Virginity Pact is a story about relationship, religion, high school, and becoming the person you want to be. This hard hitting contemporary deals with many topics that some are afraid to tackle and sheds light on to aspects of toxic religions. The authors writing and characters sucked me in  and made me root for Mare and what she stood for. Though fair warning this book does handled sensitive topics such as religion, rape, and animal abuse so its not for everyone. The emotions and events that Mare goes though not only speaks for her own situation but speaks to the emotions and even trauma that many high schoolers deal with every day.

Though young adult contemporary is not my favorite genre, Wismer’s writing accurately portrays the emotions and drama of high school so well that I brought back memories for me and I’ve been out of high school for ten years. This would be a great book for those who love young adult contemporary and young women in high school. I received an advanced copy to review through NetGalley.

May 2020 Wrap Up

In May I read eight books which is the most I’ve read in one month all year. Of these books four were graphic novels and one was an audio book. TV wise I’ve mostly been watching different documentaries and some reality shows. I have also started playing Persona 5: The Royal.


21879809._SY475_The first book I read this month was Letters to the Pumpkin King by Seanan McGuire. This book is separated into three sections. Section one is comprised of essays and posts from Seanan’s blog. These essay cover everything from different aspects of fandom to writing advice and some more political topics. Sections two and three are reprints of previously published limited poetry collections. I preferred the first section as I’m not a huge fan of poetry. A fairly quick read that allows you to get into Seanan McGuire’s head a bit and understand where some of her ideas for stories come from.

49950349Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst is a standalone young adult fantasy novel about racing monsters known as Kehoks. After an accident Tamra must find a new Kehok and rider who will win the upcoming races. Raia is running from her family and convinces Tamra that she can win. Through this meeting and attempting to win the Kehok races history could be changed. A very fast pace fantasy story about family and freedom. I won an advanced copy of the book from Goodreads and I have a full review up.

Next I read the last four volumes of the Sandman graphic novel series to finish out the series. Sandman volumes 7 through 10. Volume seven follows Dream going on a quest with his sister Delirium to find their brother Destruction. This story expands on the family dynamics of the Endless. Volume eight follows a group of people who got caught in a story and find their way to a tavern. This tavern connects multiple worlds and times of people waiting out the storm. To pass the time they tell stories, some that involve Dream. This volume doesn’t feel like it fits with the rest of the series and I only finished it to finish the series.

Volume nine is the weakest of all the Sandman graphic novels. The story follows Lyta Hall who after the death of her son calls on the Furies to curse Morpheus. This volume is very boring and the art is awful. Characters that you’ve met before looking nothing like they did and if there were more volumes after ten I would have stopped reading. Volume ten is a direct continuation of the events in volume nine. It is the wake after Lord Morpheus (Dream) dies and a little bit with who will become the next Dream. Not the greatest ending considering how great the series starts out.

40985736I Was Anastasia by Aariel Lawhon is the story of both Anastasia Romanov and Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed she was Anastasia who had survived the murder of the Romanov family. As we are reading two stories they start at different places and end where they met up. So Anastasia’s story stars at the beginning in 1919 while Anna Anderson starts at the end in 1970. An interesting way to tell the story that many know the answers to but wish that Anastasia had survived. Not my favorite historical fiction novel about this subject as I’m more interested in Anastasia and less of Anna Anderson who’s story is the main focus of the book.

91478The last book I read in May was Summer Knight by Jim Butcher. I read this on audio as I plan to with the rest of the series. This is the fourth book of the Dresden Files. The story follows Harry Dresden dealing with the consequences from starting a war with the vampire courts. His deal with his Fae godmother has been sold to Queen Mab of the Winter Court who he is forced to work for by finding out who murdered the Summer Knight and stop a war from starting between the Winter and Summer Fae courts. Each book in the Dresden Files is getting better and I want to see where this story goes.

Book Review: Monstress Vol. 1-4

I finally went back and reread Montress vol. 1 and 2 to continue on to vol 3 and I love the series just as much now as I did when I read it the first time. Montress is set in a fantasy world where humans and fantasy creatures know as Arcanics live. Some Arcanics and their halfbreed children can pass as humans, many have animal characteristics that set them part. In the past there was a war between the Humans and the Arcanics but when the story stats the war has been over for several years. The story follows Miaka Halfwolf a young Arcanic woman who passes as a human attempting to find more information about her mother and what her mother was involved in as Miaka suspects that it will effect her future.

Miaka holds in herself the mind and form of one the the ancient demons that some worship as gods and she needs to figure out what she wants to do and her place in the world before others can stop her, kill her or use her.

The world of Montress is a matriarchal one based on 20th century Asia with the war between Arcanics and sorceresses being the main conflict that sets the back story for the rest of the series. The story starts with Maika trying to discover the secrets of her late mother, Moriko which is the focus of volume one as well as setting up the world. In volume two Maika’s quest takes her to the mysterious Isle of Bones and forces her to confront past and her future. Volume three focuses more on the demon the Miaka holds and its connection to her family. Finally, volume four which is the currently the last of the collected volumes, has Maika meeting with her father and finding out some information about a plan to restart the war.

These graphic novels are wonderfully illustrated and the story is told not just through the writing but also the art. Its no wonder this series has won multiple awards and is now one of my favorite graphic novel series.