June Reading Plans

I finally finished Ninefox Gambit. I loved it, and…I probably need to read it again. It took a lot of mental energy to follow it while in the midst of a physical and emotional burnout. I definitely crawled my way across the finish line, although I tentatively give it 4/5 stars. A review won’t be forthcoming until I process it for a bit, maybe re-read some sections. But it’ll definitely be a series I continue on in the future.

With Wyrd & Wonder officially over, I’m continuing my usual posting fare of reviews, literary finds, music and art. I had a few reviews that I didn’t post because I had finished the books in April, so I’ll start releasing them soon. I came away from W&W with a whopping 33 new books for my TBR shelf. I’m not the kind of person that can just randomly collect books on a list that never depletes, so this makes me a little anxious, but they all seem so good.

On my To Do List this week: catching up with the bajllion blog entries I keep letting slide by due to my burn-out recovery schedule (I’m offline for a good slice of the week.) I’m getting to them, I promise!

I’m currently reading V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, which is part of my 2020 Book List (i.e. books I definitely want to get to this year.) I’m 14% in and enjoying it so far, but I’m always wary about sharing my feelings towards a book until I’ve finished it.

The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Club on goodreads is currently reading The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. It’s a Chinese and Malaysian romance fantasy, and it sounds so compelling and interesting. But everyone who knows me knows that I don’t do romance. Still, as I told Jorie (a Wyrd & Wonder founder and romance fan), the event really exposed me to the sheer scope of the fantasy genre, and had me questioning a lot of my preferences. I want to be a “YES!” person when it comes to books. Why not try something new every once in awhile? I can always DNF it. (I’m too old to stubbornly finish books I don’t like, as I did when I was younger.) So The Ghost Bride is currently sitting on my e-shelf. As of right now, it’s unread as I gauge whether I can pull off reading two books at the same time.

Make that three. I’m also reading through the beginning of a self-published book, and I haven’t figured out whether or not I should commit to it. I really want to like it because I know the author could use a review, but I’m having issues with it. It’s breaking my heart a little bit, so I’m pushing through further than I usually would. I hate to DNF something that needs a boost.

Well, it’s time to read some blog posts! The beginning of the month is always exciting because everyone posts their TBR lists for the next few weeks, or shares interesting books they’ve discovered. I’m sure that’s not going to make me rabidly shove everyone’s list in a sack to dump back on my own TBR list.

Not at all.

Book Review: The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey

The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey
My rating: 4/5
Published: 2020
Genre, sub-genre: Fantasy: high, dark
Chapters and/or pages: 47 chapters, 388 e-book pages
Warnings: dark and frightful imagery, gore

1 minute summary: The land and its people are corrupted. The Sachem, chief of the Unified Tribes, is to blame. Annilasia and Delilee risk their lives enacting a scheme to kidnap the Sachem’s wife, Jalice, whose past holds a dark secret that could help undo the great evil her husband has brought upon the world. (Full summary)

1 sentence review: A fantastic, fast-paced dark fantasy with great world building.

Pros: Inventive interesting world, great mystery, nuanced gray characters
Cons: Could have used a bit more polishing in the editing phase; I would have preferred a lower pace of the background reveal.
Good for readers who: like dark fantasy, horror elements and slow-drip world building.
Not so great for readers who: don’t like dark imagery or horror aspects in their fantasy; prefer larger, more epic scale stories with many characters; need likeable, charismatic or heroic characters.

I did it guys, I finished one book for Wyrd & Wonder! Readers will know it was a rough month for me; I crashed and burned both in my personal and online life. I had to set some boundaries for myself and take a step back, and part of that process was basically giving up on reading. I assumed I was going to go the whole month without finishing anything.

Then I found out The Jealousy of Jalice was free for a few days, so of course I had to  download it. I read the first couple of pages, and it was all downhill from there (in a good way.)

I was so excited to read this book. It’s the first self-published book I’ve ever read. This is also the first dark fantasy I’ve ever read—a genre I’ve wanted to get into for awhile. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from self-publication, but I was deeply pleased by The Jealousy of Jalice. There is so much to love about it.

Continue reading

Would You Rather: Book Edition

I got tagged for this by Peter @ The Swordsmith, who is an excellent SFF reviewer that you should have been reading yesterday.

The Rules
1.) Answer the questions given to you by your nominator
2.) Make up your own questions and tag others

Questions from Peter @ The Swordsmith
Would you rather read from a hardback, paperback or E-book?
Paperback. I prefer physical books, and I liked to read in bed, so paperback are definitely easier on my arms.

Would you rather crack the spine of a Paperback book or ruin a hardback’s dust jacket?
How dare you. I bid you good day, sir.

Would you prefer info dump on a world/magic system to a drip feed technique?
Info dump. I prefer to get all the world-building out of the way first, then focus on the actual story (which I prefer be the focus of a book.)

Would you rather jump on board with a book series and wait to see if it gets traction or wait for a successful book series to be brought to you attention?
Depends on if I have to pay for it. I’ll try anything from the library. But for purchases, I’ll wait to see what other bloggers say. Continue reading

Mystery Blogger Award

I was nominated for this tag by Paul over a Bookends & Bagends. I’m very honored!

The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

The Rules

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions provided by whoever nominated you.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions.
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

Continue reading

A pause.

So this post is uncomfortably personal, but I feel like it’s necessary.

When I got pregnant, I had this fear that I would become like a lot of mothers I saw who only defined themselves by their motherhood, and were unhappily consumed and isolated by it. I worried that I would lose the part of myself that was me. So I decided that I would have one thing that was completely, totally mine. I went through many of my hobbies and researched new ones, but ultimately, I decided to return to something I had enjoyed so much when I was younger: SFF books and blogging.

I had this idea that I’d have, oh, maybe 10 readers. We’d be this tight network and exchange books and comment on each other’s entries. That’s all I wanted. I didn’t care about views or being an influencer or getting tons of followers. But I struggled to find anyone who would follow me or even really acknowledge my site. Then Wyrd & Wonder happened, and I decided it might connect me to other book lovers, so I participated. Bloggers and reviewers started flowing into my twitter (which I had never actually used and am still trying to figure out.)

Continue reading