Posted in Fun Lists

Underrated Female Authors in SFF I Love #WomenInSFF

“We should agree on some passwords.”

First line in Half Lost by Sally Green

Hi, guys. Over at The Fantasy Hive they’re spotlighting female authors writing SFF through the hastag #WomenInSFF. That made me feel inspired to make my own contribution in the form of 2 posts: one about female authors I’ve already read and one about the ones I have yet to experience. Just so we’re all on the same page – this is the one featuring the amazing authors I’ve already come to love.

So many of my favorite SFF books have been written by women so it was really hard for me to narrow this list down. I’ve chosen to highlight some of the lesser known female authors because they are still amazing writers.


  • Megan Whalen Turner

Turner is mainly known for her The Queen’s Thief series which is set to publish its final book in October. It is a YA fantasy series that brings back memories of other classic stories within the genre. My favorite things about the series has been its portrayal of friendships and its ‘out-of-nowhere’-plot twists.

  • Jennifer A. Nielsen

Nielsen is a writer of Middle Grade and Young Adult with her most notable work being The Ascendance Series. I don’t typically enjoy Middle Grade, but The Ascendance Series is the only exception. It’s incredibly gripping story about a boy competing with three others to get to impersonate the kingdom’s lost prince.

  • A. J. Hackwith

The big question: will I ever write a blog post without mentioning A. J. Hackwith? (hint: probably not). The only book I’ve read by her, The Library of the Unwritten, is a story about an amazing group of people on a quest to protect all the unwritten books in Hell’s library. It’s diverse. It’s emotional. It’s something you need to read.

  • Lene Kaaberbål

Mind you if I use this oppourtunity to squeeze in a Danish author. She has mainly written fantasy books for children but also has a mystery/thriller series for adults. She wrote my second favorite series as a child which is The Shamer Chronicles. It follows Dina who is able to make people feel horribly ashamed of previous misdeeds just by looking them in the eyes. All of these books have been translated into English.

  • Tara Sim

Tara Sim is the author of two YA fantasy series, Timekeeper and Scavenge the Stars. The former is centered around clocks and time magic in an alternate Victorian London. It’s very diverse and has a great focus on anxiety. Scavenge the Stars is a gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, but I have yet to read that one.

  • Margaret Rogerson

Even though Rogerson has only had two books published so far, she has already established herself as someone who writes beautiful and engaging stories. Her two books have both been standalone fantasy books, which already sets her apart from so many other authors in the genre. My personal favorite of her books is Sorcery of Thorns which follows Elisabeth who grew up in a library and has conversations with books.

Those were just some of the amazing women who have shaped my reading life. Who are some of your favorite female authors? Do we have anyone in common? Stay tuned for when I share all the female authors on my TBR, which will be coming next week. Happy reading!

Posted in Discussions

Discussion: The Inefficiency of Cancel Culture and Alternative Solutions

“This is how it all begins.”

First line in I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Hi, guys. I’ve debated a lot with myself whether or not to write this post, but I came to the conclusion that I had too much to say to just stay quiet. I have a background in communication and I have seen so many communicative problems with cancel culture that I wanted to offer my input. To start off, I quickly want to define what it is I’m referring to when I say cancel culture:

Cancel culture is mostly a social media phenomenon where people “cancel” or withdraw their support for someone/something in a very public manner because of something the person/company did or said. It very often involves public shaming or bullying of that person/company in different ways.

In this post, I’m going to discuss the effects of cancel culture with a communication perspective and why cancelling someone is the worst way to solve a problem. First, however, I want to you to, please, forget about whatever topic we’re cancelling people over this week. This post will NOT reflect my opinions on anything other than the use of cancelling to solve issues.

How I See Cancelling Used

From what I’ve seen, the method seems to start on Twitter where people call out a person for behaviour or an opinion they don’t agree with. The ball rolls very quickly after that as Twitter is great if you want a message spread fast. If the person doesn’t correct their mistake or apologize immediately, they will get cancelled. Sometimes, it doesn’t even help to apologize.

That is one part of it. Another side to cancel culture is about attacking the people who don’t cancel that problematic person. I see so many tweets telling people to unfollow and stop supporting someone (as if those are naturally synonyms). They are often very aggressive about it and thereby pushing other people to follow along. You see, these tweets often include threats about you being cancelled too, if you don’t comply. Being cancelled seems to mean that it’s okay to bully you, which you obviously want to avoid.

The purpose of cancelling seems to be to change that one person’s opinion and maybe even the similar opinion of others. I suspect they also want to create a more lasting change in society by showing that that opinion/behavior is not okay.

How Cancel Culture is Inefficient

In my experience, “cancellers” are not helping their cause. They often see an issue as binary, as if you don’t have the exact same opinion as them, then you’re against them and what they’re fighting for. That eliminates any discussion that might have been had because they refuse to listen and learn about nuances and gray areas. I often see conversations shut down because one side is trying to argue how cancelling isn’t solving anything. It’s the equivalent of bickering about battle strategy with your allies while the real enemy escapes. That becomes an even bigger problem if we’re shooting at our own allies. The real fight is taking place somewhere else.

Refusing to engage in conversations and discussions will not change anything about society. It only helps YOU. And let me be clear: If you decide to unfollow someone or stop supporting them because of your own personal reasons, then that’s totally fine. If they’re ruining your mental health or you just don’t like to engage with them, then you don’t have to of course *whispers* there’s just no reason to announce your unfollow if that’s the reason.

But back to those who believe they’re creating change. The unfollow and harassment of the person they disagree with, also indicates that there are no conversations taking place between the two parties. The very thing that could have changed the person’s opinion. Instead, they attack which just doesn’t help. When we as humans are attacked we naturally get defensive and will defend our opinion with everything we’ve got. Not because it makes sense but because we see it as an attack on our entire self. You have to be very self-aware to not go down that route. Also, try to remember the last time someone changed your opinion by yelling at you. Not an effective method.

What To Do Instead

I think a part of why cancel culture exists is because people feel a need to “do something” but feel sort of powerless, which I totally understand. Pressing that unfollow is an easy way to feel like you’ve actually taken action. Then the harassment comes along because unfollowing wasn’t quite enough.

But yeah, that’s the easy way and as we’ve established, not very effective. If people feel a need to create change then that’s much harder because they need to talk to people they disagree with (the horror!!). As someone with a communication degree, I’m often frustrated with the fact that communication isn’t a mandatory subject in schools because, damn, do people need it! It would solve so many problems before they even start. So I’m now going to list off a few pointers on how to have a genuine discussion/conversation:

  • Get off Twitter! 280 characters are not enough to express anything properly. You have a higher risk of coming off as rude and harsh which will kill any conversation. The best way to discuss something would be in person, of course, but I understand how that’s not always possible. Most other social media platforms have unlimited characters so those would always be better than Twitter. If you can have the discussion privately, that would be a major plus so that no one else can interfere.
  • Enter the discussion with the intention of learning something. Probably the most important point. A discussion is an exchange of ideas. It’s not a lecture where one party tell the other how wrong they are. If that’s your mindset, you might as well save yourself the trouble and avoid the discussion. But that won’t solve anything, of course. Everyone needs to enter the discussion with the awareness that they don’t know everything. Something one party brings to the table might be a gamechanger for other.
  • Listen. In connection with the previous point, every party needs to listen in order to understand the other. Understanding where people are coming from and why they hold a certain opinion will help immensely when trying to create common ground. When people feel understood, they are more likely to accept any suggestions you make.
  • Be nice and respectful. Yeah, I also think it’s sad that we need a point like this, but have you seen Twitter? I’m not going to teach you how to be those things. But again, people are more likely to accept your suggestions if they like you.

These are some very general things to be aware of but every discussion is different so this list is not exhaustive. And even if you can check off all of these, the other party might not be willing to. If you still want to engage in a discussion, I can only recommend that you put your ego aside for a bit and just listen and understand that other party. Let them take control of the situation to begin with. And other times, one just has to accept that there’s no conversation to be had and walk away. I know that doing this won’t solve everything, but it will always be a necessary starting point.

In Conclusion

This is all very, very hard! But no one said change would be easy. There are also several other problems with cancel culture that I haven’t touched upon in this post, but that would simply have made this too long. I only focused on the communicative problems because those have been the most frustrating for me to watch unfold. The most important take away from this post should be that screaming into the void on Twitter isn’t changing anything. It only creates the toxic environment on Twitter that we all hate.

I hope this was helpful. I’m not the most popular blogger but I sincerly hope this reaches someone who will have use of it. Please share your opinions on the topic in the comments, whether you agree or disagree. I would love to continue the discussion.

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – July 8th 2020

“Lucie Herondale was ten years old when she first met the boy in the forest.”

First line in Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Hi, guys. I hope you’re all doing great. Today I’m using WWW Wednesday as usual to give you a reading update. WWW Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next

What did you recently finish?

2 entire books! I finally made my way all the way through The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. It ended up with a 3.5 rating. I did find it interesting following Snow and his thought processes. I don’t remember reading from a character like him before so I guess that was part of the appeal. However, the book didn’t need to be that long. I already have a full review up for this one if you’re interested in more of my thoughts.

Just before writing this, I finished Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare, which I rated 4 stars. However, if I were to rate it based on my enjoyment alone, it would be a 5 star. I think it might be the time for me to realize that I’ve fallen back in love with the Shadowhunter world. I mean, I know these books aren’t perfect, but following these characters and their romantic troubles just does something for me. I need the next book immediately.

What are you currently reading?

Well, since I just finished the book I was reading (Chain of Gold), I have nothing for this section today.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Finishing Chain of Gold that fast kind of screwed with my planning. I’m first in line at my library for the e-book of Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson so really hoping to get that one within the following week. Will be starting it immediately.

In the meantime, I figured I would pick up something short that I hope to finish before Oathbringer arrives. So I’ll be reading A History of Madness by Rebecca Crunden which is book 2 in The Outlands Pentalogy. I should probably continue with the series before I forget everything from book 1.

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

“Coriolanus releashed the fistful of cabbage into the pot of boiling water and swore that one day it would never pass his lips again.”

First line in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Author: Suzanne Collins

Published: May 19th 2020

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopia

Series: The Hunger Games #0

My rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Synopsis: It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined—every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Goodreads

Review

A villain will never think of themselves as a villain. The reason why the villain origin story is so appealing to us is because we want to see how they justify their actions. How do they live with themselves? How can a human being be so evil? That is what The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes sets out to show us through Coriolanus Snow’s experiences during the tenth Hunger Games.

We are introduced to the Snow family’s life which is still heavily effected by the war ten years prior. It’s a struggle to make ends meet and Coriolanus is working desperately not only to remedy the situation, but also hide it from the rest of the Capitol. This is interesting because you would think this would make the reader pity Snow and feel sorry for him, but it actually doesn’t. And that is one of the main great things about this book. He is in no way redeemed with this book or absolved from his future sins. You’re very clearly not meant to like him. That doesn’t make him any less interesting though.

The way Collins builds his character is very much through his interactions with people around him. She has made sure that his life contains both genuienly good people and absolutely horrible people. And also some morally gray ones inbetween. He makes his own choices as to which of these people he’s influenced by, which I really like. It is not his poor background that has made him evil, but his own choices. I could always follow his thought-process and understand why he choose to way he did which I think is a sign of great writing.

Turning to some of the less positive things about the book, I need to stress that this book is too long. Especially the first third seemed to be making the same points over and over again. There isn’t much of a plot either so that first part was sort of missing a direction. Like what are we doing? I’m not a reader who needs a definitive plot but if you are, I can almost guarantee that you won’t like this. It’s much more about Snow as a character and there just happens to be some stuff going on around him that he reacts to.

The stuff going on around him, though, is also pretty interesting. We really get to see how The Hunger Games started out and how different they were back then. I think that’s important to show because the Games we see 60 years later are so extravagant and unreal. Seeing the progress of getting to that makes it even more plausible that, yes this is something we as human beings can create.

So now the question: do I recommend this? Yes. But only to those who already really love The Hunger Games and are interested in a slow-paced villain origin story. There has been some polarizing views on this book and I definitely see how. This is not for everyone, although I found it interesting. It’s just as brutal and thought-provoking as the original trilogy even though it in other aspects doesn’t reach their level.

Posted in Book Tags

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

“There is a pirate in the basement.”

First line in The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Hi, guys. It’s time to freak out because it’s the middle of the year, although I do seem to have been in a permanent state of “freak out” for the entire year. Can 2020 please end?

Nevertheless, the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag is a great way to sum up the first six months of the year. I have read a lot of books if I compare to my normal standards. So far I’m on 35 and might even be able to read more books than I ever have before in a year. My current best is 65 so I think it can be done. But let’s move on to the questions!


What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2020?

Or rather the best book I’ve read that doens’t fit any other question in this tag. That means that I’m choosing The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. This one opened my eyes to how much I actually love books about books. Mix that with a fairy tale-like story and Morgensterns immersive writing and it simply has to become one of my favorite books of the year.

What has been your favourite sequel of the first half of the year?

I hate this question because I’ve actually read a total of four 5-star sequels so far this year. I’m picking Chainbreaker by Tara Sim because this series needs more attention. It’s a diverse historical fantasy/steampunk series that manages to stay highly relevant and educational. It has the most wholesome characters, too. I really loved the second one for how it just took everything to the next level and expanded on both the world and the story.

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited to?

Well, there are a few. Echo Cycle by Patrick Edwards. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune. The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab, of course.

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. This follows a group of ‘chosen ones’ 10 years after they defeated the bad guy and really seemed like it was going to dive deep into their PTSD. It didn’t exactly and I’m so disappointed. The story had so much potential. Instead of following all of the chosen ones, we only follow one and the plot itself could have been more relevant to their PTSD.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. A hyped YA fantasy book is something everyone needs to be wary of, but I hadn’t needed to with this one. Rogerson’s writing really makes this story come off the pages so I couldn’t help but be invested. Then you have the characters and their banter and their friendships and their romance. Oh, and the plot is centered around books that come alive!

What is your favourite new to you or debut author?

A. J. Hackwith, the author of The Library of the Unwritten.

What is your favourite fictional crush from this year?

I’ve already mentioned this book, but I really love Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns so I guess that’s my answer.

Who is your new favourite character?

Rune Saint John from The Tarot Sequence series by K. D. Edwards. He is such a layered character. He has a big heart and cares deeply about the people around him. He’ll protect them at all costs and is very self-sacrificing in that regard. No character deserves as much love as he does.

A book that made you cry?

Only one book has made me cry this year and that is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. This one follows the life of Cyril Avery as he grows up and tries to live his life to the fullest as a gay man in Ireland. As any other life-story, his has its ups and downs, and there was one moment in particular that touched my heart and made me tear up. Amazing book!

A book that made you happy?

I don’t really read ‘happy books’ so this was kind of hard. I’m going with the first and only graphic novel I’ve ever read which is Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell. A very sweet Halloween story about friendship that was really uplifting to read.

Your favourite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?

I can never remember what I’ve watched. I guess I’m going with 13 Reasons Why because the fourth season came out in June and I watched all 10 episodes in a day. It’s based on the book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, which I have not read. Most people seem to hate the show but I really love it for tackling difficult topics and not being afraid of being controversial. I’m so sad it’s over.

What is your favourite post that you’ve written so far this year?

The two posts I’ve written about the Danish translations of Harry Potter (book 1 and book 2) where I really allowed myself to be a language nerd. Those were so much fun to make and looking forward to writing the rest of the series.
I’m also pretty proud of my discussion post about embracing the nuances of the fantasy genre.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

I bought the US paperback editions of the entire Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. I love looking at them on my shelf.

What are some books you need to read by the end of the year?

I did a post recently about my reading goals for 2020 and what books I still needed to read. Just to mention some other books I need to read:

  • Harry Potter (book 3-7, reread)
  • King of Crows by Libba Bray
  • Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
  • Burn by Patrick Ness

That was it for my mid year check in. Was it the best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

Posted in Wrap up

June 2020 Reading Wrap Up

“For my kind, the first sign our world was ending came on October 24, 1946.

First line in The Hanged Man by K. D. Edwards

Hi, guys. We got to the end of another month so here you have the mini-reviews for the books I read in June. It was a pretty standard month for me reading-wise. Even though I felt like I didn’t read very much, I still hit my usual 5 books. Take a look at my stats:

So I read male authors this month, although not on purpose. This is the first time this year that I’ve read more male authors than female so I’m going to say that’s alright.

I read two books this month that only feature in the pages read statistic. One because I DNF’d it and the other because it was too short to rate and review. The DNF was Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin, which I still have a mini-review for in this post. The short book was The Sunken Mall by K. D. Edwards, which is a short story from the Tarot Sequence series. Highly enjoyable but I’m not writing a review for it. However, I do have 5 other mini-reviews for you so enjoy!

The Dragon Reborn (Wheel of Time #3)

Author: Robert Jordan

Published: October 15th 1991

Genre: Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Read the synopsis for the first book in the series, The Eye of the World.

My thoughts

This book was not only boring as hell but also kind of pointless. Extremely little happened in this book to push the plot along. Instead, it focuses on the side-characters a lot and I guess this book is meant to develop them a little more. However, their character development is minimal. The only one I really enjoyed reading about was Perrin. The rest of them hasn’t managed to use their brain in this series yet.

I also think Jordan’s pacing is a little off. Small menial tasks the characters do get more pages than the final showdown. That’s kind of frustrating. The ending left me with a “that’s it?”-feeling. It just cemented my belief that this book should only have been half as long.

The Hanged Man (The Tarot Sequence #2)

Author: K. D. Edwards

Published: December 17th 2019

Genre: Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Read the synopsis for the first book in the series, The Last Sun.

My thoughts

This second book in The Tarot Sequence fixed the few problems I had with the world-building in book 1, and it did it very early on. I had a much better grasp on how everything worked which just helped me to be more invested in the story. I can tell that there are still more to know about the world but that’s part of this series’ charm. You don’t get information before the narrator, Rune, decides you need it. It works so well to keep the suspense building. You never know what he might spring on you.

The relationships between these characters are still my favorite thing about this series. It’s almost like I don’t need all the action (which there’s plenty of), and would love it just as much if it was all about conversations between these characters. They are so deep and meaningful that I just want more! The different dynamics between the characters also make it all so interesting to follow.

Serpent and Dove (Serpent and Dove #1)

Author: Shelby Mahurin

Published: September 3rd 2019

Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

My rating: DNF at 70%

Synopsis: Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Goodreads

My thoughts

The fact that I don’t DNF books but couldn’t finish this one, should tell you all you need to know about my feelings towards this.

The short version is that I didn’t like a single thing about it. The characters were annoying, the world-building wasn’t prioritized because the romance needed to be developed (but they actually had zero chemistry), and at 70% I still wasn’t sure what the plot was about.

One thing I want to talk about in more detail is the sexism towards men in this book. It clearly wants to portray “strong female characters”, but I would argue that the women in here are only perceived as strong when they are demeaning to the men. The men have so many flaws to their character and it seems like they’re there only for the women to exploit and show how powerful they are. I don’t like that. Isn’t that just the gender-bent version of what we’ve been complaining about for years? So yeah, this book completely misses the mark of equality for me.

However, I guess I can see why people would like this. If fantasy romance is your favorite genre, this would be a much better fit for you than me. Also just wants to make sure that you know you’re allowed to like a book even if some people find it sexist.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1)

Author: Becky Chambers

Published: July 29th 2014

Genre: Science Fiction

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buzzwords: wholesomeness, diversity, friend group

Synopsis: Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

Goodreads

My thoughts

It’s weird. This is a perfectly good book with diverse and unique characters… but it still failed to make me care. I think that’s due to the fact that this is a very optimistic and hopeful story without too many issues that need to be solved. I prefer my books a little more hardhitting, but if you don’t, I don’t foresee you having any problems with this one.

One thing I really liked about it, though, was Chambers’ use of contrasts between the alien species and humans. It’s a really great tool to make the reader reflect on certain topics. While reading, I often had the thought “yeah, that’s actually a pretty weird thing to do now that I think about it.” simply because the alien would do the complete opposite. I loved these parts of the book and think it could have been exploited even more.

Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman

Published: September 16th 1996

Genre: Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Buzzwords: London, underground world, weird, scary villains

Synopsis: Richard Mayhew is a young London businessman with a good heart whose life is changed forever when he stops to help a bleeding girl—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Here in Neverwhere, Door is a powerful noblewoman who has vowed to find the evil agent of her family’s slaughter and thwart the destruction of this strange underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life and home, he must join Lady Door’s quest to save her world—and may well die trying.

Goodreads

My thoughts

I finally found a book by Gaiman that I loved! His writing really shines in this one where he has an entire underground world to play with. I love experiencing these kinds of worlds in books where the author seems to start out with the sentiment of ‘the weirder the better’. I mean, there’s an entire group of people who worships rats in this one, and that’s not even close to being the weirdest thing.

I also have a thing for anything British and Neverwhere is practically screaming British-ness. Not only from its London-setting and references to places there, but also from its humor and its jokes about typical British behaviour. It really helps build the world up as realistic and therefore more immersive.

My last thoughts are about the fact that before starting this, I saw people having it shelved as horror on Goodreads. Now that I’ve read it, I get it. The two villians in here are absolutely horrible people. I was actually scared of them and I remember feeling the same way about the villain in another Gaiman book, The Graveyard Book. Is he actually the master of creating scary villains?

The only reason I took off half a star is because I wish I had connected a little more with the characters. They are great characters but I don’t consider any of them my favorite characters ever if you get what I mean.

Those were the 5 books I read this month. Have I inspired you to read any of them? And please, let me know if you’ve already read them and what you thought. Hope you had a great month and happy reading in July!

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – July 1st 2020

“The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself.”

First line in Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Hi, guys. I hope you’re all doing great. Today I’m using WWW Wednesday as usual to give you a reading update. WWW Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next

What did you recently finish?

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, which I gave 4.5 stars! Bloody amazing! The underground world of London was so fascinating. It had so many details and not everything made sense which was great. It reminded me a little of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern due to this imaginative world the main character just happens to stumble upon. Apparently that’s a favorite trope now.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just started my next commute book which is Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare. Only 68 pages in so I’m still drowning in new characters and getting to know everyone. I feel like everybody is somebody’s cousin and I’m trying to keep family trees in my head (it’s like watching Dark on Netflix all over again).

Also still reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. Currently at 76% and I’m determined to finish it this week. I have no idea how this is going to end so I’m excited to read it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I actually don’t think I’ll be starting anything within the next week. When I finish Songbirds and Snakes, I’ll focus only on Chain of Gold because that’s a big one.

Posted in Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

“From the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, the city was spread at Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood’s feet like a gift.”

First line in The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare

Hi, guys and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday. Today we’re talking about the new releases coming in the remaining half of 2020 (yes, we still have a whole 6 months left of this hell year). Since I don’t care very much about new releases, my list is mainly made up of sequels to series I’m already reading, although there are a few starters to series/standalones in there. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.


  • The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen (August 18) – The Merciful Crow #2. A great fantasy-spin on caste systems.
  • The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare (September 1) – The Eldest Curses #2. More Magnus and Alec? Yes please!
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix (September 22) – Standalone. Your favorite hand determines your ability in an alternate London? Oh, and they’re all booksellers apparantly because why not?
  • The Archive of the Forgotten by A. J. Hackwith (October 6) – Hell’s Library #2. My favorite group of people trying to prevent books from running away.
  • The Captive Kingdom by Jennifer A. Nielsen (October 6) – The Ascendance Series #4. A series I thought was over but of course ready for another adventure with Jaron.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab (October 6) – Standalone. You all know what this is.
  • Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (October 6) – The Queen’s Thief #6. My level of excitement for this is indescribable.
  • Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt (October 27) – The Hanged God Trilogy #1. Vikings and Norse gods!(!!)
  • Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson (November 17) – The Stormlight Archive #4. You’re not getting a description of this one either.
  • A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (December 1) – An Ember in the Ashes #4. Finally!!! A slave tries to save her brother (and possibly the world) in this brutal, Roman inspired setting.

Those are 10 books I should be reading the day they come out but probably won’t. I feel excused on October 6 because four of these are published on that exact date. Why is that date so special?? I need to know!

Well, I’m super excited to read all of these. What are some of your most anticipated releases?

Posted in Uncategorized

TBR Clean Out: Books I No Longer Want to Read

“If I’m not home in two months, I’m dead.”

First line in Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Hi, guys. Lately, I’ve been stressing myself out a lot with all the books I need to read. There are just too many, and it’s actually affected more than it should. I feel a pressure to read all the popular fantasy books to be able to be a part of online discussions. Then I also have to read all the underrated gems to support those authors. And let’s not forget that all while doing that, I also have to fill out the diversity bingo card or get “cancelled”.

To do something active about this stress feeling, I decided that I needed to remove the books from my TBR that I actually didn’t want to read anymore. Some of those I added a very long time ago and now have to realize that I’m never gonna get to. Let’s start!


  • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

The fact that I read about one classic a year, should have told me that I was being very optimistic by adding this chunker to my TBR. I had found out that it was different from the movie and wanted to know how. But I could also just read a summary…

  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

This has been on my TBR since February 2018 and was one of those books I added to my TBR when I just discovered BookTube. It was compared to The Night Circus and that was all I needed. Now I know that McLemore’s books tend to lean more towards magical realism and that just not my genre.

  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Added because the same author wrote Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. The synopsis itself isn’t something that really speaks to me and since it’s been on my TBR for more than 2 years, it’s going off.

  • Remaining Books by Rick Riordan

Please don’t kill me. I’ve read the Percy Jackson series and the first 3 books in the Hero of Olympus. I liked the first series well enough growing up, but reading the last three books as an adult simply hasn’t worked for me. Riordan’s formulaic writing means that it feels like I’ve read the same book 8 times. It’s incredibly boring and I’m not going to do it another 8 times. Life’s too short.

  • Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

As much as I love Marvel, I’ve realized that I’m going to just stick to the movies. Reading about superheroes (or whatever you’d call Loki) isn’t something I’m extremely interested in.

  • King of Fools by Amanda Foody

This is the sequel to Ace of Shades which I gave 3 stars. It had potential so I added the second book to my TBR. However, my library never got it and when I have to buy a book, I get a little more picky with what I read. I’ve had to realize that I’m just not that excited about it.

In total I removed 11 books from my TBR (there were a few Rick Riordan books), so it went from 98 to 87. 87 might not sound like a lot but it’s not completely accurate either. When reading series, I only add the one book I need to read next in case it’s so bad I want to quit on the series. So in reality my TBR is a lot bigger and never grows smaller. But this clean out did help a little. Do you remove books from your TBR once in a while?

Posted in Book Tags

The Birthday Book Tag

“One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke.”

First line in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Hi, guys. Sooo… it’s my birthday today. I’m officially 27. I’m not someone who cares very much about my birthday. That’s why The Birthday Book Tag is perfect. Instead of talking about myself, I get to talk about books. Way more fun. This tag was originally created by Antonia. Let’s jump into the questions!


Birthday Cake – A book with a plot that seems cliché but you adore it anyway

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I mean, it has all the clichés and all the tropes you would expect from a YA fantasy series. But it works for some reason. There’s action and political intrigue and I just really loved reading it.

Party Guests – Your most anticipated book release this year

I’m going to assume they just forgot to add an ‘s’ on release because you can’t expect me to only mention one. I have a standalone and continuations of two of my favorite series coming in the Fall. The standalone is, of course, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab.

Then we have The Archive of the Forgotten by A. J. Hackwith, sequel to The Library of the Unwritten.

Last one is Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, the last and long awaited sixth book in The Queen’s Thief series.

It might be a conspiracy but all of these books have the exact same publication date (as I’m writing this): October 6th.

Somebody must hate me.

Birthday Presents – A book that surprised you with how much you loved it

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. This one was very popular when it came out but it seemed to get mixed reviews so I’d actually decided I wasn’t going to read it. Experience had told me that those kinds of books rarely hit home for me. Then it fit an O.W.L.s prompt and here we are. The characters, the banter, the romance, the friendships, the library setting. I mean, this book just turned out to have all the right ingredients for me to love it.

The Happy Birthday Song – A book that certainly deserved all the hype it got

A lot of books deserve all their hype but since it’s June and Pride Month, I’m going with an old favorite: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Univers by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Such a beautiful story about identity and the importance of family.

Happy Music – A book with some very beautiful and truly memorable quotes

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. There were so many options for this question but just to proove that this one is a great choice, here are some quotes:

“I remember a friend of mine once telling me that we hate what we fear in ourselves,”

“It’s as if she understood completely the condition of loneliness and how it undermines us all, forcing us to make choices that we know are wrong for us.”

“Maybe there were no villains in my mother’s story at all. Just men and women, trying to do their best by each other. And failing.”

But also this:

“You look like a Greek God sent down by the immortal Zeus from Mount Olympus to taunt the rest of us inferior beings with your astonishing beauty, I said, which somehow in translation came out as “you look fine, why?”

Getting Older – A book that you read a long time ago, but you think that you would appreciate it more if you read as a more mature reader

It was much easier to find the opposite of this – books I probably won’t like as much anymore – but my answer is probably A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin which I read when I was about 16 or 17. The thing is that I really liked it back then but I’m sure I would appreciate it a lot more now and pick up on a lot more. Back then, I wasn’t reading adult fantasy and also didn’t know much about the differences between YA and adult. Now that I’m a more experienced adult fantasy reader and I also know the ending of the series, it would be fun to read the first book again.

Sweet Birthday Memories – A book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life

I was really trying to be original but there’s only one answer for this: Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. I’ve been lonely for a large part of my life, especially in my early teens, but these books gave me an escape so I didn’t have to be sad all the time. Being a part of the fandom also helped me make friends (online of course), and one of them is still my best friend.

These books are also still helping me. During my latest reread of the second book, I was reminded that the bravest thing you can do is ask for help when you need it. It was just the thing I needed to hear to realize that I needed to seek help with my anxiety.

Yeah, it’s not like I’m going to tag anyone lol. It’s a fun tag so I’ll probably do it again next year. Happy reading!