Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophilewhere readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Wolf in the Whale Author: Jordanna Max Brodsky Release: January 29, 2019
A young Inuit shaman’s epic quest for survival in the frozen lands of North America in 1000 AD.
Born with the soul of a hunter and the language of the gods, Omat is destined to become a shaman like her grandfather. To protect her people, she invokes the spirits of the sky, the sea, and the air.
But the gods have stopped listening, the seals won’t come, and Omat’s family is starving.
Desperate to save them, Omat journeys through the icy wastes, fighting for survival with every step. When she meets a Viking warrior and his strange new gods, together they set in motion a conflict that could shatter her world…or save it.
The Wolf in the Whale is a powerful tale of magic, discovery and adventure, featuring an unforgettable narrator ready to confront the gods themselves.
The end of the year is approaching fast, and if you’re like me, there are still a whole lot of books left on the TBR from this year that haven’t been read yet! November was a bit of slower month for me, reading-wise, due mostly to the fact that I was on vacation for two weeks. I had anticipated catching up on my TBR while I was gone, but I’m not one to sit around do nothing, so vacations usually aren’t as relaxing as they sound, as I’m always finding things to do! I also went to YALLFest a couple of weeks ago, and I had so much fun!! I met so many great people, made some new friends, and got a ton of books and ARCs, including a couple highly-anticipated upcoming releases that I was desperate for!
FURY:I loved this conclusion to the Menagerie series! For the most part, I thought it wrapped things up well. There were a few things, however, that I wish would have been different for the final book. A lot of questions were left unanswered and I think certain plot points needed to be fleshed out a bit more. Although I didn’t mind the bittersweet ending, it was almost a little too bitter, and since I’m a hopeless romantic, I truly wish there has been more of the romance and felt a little cheated. I’m also still unsure how I feel about the epilogue, and it has bothered me ever since. ★★★★½
THE HATING GAME: If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m complete trash for a love-to-hate relationship and witty banter. This was everything I never knew I needed in my life, and I wish I could go back in time and slap myself every time I saw this book on my TBR but skipped over it to read something else. The highlight of the book were the characters themselves; I thoroughly enjoyed reading about both Josh and Lucy and really enjoyed the evolution of their relationship. I now understand all the high praises I’ve seen about this book, because it deserves all it. [review] ★★★★★
THE GILDED WOLVES: I figured I would enjoy this because it’s Roshani Chokshi but I didn’t realize just how amazing it would be! The world created here can only be described as opulent and magical. Roshani has written such a unique story full of dark magic, thrilling adventures, and a diverse cast of compelling characters. From the mysteries and secrets, to the heists and plot twists, there is a lot of good stuff going on in this book. One of my favorite aspects was the interactions between the characters. There are a lot of different dynamics to love and each was written so beautifully and believably. The characters are truly the heart of this story and I can’t wait for everyone to meet them! [review] ★★★★½
WINDWITCH: My first attempt at reading this when it was released nearly two years ago, I had to stop at about 15% of the way in. The pacing was so tedious and I was disappointed when I learned that some of the beloved characters weren’t going to be reunited during the course of the story. I’m proud of myself that I picked it up again and was able to finish it this time! There was a lot about this book that I didn’t enjoy: the slower pacing, the fact that Safi and Iseult don’t reunite and the absence of their sisterhood, the fact that Safi and Merik don’t reunite or interact, and the lack of action. I also hated that the story kind of hints towards a love triangle, because I am not here for it. The pacing and action does start to pick up towards the end, and the last part of the book begins to resemble everything I had loved about Truthwitch. ★★★½
REBEL OF THE SANDS: This was my second reading of the book, in anticipation of finally read the entire trilogy. I’m so glad I reread it, because I hardly remembered anything about it and because I enjoyed it so much better the second time around. I loved the world-building done in this book: Miraji is a Middle-Eastern inspired setting with Old-West aspects + magic. There is so much action and fun stuff happening here. We have amazing characters, a slow-burn romance, treks across the desserts, an abundance of princes, and a kick-butt heroine that I adore. This fast-paced book is full of plot twists and plenty of action. [review] ★★★★
TRAITOR TO THE THRONE: I’m thankful I was able to read this right after finishing Rebel of the Sands, because otherwise I think my experience would have been a lot different. This book focuses more on Amani and is a lot slower paced than the previous book. Instead of a plot filled with action and adventure, we get introduced to political intrigue and court machinations. Beloved characters from the first book – including Jin and their romance – are sadly missing for a good portion of this book, but there was so much happening that it never bothered me. A few new key characters are introduced and there were two that I absolutely loved getting to know: Rahim and Sam! The action starts to really build towards the last few chapters, and by the end we’re left with a big cliffhanger! [review] ★★★★
HERO AT THE FALL:This was such a thrilling and wonderful conclusion to the series! The fast-paced and action-filled plot returned, and now the stakes are raised. I was happy that Jin and Amani were together again in this one, because I love the way their relationship changed and grew over the course of these books. I also loved the relationships Amani had with all of the other characters, but especially her friendships with with Shazad, Amed and Sam. More of the book’s mythology was included, and I really enjoyed reading those bits of stories and their creativity. As much as I loved everything that went on, we also said goodbye to some characters, including one of my favorites. And while I liked the ending/epilogue, I do wish that a couple of the characters were given more a more satisfying conclusion to their stories. [review] ★★★★
A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION: This wasn’t my favorite in the series, but I really loved the setting! Veronica and Stoker find themselves in a remote island off the coast of Cornwall, in a possibly haunted castle, as the guests of Lord Malcolm. The entire plot/setting is very reminiscent of a murder mystery dinner and it was so very fun to read. The pace of this book was a bit slower than the others, and it took a while for it to really pick up. However as with all the other, it was full of thrilling adventures, witty conversations, sexual tension, and of course – murder and mayhem. And after years of waiting, we finally get a nudge in the right direction towards romance between Veronica and Stoker – and it was totally worth the wait! [review] ★★★★
KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS:I thought I would love this a lot more than what I actually did. I really liked the story, the writing, and the world-building. The fairytale retelling aspects were enjoyable and I thought they were creative and intriguing. However, even thought the story is told through first-person POV, I had trouble connecting with Bristal and felt disconnected from the story. And while I really liked the romance, there was an aspect of it that just felt kind of strange. ★★★½
THE DARK DAYS DECEIT:This was the conclusion to the Lady Helen series – a series that I absolutely love – and yet I was so disappointed while reading this. I’m going to attribute my lack of enthusiasm towards this book to my high expectations and longer than usually wait. The release date was pushed back nearly a year, so I had forgotten a lot of things that had happened in the previous book. The book felt like parts of it were drawn out too long, while other parts were rushed and didn’t make any sense. The three books build up towards a romance between Helen and Lord Carlston, and yet what we’re given at the end was such a letdown. The conclusion of both the plot and the romance were honestly really anti-climatic and I finished this book feeling saddened and unsatisfied. ★★★½
THE OTHER MISS BRIDGERTON: I haven’t enjoyed a Julia Quinn book this much since I first read The Viscount Who Loved Me. I had such a fun time reading this! There was so much that I loved about it, but I’m not ashamed to admit that the hate-to-love romance is what did me in. I have been disappointed that I haven’t really liked any of Quinn’s books other than The Viscount Who Loved Me, so I’m glad to find another favorite! ★★★★
As completely unoriginal as this answer is going to be, I have to say Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I don’t think there’s another series out there with quite as much magic and witches/wizards!
Werewolf:The Perfect Book to Read at Night.
I do a lot of my reading at night before bed, so I don’t have a particular book in mind.
Frankenstein:A Book that Truly Shocked You.
I’m gonna say A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, because I truly, honestly did not think I was going to enjoy reading it, and went into the book not even expecting to finish it.
The Devil: A Dark, Evil Character.
Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series is the absolute worst.
Grim Reaper: A Character that Should Never Have Died.
There’s a reason I could never quite bring myself to finish Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, and that reason has everything to do with a certain favorite character’s death.
Zombie: A Book that Made You “Hungry” for More.
When I had finished Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor I immediately wanted the sequel. There was so many things I wanted to learn and needed to know – such as Azareen and Eril-Fane’s backstory (which Laini blessed me us with in Muse of Nightmares.)
Gargoyle: A Character that You Would Protect at All Cost.
May I direct you attention, please, to this post. Honestly, I’m not even going to pick just one because all three – Sansa Stark, Chaol Westfall, and Malyen Oretsev – are all equally hated upon by their respective fandoms for no good reason and therefore deserve my equal support.
Vampire: A Book that Sucked the Life Out of You.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I will never understand this book’s appeal or popularity. It drained the life (and brain cells) out of my body and I ended up basically skimming the thing.
Ghost: A Book that Still Haunts You.
Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaardner. I had to read this my sophomore year of high school and hated it with the burning passion of a thousand suns. It was a very unpopular choice of reading amongst my classmates. To this day, I still have no idea what the f**k is even happening in that book.
Demon: A Book that Really Scared You.
I read a lot of thrillers, but I don’t think I’ve ever read one that’s really scared me. And I tend to avoid horror books: they’re not my thing.
Skeleton: A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With.
Recently, I had a bone to pick with Audrey Rose as I was reading Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco. Girlfriend. What are you doing?!
Mummy: A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time.
I have quite a few favorite books, but The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is such a treasure.
Creepy Doll: A Cover too Scary to Look At.
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. I remember buying this book on a whim years ago but then never actually reading it. That cover is extremely eerie.
The Monster Mash: It’s Fun to Be with Friends on Halloween!
This was really fun and I hope you all enjoyed my answers! Since I wasn’t actually tagged to do this, I’m not going to tag anyone specifically and invite you all to do it!
Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. If you want to join or find out more information about the weekly themes check out the Goodreads page! Today’s theme was a fun one, and perfect for October: favorite villains.
THE DARKLING – He is one of the best villains ever written, in my humble opinion. The way Leigh Bardugo wrote his character was brilliant: I was charmed and fooled into falling for him, just like Alina was in the first book, until his true self was revealed. There is so much to hate about him and the things he did, but at the same time I loved reading about him.
MAVEN CALORE – He’s such complex, interesting character and to see the way he changed over the course of the series was one of the most intriguing things about the books. He did some messed-up things, but at the same time I could understand how he became the person he was, and I couldn’t help but feel for him.
CERSEI LANNISTER – The tv show version of Cersei is a lot more humane and understandable, but the Cersei Lannister of the books is horrible. She’s vain, controlling, cruel, and greedy. Her list of atrocities are pretty unredeemable, and yet her chapters in A Feast for Crows are one of the few POVs that I’m enjoying. It’s interesting – and terrifying – being inside Cersei Lannister’s mind.
QUEEN LEVANA – The wicked queen of the Lunar Chronicles series, that’s all she was to me…until later on. Sometimes a villain is just a villain, and other times a villain is a given a explanation and reasoning to all their craziness. We end up getting that backstory for Levana, and while it doesn’t make her any less evil or cruel, it does make her more human and changed my perspective of her.
DOLORES UMBRIDGE – Let me be perfect clear: if I had to choose between killing Voldemort or Umbridge, the Dark Lord would still be (kinda) alive and (mostly) well. The amount of hatred I have for that woman knows no bounds. And the fact that while everyone may have different opinions about the other villains in the Harry Potter series, we all agree that Professor Umbridge is the absolute worst.