I buy too many books! | Book Haul

It’s barely been a month since my last book haul and here I am with a bunch of new books :/ I also bought a lot of audiobooks, so I’ll indicate those with a 🎧


The Beholder by Anne Bright | A Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rodgerson | The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson | Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson | Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik | Scythe by Neal Schusterman 🎧 | Thunderhead by Neal Schusterman | Lock In by John Scalzi 🎧 | Monstress Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Children of Time by Adrien Tchaykovsky 🎧 | The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 🎧| Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami 🎧 | Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett 🎧 | Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells & Jeff Wayne 🎧

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Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter 🎧

 

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Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019 – Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, though originally it was created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is most anticipated releases for the second half of 2019

I am not really anticipating that many books for the second half of the year. I have 6 which I want to talk about. However, there are several more that are books in series I haven’t started reading yet, but I’m anticipating really enjoying. So I can’t really say I’m anticipating the release of these books because I haven’t read any books in the series and it might turn out I actually don’t like the series. But I think that I will love those series. So I’m going to talk about those as well in the second half of this post.


Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff – September 5th, 2019

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I am ready, I have been waiting for 2 years. I can’t wait to read the conclusion to this series. I’m thinking of maybe doing a re-read of the first 2 in August, but I’m not sure yet.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – September 10th, 2019

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This is the only one on this list that is not a sequel. I don’t know much about it and I want to keep it that way, but I think it’s a kind of portal fantasy and I love those kinds of stories, so I’m intrigued and looking forward to reading this.

Monstress Vol. 4 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – October 1st, 2019

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I’m currently on volume 3 of this and I’m glad we’re getting another volume this year, because this is one of the coolest weirdest graphic novels I’ve read. I want to know what happens and honestly I’d love to see this as an animation. Someone please make an animated series of this. The world is so rich and the story so unique and gruesome at the same time. I would love to see this as an anime. Studio Ghibli, please get on to it.

The Toll by Neal Schusterman

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I just read Scythe and am currently reading Thunderhead and I’m so glad that I’ll have book 3 almost right away. This is the best utopia/dystopia (I find them to be the same genre, but with different emphasis, really) I’ve read in a long while.

Dispel Illusion by Mark Lawrence – November 14th, 2019

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Any Mark Lawrence book is automatically anticipated for me and I’ve been spoiled this year, I get 4 of them!

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson – November 26th, 2019

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This is my year of Brandon Sanderson, I feel it. I’ve already read 2 Sanderson books, I’ve just ordered Words of Radiance. I’m definitely going to read this when it comes out. Give me all the Brandon Sanderson.

These are all the books that I’m actively anticipating for the seocond half of the year. I’ve read a lot of older books that are in series already completed I feel like, this year, so I haven’t gone into new series as much. And I’ve also somewhat shifted away from YA, which I think is far more promiscuous than adult SFF. However, there are few more series with books that are being released this year that I want to talk about.

The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang – August 6th, 2019

This is the second book in a Chinese inspired fantasy. I haven’t read the first book yet, but I’m anticipating really enjoying it. If I do get to it this year, I’m glad that I’ll have book 2 to get to right away if I like it as much as I’m thinking I will.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood- September 10th, 2019

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I still haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale. I own it and I really want to read it (I think I may have put it on my Book Junkie Trials extended TBR), but I don’t know if I will get to it this year. Because I’m nervous about reading it. But I fully expect I’m going to like it and I’m excited we’re getting a sequel.

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie – September 19th, 2019

I’m putting this in this section because I’ve only read the original First Law trilogy. I have a lot of reading to do before I can get to this, so I’m not really actively anticipating it since I can’t read it right away anyway. But I did really like The First Law and I plan to catch up with this world and eventually get to this. Though it won’t happen this year. Also, I really don’t like this cover. I hope they will release it with a matching cover to the rest of them, because I love those covers. I mean, can you even compare?

Although I see that books 5, 6 and 7 don’t have matching covers, so there’s little hope. 😦

 

X-Men Dark Phoenix – A Rant

I have just been to see Dark Phoenix and it was trash. There’s just no nice way of saying it. It was without question the worst X-Men film I’ve ever seen and one of the worst overall films I’ve seen in a while. It was just pure cancer. So I need to just rant about it because I’m mad. Spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

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Somehow, this movie managed to be both mind-numbingly slow and completely without any kind of depth or dimension at all. It was just two hours of… pure cancer. The story was so cliche… and like yeah, X-Men stories usually are, but this one was so bad, you can’t even call it a story. It was more a collection of jumbled mess.

So, we start with the story of Jean causing her parent’s death as a little girl, then Charles adopts her, then we fast forward to her being an adult and going on a mission with the X-Men. And they tried to set up this tension between Raven and Charles from the start, but it was so artificial, it didn’t come across at all. Anyway, they go to space to save some astronauts and they manage to do that, but Jean gets blasted with this super duper energy thing. She somehow survives and when they get back, Raven and Charles argue and Raven accuses him of being arrogant and whatever. Hank scans Jean and finds out her powers are on steroids. Later that day, Jean gets wasted and freaks out when she sees fire and blasts people away. While unconscious she finds out that Charles lied to her and her dad’s still alive and runs off to find him. So far it was fine, but from here on, it’s just… awful.

So she goes to her dad’s house and he invites her in, she sees that there are no pictures of her, but only of her mother in the house and freaks the fuck out. Like I get being upset about that. She figures out that her dad didn’t want her when she was a kid and also that she was the cause of her mother’s death. So yeah, I’d be upset too, but she FREAKS out. And when Charles comes to talk to her, she just goes crazy, flips some cop cars (Idk why the cops were there??? Who called them? Why would Charles call them? Her dad wouldn’t have had time? Idk) then Raven tries to talk her down and she kills her and then flies off. Like… you just killed one of your friends… and you fly off?? Also, why did she kill the cops? Why didn’t she just stop to listen. She keeps saying that when ‘it’ comes, she can’t stop, but the way it was filmed… I don’t know, it wasn’t believable. The acting was so bad. Which is shocking, because all of those people CAN act. James McAvoy was terrible. So was Sophie. It’s like they all knew what trash this was and couldn’t be fucked.

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So then she goes to find Magneto to ask how he stopped being evil basically. And he sees Raven’s blood on her shirt and asks her whose blood it is, but Jean doesn’t reply. He keeps prodding until she’s pissed and then some military people show up. Magneto goes to talk to them and tells Jean to stay hidden. And he tries to protect her and send the military guy away but Jean still freaks out, comes out of the house and destroys a helicopter saying “I thought you were gonna help me” and I’m like… he was????? He was literally telling them to fuck off? And you could hear it because you can freaking read minds. So then she tries to destroy the other helicopter, but Magneto fights her for it and eventually the soldiers get in the helicopter and Magneto flings them away saving them. He then instead of trying to help her sends her away. Which I kinda get, but was also an overreaction. At this point I was just like… what even is this?

Meanwhile, we also follow these aliens???? I don’t really know. They’re just aliens that can shapeshift and want to destroy the earth. Why? I don’t know. Apparently the energy in Jean destroyed their planet so now they wanted to harness that power to destroy earth??? Cause that makes sense? Literally there was almost 0 explanation of who these were and why they wanted to kill everyone and/or get Jean’s power.

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After Magneto tells her to fuck off, the boss alien finds Jean and tells her to embrace her power and that no one understand her and Jean has apparently decided that she’s evil now. So the alien lady shows her a picture of the universe and tells her how the energy thing destroyed her planet and how it destroys everything it touches but that she wanted to use it to create a new world??? And Jean was just kinda like… okay, makes sense.

Meanwhile, Hank argues with Charles and goes to find Magneto, tells her Jean killed Raven and then they both decide they want to kill Jean and anyone who gets in their way. At the drop of a hat (in what was possibly the worst acting Michael Fassbender has ever done). So they track her down, Charles and the X-Men also show up trying to prevent them from killing Jean and the most pathetic fight ensues where Charles, who could literally have frozen everyone but Magneto and then let the others fight Magneto, does almost fuck all. So, so far, they’ve killed one of the best characters they had (Raven), neutered another (Charles) and almost completely ignored the best one (Quick Silver, who showed up in the first 15 minutes and that’s it). Great job. Instead, we got a whole lot of Scott and his inability to keep his mouth shut. Literally.

The stupid, forced, completely devoid of any chemistry, romance between him and Jean.

And a lot of Jessica Chastain staring creepily at things.

Anyway, moving on, she then almost kills Magneto, almost kills Nightcrawler and almost kills Charles until Charles says something touching and she’s suddenly not evil anymore. Alien lady steals some of Jean’s power before being stopped. All the mutants are incapacitated by the military and taken to detention facilities presumably. The train they’re on is attacked by aliens, the mutants are obviously released and a fight ensues, but the aliens are apparently completely immune to bullet wounds… or any kind of wounds. Like, not impervious, but they just have super healing I guess. Jean wakes up and kills all of them except boss lady who she then flies to space and kills there to spare her friends from being disintegrated. And then she… turns into a phoenix???? I don’t know if that’s actually a thing or it’s like a metaphor or…. what the hell is going on??? I am confusion.

So yeah… this movie was painful to watch. I can’t believe they actually released this trash. It was so without any substance. I feel like my plot summary gives the story more substance than it actually had. It’s so bad that anything improves on it. The mere act of summarising the plot adds something to it. Just don’t waste your money and time on this garbage.

Medieval-a-thon TBR

I’m embracing the readathons in July guys. Holly @ Holly Hearts Books just announced this readathon also running in July. Check out her video for all the details. Since I’m already participating in The Book Junkie Trials, I thought I’d go for this as well. You can check out my TBR for that as well. I’m going to double and triple up on books, obviously. There’s only so much I can read in one month, but I’m excited. So let’s get into this.


A book where a character fights for the throne

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I’m going to go with Viper by Bex Hogan for this. As far as I gathered from the synopsis, there is a prince and some political conflict going on. So I’m counting it. I’m also going to use it for the Book with something pointy on the cover prompt, because look at those pointy fangs. This is also on my Book Junkie Trials TBR, so it’s perfect.

A book with a dragon on the cover

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How convenient that I’m already reading Throne of Jade for Book Junkie Trials.

A shiny book

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For this I’m going with A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. It has the shiny font and the spine is also super shiny.

A thick paperback

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Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This isn’t the thickest book ever, but it has super tiny font and it is over 500 pages, so I think it counts.

A book that has yellowed over time

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I’ll go with Half the World  by Joe Abercrombie because I bought this used and it’s a bit more yellowed. I’m also counting this for the Book with elves prompt, because while not really present in the story, elves are part of the world, so good enough.

A book with red on the cover

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For this, I will (hopefully) be reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

A book with assassins

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Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye. I’ve only read the first chapter of this book (yes, not even the synopsis), but I got a ninja/assassin vibe from it. So it counts.

A book with mercenaries

I’m not sure what book to pick for this. Because I tend to not know a lot about books going into them. So, I’ll just see if I read any that fit this and if I do, I’ll tell you about it in my wrap up.

Mid Year Book freak Out Tag – 2019 Edition

I did this in 2016 and 2017 and then I skipped it last year, but I think it’s a nice way of reflecting on the books I’ve read so far this year. And it’s really interesting to see what my answers were like in previous years and how my reading tastes have changed. As of writing this, I have read 35 books this year.


Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

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I’ve read so many good books this year. However, some of them were re-reads so I will give this one to Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence. This has become one of my favourite series. I’ve talked about it a lot, it’s amazing and I can’t wait to see what Mark lawrence has for us next in this world.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

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Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel. This is another one of my new favourite series and Waking Gods was my favourite book in the series. Again, I’ve talked about this a lot already. It’s definitely worth checking out if you enjoy sci-fi.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence. I’ve read the first book in May and the second book has now been released with the third one upcoming later this year. These are very short and i really enjoyed One Word Kill. I think I’m going to wait for the third one to come out and just binge read them though.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

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Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. It’s interesting that my answer for 2017 was Godsgrave. So it’s nice to see that some things haven’t changed.

Biggest disappointment

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I’ve been pretty good about picking books I really enjoy this year, but I think the book I was most disappointed with was Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I had a lot of issues with this and I was expecting to really enjoy it. So it really disappointed me. I recently reviewed it so you can check that out for more details.

Biggest surprise

I think for this, it’s a tie between Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst and City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. I enjoyed both of these way more than I was expecting and I’m glad I read them.

Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I started reading Saga this year and man was that a great decision.

Newest fictional crush

I don’t know, I don’t think I have one.

Newest favorite character

Nona from The Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence. Technically, I was introduced to her last year, but since I didn’t do this tag last year, i think it’s fair and I don’t really have anyone else.

Book that made you cry

I don’t think any books have made me cry so far this year.

Book that made you happy

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The Martian by Andy Weir. It genuinely brightened my mood. I loved it so much.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Some of my faves I got this year.

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

All of my owned TBR, really.

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty – Book Review

36215220Rating: 3.75/5

Genre: YA, fantasy

First published: 2017

Author: S. A. Chakraborty

Synopsis: Among the bustling markets of eighteenth century Cairo, the city’s outcasts eke out a living swindling rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders alike.

But alongside this new world the old stories linger. Tales of djinn and spirits. Of cities hidden among the swirling sands of the desert, full of enchantment, desire and riches. Where magic pours down every street, hanging in the air like dust.

Many wish their lives could be filled with such wonder, but not Nahri. She knows the trades she uses to get by are just tricks and sleights of hand: there’s nothing magical about them. She only wishes to one day leave Cairo, but as the saying goes…

Be careful what you wish for.


I definitely enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I was apprehensive about picking this up. I’m not sure what it was about it that made me not want to read it, I didn’t even know much about it going in, but there was something. However, there was a really good Kindle/Audible deal so I ended up getting both the ebook and narration for like £5, so I went for it. I’m glad I did. Even though I didn’t love the first novel and I had some issues with it, I think I might enjoy subsequent books more.

I really loved the setting and world building. I love desert settings and I love middle eastern mythology. So this was like a balm for my soul from that perspective and one of my complaints is that I wanted more of that world and mythology than we got and I’m hoping we’ll get more in the sequels. The atmosphere was so good, both in Cairo (even though I’ve never been to Cairo) and in Daevabad, which is the magic city. I ate it up. I loved it and it was everything I want from this kind of setting. It was rich, I could almost smell the scents and feel the heat. I just loved it.

Similarly, I loved the political plots and subplots, the layers and complexity there was to that were great. The way the different factions interacted and how they each had pretty good motives for what they did. It was really good tension, especially that we followed different characters who were on opposing factions and had opposing ideologies, so we got to see all of the sides and it was hard at times to decide who to root for. So I thought that was really well done and I look forward to seeing where that goes.

What I didn’t really like were the characters. They all kind of annoyed me. I felt like they were all acting like 16 year olds, even though they were in their 20s. I didn’t really like any of them and that often took me out of the story. Nahri was sometimes really annoying and frustrating in my opinion. I just found myself yelling at her “GIRL WHYYYY? Why are you like this?”. She frustrated me. And same goes for the other two main characters. I just got so frustrated with them. I liked some of them more than others, but overall, I just didn’t enjoy the characters.

Same goes for the relationships. I didn’t like the romance elements. I’m not sure if there’s a love triangle hinted or if that’s just supposed to be a friendship. I can’t tell, but either way, one of the characters involved is my least favourite character, so I just don’t like the relationship either way.

Another thing that bothered me a little bit is that the author says that she’s a convert to Islam and that that’s brought her a lot of joy, but then she goes on and makes the most devout character in her book also the most obnoxious and self-righteous. To the point where everyone finds his devoutness annoying and is, rightly so, in my opinion, rankled by his self-righteousness. And I’m like… on the one hand, you claim that Islam is so important to you, but on the other hand, you’re making the one character that truly cares about it in your book be so insufferable. I don’t like hypocrisy and that bothered me, it doesn’t have that much to do with the story and it may well not have been intentional. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me that finds this character this insufferable.

Overall, I ended up enjoying this more than I expected and I will be continuing with the series.

Unpopular Bookish Opinions – Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, though originally it was created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is unpopular bookish opinions, which means I get the chance to be salty. Yay!


1. Paperbacks are better than hardbacks

Dust jackets are ANNOYING and hardbacks are heavy. Yes, they look pretty, but paperbacks are a lot more versatile. I’m not saying I hate hardbacks, but in most cases, I will choose and even wait for the paperback.

2. I don’t like all my books to look pristine

Sure, I don’t intentionally mangle them. I don’t deliberately crack spines. I take care of my books, but they’re books. They’re meant to be read. Pages are going to get smudged, spines creased, covers bent. Also, I love buying used books. I like my shelves to be a mixture of old and new.

3. I actually prefer big books to shorter ones

This obviously depends. I don’t like books that are unnecessarily verbose or just full of meaningless filler. However, big, long, complex stories? YES PLEASE. I also like how they look on a shelf more. I don’t like how multiple short books look one next to the other. Short books interspersed with long ones is the best aesthetic.

4. I will often avoid a book when it gets sold to me as ‘diverse’

I’ve talked about this before. It’s not that I have a problem with diverse books. On the contrary. I have a problem with the forced diversity we see most of the time. If you have to resort to “Well, yeah but there’s a same gender romance in my book” or “The main character is a transgender male, in love with his best male friend and has a disability” to sell it, then I’m not interested. Unless of course, you’re writing a book specifically about that and the story is about said disability or romance or whatever. But there are so many generic fantasies out there that I’m supposed to love just because the MC is diverse. No thanks.

5. Angsty romances are overrated

There’s enough of that to go around in real life, don’t need to read about it too.

6. I will often avoid new debuts

Especially if they’re YA.This is because I’ve come across so many mediocre debut novels I’m fed up. Stop publishing meh books and hyping them to the heavens. I realise that I might be missing out on some truly great debuts out there, but you know what, if they’re good, they’ll still be around in a year or two and I can read them then.

7. Conemporaries are boring more often than not

8. I like Bible pages

9. I prefer third person narration to first person

10. I generally don’t like american audiobook narrators

There are some exceptions, but for the most part, I don’t like them.