ARC

ARC Review- Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Overall enjoyment: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

World building: 4/5

Diversity: 3/5

Note: A free copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book will be officially released on July 23, 2019.

When I first requested to read this book through Netgalley I thought it was a present-day retelling. Not the case, this novel is set in the 1920s. It’s not a bad thing, but just something I thought might be of interest for others to know. I really enjoyed this story. I love most mythology themed novels, but this one dug deep and asked us to really consider what it means to be human and what it might mean to be a god.

The characters, as always for me, were a huge selling point. I think the author did a fantastic job of making her characters dynamic. There was no all good or all bad. I really vibed a lot with what Casiopea was feeling as a young woman and I think that really endeared her to me. She’s got a temper, but in this case, it was to her benefit. Then, Hun-KamÉ, honestly, he was probably my favorite. I loved the exploration between godhood and humanity that Moreno-Garcia did with him. While I love stories wrapped in myth I’m also very picky how gods are portrayed. This was a representation I really enjoyed.

World building was minor in that it was 1920s Earth, but the mythology and how it would interact with the world today was beautifully done. It was seamlessly woven. I feel like I learned a lot about certain parts of Mayan mythology.

Diversity. This was based purely on Hispanic/Mayan characters. Casiopea was also our main character. So, double points for having a woman of color as the protagonist!

Overall, if you enjoy the modernization of old gods I’d say you will definitely enjoy this book. Also, if that isn’t your cup of tea, but you enjoy a book that gives you some little bits to think over then you could still very much enjoy this book. It’s deeper than what you first might expect. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for its release this July!

ARC

ARC Review- Spin the Dawn by Eliabeth Lim

Overall enjoyment: 4/5

Characterization: 3/5

World building: 5/5

Diversity: 3/5

Note: A free copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review

This book really surprised me. From reading the summary I thought it was going to basically be Mulan, but instead of being a solider she’d be a tailor. Spinning the Dawn is so much more than that! It does start out with a very Mulan feel in the beginning, but I love Mulan so that wasn’t a big deal to me. But, then the story expanded and we got into some nice lore of the world. I was completely sucked in for all, but a small portion of this book.

Now, lets talk about the characters. Mainly Maia and Edan. Maia is our Mulan, a strong, skilled woman who has big dreams that are limited by her gender. I really enjoyed reading her she’s strong and willing to work very hard for what she wants. The only thing that really was a downside of her was that she really didn’t seem to have a flaw. She had moments of weakness and being a woman in this story made things difficult for her, but otherwise I didn’t really pick up on a flaw. Edan, is charming. I was a bit suspicious of him and I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I really enjoyed his character. He’s where there’s a lot of cool backstory. He also doesn’t have to seem to really have a flaw. Other than the lack of even a small character flaw in my opinion I really enjoy these characters.

World building. I loved the bits of lore that this book gave us. There are obviously a variety of beliefs and stories. They’re so well written that I really enjoyed how they twined into the story. There’s some other little things with world building like different currency and whatnot, but I’m in it for the lore.

This book has diversity in that it is based around a woman of color based in a world that seems to be based to my understanding on China.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and got more out of it that I originally anticipated. If you enjoyed Mulan or just a good fantasy read I would encourage you to purchase this book when it is released on July 9th.

Reviews

A Review- A Faire Encounter By A.M Valenza

Overall Enjoyment: 2.5/5

Characterization: 5/5

World building: 2/5

Diversity: 5/5

Goodreads Summary: Elena is working the Renaissance Faire with her cousin Luís when she spots the Cutest Girl Ever, a yawning, shivering, chubby little thing dressed up in a dragon onesie. The only problem is getting her attention. She comes up with a plan: impress that adorable dragon girl at all costs. A little magic wouldn’t hurt either.

Review

I picked up this book because it was set at a ren faire. I love renaissance faires. I think they’re so fun and nerdy. I enjoyed the beginning of this book, but the more I read the more it just became a little too silly for me.

The best thing about this book was the characterization. Ines was a shy, asexual who got pulled into the whirl wind known as Elena. While I enjoyed Ines, Elena was too much for me to enjoy. She was supposed to be at least an older teenager, but she responded like someone much younger than that and I found that very disappointing. Each of these characters had very distinct voices though and I did really enjoy that.

The world building in this story was fairly minor. As I mentioned before it is set at a renaissance faire with the surprise that witches are real. There’s very little explanation about the witchcraft other than its normal to be happening at the faire.

Diversity is where this novel also really shines. There’s representation for some different sexual orientation, diabetes, mutism, etc. While I appreciated it I also felt like it was a little bit of fan service. The story was short enough and I felt like while we met a diverse cast we really just got a snapshot of them before moving on. I always find that a bit unsatisfying, but it wouldn’t be any different with any other minor character in a relatively short novel.

Overall, I wasn’t satisfied. There are such few f/f novels that I find that I want them to all be magnificent to encourage more people to read and enjoy them. This novel was light, fluffy and if you don’t mind crazy characters you could enjoy this story. If you’re looking for something deeper you’re going to be disappointed.

Reviews

Stunning- How Long ‘Til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin

Overall Enjoyment: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

World building: 5/5

Diversity: 4/5

Goodreads Summary: In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow south must figure out how to save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.

Review

I chose this book mainly based on the summary, but also because I’ve heard such great things about N.K. Jemisin’s writing, but was having a hard time committing fully to reading one of her full length novels. I’m generally not a fan of short stories, but Jemisin really impressed me. She has an amazing ability to pull you straight into a world in a very short amount of written words. She definitely introduced a lot of new ideas in fantasy and syfy that I hadn’t considered or thought about before, but really enjoyed. There was a large mix of stories and topics that were covered in this anthology. Most I really enjoyed though there were a few in the mix that I didn’t care for.

Characterization: I can’t go into detail about all the characters because there are so many for them, but even though most of these stories are no more than 10-ish pages I still felt drawn into all the characters lives that were exposed to me. These stories contained so much detail and at times emotions that it is hard not to root for most of the characters.

World building: Jemisin just throws you into her worlds with really no build up. When most authors do this it leaves me confused and left to muddle through it until everything is slowly revealed which I personally find frustrating. But, not here! Jemisin has talent to not only throw you into multiple different worlds through her stories, but also the skill to have it all make sense with little to no explanation. A mastery of the craft.

Diversity: This book focused mostly on characters of color with a variety of thoughts and sexualities. I would say we definitely had a lot of different enjoyable viewpoints.

Overall: I would say its definitely worth the read even if, like me, you’re not a fan of short stories. These stories have left me satisfied with their completeness as well as uniqueness.


Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? Let me know what you think!

Reviews

Speechless- A Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi Review.

Overall Enjoyment: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

World building: 4/5

Diversity: 3/5

My Personal Summary: Zélie is a girl who grew up on pain; watching her mother die and her people suffer. A chance meeting in the market begins a series of events that could change the whole of Orisha. But change doesn’t come for free and if you want freedom you have to be willing to pay the price.

Review

I’ve been interested in this book for awhile now and have, for the longest time, been putting it off, but I’ve finally read it. This book is not for the faint of heart. If you want something light and fluffy look elsewhere. Tomi Adeyemi had an idea when she wrote this novel and she definitely succeeded. While this is a fantasy book if you at all keep up with current events you’ll see very quickly that there is social relevance written all over the pages. This book will hit you where it hurts and make you think. Let’s start with the characters.

The characters were amazing! Zélie isn’t perfect, but she’s strong and she has so much history and pain. She’s driven and she’s rash and she’s pushing for change. Then Amari, she experiences so much growth throughout the book. Inan, breaks my heart yet I want to throttle him too. If you want to read a cast of complex, believable characters then this is a great book for you.

The world building was phenomenal as well. This story is loosely based in Africa, based on Adeyemi’s background I’m going to guess West Africa. The world has a history, a religion, and all the little details that really make a fantasy world spring to life for me. I really loved reading it.

Diversity. This book was based in a fantasy Africa and with that the whole cast of this book are people of color which is awesome. This book also had kickass women which I obviously very much enjoyed. Racial diversity was fantastic.

Overall, it was a game-changing book that I would highly recommend. As I mentioned before it’s not a light and fluffy read, but it’s a powerful read. I highly recommend you check it out here.

lists

Top 5 Books Featuring Werecreatures

Hello everyone and welcome to this top five list. I love urban fantasy and I really enjoy when they feature werecreatures. Now, I say werecreatures and not just werewolves because some of these books feature other types of weres like werejaguars! Cool, right? I think so. Take a look below and see what you think! Note: These are adult fiction books and can contain explicit content.

  1. The Change of Heart Series by Mary Calmes. These are the werepanthers! It’s a five part book series and totally worth the read. It is sold as a romance series and it is, but it’s so much more than that. These werepanthers have a whole culture and history all of their own. That become more apparent later in the series.

Diversity Note: This story is based on a gay couple.


2. The Green Creek series by TJ Klune. I’ve already review this series when I first started my blog, but I really can’t recommend it enough. The story contains werewolves and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Diversity Note: This story is based on a gay couple


3. The Others Series by Anne Bishop. This book contains a variety of weres though I use the term loosely here. Crows, coyotes, bears, and wolves are all within this series. This series takes the stereotype of werecreature and turns it on its head. I love the world, the characters, everything about it.

Diversity note: I would consider Meg neurodivergent. She has some sensory issues very unique to her character.


4. The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs. I’m not sure if there are many fans of werewolves that haven’t heard of this series. Mercy is a werecoyote mechanic that has a habit of getting herself into trouble.

Diversity note: Mercy is native american.


5. The Thirds Series by Charlie Cochet. This is a series based on people in a specialized police force. This includes werecats. If you like high stakes and some suspense this is a good choice for you.

Diversity note: This features a gay couple.


So, what do you think? Have you read any of these books? What are you favorite books featuring werecreatures?