It’s been another month of reading & listening. So here’s the finished August TBR, with my mini-reviews.
Considering I had a 2 week holiday, I expected to read more, but all and all I don’t think 4 books is a bad score. This seems to be my maximum standard anyway. Seriously, how do people read a dozen books in a month?
The Fae Prophecy- Toni Cox
Genre: Action-Adventure Fantasy, Fae, Coming-of-Age
Audience: Middlegrade / YA
This was a nice and easy read. I came across it on Netgalley, and I really liked to cover and the description, so I figured I’d give it a try. It’s also my first ever Netgalley read (woohoo). So, what’s it about? Dark magic keeps attacking the castle in the Fae kingdom of Draeguard. Dana’s father, the King, stands accused of treason, thinking he has something to do with the dark magic. And so, Dana flees Draeguard to absolve her father from the accusation. Her only lead: find Arriana. She can help Dana save her father and her Kingdom, and teach her what her new mysterious power is, and how to control it. Her quest leads her right into the hands of a Shifter, a race she thought was a sworn enemy. Perhaps her sheltered life didn’t teach her all the complexities of the world around her.
The Fae Prophecy was an entertaining story, and easy to read, so if you’re looking for something laid back with Fae people and other races, I would recommend it. I do think I’ll read the sequel, also because—quite annoyingly so—pretty much none of the questions raised in this part of the series are answered. So if you start down this rabbit hole, you need to read the other books in the series to know everything. The story did also feel quite rushed at times and is a bit too heavy on the cliff-hangers for each chapter, and it didn’t evoke a lot of emotions in me.
Either way, I liked the story, but overall I’d give it three stars: ⭐⭐⭐
Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Witches
Audience: New Adult
My second audiobook everrr. Another good one! Also, FYI, there is a pretty steamy scene in there somewhere, that I happened to listen to out loud while doing some number painting, and my partner gave me the weirdest look ever. He probably thought I was listening to some weird fifty-shades style book. Ah well.
The story is about Louise le Blanc and Reid Diggory. Louise is a witch who fled her coven two years ago, forsaking all magic and living as a thief. However, in the city of Cesarine, witches like Lou are hunted and burned. Reid Diggory is a Chasseur, sworn to the Church, with the goal of catching witches. A twist of fate and a wicked stunt forces Reid and Lou in an impossible union: holy matrimony. While the war between witches and the Curch continues, Lou’s enemies come closer with a fate worse than fire. Not just that: she can’t ignore her growing feelings, yet also can’t change what she is. A choice needs to be made.
Loved this book! The narrators were good, I think. Both the female and male voices were clear and pleasant to listen to, be it that the female voice sounded a bit… whispery? Not sure how to describe it, but it wasn’t annoying or anything. The romance was built up quite well, with increasing suspense that just keeps you wanting to continue listening/reading. And, besides the romance, the story is also thrilling and makes you want to keep reading. The only thing that would’ve been nice is to have more information on the witches and the different covens. There’s some information given here and there, and I’m thankful there’s no info dumps or anything, but a bit more details would’ve been nice. But that’s just because I love stories about witches and witchcraft, so the more details the better.
I can’t do anything but give it 5 stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Vi’Gosh the Wanderer – Sheri Brown
Genre: Epic Action-Adventure Fantasy
This book was my pick for the ‘Little-Known Books’ reading challenge! Which was for July. And it’s August. So, I was a bit late. But I’m caught up now!
This story reminded me a lot of the Shannara books by Terry Brooks. It had the same type of writing style, and some elements of the story seemed familiar. Such as the name of Sasharians for the magical people who pretty much died out (Shannara, Shasharian… quite similar, right?).
Either way, that was just an observation. I do think that anyone who loves the Shannara books, will also love Vi’Gosh, and the tale of the Sasharians. It’s about the attempted destruction of the Sasharian race by the hands of a ruthless Commander called Dohrian and his army. Vi’gosh is the only one left, and it’s his task to avenge his people, for which he is gifted with incredible powers. His travels take him to the desert, and he’s closing in on the Commander. Revenge is getting closer.
I think the story itself was good, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. There’s also a lot of attention to world-building, with magical beasts, Sasharian culture, other races, and a lot more. I will say there was one chapter that was pretty much explaining Sasharian culture, which I thought should’ve been weaved into the story (and some things could’ve probably been left out) because now it broke the flow of the story. But, the thing that keeps me from giving it more than 3 stars, is the many grammatical mistakes and mistaken words. Some passages were quite confusing because the names were wrong (or otherwise it was truly weird). It’s a shame because it’s truly a good story and a good entrance into the world. Hopefully, the writer will at some point let a copy-editor or proofreader go through it to fix those mistakes.
But until then, it’s 3 stars for me: ⭐⭐⭐
A Dream to Die For – Susan Z. Ritz
Genre: Magical Realism, Mystery
My pick for the August reading challenge: Long Titles! My gosh, it’s such a great book! Well, so far. Gotta confess, I’m not quite finished yet (half-way there in fact). I do expect to finish it this week, so I’ll just update this post when I do.
We follow Celeste, who is deep into a cult of people who are obsessed with dreams. Their leader is Larry, who is a self-proclaimed therapist. After waking up from a strange dream, though, Celeste is determined to quit the cult, so that she can get her ex-fiancé back (who hates Larry and his cult). But when she tells Larry about her dream, he’s the one who sends her away. To confuse things even more, when she goes to see Larry again, he’s dead, his head bashed in with his own healing crystal. And they all seem to think Celeste is responsible. Together with Gloria, the only friend she’s got left, she tries to uncover the real murderer, and the secret everyone seems to be hiding.
So far, I can’t really seem to fault this book, to be honest. Sure, there are probably some things that could be better writing-wise or whatever, but I’m loving reading every minute of it. A Dream to Die For is suspenseful, and I can’t wait to find out who the murderer is.
If you’re looking for a good mystery to solve, check it out! While this rating is subject to change, depending on the ending, this book gets the full 5 stars from me. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Blog posts I read
This is a new thing I’m adding to the monthly reading wrap-up because I saw it on another blog (Thoughts Stained with Ink), and I thought: heck, that’s a good idea! There’s so much great content out there by other book bloggers that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on. So here’s a couple of great posts for you! (it’s not that much, since I literally decided to add this yesterday)
🍁 Maria has two great posts! One about genuine engagement on book blogs. I couldn’t agree with her more. In the end, genuine engagement brings so much more than boosting for a quit-pro-quo. She also has a nice post explaining some of the things book bloggers actually do. Very relatable.
🍁 Lauren gives some food for thought on being an ally to BIPOC bloggers. It definitely makes me want to do better in educating myself more, reading more widely, and support BIPOC book bloggers.
🍁 Shealia has some great ideas on getting more organized in September, both in organized the physical and virtual library. I’m gonna participate in the #goodreadance2020 challenge for sure!
🍁 And here’s an awesome review by CW on These Violent Delights (one of the Fall Releases, November 17th to be specific), which makes me genuinely excited to read it!
🍁 Over on the Fantasy Hive, they eliminated another three books for the SPFBO, leaving 20 books for the quarter finales (if my counting is correct).
That’s my August tbr all done, together with some other blog-posts! And as you can see, I’ve also discovered icons. Cannot believe it took me this long to know how to use those.
Anyway, what to read in September? Well, for the September reading challenge ‘Big Books’, I’m gonna read The Indivisible and the Void, and considering it’s a book over 500 pages, I might just stick with 3 books for September. I’ll also be reading Red Dust and Raindrops: Death on Mars and a new arc from Netgalley called Refuge. And actually, for fun, I’m also joining a buddy read on Goodreads for Two Towers, since I really feel like re-reading some LoTR.
What are you going to read in September? And what was your favorite read from August? Let me know! 😊