WWW Wednesday 5/20/2020

Happy Wednesday everyone,

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam

The Three Ws are:

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

What are you currently reading?

Clockwork Prince, Walmart Edition (The Infernal Devices, Volume 2 ...

Yes, I am diving right back in shadow hunter world and I am enjoying The Infernal Devices a lot more than The Mortal Instruments, and I could see why Tessa, Will and Jem are amazing characters, and it really has a chance to see the shadow hunter world more in depth.

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie ...

I am currently listening to the audiobook, and it is amazing. I already read this series, but hearing the voices it reminds me of those old radio serials with an amazing voice cast.

What did you recently finish reading?

Star Wars: Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

As a fan of both Clone Wars and Rebels, I became a fan of Ahsoka Tano. This book takes place after Clone Wars and before Rebels, and it really does a good job at fleshing out her character, and dealing with the events after Revenge of the Sith.

Amazon.com: The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising Trilogy ...

This was a very unique take on Arthurian Legend, and I like that it focused on Guinevere, and her trying to protect Arthur, and I really enjoyed it, and seeing a lot of references to the original King Arthur tale.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amazon.com: Between Burning Worlds (2) (System Divine ...

I read Sky Without Stars, and I loved it. A great retelling of Les Mis, set in space, which now deals with the characters, and a rebellion. I am very excited to read the sequel.

That is my WWW Wednesday. What books are you currently reading? What have you recently finished and what will you be reading next? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Ahsoka by EK Johnston

Summary:

Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance…. 

The Review:

I have always been interested in the story of Ahsoka since I started watching the Clone Wars on Disney Plus, (I’m on season 2 right now) and very intriguied by her story. She was Anakin’s apprentince during the Clone Wars, and one of the very few Jedi that survived Order 66.

This book is set after the events of Revenge of the Sith, when the Empire took over and starting to hunt down any surviving Jedi, so of course Ahsoka is trying to lay low and not draw attention towards herself.

With Ahsoka, there is a lot of elements of her reeling from the events of the Clone Wars, and surviving Order 66, and you really feel a sense of isolation with her, realizing that she has no one. The story is very character driven and the plot is very simple as to mainly being Ahsoka in hiding, and fleeing from Inquisitors.

She meets with a few characters, and goes by the name Ashla to hid her identity, and then tries to protect them from her past. I love a lot of the meditation chapters that peak into her memories of her time during the Clone Wars including her fight with Darth Maul, giving him more glimpses of her character.

The story was very character driven, and a little light on plot, however, I did like a few of the cameos including Bail Organa and little Princess Leia. Hopefully if there is a sequel I want to see the Ahsoka, and how she ended up on Fulcrum in Star Wars Rebels.

In the end, I really enjoyed Ahsoka. It was a nice character piece about one of my favorite Star Wars characters and how she dealt with the events after Revenge of the Sith, and puts Ahsoka. I know EK Johnston wrote other Star Wars stories and I am more than happy to read them

Grade: 4/5

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Summary:

Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts

The Review:

I picked up this book on kinda of a whim, okay so mainly it was because of the cover, and the fact that it is an Latinx-inspired fantasy, which I am trying to read more of.

This book follows two main POVs. Finn Voy, is a thief who can shape shift into anyone which of course makes her a good thief, and has a good hustle going on, and tries to stay as far as possible. Alfie is a prince, who is dealing with the death of his older brother, who would have been king. He is mainly dealing with grief and trying to find ways to bring back his brother.

When Finn and Alfie meet I immediately liked their bond, even though they were bitter towards each other at the beginning they did manage to find some common ground and want to help each other out.

The plot involves how Alfie accidentally let on an evil spirit and now they have to work together to stop it. While it may seem thinly veiled what makes it work is the characters and the magic system.

I also really loved the world building. A lot of it was tied to Latinx culture and ideals, which even did a good job at discussing colonialism, which didn’t like info dumps and actually made me more invested in the story. The book also touches a lot of themes on abuse and grief. With Finn, a lot of her character arc deals with trying to escape from an abuser who would constantly gaslight her, which I felt was extremely well done.

In the end, I loved Nocturna. It had extremely well done characters and themes tied to Latinx culture. Finn and Alfie are amazing characters I want to see them continue their stories

 

WWW Wednesday 5/6/2020

Happy Wednesday everyone,

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam

The Three Ws are:

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

What are you currently reader?

So far, I am really enjoying this book. It has a great mix of fantasy with Latinx culture. It deals with a thief and a prince who accidentally unleash a darkness and now have to work together.  It also has some great world building as well.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amazon.com: Starsight (Skyward) (9780399555817): Sanderson ...

Oh scud, this book was amazing. Brandon Sanderson did it again. I loved how expansive the world became, and learning more about the conflict and more alien species, and still loving Spensa.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amazon.com: The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising Trilogy ...

Ah yes, a King Arthur retelling, and this time it from Guinevere’s POV. I am a fan of Kiersten White, mainly the And I Darken series, and I also really enjoyed Slayer. So I am excited to read her take on Arthurian legend.

That is my WWW Wednesday. What books are you currently reading? What have you recently finished and what will you be reading next? Let me know in the comments below!

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

Summary:

All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.

The Review:

This was a sequel that I was very excited for, seeing that I really loved Skyward, so of course I wanted to see how this story goes on. Spensa is still dealing with learning the truth about her father and now she has been tasked with another mission to be a spy.

Spensa is still an awesome character and I love her relationship with M-Bot, and with this book it begins to grow a lot more, and M-Bot even gets a little snarky for a bit.

The main mission revolves around her infiltrating the Krell, the alien race that been in war with the humans, by using a holographic disguise from an Alien named Alanik, who is a Urdial, a species who has had an alliance with the humans. What made it great was seeing the Krell more up close and personal and begins to see the war from their perspective. Throughout the book she trains with the Krell and even begins to make some friends, which makes her mission very hard.

There is also a lot of political intrigue in the book, and you get to learn a lot more about the Krell politically, and it was not just the Krell, but other alien races and their relationship with the Krell, and differences they have.

I would have like to have seen more of the  other characters that was in Skyward, which was one of my only minor gripes with the book. But I did like the new characters that was introduced.

Like a great sequel, this book really upped the stakes, and also fleshed out the world or galaxy and making the world more expansive. It also has a really great cliffhanger, which makes me beg for the next book.

In the end, I enjoyed Starsight. It was an amazing sequel up there with Torch Against the Night. The characters and world became much more expansive.

Grade: 5/5

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Summary:

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister. 

The Review:

I was very excited to pick up this book, mainly because it is from Marie Lu, who is one of my autobuy authors. Also because it is very different from her usual books, and I like that she isn’t afraid to dip into other genres, this one being an historical fiction with some light fantasy elements.

This is the story about Mozart sister who is very unknown in the history books who goes by Nannerl in this book. She is also a musical prodigy, but couldn’t rise up in the ranks like her brother because of her gender.

Nannerl’s character is very well written, because this is a Marie Lu book, she knows how to write these complex characters. One of the highlights I really liked was seeing the relationship between Nannerl and Wolfrel. She always seem to care a lot by her brother, and that is how they come up with the Kingdom of Back, their own world that they made up for themselves.

The main plot of the story is Nannerl and Wolfrel, are basically touring and visiting Kings and Queens to show off Wolfrel’s talent as a composer with Nannerl, of course in the background. There is a lot of time when Nannerl wants to break free but is confined by the gender norms of that time, and there are times when she writes his music.

The Kingdom of Back, is a very fantastical world, and Marie Lu does a good job at describing the details of that world. It has it’s own world and stakes involved within that world. My only main gripe is that we didn’t spend a lot of time in that world and I wanted to see more of it.

In the end, I really enjoyed The Kingdom of Back. Like most of Marie Lu’s work she knows how to write these very complex characters, with a very compelling plot. This also gives a voice to the forgotten women in history.

Grade: 4.5/5

Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Summary:

Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.

After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.

The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead… 

The Review:

This book was on my TBR for quite a while, I remember buying the book a couple years ago then putting it on my bookshelf and never reading it, which seemed odd because I am a massive Star Wars fan.

The story takes place a few years after Revenge of the Sith in which the Galactic Empire is taking their reach across the galaxy beginning with a planet called Jelucan, which is on the Outer Rim, also the home planet of our two main characters Ciena and Thane.

If I were give an elevator pitch I would call it an Imperial and a Rebel fall in love, or trying not to fall in love. As they both entered the Imperial Academy together, they were childhood friends, but after a series of events Thane falls in and joins the Rebel Alliance, while Ciena joins the empire.

As the book goes on it does a good job at knowing their viewpoints and why Ciena joined the empire, while Thane was with the Rebels. It also showed a lot of their conflicts seeing their friend on the other side of the war. I also really enjoyed the romance. While on the surface it would be an average friends to lovers to enemies story, the romance was a lot more well rounded.

Throughout the book, it plays through the Original Trilogy, but from there perspective. The story really picks up after the deconstruction of Alderaan. It really has a lot of discussion about war, and showing that was the destruction a way to prevent war or not. It was nice seeing it from the Empire’s perspective. Which lead with the destruction of the first Death Star, it really put in perspective of both sides arguing that their side is right.

Seeing a Star Wars story from the viewpoints of the Empire was also very refreshing. As a kid I loved playing Tie Fighter on my computer because it should the events of Stars Wars from a new perspective.

In the end, I really loved Lost Stars. If you are a Star Wars fan, this is a book that I will highly recommend, and it makes me even more excited that Claudia Gray is writing more Star Wars stories.

Grade: 5/5