WWW Wednesday 5/15/19

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?

Image result for sky without stars

A Les-Mis retelling set in space, of course I will want to read it, and I am enjoying it so far. It was some great world building and the characters are amazing.

Saga Vol. 6 

Image result for saga vol 6

Earlier this year I started reading graphic novels, and I started reading Saga again and I am loving it. The story just keeps taking a lot of twists and turns, and I am just along for the ride.

What did you recently finish?

Image result for princess and the fangirl

Ashley Poston has done it again. She made a fairy tale retelling set in a Sci Fi convention and made it awesome. I love who she expanded the world of Geekerella.

Image result for descendant of the crane

Another great Asian inspired fantasy. While the beginning of the book, starts off slow, it really picks up and I couldn’t put it down. So much suspense I just had to keep reading.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Image result for ruse by cindy pon

I loved Want, and Cindy Pon, is starting to become one of my favorite authors. I felt the wait was very long in-between books and I want to know how this ends.

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!

Advertisements

Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

Summary: 

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

The Review:

Geekerella, was one of my favorite contemporary stories, and I don’t usually read a lot of contemporary stories. This is more of a companion novel to Geekerella rather than a direct sequel, it is still set in the world of Geekerella with even some of the characters making a few quick cameos.

The star of this one, is Jessica Stone, who was the leading actress of the Starfield movie who was in Geekerella, who used the Starfield movie to try to push her own career. She really gets to shine in this book, and I like that she became a more fleshed out character in this book, talking about her own career and how the Starfield movie affected her.

Then there is Imogen, who is the definition of a fangirl, with her own fan campaign to #SaveAmara, Jessica’s character in Starfield. She also deals with online fan culture plus dealing with an ex-boyfriend who also goes to the convention.

I did feel that the beginning of the book was a little bit slow, and the plot really didn’t get going still at least 30% into the book. But the story did takes its time to follow the new characters in the Once upon a Con universe.

This book also touched upon a lot of issues in fandom culture especially when one is a female, and the online hate they would receive. It happened a lot to Jessica when Starfield premiered, and she was the one getting online hate and “ruining the franchise”. It was one of the main reasons why she hated Starfield and going to conventions and dealing with the hate, which is what of actresses have dealt with in real life, just ask Brie Larson, and Kelly Marie Tran.

The story also touches upon con harassment and dealing with the Cosplay is not Consent. Especially as this book is a love letter to fandom it does a good job at highlighting the dark side.

The main plot of the story is a retelling of the Prince and the Pauper in which two doppelgangers switch places and learning about the other side. It was mainly for good reason because when a script for the Starfield sequel got leaked it is up to Jessica to find out who did it by disguising herself as Imogen. Jessica as Imogen was one of my favorite parts about the book, she learning about much the character Amara means to people, and why Imogen wants to #SaveAmara. Also I loved her romance with Harper especially when pretending to be her best friend Imogen but wanting her as Jessica.

Also I really want Ashley Poston to write a Starfield book series, because I think it would be awesome, or even a collection of short stories I will take.

In the end, Princess and the Fangirl, was a perfect companion novel to Geekerella. It was a nice retelling of the Prince and the Pauper while also being a love letter to fandom. I love that the Once upon a Con series is really coming through.

Grade: 4.5/5

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.

An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.

The Review:

Last year at BookCon, there was a secret arc drop hosted by Penguin Teen, and it was there that the secret arc  was of course, Four Dead Queens. I unfortunately was a little late for the arc drop or the 2018 Hunger Games as it was called, but after finding out about the book, it became one of my most anticipated of 2019

This book is a sort of futuristic fantasy world, in which the world is divided by quadrants and each has their own ruling queen. There is Archia, which is agriculturally based, and values nature. Eonia, which is technology based. Toria which is coastal and values commerce, curiosity and expropriation and Ludia, which values music, art and entertainment.

I like that each of the quadrants has there own set of values and beliefs, which makes them very distinct from one another, and even learning how with different belief systems there could be clashes with one another. A major strength was the changing POV from the queens and learning more about the world from their perspective. Seeing their POV chapters helped flesh out the queens a lot more, and they didn’t feel like just a plot device.

Each of the Queen POV chapter was perfectly paced, and it kinda left me wanting more. I kinda want a series of books, from just the Queen’s perceptive and learning more about their courts . Also with the Queen’s POV chapters also gets glimpses of the Queens’ relationships with one another.

The main POV is Keralie, who is a thief and liar. She spent most of her life, thieving her way through the Quadrants. She has  a very clever narration, especially since her chapters are told through first person, so you get to see her wittiness and her snark, which made it a very clever read. There is also Varin, a citizen from Eonia, who she stole from.

I loved the relationship between them. Mainly a lot of there back and forth, while trying to survive. The murder mystery aspect of the book really kept me guessing. In each of the Queen POV chapters there was almost a time where I think I knew what was going, and there would be a twist that took me by surprise, and the author did a good job at setting it up.

Even though I know that it is a stand alone, I really wish to see more of this world. I though Four Dead Queens was a great debut novel, which mixed fantasy and mystery very well. It had great characters with a plot that never slowed down.

Grade: 5/5

The Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Summary:

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.

The Review:

This is a book that I heard so many good things about. Just to let you know that there is a really graphic rape scene in the book for trigger warning.

It is set in world in which some women are seen as concubines to the demon king, and eight girls are chosen to do so. Lei, a member of the paper caste is one of the eight chosen. She is also dealing with some trauma at the start of the book. For one being in a the paper caste which is one of the lowest caste also when she was young her mother was taken by royal guards.

Once the demon king takes the young girls they are sent to live in the palace for a year and having a “sort of” life of luxury, and their role is the serve the demon king and do anything he asks them. A lot of the young girls was very well developed. My favorites were Wren and Zelle.

A lot of the first half of the book is introducing Lei, to the world of the palace, and also meeting the other girls who serve the demon king as well as learning a lot of the rules of the courts.

What I loved about the story is that very rich world building. It is an own voices Asian inspired fantasy, which gave a good amount of back story without feeling like info dumping. The caste system I thought added a lot more weight into the world especially when seeing a lot of the higher castes mainly the Steele caste who are half human and half demon  and the Moon caste which is entirely of demons.

The romance was another highlight of the book. While it does deal with a forbidden f/f romance I like the fact that there are stakes involved with the romance and how Lei begins to bond with her and fall in love. Knowing that there are future books I want to see how the romance flourishes. It shows that a romance can be so well developed and you want to root for the happy couple.

One of the main themes of the book, is the theme of trauma and how it affects people. Especially with the issue of sexual assault and male “ownership” of a woman’s body. It also draws on themes of trauma and PTSD, and trying to survive in a dark and messed up world, and having someone you love helping you against the world.

In the end, Girls of Paper and Fire, was a fantastic debut fantasy novel. It introduces you to lust fantasy world, with great characters and a loving romance. It should be a start to a great series.

Grade: 5/5

 

 

March wrap up/April TBR

Wow, March is almost over and spring is finally coming.

I am happy to share what I read for the month of March and also what I plan on reading in April.

What I read in March.

Image result for paper girls vol 1 and 2

This year I started reading graphic novels again, and I am enjoying them. With Paper Girls calling it a girl version of Stranger Things would be an understatement. I kinda want to talk about it, but I don’t want to go into spoiler entire. But this is a series I am happy to recommend to people.

Image result for morning glories comic

Another graphic novel that I picked up from the library sort of like a prep school that is not what it seems but the mystery of the first volume is enough to keep me intrigued.

Image result for clockwork angel

In my quest to discover Cassandra Clare and the world of the shadowhunter universe. After reading the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series and really enjoyed them, but I love the Infernal devices so far. It was nice to see a good prequel to the shadow hunter universe.

Image result for city of fallen angels

Also in my quest for reading Cassandra Claire I read City of Fallen Angels. While not my favorite in the series so far the ending had my intigued.

Image result for the girls of paper and fire

Lives up to the hype! This was one of my favorites of this year. A Review will be coming up later this week.

April TBR

These are the books I plan to read in April

Image result for ancillary justice

As a Sci Fi fan, it surprises me that I never read any Ann Leckie. I heard nothing but great things about this book, and she is an author I have been dying to read.

Image result for gilded wolves

A couple years back I read A Star Touched Queen, and I enjoyed it, and I have been meaning to pick up the series again so I am excited to see a new series by her, which is different from Star Touched Queen but I am excited to read it.

Image result for good omens

A saw the trailer to the show, and I immediately wanted to read it. It is hard to believe that I still never read Neil Gaiman before and I hope this will be a good one.

Image result for on the come up angie thomas

I read the Hate U Give and absolutely loved it, and I want to see Angie Thomas’s next book.

Image result for the court of broken knives

Okay, so this was a cover purchase. It was a used book I picked up at my local bookstore, and its a dark fantasy that I always love.

Those are the books I read in March and may read in April. What’s on your April TBR, let me know in the comments below.

WWW Wednesday 3/12/2019

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?

Image result for clockwork angel

Late last year I finally decided to enter the Shadowhunter world and started reading The Mortal Instruments, the first three books anyway, and I really enjoyed them so far and finally seeing what the hype is about.

I am currently loving it so far, and I see why people love Jem so much, and it also gives us another glimpse in the Shadowhunter world.

What did you recently finish reading?

Image result for the girls of paper and fire

I really loved this book. The world is amazing, and I love the romance between the characters.  A very well written Asian inspired fantasy dealing with concubines to the Demon King.

Image result for paper girls vol 1

After reading the first volume of Papergirls, I can honestly say that I am a fan of Brian K. Vaughn. I would sort of describe it as a sort of girl version of Stranger Things, while also maybe dealing with time travel. I really want to keep reading this series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Image result for grim lovelies

I bought this book during my Amazon gift card haul because I was very intrigued by the premise, especially since I am a fan of twisted fairy tales.

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!

God of War (Video game review)

Okay, I know this is not book related but I finished playing God of War (2018) for the PS4 and I just really wanted to talk about it.

When I first played God of War (2018), I actually never played any of the previsions God of War games, mainly because last generation I had XBOX. From what I was told the previous God of War games was mostly a hack and slash game with Kratos, killing across Greek mythology after the death of his family. Then I remembered the E3 trailer from a couple years back that introduced a God of War semi-reboot with Kratos and his son but instead of Greek mythology the focus in on Norse mythology.

Image result for god of war

The story of this game is amazing. From the first ten minutes you are introduced to Kratos, and he left the events of the PS3 God of War era behind him and is now raising a son Atreus. It starts with their wife and mother dying and them burning the body  with the final wish to take her ashes to the highest peak of the mountain.

While the story is a basic journey to go from here to there, the strength lies in its characters, mainly of Kratos and Atreus. The journey takes them across some of the nine realms and they begin to bond with one another and learn to build a better connection with one another.

Image result for god of war

It would feel like a very long escort mission but the fact that Atreus is a part of the game play works, with commanding him to fire arrows at enemies and even make light bridges to go across

Image result for god of war

The game-play is really amazing. Instead of the normal hack and slash, it introduces a new combat system and the weapon of the Leviathan ax which you could throw at an enemy and call it back to you, very different from the Blades of Chaos. A lot of the enemies have various ways to deal with combat and it starts a bit of a learning experience.

Image result for god of war

The boss fights are also amazing. My favorite is the fight between Thor’s sons and after dying a handful of times caused me to really rethink my approach to the fight and trying to utilize Atreus more.

An impressive feature about the game is that it looks as if it was done in one shot, even though there is some cuts in between takes. It makes the game have a more cinematic feel to it and feeling like you are a part of the action.

Image result for god of war

In the end, God of War is an amazing. Definitely was a game of the year in my book, with high intense action and a gripping story that made me want to stand up and clap after the game was over.

Grade: 10/10