The Bone Chamber

Reading has always been a great love of mine. Since an early age, I have been an avid reader, and have continued as such. My range of taste is vast and never ending. So long as the plot catches me I'll likely read it.

A Whirlwind Of Emotions

The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness

Its taken me far too long to finish this wonderful book but I finally completed this trilogy! I am so very happy that I did, because it was so worth it from start to finish. This book was a roller coaster for me filled with so much emotion, that it didn't seem quite possible for one book to hold. There were many laughs and so many more tears both happy and sad. My heart broke for so many characters in this world. Throughout this series I can't say enough about the author's ability to create such diverse, and powerful characters. So much so that they seem crazy real and that is truly awe inspiring. It's so refreshing to read about powerful women, who can still fall in love and get the job done. This journey of mine throughout each book has been long and thoroughly enjoyable. Its definitely one that I will revisit several times over, once I get the chance to work through some of my other books. It's been a wild and crazy ride and I can't wait until I can dive back in. But until then A++++!

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

 

 

 

I finally decided to pick this book back up after leaving it unfinished for a couple years now. Since I have been in such a reading mood lately, its time that I get around to finally finishing this book. I didn't want to suddenly be hit with a wave of disinterest in reading without reading this. Especially not after I found out that her next book in the series has been released! It completely took me by surprise, because I didn't even know there was another book. Other than the guide to the world. I happened along it at Walmart and took it as a sign to get my butt in gear and finish the last one, so I could eventually get around to reading this next book. So naturally it came home with me XD

 

 

 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either.

Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

I am a big fan of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows series its one of my favorite young adults from the recent years. I was very eager to finally start this series, based on the fact that I loved her later works. Sadly this one didn't invoke the same feelings as I had when I read Six of Crows. To be fair this is one of her earlier works, so I can give it some slack in that regard. However had I read this first I do not know if I would have read her other works. The writing in this book is not so much the problem, the author can tell a story there's no doubt about that. But my main gripe with it was that I felt that the Darkling was made the villain for the sake of being the villain. It felt very light is good, dark is bad kind of vibe and that felt very tropeish to me. Already he was seen as someone to be feared, so people feared him. I was hoping that while he could do terrible things, it wasn't necessarily because he was evil down to his core.

 

The building chemistry between him and Alina really had me looking forward to that being the angle. When its revealed suddenly that he is the one, that created the Fold in the first place. Outside of wanting my ship to happen, it just felt very forced and just kind of dropped into the lap of the reader half way through the first book. If something was like this revealed later, it might have had a bigger impact on me. But with it being right in the middle of the first book it created this bland feeling. I wasn't surprised or shocked, mostly just disappointed because it didn't have an impact on me. Even the way its revealed was just sort of made no sense to me. Baghra is revealed to be the Darkling's mother, and she tells Alina of his true identity. Its never shown until later, that Baghra was right. It just bugged me that the protagonist is able to be convinced by someone, without witnessing the truth until much later. Now onto the romantic pairing I was obviously not a fan of this ship. But that's because I loathe childhood friend tropes, its overdone and when one is involved nearly every time you already know who the protagonist is going to get with. 

 

It was clear the two had a connection, and the feelings were one sided for a while. That aside it felt like the ship was being made to fit, where it didn't make a whole lot of sense from Mal's side. He only came to the realization after the fact, that Alina was taken into the Little Palace that he had feelings for her. Before that he didn't seem that romantically interested in her, considering its stated numerous times that he was known to go out and be with other women. Which that is not something that bugs me, but its clear he didn't feel on the same level for Alina as to what she did for him. It felt more like a brother sister relationship, perhaps akin to a twin bond. Clearly the romance factor regardless of everything else that is going on is more pushed to the front, unlike Six of Crows.  My gripes aside I do love the Grishaverse its ripe with interesting lore, and I love all the different powers that Grishas have. Its a unique and very vivid world.

 

I just wished I could have felt that sense of awe in this book that I got from Six of Crows. To be fair because it did not have the same feel, as her later works it is likely that I am judging it more firmly. Its not a bad book but the reasons I stated are why I did not enjoy the first book. I intend to finish the other two books  in the series and I do look forward to seeing how the series grows. Because it does deserve a chance, but if the theme continues on its likely my stance will not change much.

This Was A Nope For Me

Grinding for the Coyote - Serenity Snow

*Possibly spoilerish!!!!*

 

Starting out I felt this book had the potential to be really good. The first chapters weren't all that bad, so I was really rooting for it. But along the way, it just quickly became dull and an overall hot mess. I ended up putting this down for several months and picked it up again last night.  Right away it became clear as to why I had set it aside in the first place. While the premise of the story appealed to me, it didn't feel like the plot was really going anywhere. Often time other than a random action point, it felt more about the attraction of the protagonist (Adalyn) and her intended love interest, (Samarra).  It felt like there was the neverending loop of  'I know she's not looking for a serious relationship, but I want her to be mine.' trope. It got old fast when I just wanted to see where this plot was going to go! Personally, I wasn't really big on either of the characters, there wasn't anything interesting about either.

 

Nevertheless, I decided to power on, since I was already halfway through it. I really wanted to like the book, because I am always up for discovering new queer romances. The prospect of a book with lesbian shifters interested me, as I had mainly seen books with male shifters. But there was barely any lore or how they came to be within the world. Part of what makes supernatural/paranormal elements interesting to me is when the author actually includes defining information in the story. For the author to just plop it in there, without explaining much of Samarra's world, made it not that interesting to read about. Plus half of the book Adalyn doesn't even know that her love interest, is a shifter. Even when it does come out it isn't really a super big reveal. Then somehow along the way, it's casually suggested that Adalyn herself, might have shifter genes but it isn't really taken any further. It's like the author decided to drop it in, as an FYI.  Also, I don't know who edited this book, but there were tons of typos and misuse of words. Plus at one point the author I believe, intended to say Adalyn instead of Samarra, because of the way it was written. Then there were the sexy times themselves, while there were a few steamy moments that were generally not bad.

 

I found most of them to be very awkwardly written,  and not at all enjoyable to read. While I enjoy dialogue during sex scenes, it was just excessive and wasn't even sexy in my opinion. What got we most about the story was this one instance, where Samarra is thinking about how envious she is that hyena shifters are intersex. That because they had a cock they could love a woman in the way that she couldn't. That part had me going wtf?! You don't need to have a dick to make your female lovers happy! Where the author thought that needed to be said at all in the book baffles me. Way to completely ignore that there are plenty of ways for lesbians to have sex, without using a dildo. Not having a male piece, doesn't mean you aren't going to be able to please your girlfriend. Plus it seems in general that Samarra has this complex, about using her dildo. To the point that she wears it ninety percent of the time. It's totally fine that she wants to use it in the bedroom, however, to me it's clearly an issue of hers as to why she uses it. Which begs the question, could she be transgender? I don't know because it never gets brought up, so it leaves me to think that she has a narrowed minded view on the different ways you can make love.

 

Another instance that had that me shaking my head, is when the police hint at the idea of Adalyn sleeping with her boss in the past. Instead of stating that she's never been with a male and that she prefers women. Her response is to affirmatively tell him that she's a lesbian, and not bisexual. The whole tone of that seemed slightly biphobic, by the sheer audacity in her tone. It wasn't a huge thing, but it still made my eyebrow twitch. Lastly, when the big showdown finally arrived it was pretty much fell flat. It wasn't anything spectacular, it was over and done within a few sentences. Which makes the entire book lackluster and made me go 'That's it?'.  There were just so many holes within this story and I could honestly go on and on, but I am gonna end it here. I did not like this book and would not recommend it. 

My Pile Of Shame As Of 2018

As a way to lay out just how many books, not counting graphic novels and comics that are on my TBR shelves.

 

Merrick by Anne Rice

Blood Canticle by Anne Rice

Vittorio the Vampire by Anne Rice

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The Translator by Nina Schuyler

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellias

No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthrust

Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

The Ihop Papers by Ali Liebegott

When Fox is a Thousand by Larissa Lai

Myths & Legends of Japan by F. Hadland Davis

The Black Book of Secrets by F.E. Higgins

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Driving With Dead People by Monica Holloway

Somewhere Beneath Those Waves by Sarah Monette

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

IT by Stephen King

Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

Penny Dreadfuls (Collection of stories)

Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Ensnared by A.G. Howard

The Procuress by Keira Michelle Telford

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

Eona by Alison Goodman

Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling

Traitors Moon Lynn Flewelling

Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling

The Bone Doll’s Twin by Lynn Flewelling

Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind

The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind

The Ship of the Dead by Rick RiordanThe Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Fairy Tales for Princesses Who Love Damsels by Rene von Bonaparte

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

From A Whisper to a Scream by Charles de Lint

I’ll Be Watching You by Charles de Lint

Ship It by Britta Lunden

The City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

It Devours by Joseph Fink

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Cleaning Up My Currently Reading List

I recently picked up on reading again and decided to clean up my currently reading list on here. There have been several titles, that have been set aside in favor of other books that I've been in the mood for. Some of which that I haven't picked up in a good two to three years. I decided to take them off my currently reading list and put them on hold for now. I intend to finish them but for now, it makes more sense to put them off to the side. 

 

My goal is to gradually tackle my pile of shame, which to be honest is super high right now. My graphic novel pile is even worse! I'm definitely the type of person, who even though I have a large pile to finish I continue to buy more. I just ordered two more books off of Amazon last night, *nervous laughter ensues* I don't have a problem, you have a problem! XD

 

Anywho the goal is to tackle my older pile of books that need to be read. Everything else can come after.

This would have been four stars but....

The Vampire Next Door - Natalie Vivien, Bridget Essex

This is a co-written work between Bridget Essex and Natalie Vivien. I have read several of Essex's work and a couple of Vivien's. Both are very talented authors and I look forward to each new work of theirs. 

 

However this piece while engaging and very imaginative was not as good as I expected it to be. I'm a huge fan of vampire literature and other peoples take on different characteristics they may or may not have. Add in lesbians and you have me sold!

 

The world itself is set up like an alternative United States where it's only been a few years since vampires have come out of hiding. In this world, they even have a woman president who is also a vampire. Props. Throughout the story, it shows the discrimination vampires face, which is similar to what homosexuals and persons of color have faced throughout all over the world. Just a lot hate mongering from people who don't want to understand someone whose different from them. Which is a very interesting take and imaginative in my opinion. I even like the main character and her to be love interest. It's very sweet and romantic.

 

But the elephant in the room that I could not ignore was the fact that the main character Courtney; is still in a relationship. I will interject and say that she doesn't cheat on her girlfriend, but it's clear she's attracted to Lare. (her to be love interest) Throughout the story, you come to find out that her girlfriend, Mia isn't very good to Courtney. In fact, she's downright sleazy if you ask me. She looks at other women is clearly sleeping around on her girlfriend. The kicker? They have only been together for FIVE months. Mia has been doing all this to someone who she has only been going out with for a short period of time. Which is frustrating that Courtney continues to put up with her for nearly sixty percent of this book. All while feeling a deep pull towards Lare. I could see it being hard if it was like five years, and the other woman was good to her.

 

But there's really no real reason why they should still be together in any sense of the word. There are multiple examples of times where Courtney should have left Mia. But she doesn't. It makes zero sense to me and after a while it just got old. Especially when she keeps repeating that she needs to leave Mia but she keeps avoiding it. There was really just no need of this back and forth over a five-month relationship. It just really dimensioned the book as a whole; that wasn't even super long, to begin with. 

 

This could have been much better and I wish it had been because I do adore both authors works. That aside I will continue to look forward to their work, but this one just didn't quite resonate with me as well as I had hoped for it too.

Disappointing

The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan

I was really excited for this series after finishing the first two of the author's works. Having thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Riordan's  Greeks and Roman renditions; I was left feeling disappointed with the first book in his Kane series. Which is a shame because I love Egyptian myths and the overall history surrounding Egypt. I guess I expected the same charm and air that the other two series had. But that is not what I got while reading this book. It was often difficult to connect with the main two characters Carter and Sadie. The latter of whom tended to get on my nerves more often than not. I didn't find her snark quirky and felt often her superior attitude over her brother to be annoying. While she does get better I don't feel it's enough for me to say that I like her all that much. Plus throughout reading this book I felt myself becoming distracted and I wanted to finish it as quickly as possible. I do intend to read the last two remaining books to see if the series improves. That and me and my wife bought the box set thinking we were really going to enjoy it. And so far as for myself I just haven't.

Back in the Game!

After a bit of a reading slump, I feel like I'm back on track once more. In the last couple weeks, I've nearly devoured an entire book series! I've not done that in a long while. My wife has been wanting me to read the Percy Jackson series for so long, so I finally caved. I was surprised how much I enjoyed them! They are fun reads and as a lover of mythology, it's fascinating to see how the author's take on the gods and goddesses. I just finished the fourth book today and started the last book. It's nice being able to have the series readily at hand, rather than having to wait for the next one to be released. That is a perk of having waited so long to read it! I also have checked out the next few books to the next series that the author worked on. Me and Makayla are going to read those together, which will be exciting because she hasn't read this particular series yet. Here's hoping I stay on this kick and I can work my way through the pile of books, that have been looking at me for quite some time now!!

I really enjoyed this!

Tributaries - Illise Montoya

I'm a big fan of fantasy works but especially ones that come from the author's own mind. I felt the author did a really good job with her world building, but I would love to know more as well! As far as the story goes I found it to be very interesting, and the characters were thoroughly entertaining. It was very enthralling and from start, to finish I kept wanting to know more and more. All the while anxiously waiting to see, what would unfold. I was also very pleased with the fact, that this story was a fantasy adventure which included queer characters. While I did wish there were more romantic interactions between the two, I totally get why there isn't either. There are more things going on presently within the story, that romance isn't the largest factor. The author makes this known, with the way she spins her tale. At the same time, she has these characters, that are obviously attracted and growing closer to one another.

 

But the story isn't consumed by it, it makes it normal rather than making a huge deal out of the two women experiencing feelings for one another. I want to read more stories like that, in the near future because it makes reading about queer women so much more refreshing. Lastly, I just have to say I hope a paperback comes out of this in future because I would really like to read this in book form. While it was wonderful to read on my tablet, something tells me it'll have even more charm in printed form.

Really??

Evonnia & the Maiden - Keira Michelle Telford

I'm not sure what Miss Tellford is doing lately but I'm not really enjoying these shorts of hers. The overall plots draw me in but when I begin reading them I'm left feeling like the attempt was very poor and the dynamic was executed poorly. This was supposed to be a steamy one-shot, but it was anything but that. The sexual dialogue and description were very childish and silly even. It was so outlandish it was like 'Oh come already!'. Some people might enjoy that angle, but I am not one of them.

Hmmmm..

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Jay Rubin, Haruki Murakami

I received this book as a Xmas present and started reading it in early January. For one reason or the other, I put it down, and only recently picked it back up again. Today I finally finished it! I must admit that this was a very strange read, perhaps even stranger for me than 'An Invitation to A Beheading' by Vladimir Nabokov. Needless to say, I found it very eccentric and to be honest this is my first time reading anything by Murakami. So I could just not be used to his writing style. But based on what I've read from this title, this is what I think. From the beginning, I was fascinated by what was happening, charmed even. Even if some of the events going on in the book were a bit odd, it was enduring. However, that eventually grew old and I found myself not being able to pay attention.

 

A lot of the book dragged on and on and was very long winded. I hated to say there were several parts that I active was saying 'Get to the point already!' Yet at other parts, I would find myself drawn in and there I was immersed once more. But the same feeling would return and I felt like this continued to be an endless cycle. I'll be the first to admit there were several times, that I didn't have a clue about what was going on. Whether it is mine lack of understanding of what the author was trying to bring forth, or whether it truly just filler, I don't know. But the overall book felt very manic pixie dream to me. But I can't dislike this title either because there were parts that I thoroughly enjoyed. Maybe someday I'll go back and re-read and change my stance, but for now, I'm not totally in love with this title.

Update

It's been a bit since I have written anything so I figured an update was in order. So far I'm making good on that resolution I made earlier in the year. Although I'm reading more manga than print books. Which originally was not my intention, but I'm at least working through some of my reading pile. So at least that is something. I'm hoping, however, to work through a stack of my print books which are taking up just as much space. Seriously I have way too many to read x.x I find it a bit overwhelming and alarming, to be honest. Last month was a rough month for myself and my wife. First off my wife fell and hurt her knee, after going through a specialist we found the problem, but that was only recently. Then a few days later our papillon was attacked by a coyote and though we rushed her to the emergency vet we lost her. She was a big presence in our lives, and with it; she left the biggest wound I have felt in a long time. Today marks a month since she's been gone and even now I can hardly believe it. Being able to read at all is surprising, but I intend to shovel through and make my goal before or by the end of the year. That is if I am not too distracted by Persona 5, which only came out earlier in the week XD

 

 

Edited to include a picture of Lucy :)

Hmm..

All The Devils - Keira Michelle Telford This certainly was not one of her best works by any means. I had expected a little bit more out of this considering that it was to be dealing with Jack the Ripper. I had in mind that it was likely going to go a different way entirely. It fell short however and while it is deemed as erotica, to be honest, it was very dull.

New Years Resolution

I'm determined to go through the pile of books and my stack of graphic novels that I have accumulated over the past couple years. Don't even get me started on the amount of ebooks I have to read as well. It has since grown thanks to the holidays ^^'' but I am determined to prevail! This year my New Years Resolution will be to work through my stack and finish my goal of 100 books. There are several books that I have started reading and just set aside without picking them back up again. This year is going to be the year that I nip that in the bud and finish what I started. And if I have to drop a book, so be it, but I shall at least attempt to read what has been set aside.

Ugh I Am So Behind

I intended to be much further with my book challenge than I am. I'm super behind. Thanks life! A lot of personal events came up and kind of got in the way of my reading. Rather putting me off from being able to focus enough to read. So now I'm barely halfway done with the challenge. But it's unlikely I'm going to reach one hundred books this year. This blows :/

Currently reading

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Progress: 387/517pages