ARC Review: A Murderous Relation

a murderous relationTitle: A Murderous Relation
Author:
Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 320
Publisher: Berkley
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Victorian England setting, sex-positive protagonist
Recommended Readers: Anyone who wants to start reading mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you, Net Galley and the publisher, for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Once again, Deanna Raybourn returns with a Veronica Speedwell mystery that is unabashedly fun and a sheer delight to read. I flew through A Murderous Relation with a speed I regret, because I think this might be the last book? I heard a rumor that more mysteries might be in store for Veronica, but until that Goodreads page updates, I will consider this series has ended on a satisfyingly high note.

This time, Veronica and Stoker are drawn into an investigation involving her half-brother, Prince Albert Victor. He’s given a diamond to Madame Aurore, the female owner of the most exclusive club in London known for its anonymity and offerings of sexual freedom. The diamond must be reclaimed before it can be traced back to the prince and erupt scandal within the monarchy and across the country. The timing couldn’t be worse, for London is also gripped in terror over the gruesome attacks of Jack the Ripper, and Lady Wellington, a friend of Veronica and a protector of the crown, suspects that the prince might be responsible. As Veronica and Stoker investigate the brothel, secrets surrounding the royal family and Veronica’s place in it begin to present themselves—along with another dead body.

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Five-Star Predictions: February 2020 Books

Oh, wow, it’s finally February. I won’t lie. I was one of those people that thought January lasted a whole year. Not sure why; maybe it’s winter finally getting to me. (Lies. It gets to me as soon as it comes.)

That’s why I talk about books here. Books make me happy, and February 2020 is coming out with a whole bunch of them. Rather than regale you with every book that’s caught my eye this month, I’m going to try and predict which will earn five stars of pure love and enjoyment from me. Y’know, whenever I get to read them. (And if the cover is blue, odds are it’s here lol.)

b99

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TTT: Books I Want to Reread in 2020

With so many books on our to-read lists, it’s hard to make time for books we’ve read and deeply miss. That’s why one of my goals for 2020 is to stop stressing so much and reread, both because some books are beloved and because I can’t very well read the sequels until I remember what’s going on in the first one, can I?

I deeply encourage anyone reading this to consider rereading at least one favorite book this year, and if you want to compile a list of your own, please do so and tag me! I’d love to see what books are on your mind.

As for me and this Top Ten Tuesday post, I’m happy to see my selection of books I want to reread in 2020 be much more varied than I expected.

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ARC Review: Ashlords by Scott Reintgen

ashlords

Title: Ashlords
Author:
Scott Reintgen
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 368
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Interesting POV choices, commentary on class divisions, phoenix horses
Recommended Readers: This one’s for all the horse girls and competitive sports enthusiasts out there! (Is revolution a competitive sport?)
Rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you, Net Galley and the publisher, for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Well, Scott Reintgen has actually done it. He’s gotten me to read a horse-racing book, the nerve of him. I couldn’t resist, though. I was blown away by his Nyxia triad over the years, falling in love with the way he tells stories and the ideas he generates throughout. I’ll pretty much read anything he does at this point.

But, c’mon, do I look like a horse girl to you? Never mind that when I was little I watched Black Beauty until the tape broke and my mom wept in sweet relief. Never mind that I lined up my little plastic horses along the length of the kitchen because they were in a parade, and the other animals weren’t invited. Never mind that I’ve seen Hidalgo, Seabiscuit, and War Horse in theaters. But I definitely wasn’t and am not a horse girl. Turn horses into phoenix horses, though, and I am a complete sucker apparently.

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Five-Star Predictions: January 2020 Books

Greetings, all! I must again apologize for my absence of a posting schedule lately, but I’m just playing things fast and loose right now. (And honestly, my life is also being consumed by Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It’s a wonder I’m getting any reading done at all.)

I’ve been thinking about how I can spice up my posts for my most-anticipated book releases from month to month. I feel that sometimes they’re too much and get too long, but finally I’ve figured out what I can do to create more focused posts. Because obviously, I’m going to be looking forward to a ton of books no matter what, but what are going to be the ones that ultimately stick the landing for me?

That’s why I’m going to be featuring 2020 book releases that I’m predicting will nab a five-star rating from me. I wonder how accurate my instincts will be for January.

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reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update: November & December 2019 + Roundup

Happy 2020! I fell a little behind on posting due to holidays, a vacation with my best friend, and getting immediately addicted to Fire Emblem: Three Houses on my return. However, I wanted to present an update for my Reading Challenges for November and December 2019, as well as do a roundup of how many categories I hit throughout 2019 and how I felt about each challenge. (I had to adjust a few books I categorized earlier into different ones to make these fit, but I managed it! Didn’t lose a single book in the process.)

Will I be doing a reading challenge for 2020? Read on to find out!

The Five-Star Favs

watchmen.jpg
Finished: 11/1/19 | Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

I was born in the 90s, so by being published in the 80s, Watchmen is a classic that definitely fits the bill. We’ve already had a film about it, so I wanted to acknowledge the tv series inspired by the comic that came out this year instead. I haven’t watched it yet (ha!), but I’ve heard nothing but good things and am looking forward to it.

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Favorite Book Covers of 2019

‘Ello, there! The end of the year is the time for all the super fun wrap-up posts, the 2019 highlights, and this time, I’d like to focus on my favorite book covers of 2019. (Big thanks to Sofii of A Book. A Thought. for kicking off this post in my orbit. Definitely check out hers because she’s chosen some wonderful covers, too!)

Many books out there have amazing covers, but there’s definitely some I gravitate to over others. I like a little bit of minimalism, but I also lean heavily toward that fine line between stylish and busy. If a cover has a lot of flair, color, personality, or beautiful art, I tend to be blind to all others around it. Does a gorgeous cover affect my buying habits or hype for a book? Most definitely. Have I been let down before? Most definitely. But despite the book itself, good art is forever.

If you haven’t seen these before, I encourage you to go find them in a bookstore and just. Hold them. Look at them. Let them shimmer in the light. Because so many of them have hidden details—like gold foil or rainbow effects—that a compute screen just can’t capture.

With that, here are my top ten book covers of the year!

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TTT: Books I Meant to Read in 2019 That I WILL Read in 2020

Back at the start of the year, I created a 2019 Goals shelf on Goodreads. Within that shelf, I threw 69 (heh) books that I intended to read by the end of the year. And then I kept adding books. And adding them. As of this writing, 97 books are in that shelf, many of them I did actually read, yet many more were shoved aside for the shiny and new. Somehow, I was convinced I would still get to them.

You are a fool, Harry Potter, and you will lose… everything.

It’s turn-over-a-new-leaf time. I want to get back to those older books, so for Top Ten Tuesday, here are my top books I meant to read in 2019 that I will make a priority in 2020.

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ARC Review: The Guinevere Deception

the guinevere deceptionTitle: The Guinevere Deception
Author:
Kiersten White
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: LGBTQA+ characters
Recommended Readers: Yo, anyone want a feminist reimagining of Arthurian legends?
Rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you, Net Galley and the publisher, for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Kiersten White’s latest trilogy is a feminist study into the character Guinevere, a figure in Arthurian legends who is often regulated to the sidelines as a prize, an adulterer, a villain, and an opportunistic traitor—but never the architect of her own story. With The Guinevere Deception, Guinevere has found her voice at last, but in true White fashion, her story is full of interesting twists and unexpected choices.

For instance, when we meet Guinevere, she is journeying from a convent to Camelot in order to wed her future husband, King Arthur—and she isn’t truly Guinevere. The real Guinevere died tragically, and unbeknownst to everyone, a changeling raised by Merlin has taken her place. Casting all knowledge of her past aside, including her true name, “Guinevere” intends to be a source of magical protection for Arthur against his enemies, even though Camelot has exiled all magic and ousted Merlin. But exiling magic doesn’t stop the forests and lakes from wanting to reclaim the land, and the ideal of Camelot has as many enemies in man and beast as Arthur does. Perhaps the greatest threat might be Guinevere herself.

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reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update: September & October 2019

What up, y’all? Sooooo, I’ve been all over the place the last two months and totally had no time to do any Reading Challenge updates until now. I’m not too bothered by it, though. I’ve been to some work events, seen some awesome concerts, spent time with great friends at NYCC, moved to a house with some of my best friends, and gotten completely obsessed with Death Stranding. It’s been a good time, but now it’s time to get back to some books.

Let’s give a look at what books I read in September and October!

The Five-Star Favs

final fantasy vii
Finished: 9/8/19| Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story by Kazushige Nojima probably isn’t a LitRPG book in the strictest sense of the word, but it is a book based on the classic JRPG Final Fantasy VII, focusing on the Turks, a mob-like, fictional organization, and a slew of original characters. And Kadaj, let’s not forget that. I’m still stunned by how amazingly written and in-character this translated book was. [Review]

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