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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ARC Review: Fireborne

fireborneTitle: Fireborne
 Rosaria Munda
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 448
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Dragons! …Kinda
Recommended Readers: Fans of slowburn romances, fantasy politics, and complex interpersonal relationships
Rating: ★★★☆☆

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

Rosaria Munda’s Fireborne is probably one of the hardest books I’ve ever had to review. I’m actually troubled about how to go about it because my feelings for it are so complicated. The book has qualities that make it absolutely soar while others leave me behind on the ground, bereft and wondering what I missed.

Inspired by Plato’s Republic, Virgil’s The Aeneid, the French Revolution, and the Blitz, Fireborne is an ambitious novel, tackling bloody revolutions and their aftermath, dangerous politics, social inequality, and the complex relationships between people. Oh, and there’s dragons, but strangely, they’re not the highlight.

We follow orphans Annie and Lee, who are now rival dragonriders competing for the honor to become Firstrider. Born a serf, Annie can now do the impossible by being a dragonrider, something the old regime never would have permitted. However, the person she most has to convince of her worth isn’t government officials, former patrician kids, or her instructor; it’s herself. Lee, meanwhile, is an aristocrat by birth, but he’s managed to keep his identity hidden, his natural confidence and air of power allowing him to rise through the ranks of the very regime that slaughtered his Dragonlord family. No one is prepared when survivors of Dragonlord families, including Lee’s, resurface with dragons of their own, declaring war to reclaim their lost country. Both Lee and Annie have to decide what and who they are loyal to, even as their relationship grows ever-more complicated.

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October 2019 Book Releases

October is here, and that means creepy decorations, sugar-induced comas, and new books—all in time for Halloween! From a vampire murder mystery set in 1800s New Orleans to a creepy black door that lurks in every soul, this batch of books seems to be leaning into deliciously macabre and ghoulish themes.

Let’s get spoopy!

ninth house
Release Date: October 8 | Goodreads

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Why I Want to Read This: Leigh Bardugo is one of my few auto-buy authors at this point, and I have been intrigued by Ninth House, Bardugo’s first foray into adult fantasy since she first announced it. Not just because it sounds dark and gritty, but also because of this mysterious occult element it’s touting, too. Secret societies have also been a weird fascination of mine, and Alex herself sounds like a protagonist I very much want to get to know. Ultimately, though, I love coming into this book, having absolutely no clue what’s going to happen and where it’s going to go, and from a new series standpoint, that is so exciting.

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