reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update: August 2019

Hey there! How are you today? I have some good news in regards to the reading challenges I set myself this year and wanted to share with you guys before I get started.

The entire point of these reading challenges is to encourage you to read more than you normally would. As I’ve done for the past few years, I set a goal of reading 50 books a year, and thanks to the Fruits Basket volumes I’ve been rereading, I recently accomplished this goal! If I take away the manga, however, my real read count is 40 out of 50 books, but that’s still really good for me! I definitely think doing these reading challenges has sped my reading up, not dramatically, but enough to make a difference, so I’m super happy about that.

As I stated in the last challenge, I won’t be including the Fruits Basket volumes anymore in the challenges because they’ve fulfilled all the challenges they could possibly fill, but let it be known that I read eight entire volumes in August. Yiss!

Onward to the books!

The Five-Star Favs

down among the sticks and bones
Finished: 8/17/19 | Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

While not writing under a pseudonym for Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire has penned books under the name of Mira Grant and will soon write a book under the name of A. Deborah Baker. This book raised the bar from Every Heart a Doorway, exploring a world I’d grown fascinated with in that story, the Moors. It was dark and gruesome, and I came to understand Jack and Jill much, much better. I do wish more about the Master and Dr. Bleak had been explored, but there’s only so much you can do with a novella.

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ARC Review: The Dragon Republic

the dragon republicTitle: The Dragon Republic
Author:
 R.F. Kuang
Genre: Fantasy/Adult
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 672
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC characters, Chinese-influenced history, visceral and brilliant depictions of war
Recommended Readers: People who want their minds blown by an unapologetic grimdark fantasy and its equally unapologetic characters
Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Just like last year with her eye-opening, debut novel The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang has crafted a brutal, god-touched, and war-torn narrative with its sequel, The Dragon Republic.

So as to not spoil the first book, here’s this for the summary: Rin is looking for purpose after the actions she took to end the Third Poppy War, and the Phoenix, the vengeful god in her head granting her incredible incendiary powers, seems determined to drive her insane. Fortunately, revenge is still on Rin’s mind, so she sets her sights on destroying Nikara’s traitorous Empress. On the run, addicted to opium, and with few allies, Rin has little choice but to join the Dragon Warlord as he attempts a coup on the Empire, but is his vision for a democratic republic sincere or a smokescreen for ulterior motives?

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August 2019 Book Releases

Hey, everybody! I hope your summer’s been amazing so far! (Unless you’re in a part of the world where it isn’t summer, in which case… What’s that like? I would love to stop sweating when I walk outside.)

A new month is here, so you know what that means: new book releases. What does August have in store for us?

Some incredibly promising reads, if my top pick is any indication:

the dragon republic
Release Date: August 6 | Goodreads

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.

Why I Want to Read This: I read The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang last year, and it literally socked me in the face with how striking and visceral it was. I think about Rin all the time; she’s such a raw protagonist on the edge of villainy (or really, maybe no longer on the edge given how the last book ended), and I am so eager to continue her journey. Especially since I have no idea where we’re going.

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