Author Archives: BrittneyRz

The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman – Review

There is a Library full of Librarians whose job it is to go to alternate worlds and find important books. They are returned to the Library where they are kept safe and all knowledge is contained in one space. Irene is a junior librarian, someone raised her whole life in this world. Kai is her trainee with secrets. Together they are tasked with retrieving a version o the Grimm fairytales. Seems easy until twists, turns and secrets are revealed. Quickly it becomes a quest for survival for not only the book but themselves as well.

I love the concept of this book. I loved the idea that there are alternate worlds all connected through this Library. The idea that there are people whose sole job it is to go into all these worlds and get important books is fantastic. This is 100% the job I would want if it was an option.

I love that this also connect magic into these worlds. At first I wondered if it was just going to be alternate worlds that certain things didn’t happen in. But no, there are worlds like our own and then there are world with magic and then there are worlds that are a combination of both. I like this because it extends the scope of these stories. I wonder how they will play out throughout the series.

Kai was an interesting character. I knew there was something more about him from the very beginning. You get a hint he is hiding something. I liked the fact that he can switch his personalities so much. One minute he is able to play a proper gentleman of the times then he goes into thief mode. As a reader I felt like I was kept guessing. We still don’t know everything about him and I wonder where his story will go.

Alderich is also an interesting character. I know there is so much more to their story. I want to know how they became who they are. ( I am going to use they because it is unclear what Alderich is at this point, whether human or even has a gender). There is mystery here and I am curious about it all.

I had a few minor issue that didn’t necessarily take me out of the book but kind of gave me pause. First I wasn’t thrilled with the Language system being called The Language. It felt like a lazy name to me. Every time I read it was jarring almost like it was left there a placeholder and was never changed. I felt like it could just have used a better title.

While this world as fascinating I found myself very unclear of how it all worked. I don’t quite understand The Language itself. Why it matters? Who can use it? How do you use it? How do you learn it? I felt like it was there as a way to get out of situations.

I also didn’t quite get the whole chaos idea. It was vaguely explained but I needed a bit more to understand it. Why was there this chaos idea? Why are Fae the main issue around it? How does it work? Why is it called chaos? I again felt like it was hinted at but no real detail given.

My biggest issue with this book was Irene. I honestly did not care for her character at all. She was all over the place. She felt like a strong minded character at the beginning but she got weaker and weaker as the story went on. I thought she could take care of herself but then she went alll damsel who needed men to save her.

She got herself into situations that made no sense. She inner monologued a lot but she never came to any real conclusions in time. She doubted herself too often. She was vague about what she was talking about. I just wanted her to get herself together a bit more. I hope she gets better throughout the series.

I ended up giving this book 3 stars. There is a lot of potential here. The world in fascinating. Some of the characters are great. The mystery is there. I am planning on continuing on with the series but just not right away. I just hope it gets better.

February Wrap Up

This month felt like a slower month for me. It was a slower month in terms of blogging actually. Reading wasn’t as bad, though apparently according to my Goodreads challenge I am 2 books behind. I am not going to get too upset about that yet.

This month was busier than I planned on it being. I didn’t have as much time during the weekends to read or write as I am used to. Hence why I had much fewer posts than I have in the past. I plan on trying to make that better in March but we will see if I am able to that or if things pop up again.

Books read:
I was able to read 3 books this month. It was a decent reading month. I enjoyed this months books.

Crucible – James Rollins – I love this series. This was a good addition to the Sigma Force series. It didn’t focus on who I thought it should focus on though. I did enjoy that it made me more afraid for the main characters than the any other ones have ever done.

Black Wings Beating – Alex London – I was expecting more from this book. It was interesting but didn’t spark enough for me to anticipate the next one.

Fear the Fantastic – K.A. Applegate – I didn’t remember this one from my first readings. It was interesting but it felt kind of boring compared to the other ones.

Blog Posts:
The Crucible – James Rollins – Review
Black Wings Beating – Alex London – Review
Fear the Fantastic – Everworld #6- K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review
Down the TBR Hole #13

(Not only do I plan on making sure to post more I also will get back to reading and commenting more.)

Books I Bought:
Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried – Sean David Hutchinson
Here and Now and Then – Mike Chen
The Masked City – The Invisible Library #2 – Genevieve Cogman
In an Absent Dream – (Wayward Children #4) – Seanan McGuire
Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Writing:
My writing group is going well. I have found it is helping me stay on track with writing. I may be writing random things and not necessarily my novel but the drive is there. At this point that is what I needed.


Down the TBR Hole #13

I know I haven’t posted much lately. I have been busy but wanted to get another post up before my monthly wrap up. Its been about a month since I did one of these so I thought I’d do another round going through my TBR shelf.

Rules:

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time

Current TBR – 261

The Invisible Gorilla and Other Ways Intuitions Deceive Us – Christopher Chabris , Daniel Simons – I love the invisible gorilla experiment, if you don’t know what that is, look it up on Youtube. I love learning more about the weird ways our brains works and how it can deceive us.
Decision: Keep

The Final Empire – Mistborn #1 – Brandon Sanderson – I have heard great things about this series. I just haven’t been able to dive into a dense series yet especially one that I don’t believe is finished. I will get to it eventually but it may be a little while.
Decision: Keep

The Summer that Melted Everything – Tiffany McDaniel – A book about someone being the devil? Sounds interesting to meet.
Decision: Keep

Smoke – Dan Vyleta – I like the idea of the smoke designating who is good and bad but the rest of it doesn’t sound all that interesting. Might come back to it one day but right now it doesn’t spark my interest.
Decision: Remove

A World Apart – David M. Brown – Not sure why I added this one. It sounds alright but not something I would enjoy.
Decision: Remove

The Corner of 1700 Hamilton – Vania Rheault – I think this is a short story collection? Again I have no memory of this one.
Decision: Remove

Pepper Pike – Les Roberts- I added this one because it is set in Cleveland, my hometown. Though I would like to see how Cleveland is portrayed I don’t see myself reading this anytime soon.
Decision: Remove

Don of the Dead – Casey Daniels – Love the idea of having to talk with ghosts to find their murders, kind of like Ghost Whisperer.
Decision: Keep

They Died Crawling: And Other Tales of Cleveland Woe; True Stories of the Foulest Crimes, and Worst Disasters in Cleveland History – John Stark Bellamy II – I was in a Cleveland centered roll at this point. Again sounds interesting but probably won’t get to it anytime soon.
Decision: Remove

The Devourers – Indra Das – Again no idea why I added this. It sounds alright but not really something I usually read.
Decision: Remove

Keep – 4
Remove – 5
Total TBR – 256

Fear the Fantastic – Everworld #6 – K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review

Christopher, April, David and Jalil are once again on the run. They made their escape from Fairy Land and are on the hunt for a way home. A few missteps and they end up in Hewten territory. There they meet Dionysus and Ganymede, two Greek gods. They need to rescue their new friends and make it out alive, a task that is easier said than done when you have to travel through Ka Anor’s territory.

(This is a mini review for the 6th book in the Everworld series. There may be spoilers for the previous five books).

When I started reading this book I realized that I remember very little of this one. I knew it was Christopher’s story and that it involved a lot of the Hewten. The issue I see is that I don’t feel that attached to the Ka Anor or Hewten storyline.

This book should have made me afraid. It should have been tense and made me scared of this threat. Instead I just felt bored. I like the other books and the other stories because it is all about different gods and these teenagers trying to navigate this world. This one was kind of boring.

I found myself just wanting to get out of the area, knowing that they would and move on to Olympus. I didn’t care about the Hewten city. I didn’t care about the fact they could get eaten alive. The threat felt minimal. Even when we see Ka Anor (which I can’t really picture at all) I still didn’t feel that scared or upset at the situation. I think it is because it was so abstract and nothing much truly happened.

The saving grace of this book was Christopher. I have always like his character and this book solidified why. Christopher is the type of character that appears one way but is deeper and more considerate underneath. He hides his insecurities under humor and makes some off color jokes but in this book you see who he truly is. He is a guy who just wants to live and have fun. He doesn’t want to be bogged down with responsibility and moral codes. But he realizes that sometimes you have to make decisions that will haunt you.

I forgot how many deeper issues these books touch on. In this one we see that Christopher has to choose between what he knows is right and his job. He realizes some may seem him as this hard, racist and sexist guy when in reality he is just someone who makes a joke but doesn’t mean them. He begins to realize the face he is showing to the world and the person who truly is are getting confused and misconstrued. I came away from this book wanting to see how far his character grows and who he becomes.

Black Wings Beating – Alex London – Review

Kylee has a secret, one that could change her and her brother’s life forever. The village they live in is being threatened by an outside force. They need to go on a mission to capture the elusive Ghost Eagle. Can Kylee help her brother without revealing who she truly is? Can Brysen prove his worth outside of his sister and save the boy he loves? What happens when secrets get out and the world around them begins to tip?

This book is about the relationship between this society and their falcons and birds. I adore any story that surrounds animals. (Though I always get nervous because I don’t know if an animal is going to survive). I love to see the way stories tell about the relationship between a people and their animals.

This one is interesting because of the way the story works with the birds. I like that the villagers can tame the birds but are never in full control of them. They know that they can’t fully keep these birds down. They know they deserve to fly and be free and it kind of comments back on their way of life as well.

I also like Kylee’s character and her relationship with her brother Brysen. Kylee is a strong minded person who realizes she also has responsibilities. I liked her because you saw that she wanted to get away and be free but she also was not going to let her brother get hurt in the process.

The sibling relationship was the best part of this book. That dynamic grew throughout the story and you saw the secret ways they tried to help each other. You realize that Kylee has always been trying to protect her brother even if he doesn’t release it. You see that Brysen needs his sister if he won’t admit it. I liked that build up and that growth.


I wasn’t fully attached to any of the characters. I liked Kylee but she wasn’t someone I latched onto. She was there but I didn’t find myself scared of what would happen to her. The same went for Brysen. They felt a little flat to me.

I felt like we were told a lot about who they are but never truly shown those things. We got them thinking it over but never acting out to show that side of themselves. You knew that they had secrets but it didn’t feel life altering. I wanted more to be at stake for them. I even wanted them to have more negative or darker sides to them.

The story didn’t feel like it had high stakes to me. I felt like we were just moving piece to piece. I didn’t feel like there was anything in the way that was going to truly stop them. It felt like it was just moving gently along. One issue solved then another and it solved without much fuss.

I didn’t feel any urgency from the plot. I didn’t feel like I wanted to rush to the end. Even the end didn’t leave me wanting the next book right now. I may read the sequel one day when it comes out but I won’t rush out to get it.

I gave this book 3 stars because it was fun to read, loved the birds but wanted it feel like more was at stake and like there was a possibility of true failure.

“Kylee hated the assumption that boys always made when she was made, like her emotions weren’t a part of her thinking mind like theirs but rather tied to the moons and the winds like an animal’s.” (pg. 53)

“The truth was rarely kind, so why not let a lovely lie linger?” (pg. 101)

“It wasn’t the words themselves that had power but the memories that stuck to words like ticks to deer, draining and infecting them. If you shut down your memory and ignored the knowing-self inside you, you could say anything.” (pg. 127)

“He was the sort of man who’d rather take a punch than let go of his hate.” (pg. 186)

The Crucible – James Rollins – Review

Christmas doesn’t go as planned for Monk and Gray. As they head back to Grey’s home they find those that mean the most to them are severely injured or kidnapped. Now time is ticking down as they hunt for those who took them while also battling a new threat, AI. Eve, a computer program, is wreaking havoc on the world and there is only one young woman who can stop her, but will it be in time before destruction takes it toll?

This story focused on AI and it was fascinating. I have always been intrigued by the idea of AI. It is one of those things that is great because of what it can do to help the world but it also one of those things that is terrifying because of how out of control it can get.

This story explored the darker side of AI. We see that in the wrong hands so much destruction can happen. Lives can be lost. I thought it was very clever the way the book talked about the two forms of Eve, the AI. There is the benevolent side and the darker side.

It was great because it looked at how to train her. You realize that what works on humans works with this program as well. Pain was used as a training mechanism and you see what that kind of torture does, close to what it does to a real human. It is a bit scary how close to real humans it seemed.

I also liked the focus on Monk and his family in this book. Monk has been the focus before but here you get to see a softer side of him. I also like that he knew Kat well enough to make decisions she would want. He doesn’t coddle her. He does procedures that helped them even if it hurt her because he knew that was what she would want. Even in a coma he didn’t treat her as fragile and breakable. He kept her strong and I loved seeing that side of their relationship.

I though this book as going to center on the storyline of finding Seichan and the girls. I thought that this was all going to play into one another but it really didn’t. It felt like two separate storylines.

I understood that this was more a set up for a future conflict between Valya and the Sigma Force group. It was just mentioned a few times though. I had trouble understanding what Valya’s issue was. She wanted the technology but I had no idea why. I didn’t get what her end game was.

She mentioned that she wanted the girls to raise as her own. Is she trying to set up a new group? What does she want in the end other than the end of Sigma? I wished we had gotten more from them and a better idea of where that story is going

This could have set up a good amount of time to build up Seichan’s character. We see that she is afraid of being a mom and feels like she can’t manage it. I thought we would see her find a way through helping the girls but we barely touch on it.

The idea is there but it isn’t explained well. There is no focus on how she is developing. I wanted to see her try to realize she can be a fighter and a mother. I wanted her to come to that realization on her own instead we got a quick thought from Grey at the end and that was it. I felt like we lost out on some great character development.

I gave this book 3 stars because while I enjoyed the storyline I wanted more from Siechan’s character.

January Wrap Up


This month was still a struggle to fall back into my usual routine. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked. I think I only got through about three books, one being Queen of Darkness which is about 900 pages long so I say that is still a good reading month.

I am actually much more pleased with the progress I have made writing than anything else. So all in all this month has been a pretty good start to the new year.

Books I read:
Archived – V.E. Schwab – I have been holding onto this book for a long time. I knew I wanted to read it but was slightly afraid of how it ended. In the end it was interesting and fun.

Unbound – V.E. Schwab – This was a great sequel. I think it really developed the characters. I liked the way it played with the past and explored mental health as well.

Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare – This was a good end to this series. I think it wrapped up the stories well while also leaving room for another series. Though I do wonder when this series will truly end.

Blog Posts:
The Circle – Dave Eggers – Review
The Archived – Victoria Schwab – Review
New Year Book Tag
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett – Review
The Unbound – Victoria Schwab – Review
Down the TBR Hole #12
Most Anticipated 2019 Releases
Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare- Review
ABC Challenge (D)


Movies and TV Shows Watched:
Bohemian Rhapsody – I saw this with my mom and aunts. I thought it was really interesting and learned about Freddie Mercury and Queen. I grew up listening to their music and was interesting to learn more about them.

Rent Live – I was worried about this production. I adore the original musical. I think this was decent for what it was. It was sad that they couldn’t perform it as planned but there were some good parts. I was a bit disappointed in other aspects.


Writing:
I joined a local writing group last year and they offer writing classes. I couldn’t attend one until this month. For four weeks I have been taking a writing habit class. We write, share and it has been amazing. Loving the feedback, and the community feel. I missed that. I used to be part of a group that fell apart. This has sparked my writing habit again.

Also one of the other members of the class liked my story so much he asked to read it again. He also said it sparked something for his own writing which I found the ultimate compliment. This class has definitely done wonders for fixing my writing issues.

How was your January? What books stood out for you?





ABC Challenge (D)

Time to dive into the next letter of the alphabet and check out what stands out. This got a little delayed because my books were in boxes for a while but they are out and now on their shelves!

Earlier Lists: (A) (B)(C)

Memorable Titles with Starting with D:

Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown – I loved this book. The twists and turn were amazing and compelling. It was also fun because my mom read it right before we went to France and Italy and we were able to see a lot of the art mentioned in the story.

Dread Nation – Justina Ireland – This was a fresh look at zombies. I loved the way it dealt with history and past issues while also creating stunning story. I can’t wait for more from this world.

Dance of Dragons – George RR Martin – I enjoyed reading the Game of Thrones series. This one set up so much and I really wish the next book would come out. But I guess I have the show to give me answers at least.

Decipher – Stel Pavlou – Another fun thriller adventure that ties in history.

Doomsday Key and Devil’s Colony – James Rollins – I have said before that I adore the Sigma Force series. These are two great parts of that series. Doomsday Key was the first one I read and I was hooked.

Darkest….– Gena Showalter – The whole Lord of the Underworld series has Darkest as the first word in the series. This skiers is a guilty pleasure for sure. It is almost done which is goo because these last few books haven’t been my favorites

Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater – This was Ronan’s book and solidified my love for him as a character. I cannot wait until we get his full series.

Books Starting with D on my TBR List:

Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare – Review

Death has fallen over the Blackthorn family. The Shadowhunter world is once again thrown into chaos. Julian and Emma have to fight to save their world, their family and their loved ones. But their cures is getting stronger. How do they save everyone else and themselves at the same time? What sacrifices have to be made?

One thing that Cassandra Clare does really well is creating a series where the whole thing wraps itself up well while also leaving room for more. This book ends in a way that lets us know our main characters are in a good spot. But there is a hint that this story is not over, that these characters are not going to be able to just run off into the sunset and be happy forever. She always leaves room for more.

While I love this idea, especially because there are certain aspects of this story that I wasn’t quite satisfied with, it also makes me wonder if and when things will truly end. I love this world but I do want to eventually get to a point where the end is the true end and I am not wondering about things afterwards.

I thought the way we learned more about Julian’s character in this book was great. We learned that some of his behavior wasn’t as scary as it seemed before. The way he handled certain situations and seemed to be manipulating people was because he was protecting everyone around him. I was worried about what he would do to save his siblings and we see where he will go but we also saw that there was line he won’t cross. A few short paragraphs really gave us a full picture of him.

Cassandra Clare is someone who isn’t afraid to step out and talk about subjects some shy away from. Her books was the first time I encountered a gay character in a story. Since the introduction of Alec she has included a range of diverse characters in her books. In this one she took an even further step out and included a polyamorous relationship, which was interesting. I have not seen that before and I thought it was handled well.

I wonder at how that was received. I haven’t done much research on other reviews but I thought it worked well in the story. The situation was gone through, you understood the choices made and it works. I didn’t feel like it was there just to be there but was explored in a good manner. You realize it is right for these characters and that is what overall matters.

I also really liked the evolution of Kit’s character in this book. I felt like I got to know him so much better. I want to see more from him. I would be okay with a book, short stories or series about him. He needs more about him and not his past but where he is going from this point on.


In the very start of the book Magnus helps Julian in a way I was super surprised at. I won’t say exactly what happened because it is a bit of a spoiler but I didn’t understand why Magnus did it. He is someone who doesn’t do things because he is asked. He makes someone think about their choices more but he didn’t this time. I felt it was very out of character for him.

There is also a character that came back in this that had very little explanation of why. I was super confused by it and it was very glossed over. Why did he do what he did? Why wasn’t there more explanation to it? I felt like he was brought back to just be there to watch Ty. I wanted more about him.


There was one plot point at the end that really bothered me. I won’t say what exactly but it didn’t make sense to me. Two characters have an issue and there is no resolution to it. They fight and never fix it and it makes no sense to me.

One conversation could have fixed it but we are just left with one character thinking the other hates them. I hate that. I felt like it was a thread that could have at least had a small conclusion and been explored more later. I hope we get more because that was not enough for me.

Over all I gave this book 3 stars. I enjoyed the ride. I did think it dragged on a bit and some of the storylines could have been wrapped up a bit better. It did leave me wanting more though.


“Maybe the rest of them, in accepting the fact of her death, were the ones who didn’t understand.” – pg. 34

“Horace remind him of politicians shouting on TV, red-faced men who always seemed angry and always wanted you to know there was something you needed to be afraid of.” – pg. 60

“Perhaps you outgrew your dreams, too, as your world expanded.” – pg. 98

“Sometimes you have to let people blame you. When the only option is letting bad things happen, it doesn’t matter what people think.” – pg. 421 – One quote to sum up Julians character.

Most Anticipated 2019 Releases!

There are some great books I am eager to get my hands on this year. I thought I would mention a few of the most I am most excited about.

I also know that there are a number of sequels to books I plan on starting this year as well. I am someone who when I start a series has to read the whole thing if I can. I am not good at reading one then reading something else in between. I love to be able to stay enthralled in world and series.

Shaun David Hutchinson –
Brave Face-
This is his memoir about his time struggling with who he was and and how he got to the point where he is today. I love his books and am very interested to take a deeper look at him as a person and an author!
Release Date – May 21st

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried
Someones ex-bestfriend dies then comes back to life but not fully? I mean it sounds like an awesome and deep zombie story and I am all for it.
Release Date – February 19th

Seanan McGuire –
In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4)
I am so pumped for this one. I love this series and am eager to read another one of the children’s stories!
Release Date – January 8th

James Rollins –
Crucible
This one comes out in a few days and I can’t wait. I adore the Simga Force series and this one sounds intense!
Release Date – January 22nd

Cassandra Clare
Red Scrolls of Magic
This is a whole series that centers around Magnus and Alec. I adore these two and can’t wait for a series just about them!
Release Date – April 2nd

Angie Thomas –
On the Come Up –
The Hate You Give was fantastic and meaningful. I am eager to read her second novel.
Release Date – February 5th

Kristen White –
Slayer
I have seen this everywhere and I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am not sure how I am going to feel about this one but I am very interested to read it soon.
Release Date – January 8th

Julian Winters –
How to Be Remy Cameron
This one doesn’t have an official publication date yet but it is supposed to come out near the end of this year. I loved Running with Lions so I am eager to read his next book.

Sequels to books I really want to read:

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (sequel to Children fo Blood and Bone ) – Tomi Adeymi
I have been meaning to read th first one for ages and now the second will be out this year. So I know this will get read before the end of the year for sure.
Release Date – June 4th

The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Arden – Winternight Trilogy #3
I have been meaning to read this for a while and now the whole series is out. Can’t think of a better reason to start it.
Release Date – January 8th

Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell – Simon Snow #2
Carry On is one of those books that has been following me everywhere and I finally bought. And now there appears to be a sequel coming out this year.

What are some of our most anticipated reads and releases for this year?


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