TBR Challenge #2: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

magnus chaseThe Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Series: Magnus Chase and the Guards of Asgard #1
Rating: 3.5/5
Theme: Backlist Glam (Author with multiple books in my TBR)

Why? Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors of middle grade novels. He has a way of writing really interesting characters and I enjoy his inclusion of different mythological gods. I own all of the Magnus Chase books and also the two of the Kane Chronicles books that I haven’t read yet, therefore, he is the author that I have the most unread books.

Review: I wasn’t planning on reading this trilogy when it was first announced. I’m not very knowledgeable with Norse Mythology and I thought I would be really lost while reading the book. However, when all the reviews started raving on how good the first book, and more recently when the last was released, I decided to grab it and take a chance. I’m glad that I did because I actually enjoyed it, not as much as his other series but it was still good.

Usually with Riordan’s books, I tend to not enjoy it as much as the rest of the series. It is the same for this book.  His first books are usually the ‘explanation’ book and it allows you to immerse and familiarize yourself with the world that he has created within our world. I think he does a great job, but the consecutive books are usually better and you get to see growth and development of all of his characters. I actually enjoy the characters that are introduced in this novel and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them and how each of there story will progress throughout the books. I’m a fan of Samirah, she’s the type of character that usually like, and I especially like the lack of romantic relationship between her and Magnus. I actually enjoy her character a lot more than Magnus, but that usually happens with Riordan’s books. I just think she writes awesome female characters AND sidekicks. Yes, I really enjoy Heath and Blitzen too.

Like I said before, I’m not very well known with Norse Mythology because its not really something I learned in school. The things that I do know, I know because of the movies about Thor. Its actually interesting to get to understand more of the mythology and their beliefs. I think Riordan does a good job in explaining things, and even if I’m still a little muddled, at least I understand the basic core information of the mythology. I’m also glad that Riordan didn’t really make Thor the center of the gods in this novel, it allowed the readers the learn more about the different types of gods and goddess within the Norse myth.

I’m happy a gave this book a chance and I can’t wait to read more of the books. Now I’m really not certain the reading order of these books, because I’ve heard that it should be read in publication order between Magnus Chase and The Trials of Apollo. I’m not really sure how Riordan will incorporate all three mythologies in within these books and I’m really excited to find out.

 

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Forbidden WishThe Forbidden Wish 

Author: Jessica Khoury
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis: When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. 

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

Review: This is one of those book where I was a bit on the fence with my rating. I enjoyed it a lot and had fun reading it. Aladdin is actually my top 5 favorite Disney movies, so I had high expectations for it. I wasn’t really sure how I would feel between the relationship of the Jinni and Aladdin, since the book and the Disney version is totally different.

One of the reasons why I enjoyed this book is the relationship within it, not just the romantic aspect, but also all the friendships.  This is actually one of those few books that I enjoyed the minor characters more than the protagonists of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Aladdin and Zahra, but I think Princess Caspida and her Watchmaidens are awesome. I haven’t really read a lot of novels where there are good female friendships, and this part of the book was a great addition. I really wish that Khoury would think about crating a companion novel, or even a short story that focuses on these ladies. I would like to know more about them, and it won’t hurt to see a glimpse of Jinni and her lamp holder.

I also really enjoyed the world that Khoury created in this book. I love the little characters that she added and the different areas of the world. She has a vivid way of writing her settings and in your head you can actually see the places and even smell the locations. I especially love the garden and the tavern. The beauty of the garden makes you want to see it in person and the tavern makes you want to hold your breath from the stink. Like I said her world is very vivid.

The one thing that I had a problem with is the Jinni system that Khoury introduced to us. I was a bit confused on the hierarchy of the Jinni and I don’t think Khoury did a good job in explaining it to us. I get the different groups of Jinnis, all except the powerful one. I wasn’t all that convinced that Zahra, not actually of Jinni descent, became one of the most powerful Jinnis. I think it was too convenient for the story and I don’t think it was as pertinent to the story. It would have been a lot more convincing if lower Jinnis is able to attain power through some sort of transformation or overcoming a difficult trail.

I also had a tad problem with the ending. It feels too rushed and I wasn’t a fan of how the fight concluded in the end. I actually wish that the author spent more time developing this part of the book as well. I feel that she dragged the story in the beginning of the book too much and didn’t do the end as much justice.

Looking back to my thoughts of the book, I think I’ll give this book a solid 4 star. Although I did enjoy the majority of the book, I feel that the problematic parts are too big for me to ignore. I guess writing reviews does help sort out ones thoughts. Anyways, even though I have negative comments on The Forbidden Wish, I still enjoyed it enough to check out Khoury’s other books. I think she did a great job in retelling this particular Disney story.

 

 

Book Date Monday 2018 #2

its-monday-what-are-you-reading

I haven’t been doing much reading these past few days because I’ve been addicted to this game on my phone and I’ve been focusing on that more than my reading.

Currently Reading:

magnus chase

I’m currently participating in a readathon called Series Crackdown, if you want to learn more about it, please check out my post linked here. The series I’m going to try to finish within this month is the Magnus Chase trilogy.

Upcoming Reads:

I doubt that I’ll get to this by the end of the book, but I really want to try to get to them.

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So that’s it for me this week. I haven’t really been doing much reading and my vacation at the end of the month is not going to help. I already figured out that my reading with be light this month though.

Readathon: Series Crackdown TBR

This year I made participating in 8 readathon part of my goals for 2018. In February I want to tackle two of them and Series Crackdown is one of them. Last year I wasn’t able to finish any series, therefore, I want to remedy that for 2018.

So basically this readathon is pretty self explanatory. Read as many books in a series that you can from February 9-18 and it’s being hosted by The Book Moo, check her site out for more information.

I believe that you have to read as many books from the same series, but I’m not 100% sure. Anyways, here is my TBR for the readathon:

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan

Book 1: The Sword of Summer
Book 2: The Hammer of Thor
Book 3: The Ship of the Dead

Goodreads Synopsis of the first book: Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

I’ve been meaning to pick this up last year and it was in many of my monthly TBR, I was never able to accomplish it. I also don’t really finish series in one month, let alone a week, but I at least want to try. So wish me luck!

If you want to join the readathon it’s not late yet, they also have a Twitter and Instagram account that you can join in on.

Graphic Novels I’m Continuing in 2018

I don’t really read a lot of graphic novels and don’t even own a lot of them. I usually try to read them from Overdrive, but sometimes that app doesn’t include all the volumes in the series. So I turn to Hoopla, which I just found out about.

Anyways, I started a lot of graphic novels, but I don’t really intend on continuing all of them, but here are 5 of the ones that I will continue on. I will also add the little blurbs from Goodreads on what the graphic novel is about just in case people are interested in it.

lumberjanes1

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
Volumes Released: 1-8

Goodreads Synopsis: FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX!

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

My Thoughts: I really love the stories of these graphic novels, not only is it entertaining, but it also teaches a great story of acceptance, friendship and female strength. I’m really glad that there are graphic novels like these for younger readers to be able to enjoy and also learn different lessons . I love how the author doesn’t focus on the characters sexuality, but rather on who they are as a person. The friendships between the five girls is also amazing and this is missing from a lot of novels that are being released these days. I definitely want my future children to read these.

Chew One

Chew by John Layman
Volumes Released: 1-12

Goodreads Synopsis: Tony Chu is a detective with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It also means he’s a hell of a detective, as long as he doesn’t mind nibbling on the corpse of a murder victim to figure out whodunit, and why. He’s been brought on by the Special Crimes Division of the FDA, the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet, to investigate their strangest, sickest, and most bizarre cases.

My Thoughts: This is a very weird and twisted graphic novel. Twisted not in a bad way, twisted in a disgusting way, but its so good, I just can’t put it down. I’m praying that Overdrive will get the rest of the volumes, for now I’m still waiting. If you’re not a squeamish person and doesn’t really get grossed out easily, then definitely try to read these. So good!

wires and nerve

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
Volume Released: 1-2 (Complete)

Goodreads Synopsis: When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Iko is actually one of my favorite characters in the whole Lunar Chronicles books and so these graphic novels are for me. I’m not a fan of the art in it, but I will look past it to get glimpses of the other characters in the series. Plus, the story line of Iko in this is amazing, she really shines in it and I’m really sad that they are only releasing two in this companion story.

giant-day-vol-1

Giant Days by John Allison
Volume Released: 1-7

Goodreads Synopsis: Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

My Thoughts: Love this series. When I went to college, I had two other friends that conspired with me and my shenanigans, and these graphic novels remind me of our friendships. We didn’t get as crazy as Susan, Ester and Daisy, but the friendships between the three is very nostalgic. Almost makes me want to go back to school, almost.

Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire

Volume Released: 1-6 (Complete)

Goodreads Synopsis: Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed new series introduce Gus, a rare new breed of human/animal hybrid who was raised in isolation following a pandemic that struck a decade earlier. Now, with the death of his father, he’s left to fend for himself . . . until he meets a hulking drifter named Jepperd, who promises to help him. Jepperd and Gus set out on a post-apocalyptic journey into the devastated American landscape to find ‘The Preserve,’ a refuge for hybrids.

My Thoughts:  This is actually a very recent read for me but I instantly enjoyed it. I definitely want to continue this and I’m even more excited because apparently there is only six volume in the story. Overdrive or Hoopla doesn’t carry this graphic novel so I might have to resort to checking out our used bookstores to finish them.

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So those are my five graphic novels that I will be continuing on. Let me know if there are other great graphic novels out there for me to check out. YES, I have read the first two volumes of Saga, I’m just not sure if I want to continue on with the story.

5 Series I’m Quiting

I try not to quit series that I’ve already started, especially those that I actually enjoyed the first book. The thing is I like starting a series, but I drag my feet in finishing them. I’ve actually have unfinished series from 8 years ago and I just don’t have the motivation to finish them. However, I’ve come to a conclusion that I need to let go of some series that I started because my TBR is starting to become ridiculous. Some of these I did enjoy the first in the series, but I feel that my taste in genres have changed and what appealed to me once, now doesn’t.

Anyways, here are five trilogies/series that I have quit and physically unhauled in my bookshelves. These are books that I have no desire to read anymore or even pick up. Some of them I haven’t even started, but just doesn’t appeal to me as it once did. Please don’t get offended, I am not, in anyway shape or form, bashing your favorite series, I’m just not interested in reading them.

thone of glass

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This series has a very large group of followers and almost everyone I know on book community has read and loved the series. I’m actually the minority in my indifference for this series. I read the first book and enjoyed Maas writing, I’m just not a fan of Celaena, who is very much the center of the series. Therefore, instead of me trying to force myself to read the rest of the books, I just decided to skip the whole thing and read something that I would enjoy.

badgir;s

2. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

I’ve read the first two books in the series and really enjoyed it. I only have to read one last book to finish the trilogy, but this is one of those books that I just lost interest. I’ve been reading a lot of adult thrillers/mystery novels and the whole YA thing is starting to grow old on me. I still read a lot of YA, but I’m not really interested in this particular story line anymore.

graceling

3. Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore

This is another trilogy where I’ve read the first two books and enjoyed it. I prefer Graceling compared to Fire, but I wanted to finish off the trilogy five years ago. I had to wait for 3 years for Bitter Blue to be released and by that time my want for the book was already starting to diminish. I was still excited to purchase it when it was released, but I just didn’t feel like picking it up.

neil flambe

4. Neil Flambe: Marco Polo Murders by Kevin Sylvester

I read the first two books in this series and own the next two books, but I have finally quit the series. I’m just not that interested in the series anymore and I really don’t think I would be picking it up again. I’m not that much of a fan of the main characters, but I do enjoy how Sylvester incorporates history in the mystery.

the-thief

5. The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

I really like this series, when I first read it back in 2010. Unfortunately, like the others in this book, I’ve lost interest in reading the last two books. I think I just waited too long to get to the rest of them and I don’t remember half of what happened in the first two books.

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Here are also four books that I have the first book, but I really have no motivation or desire to pick-up and read. I have unhauled them and have been permanently deleted in my bookshelves.

So that’s it for me this week. Like I said, please no hate towards me. I’m not saying these books sucks, I’m just not excited for them anymore.

 

 

2018 January Wrap-up and February TBR

January was a good reading month for me. I struggles last year with mediocre books and I feel like January was off on a good start. I’m going to slightly do my wrap ups a bit different than the previous years, only because I feel that I don’t give enough information on the books I’ve read. I’m not going to go in depth with my reviews, but I will give a brief overview on my reasons for my ratings. I’m thinking of doing cumulative reviews in between months to books that I don’t get a chance to write an in depth review, but that’s still in the works. I feel like last year I didn’t really do any reviews and I want to remedy that this year.

Anyways, on to my wrap-up.

This month I read a total of 6 books and four of those books were on my January TBR.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada – 4.5/5 Stars

I was in a science fiction kick the beginning of the month so I decided to pick this up. I believe its a debut novel of the author so I didn’t really have any expectations for the book, so I was really surprised when I actually enjoyed this book. I loved every minute of it. The mystery, the action and the science fiction in the novel is great! I would have wanted more world building, but we’ll see where Suvanda takes this story.

The Diabolic by S.K Kincaid – 3.5/5 Stars

I was on the fence on this book. The fact that I really enjoyed the first book, I figured I might as well start the year strong and picked this up. I hear so many good things about it, but I didn’t like it as much as other readers out there. I got a bit confused on the whole Diabolic aspect of Nemesis. I understand that this is Science Fiction/Fantasy genre, but I wasn’t all that sold with the sc-fi parts of the novel. I want to continue with the story, but just not right away.

The Amateurs by Sara Shepard – 3/5 Stars

Out of these four books I was actually disappointed on this book the most. The ending was interesting, but the storyline wasn’t as intriguing as her other books. I’ve read Pretty Little Liars and those books were hard to put down, but this I found myself stalling in finishing it. I actually picked up another book while reading this novel, which rarely happens for me.

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury – 4/5 Stars

I’m still craving science fiction and fantasy books so I thought this book should be read this month. I’m really glad. I’m a fan of Disney’s Aladdin, so of course I wanted to read this. I enjoyed how Khoury wrote her characters, especially the different relationships that she included in the novel. I can’t wait to pick up another book by her.

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Along with the 4 books that I finished on my TBR, I was also able to read 2 more books.

Meet Cute: YA Anthology – Rating Varies on each story, overall 3.5/5 Stars

I picked this book up because I needed to read a book of short stories, and this is actually the only one that hooked my interest. I’m glad I did. I actually enjoyed reading the different stories in the book and even though I didn’t like all of them, the lowest rating for me is 3/5 stars. I wrote a full review on it here.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – 3.75/5 Stars

This is my most anticipated read of 2018 and I feel somewhat let down. I wrote a full review of it here, but to sum it up, it wasn’t as great as the Starbound books. I know it’s really unfair for me to compare the two, it’s just really difficult when there are aspects of Unearthed in These Broken Stars. Of course I’ll keep reading the books, because of that ending!

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Ok, so those are the books I read in January and I had a pretty good reading month. I hope that this will continue on throughout the year.

FEBRUARY TBR

I usually add around 5-6 books on my TBR because I know if push comes to shove, I can finish 5-6 books. Even if my month is hectic with life and work, but this month I’m keeping it simple because I’m going away on holiday and I don’t usually do a lot of readings during holidays. Also, I will try to participate in one readathon this month, but I’m just not sure which one. As usual I will be creating a different TBR for that.

Anyways, here are the books that I want to get to this month.

These are the two books that I want to get through this month. I might just pick up one book for the sake of my TBR challenge, but if I have enough time I’ll read both.

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Anyways, that’s it for my wrap-up and TBR. Let me know if you read some these books and give me your thoughts on them.