Quarter Year Reading Wrap Up

Unfortunately this is a late post since we’re heading towards the middle of April now. But I want to talk about the books I’ve read so far and the current count is 9, which means I’m behind on my goal of 50 books for the year – but I do plan to catch up!

My TBR has changed as I added books I’ve received from the Indiecember Giveaway pack and prioritized them. I managed to read one book from my initial TBR, though, which had consisted of 5 books. I also read books that were not on my TBR out of curiosity… I guess I needed to discipline myself.

My current TBR will be a different post, but here are the books that I’ve read as of the end of March, a little synopsis on them, and my overall thoughts.

23635434The World of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin / Elio M. Garcia Jr. / Linda Antonsson. It took me a while to finish this book, but I managed to finish it before deciding on my TBR. This is a fictional history book on the rich lore of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series told from the perspective of a maester. Like a real history book, some parts were boring, but I’d say 70% is quite interesting and in fact intriguing. This definitely makes me want to pick up Fire & Blood but I have a long list of books to read as of now, so it’s not really a priority. You don’t need to read this book to enjoy or understand the books in the main series but I feel that it will enhance the experience especially if the world-building of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series interests you.

26308563Echo Volume I, II, & III by Kent Wayne. Only the first volume was in my TBR but I continued with the series out of curiosity. This series actually contains four books, but I found myself stuck in what seemed like an endless loop of training montage in the middle of the fourth book, so I put it on-hold for a while. This is a sci-fi dystopian series with fabulous world-building centered around Kishchan Atriya as he struggles through action-packed missions full of tech and mech and discovers himself through magic and mind-bending philosophy. Not fond of all the “Old Earth” references because they distract me from the story, but the action, world-building, and the main character himself definitely makes this a wonderful read. So far, anyway.

35034255Reflections by Briana Morgan. This is the first book I received from the Indiecember Giveaway. This is about a young insecure girl, with past trauma, who encounters and joins a tribe of shapeshifters who helps her acquire the same ability, as she struggles to solve the mystery of girls being murdered in the woods, as well as learn to love and be confident with herself. I wish that the fantasy elements in this story was used more, but overall it is a decent read.

42946515Theonite: Planet Adyn by M. L. Wang. This is the first book of a series, the second of which I plan to read in the future. The main character finds herself with special abilities that no one else seem to have and she learns to harness and hide them, until she discovers that the new kid in class seem to have abilities too and may not even belong on the same planet. I enjoyed this book, especially the main character Joan who is so endearing, and will definitely want to continue the journey with her.

40220795Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Was not in my TBR but picked it up out of curiosity. This follows an imprisoned young assassin who is given a chance to gain her freedom by competing in a tournament against other mercenary-type warriors, while finding herself in a romance with the prince, and trying to solve murders occurring in the palace. This book was a struggle to me because the main character was poorly written as an assassin, romance was bland, and the resolution of the mystery wasn’t particularly compelling. However, I did enjoy the main character as a teenager, as well as two other characters, and the glimpse of the magical lore intrigued me. Overall, it wasn’t a waste of time and I do plan to read the next book in the series someday as I do want to follow the characters as well as learn more about the lore.

41139191Reciprocity by Sean M. Locke. A very unique story set in a dark sci-fi world about a lesbian mafia goon who finds herself in the middle of a gang war as she helps a noblewoman retrieve a dangerous family weapon prototype off the streets, and falls for her in the process. The writing is slick and clever, the world-building is captivating, and the characters are cool and complex. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and very happy to know that the author himself confirmed that there will be a sequel because the two main characters of this story definitely deserves it.

44172434Swinging Sanity by N. F. Mirza. A poetry book where pain and darkness are beautifully expressed. From the title to the art to the words themselves, the book is an excellent package. My favorites are: “Clash of Extremes”, “Insomniac”, and “A Million Dead Stars”. This was also not part of my TBR but, once again, I picked it up out of curiosity. Totally worth it.

 

That’s it for now.

Thanks for reading!

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My 6 Thoughts on The Savior’s Champion

51lsmxtzmelThe Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci is a book I would highly recommend to adults looking for action, twists, and steamy romance. I really enjoyed this book. Here are 6 things I want to talk about without giving away too much:

1 | The Tournament

This book is all throughout about a fight-to-the-death tournament, where out of twenty competitors, there will be only one champion. But this tournament is not the gladiator arena type, although there are elements of that. There are different challenges the participants must face and some rest and relaxations in between, where we meet the non-competitor characters as well as get know the competitors themselves and their rapport with each other.

The Labyrinth is a significant part of this tournament, and although it is not the most clever labyrinth-type quest I’ve encountered (I watch anime), it certainly is able to bring characters some tough and shocking moments. We get to know the clear bad guys and the death of some guys.

The challenges that come after also give us a thrilling ride as we root for Tobias, the main character. Some challenges are as harmless as reciting a poem to the Savior, while others are as nerve-racking as… to avoid spoilers, let’s just say people get harmed and not only by other people. This book definitely does not shy away from death, even gruesome deaths, and a few heart-breaking ones.

Overall, I can say that the action and intrigue within the tournament, and even out of it, is well done in this book.

2 | Tobias & Leila

I was not happy with Tobias in the very beginning especially his reasoning for entering the tournament. He assumed he would die without a doubt, as he repeatedly told his friend, yet still he entered for the money, despite his mother still grieving the loss of his father and the disability of his sister. Tobias, you realize if you died your mother would then be grieving for another loved one – you think money can pay for that grief? Grr. I understand he has to enter to get the ball rolling, but another reason would be helpful. In the tournament he keeps getting angry because people have killed people and it’s like, Tobias, isn’t that what you expected in the first place? It’s not a beauty pageant!

What endeared me to Tobias was his personal predicament which seemed impossible and so I feel for him and just want to hug him. He has no intention of marrying the Savior, having fallen for Leila, and yet he must aim to complete it to keep his life. That feeling of having to do something frustrating and difficult, when even the glory of having achieved it doesn’t get you a reward, or the reward that you want, can be overwhelming especially when you have enemies out to get you. That feeling of being trapped between a rock and a hard place is very familiar to me (though in my case romance has nothing to do with it), and I definitely understand his frustrations.

His love interest, Leila, is definitely a character with character. She is interesting, smart, and competent, and the mystery behind her is compelling.

Their love story and the impossibility of their situation kept me engaged along with the action and intrigue. However, let me warn you that there are sexual content here that may be ohh-la-la to some, but cringey to others. As for me, I would say I don’t normally enjoy that type of content, but I’m not unhappy that it’s there.

3 | Supporting Characters

The one thing I will say about the supporting characters is that they are diverse, with no two characters alike. Delphi is easily a favorite.

4 | Antagonists

The only antagonist that really mattered to me was Kaleo because his character’s interaction with Tobias is just so interesting to read. The main villain of the story is not fully fleshed out and I’m hoping we get to know more about him and his motivations and background in a sequel.

5 | World Building

The world-building in this book is very minimal, including any fantasy elements or magic. It may or may not be intentional, considering the story is told just within the context of the tournament and very little outside of it. I’m expecting more world-building in a sequel.

6 | Profanity

The profanity and lewdness of some characters in this story can be very distracting sometimes. Therefore, I would not recommend this book to readers who are not used to this mature content because they will find it off-putting.

OVERALL | 4 / 5 Stars

Disclaimer: This rating is based on my overall enjoyment of the material, whether it was time well-spent, whether it was worth the money, whether I would be likely to repeat it. It is not a measurement based on structure, technique, flaws and perfections. FYI.

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tea & TSC

#INDIECEMBER

This book is part of my participation to the Indiecember Reading Challenge by Megan Tennant, where I wrote a blog about here.

This book crosses out the following squares (circle = bingo style, cross = flush style):

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I’m going for the middle row, but I’m hoping to cross the whole board!

Hope you enjoyed this review! Have you read this book? If so, did you like it too? Or if not, will you pick it up?

My NaNoWriMo project…?

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So I got this tag from Smudged Thoughts, a blog that I discovered while checking out NaNoWriMo-related blogs (I wanted to to know how people were preparing for this thing, being a newbie). It’s actually quite quirky, I had a lot of fun reading it. The post basically introduces questions prompting some info about your NaNoWriMo project, which I think I should do for myself anyway. Aside from that, her project seems kind of cool, so it’s worth the read! Anyway, here’s for my own NaNoWriMo project…

PART ONE. . . Get to know me

What is your NaNoWriMo Username?

Sathepine

Are you a plotter, pantser, plantser, or planter?

I am a pantser at heart :) But I’m trying to be a plotter because I actually want to finish an actual novel this time ^_^; My imagination gets distracted by other ideas, pantsering won’t help me finish them! T_T

How many years have you done the NaNo?

Zero. I am a NaNoWriMo virgin. This will be my first time.

What is your NaNoWriMo Origin Story?

I finally decided I will go finish a book and have it published. I stumbled into Authortubers in YouTube to get some writing tips and such, and there was mention of NaNoWriMo. (I also learned the terms pantser, plotter, and Authortube, among other things.)

Do you have any writing “lucky charms”? 

My black fleece blanket which I use as a cape. #dontjudgeme

What is your absolute favorite NaNoWriMo memory?

Discovering NaNoWriMo.

How do you pronounce NaNoWriMo? 

Na-No-RYE-Mo because of Authortube — they pronounce it that way!

PART TWO. . . PREP

What’s the name of your NaNoWriMo Project?

“The Moonseeker’s Medallion” is my tentative title.

What is your project’s genre?

Fantasy

Introduce us to your cast!

Because the names are by no means final, here are just a bunch of descriptions #heregoesnothing

A sorcerer king who, disturbed by an oracle, tries to invade or outright destroy certain castles of certain kingdoms.

A secret society of fighters or the like who wants to stop him.

The monarchs of the kingdoms the sorcerer king is attacking.

A few captains and commanders of certain armies.

Prince and princesses – the story’s main point of view will come from them (but not in first-person).

A character who doesn’t quite know what she is (but I do!).

What is your novel’s theme?

The main theme is supposedly about the price you pay for power, but that’s on the villain’s side. Since I’m planning to write it strictly from the point of view of the protagonists, I am still struggling a bit on the theme… or rather, how to phrase this theme.

What are your novel’s main settings?

Settings will have to be castles and battlefields and various different kingdoms because this story is essentially about a war.

Are you using any plotting/story structures for your project, or are you just winging it like the beautiful pixie that you are?

I already have little bits and pieces of the story from my writing when I was younger and after so many years of not touching it, I’m picking it up again.

I am definitely plotting it first. The winging will be in the details and storytelling.

What are some ways you prepare for The NaNo?

I have just finished a rough outline of my story (yay me! #plottermode) and I’m planning to hone that outline a little bit more.

What’s in your writing toolkit? (pictures are encouraged!)

It’s not much: laptop, mouse, notebook, pen. I am also using Scrivener.

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PART THREE. . . Inspiration

What was the initial inspiration for your NaNoWriMo novel?

At first, back in high school, I wanted to write a story about gods, basically a mythology of sorts. That time, in school, we were introduced to World Literature which involved Greek Mythology, so I got inspired.

Then somehow I thought about what conflicts or events could arise from their view of the mortal realm.

Then somehow I ended up imagining a story about humans in the mortal realm in relation to the gods.

Then somehow I ended up imagining a flashback of a particular character’s history about a great war involving that character’s kingdom. So, here we are.

See, this is why pantsing is not ideal for me when I’m trying to complete a story. So I’m going the plotter route this time :D

What’s your NaNoWriMo Novel’s Word Aesthetic?

sorcery, magic, soldiers, spies, fighters, warriors, legends, oracles, fire, ice, earth, wind, metal, light, crystal, kingdoms, royalty, council, woods, castles, medallion, moon, and so on…

Share your Pinterest boards and music playlists!

I don’t have them for my story, and now I’m thinking about making some…

What’s your absolute best advice to new (and old!) NaNoers?

How do I fight off writer’s block? Should I put off Netflix, movies, reading books, YouTube, games, and other distractions in November? What if I decide to revise and or remove an entire chapter or segment from my story? Do I go to Write-Ins? Would I be more productive there, or less productive?

Oh sorry, did you say advice? I thought you meant questions :P #totalnewbie

(Additional note: I have eaten my 3 cookies and I send my regards to Fanny, the familial bunny over there at Smudged Thoughts)

I would like to tag my friend absolute0 because he is the only person I have spoken to about NaNoWriMo and I don’t know if he is even planning to join :P In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little late to the party ^_^; (Forgive me for all these text emojis, I actually like using them for some reason…)

HERE IS THE CLEAN LIST

PART ONE. . . Get to know me

What is your NaNoWriMo Username?

Are you a plotter, pantser, plantser, or planter? (because you are actually a plant, but SHHHHHH. no one can know this.)

How many years have you done the NaNo? How many times have you won?

What is your NaNoWriMo Origin Story?

Do you have any writing “lucky charms”? (a stuffed dragon, a favorite pen, a paperclip that fills you with all of the inspiration???)

What is your absolute favorite NaNoWriMo memory?

How do you pronounce NaNoWriMo? (Na-No-RYE-Mo, or Na-No-REE-Mo?)

PART TWO. . . PREP

What’s the name of your NaNoWriMo Project?

What is your project’s genre?

Introduce us to your cast!

What is your novel’s theme?

What are your novel’s main settings?

Are you using any plotting/story structures for your project, or are you just winging it like the beautiful pixie that you are?

What are some ways you prepare for The NaNo? (mentally, physically, eating five bars of chocolate at once because #energy)

What’s in your writing toolkit? (pictures are encouraged!)

PART THREE. . . Inspiration

What was the initial inspiration for your NaNoWriMo novel?

What’s your NaNoWriMo Novel’s Word Aesthetic?

Share your Pinterest boards and music playlists!

What’s your absolute best advice to new (and old!) NaNoers?

 

 

And that is it for my blog post for today!