Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
NYLA, 2014 - audio book owned in personal collection
The Innkeeper Chronicles, book one

Over the course of March and April, I listened to the first three books in the Innkeeper Chronicles series.  Ilona Andrews has been recommended to me over and over and I'd read two books from her Kate Daniels series and two from the Hidden Legacy trilogy and enjoyed them all, so since I had these in my Audible collection, I decided to give them a shot as part of my 2018 Books I Already Own Challenge.

This series is now among my favorites, as well, and I will definitely be devouring whatever else Ilona Andrews does in this universe.  Dina DeMille is a fabulous main character and her growth, plus the world building, over the three books is great.  I was wholly invested in the romance, the danger, and the emotions of the characters as they attempted to thwart one disaster after another.

I devoured the first book then dove straight into the second, Sweep in Peace (NYLA, 2015). Characters that seem to be one-offs turn up again and often in very important ways. It was stellar how Andrews managed to take the events of one book and tie them into new important events in the second and even third books! (One Fell Sweep, NYLA, 2017) The alliances created between Dina, her Inn, and the guests become important ties that influence galactic events.  Strength and friendships are steadily built over time.  Heartaches are revealed and (at least partially) healed.

I'm extremely excited to see where Andrews takes these characters as the series continues!  Recommended to readers who enjoy urban fantasy, high fantasy, strong female characters, and science fiction.

Monday, April 30, 2018

April Challenge Wrap Up Post

2018 Books I Already Own Challenge
Hello fellow readers! Though April felt like an extremely short month and I found the weather wholly depressing, it was actually a pretty successful reading month for me! Giving myself a little more leeway in my books choices definitely felt more natural so I think in June I will use this method again to help me work through my 2018 Books I Already Own Challenge.

Here's what I read in April 2018:
Audio books I Own
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (review post)
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Physical books I Own 
Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (review post)
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

CHEAT BOOK: Everless by Sara Holland

Required Reading:
(Work) Dead and Breakfast by Kate Kingsbury
(Professional Review) #Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid
(Professional Review) The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delaney
(received from author for review) Guns, Rations, Rigs & the Undead by K.E. Radke
(received from author for review) How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

I have two more books, one a nonfiction physical book and one fiction audiobook that I'm almost finished with, but not quite, so those will be finished in May.  I tried to squeeze them in today, but there just isn't enough time! LOL.  Oh well...

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to May, as I decided to give myself an entire CHEAT MONTH.  So many new books from series I love are coming out this month that I couldn't figure out how to resist so I'm just gonna go for it and get back down to challenge business in June.  I'll post my list of expected reads in the next few days.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Folk of the Air, book one
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2018
ARC owned in personal collection from BEA 2017

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Oh, how do I love my dark faeries. And no one does dark faeries quite as well as Holly Black.

For about six months this book was lost in a pile of books I'd gotten at the Book Expo. Just lingering on the floor in my "library room" forgotten. I cannot believe it took until the book was actually published for me to remember exactly how excited I was that Holly Black was going back to writing the dark fae that I LOVED so much in her earliest books!! (If you haven't read her Modern Faerie Tales series, start with Tithe)

After so much hype online in the last few months as bookstagrammers have been absolutely lauding this book I finally convinced myself that since I owned the ARC I was not stepping outside of my reading challenge parameters and allowed myself to dive in. *happy sigh*

Jude is the type of strong/fragile female character I love the most. She is weak, technically, in the land of the Fae. She recognizes her weakness and works to overcome it in whatever ways she possibly can, using all of the tools - smarts, manipulations, physical strength - that she can pull into her arsenal. AND SHE LARGELY SUCCEEDS. Seeing a character who has tremendous odds to overcome gain even the smallest victories just makes my heart sing. And Holly Black is a master at weaving from a scene where she is bullied and made small right into one where she outmaneuvers whatever foe she faces just then.

I cannot wait for the second book, The Wicked King, due out in 2019.
Recommended for readers who like dark fantasy and especially dark fae.