Status Update: Reign of the Fallen

Expected Publication Date: January 23, 2018

I started reading my e-ARC copy of Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh on Sunday….I am already 40% through it and that is while reading 6 other books and working full time!  I am loving this one – I want to be reading it all the time, I cannot put it down! Firstly, a big thank you to the publisher, Razorbill (Penguin Group – Penguin Young Readers Group) for providing me with an early copy. This could be up there in the running as one of my top books of 2018!

Reign of the Fallen is a YA Fantasy book with a female protagonist who is a master necromancer in her city. I am totally engrossed in the magic system of this book – I love the necromancers, the healers, the royalty, the shades, the deadlands…..I could go on and on. The characters are very likable – I have had my pulse raised, my heart crushed, my spirits soaring in anticipation….do yourself a favor, if you like YA, get yourself a copy of this book.  I know I will be buying a hard copy once it is released….I mean, look at the cover and with a story this intriguing, I will definitely want to read it again!

Happy Reading Lovies!

2018 Bookish Goals

Good morning bookworms!  Well, I am finally home and back with all of my books, which makes me very happy.  I watched a lot of ‘booktube’ while I was away on vacation and really enjoyed hearing about everyone’s book goals for the year, as well as their most anticipated reads. I wanted to put down my bookish goals for the year here; mainly so that I can hold myself accountable to what I write.

1. My Goodreads reading goal for the year is 62 books.  I should have no problem with this as my goal in 2017 was 50 books and I ended up reading 77. One of the things that boosted my number for the year was my introduction into audiobooks which I mentioned in an earlier post. My reason for not selecting a higher number for this year is that I have a lot of really large books on my TBR (to be read list), including It by Stephen King, continuing the Dark Tower series (next up, book 5 which is 700 pages), reading book 4 in the Song of Ice and Fire Series and a possible reread of The Stand. I know those will all take up a lot of time so I didn’t want to set my overall goal too high.

2. Focus more on my blogging and reviewing every book I read instead of just rating them. It is easy to fall into the trap of just assigning a rating to a book once you finish it on Goodreads, thinking you’ll go back at a later time to write a review and then forgetting about it.  I did that a lot this year so I would like to get better at being sure to review all of my books upon completion. I have started carrying a notebook where I take notes while reading if I have any thoughts or feelings on a story that I want to be able to remember. I am hoping this will help me come review writing time.

3. Book ban and #unreadshelfproject2018 – so this is a big one and will probably be my most difficult goal. I have put myself on a book ban until I clean up my unread shelves (see photo above for example of my cluttered bookshelves)! I buy so many books but then get distracted when new releases come out – I am participating in the unreadshelfproject2018 on bookstagram to try to help me clean up this issue. I have put myself on a book buying ban until April 1st to help this process along.  It is so hard, you guys! I want all the books! A friend of mine had given me a Barnes & Noble gift card for Christmas so I allowed myself to use that yesterday (that was my one exception) and now I am done until April (sheds tears of sorrow…..).

4. Start booktube channel by the end of the year! You read right, I am planning to bring megsbookrack to YouTube with my very own booktube channel. I need to get a studio space set up for that, etc., so am hoping to be able to begin on October 1, 2018. That is the current goal – mostly because I need to be able to do a Spooktober TBR video! Everyone knows the best month to read is October!

So, those are the goals I have set for myself for this year. What are your bookish goals? I would love to hear them!

Cheers and happy reading!

Review: Wonderblood by Julia Whicker

Expected Publication Date: April 2018

Firstly, hello bookworld! I have been very absent lately on what I believed to be a 1-week Christmas vacation that has since turned into a 2-week Christmas vacation.  Yes, you read right!  Unexpected 2-week vacation. Due to inclement weather I have been unable to get back home – part of the joy of living on an island!

Okay, back to the topic – Wonderblood by Julia Whicker! I finished Wonderblood late last night and needed to sleep on it before I could formulate my thoughts into a coherent review. Firstly, this is a debut novel for Julia Whicker and although this book did not blow me away, I would certainly be interested in other books (unrelated to this one) that she may write in the future. I enjoyed her writing style a lot which was not just agreeable but at times absolutely lyrical.

At the beginning of the book, literally the first 10 to 15-pages, there was some content that almost made me give it up. It did not grab me at all and in fact certain elements of it turned me off. It is an adult sci-fi novel that is set in a very gritty, very harsh post-apocalyptic wasteland. There are triggers for abuse, child rape, sibling incest and/or sibling molestation; I could see this causing a lot of people to turn away very quickly from this book. If you can get by that, it does get a lot better and I am glad that I stuck with it.

The middle is where I feel the story is at its strongest, with political intrigue and an interesting “religious” system. The story does take place in a future United States, which has had its population decimated by a mad cow-like disease – this story picks up in the aftermath of that although we never learn too much about the chain of events prior to the current action. Quite generally, it reminded me of Mad Max meets The Road.

One of my biggest disappointments for this book was the lack of character development. I came away just feeling blah about all of the characters – there were none that I related too or even felt that I knew enough about to care for in any way. If this were a start to a series (I am not sure if it is slated as a stand-alone or a series), I would not pick up the second book, really because I just do not care what happens to any of these characters. Additionally, I didn’t feel like the atmosphere was strong enough to make up for the lack of character development.

Mainly, I gave this three stars due to the writing style of the author and the unique ideas included in the world she was creating – for example, I loved that the characters worshiped NASA space shuttles and had Cape Canaveral as their holiest of sites – but the execution overall fell a little flat for me. Please note, I was given a copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to read it, comment on it and am excited to hear what other readers think of this story!