Books I Finished in May 2019
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
As always, V.E. Schwab has a wonderful way of creating complex characters and compelling fantasy worlds that are so real you feel like you could step through the pages and walk right alongside them. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite fantasy authors as she writes these worlds with a fantastic balance of descriptive, action and emotional scenes. Click the book cover for more.
Synopsis: It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession, his path crossed with Delilah Bard, Prince Rhy was wounded, the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift--back into Black London. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games--an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries--a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
Whispers of Nowhere by Shannon Rohrer
Overall, I enjoyed this book as it had an interesting plot filled with some Greek mythology, Gods and daemons. The character development and arcs were good and added to the overall plot. There’s a lot of action and a lot of things are revealed, but it’s written in an easier way to read so you don’t get lost in the chaos. Click the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: When Gwen’s father gets home late from work, it’s just another typical night for the museum curator’s daughter. Still, there’s something strange about the artifacts he’s brought home this time, something so unique that she can’t help but touch them. In a blinding flash, the artifacts vanish, and a mysterious man appears in their place. Only he’s not a man at all. Forneus is a daemon, an intermediary between gods and man—and the guardian of the very artifacts Gwen has just unwittingly sent back to their places of origin around the globe. Gwen doesn’t have time to absorb this before a new figure emerges: Phenex, the human-personification of the legendary bird, himself. The next thing she knows, she’s being whisked away from the comfort of her home into a world beyond her wildest imaginings.
Bad Blood Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Well, sh*t. That’s how I feel after just finishing this book. To be honest, I had never heard of the Theranos scam until my book club chose this book to read. And boy am I so glad this book was chosen. John Carreyrou does an amazing job of presenting different employees’ accounts and slowly piecing together every lie that added to the fraud of this company. I was hooked from the beginning and constantly shaking my head. Click on the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at The Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company's value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
“F**k.” That’s what I said out loud after finishing this book. A bit uncouth, however that’s all my brain could fire off while dealing with the emotional upheaval of finishing this book. Because for 47 hours (I did an audio version and yes it was 2 full days, ~1,400 pages for those of you wondering), I was so thoroughly entertained and engrossed in the life and revenge of Edmond Dantes, I wasn’t sure what else to do or how to come back to reality. Click on the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: In 1815 Edmond Dantès, a young and successful merchant sailor who has just recently been granted the succession of his erstwhile captain Leclère, returns to Marseille to marry his Catalan fiancée Mercédès. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.
Books I’m Currently Reading
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
I love V.E. Schwab’s books (Vicious is my fav so far) and I’ve really enjoyed this series so far A Darker Shade of Magic and see above for my review of the second book. So far, this book is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what happens to all these characters and yet, I don’t want to leave them.
Synopsis: The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE? WHO WILL RISE? WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL? And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.
Books I Was Reading Last May - 2018
When Evil Comes to Play (Veil Diaries #5) by B.L. Brunnemer
I’ve loved almost every bit of this series and this installment is definitely one of my favorites from the seven so far with When the Dead Have it Easy being my absolute favorite. I don’t have a full review for this one or the others (I need to get on that, bad Meadow!) but I only recommend it to those interested in YA paranormal romance with a reverse harem twist.
Synopsis: My name is Alexis, though everyone calls me Lexie. I’m a Necromancer. I see the dead, talk to them, and help them move on. Well, I used to. Now, with the Veil closed, I’m the only way for a soul to cross over. It’s wearing me out, and according to my doctor, it’s going to killing me. I don’t know how to tell the guys. I’m working on it, but there is so much going on right now; Isaac’s acting strange, Ethan’s worried that his brother isn’t eating or sleeping, Asher’s dad is back, and Tara is still snooping around my bedroom. My symptoms are getting worse, and we’re running out of time. For everyone.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I wish I could say I enjoyed this book, I was hoping I would but I just did not. I was continuously annoyed by Cheryl’s naivete, but really it almost tipped the edge of being stupidness. Deciding to do a hike that is listed as one of the toughest when you’ve never hiked before is ridiculous, even if you aren’t in the best state of mind. Although amazing she lived through this adventure, it was hard to not want to scream at her through the entire book.
Synopsis: At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
A Heart of Shame (The Redemption Saga 2) by Kristen Banet
This and the last book of the series were the worst in my opinion of all 5. It was just a bit slow and at times repetitive. Overall, I'd recommend the series to those who enjoy the RH genre, but I do wish this book and the ending were better to make the series as a total a more enjoyable one.
Synopsis: Sawyer Matthews is a retired and presumed-dead assassin. Ripped from her life of shadows and secrets, she’s decided to gamble it all and accept a new chapter in her life—one that may lead to a brighter future. New beginnings come with new problems, though, and she’s always lived by the belief that she doesn’t deserve of redemption—a painful truth Sawyer has held in her heart for years.
The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden
Oh man, just like in April when I read the first of this series, I wish I was reading it for the first time all over again this year since I’m so in love with everything about this series! Arden did it again and wrote yet another beautiful, magical and enchanting story set in medieval Russia. She perfectly mixes historical and magical, depicting the upheaval of the time, politics, invaders and a feudal system but also entwining fairy tales, spirits and creatures that haunt or protect this land. Click the cover for more.
Synopsis: Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home. She soon finds herself called upon to help defend the cit of Moscow when it comes under siege. Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to a convent or allow her sister to make her a match of marriage, both confine her to a tower. Vasya instead chooses adventure, and sets out disguised as a young boy. When a battle earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces and protect her family, even as she realizes only she can stop the mysterious forces threatening his kingdom.
Don’t Cheat Me (Nora Jacobs #2) by Jackie May
This series is still being written, but so far I’ve enjoyed the 3 that have some out. The characters are well developed and it’s a good mix of action, friendship and budding romances in this reverse harem paranormal series. I am a bit upset one of my favorite characters is becoming more of a friend rather than boyfriend, but overall I’d recommend this to people interested in this genre.
Synopsis: One month after Nora’s violent induction to the dangerous supernatural side of Detroit, she’s finally settling into her new life as the underworld’s token human. All she wants to do is mind her own business, enjoy her new friends, and stay safe. But that’s easier said than done when she’s such an enigma to everyone around her. Thanks to her unique psychic abilities, she’s garnered a reputation for being mysterious and powerful. When the alpha of a local werewolf pack asks her to help him figure out who is stealing from him, she can’t say no, even though getting involved in pack business could have deadly repercussions.