Sunday, 3 April 2016

Review || The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader #1) by Sandy Williams ★★☆☆☆
Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

I. Don't actually remember why I added this to my TBR in the first place. I'll be honest with you. Even as I started the audiobook, I went and reread the summary on here to see if it would spark some kind of recollection. And I've got nothing.

I don't know why I thought this would be somehow different from all the other urban fantasy shenanigans. But it really really wasn't. Which is fine, because once I realized that I stopped taking the book seriously at all and just laughed my way through it mostly.

I have tried to get along with urban fantasy in general, I really have. But in it's most common of forms, it is just not for me.

So there was a lot of eyerolling at the intentional descriptions of muscled chests and all that other nonsense. And a main character who is self-aware enough to recognize she probably has Stockholm Syndrome, but then brushes it off because 'oh well, he's hot, amirite?' (I might be paraphrasing there, but.)

And oh my god that agonizing love triangle. Please just stop.

That said, if you're a fan of the genre, this book has some things going for it. I especially liked how chapter 1 drops you straight in and forces you to hit the ground running. It explains the magic and politics in bite-sized pieces as needed, but it sweeps you into the action immediately. And there is a lot of action in this book--and I think it was fairly well written to boot. And the worldbuilding was definitely interesting.

I listened to this on audiobook and am kinda "meh" about the narrator. It's the same woman that did Rebel Belle, though minus the attempted Southern accent. And with more characters to voice in this book it's clear her range is limited. All her male characters sound the same. I don't know if she even tried to do different female voices. Not that it was excruciating to listen to or anything, but I wasn't particularly impressed by it.

Anyway. The moral of the story here is: the next time you see me add an urban fantasy book to my TBR, please feel free to hit me with something. What was I thinking?

Saturday, 2 April 2016

March Wrap Up & April TBR

Whoo-boy. I did a metric TONNE of reading this month. Including 2 books in one day, which is a first for me. But I've been in a reading mood and I've read some really awesome series and books this month!


Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner #2) by Lynn Flewelling 
Traitor's Moon (Nightrunner #3) by Lynn Flewelling 
Kings Rising (Captive Prince #3) by C.S. Pacat ★ 1/2
YOLO Juliet by Brett Wright 
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin ★ 1/2
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers ★ 1/2
 The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose 
Glimpses (Nightrunner #3.5) by Lynn Flewelling 
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery 
Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones 
The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader #1) by Sandy Williams 
Half A King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie ★ 1/2
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray ★ 1/2
Gated (Gated #1) by Amy Christine Parker ★ 1/2

GOODREADS: 34/50 [+14]
ALPHABET: 17/26 [+5]
SERIES: 3 complete [+2]; 11 ongoing [-1]

Nine Circles of Hell Book Tag
Series Review || Nightrunner #1-3
Top 5 Wednesday || DNFs
Intimidating TBR Book Tag
Top 10 Tuesday || Recent 5 Star Reads

Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
Heaven's Queen (Paradox #3) by Rachel Bach
Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar #3) by Mercedes Lackey

Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray

Why yes I am going to put Winter on my TBR every month until I manage to convince myself to actually read the darn thing. I'm procrastinating with the end of this series. It's really getting bad.

With the exception of the second Firebird novel, I think I might try to just read off my bookshelves this month. I know I'm going to say that now and then fail miserably, but! I think I could probably make it happen. I have lots to choose from, and quite a few that I've been meaning to get to soon.

And that was my month! What did you read in March? Let's chat in the comments!

Friday, 1 April 2016

February/March Book Haul

Okay, so I bought a lot of books. But they all still fit my book buying rules, so I only feel a little guilty. And, to be fair, I've actually read quite a few of these already, so there isn't a huge addition to my TBR pile.


Honor's Knight and Heaven's Queen are books 2 and 3 in the the Paradox trilogy. I've read book 2 already and am planning in started the third book soon. I'd highly recommend this series if you like science fiction!

Truthwitch and Passenger were both January new releases, and I bought them as my "just because" books for having read 5 (though really 10, since there's two of them) before I bought 1. I really want to get to them soon, I don't know why I haven't yet!


Originally I'd read Captive Prince and Prince's Gambit from the library, but after book 2 I knew I needed to buy the trilogy. I read Kings Rising basically in one sitting the day it arrived in my mailbox and I regret nothing.

Another library read, but I devoured the first three books pretty much back-to-back. And then decided that I adored these characters so much I needed to own the books for myself. I'm glad I caved and bought them too, because it looks like my library went on a serious purge after I was done with the first two books and have removed them from circulation!

Glimpses is a short story collection set in the same universe. I bought the ebook version of it, but figured that was worth including here!

These two were my next read 5 buy 1 acquisitions. Though I'm still waiting on The Next Together because I ordered it from the Book Depository and who knows when it will arrive.

So all in all, yeah, a few books. But! Only like 5 of them are currently unread, so? That's like a win, right? And hey, I did stick to my rules!

I did a count on my bookshelf of the books I've acquired since Christmas and I've read 60% of them already. Which... might not seem like something to brag about, but I'm actually really proud of myself! I usually buy and buy and buy and let the poor books languish on my shelves for far too long. So this is progress!

What books have you bought or read recently? Let's chat in the comments!