Books I desire by Holly Black – June 2021

I use my Book Depository account to keep and organize several different wishlists for the books that strike my fancy or I plan to buy. My book buying plans are mostly smaller book buying sprees since I buy books several times a year by ordering them from Book Depository store. I rarely buy books in Croatian anymore. I started to buy used books in English more often in the last year or so because I have found some cool people who are selling relatively new and interesting books in English through Facebook groups. Few times a year I get into my Kindle and buy some books that are up to 5$ and I find interesting. I have few authors whose work I follow and buy in Kindle format and sometimes I indulge in titles that would be too expensive to buy in other formats. There are no bookshops in my area that sell books in English that I can walk into and buy books on the spot! When I was younger I opted to buy paperback editions mostly since they were easier to store and usually cost less. Lately I have developed the taste for pretty hardcover editions and now I weigh my options carefully before deciding to buy books.

Over a year ago I made a very similar post on this topic – Wishlist Books! You can check it out HERE. From the six books I highlighted in the post I bought five! This sixth book is out of print and it is still on my wish list. In the meantime I discovered a lot of interesting authors I wanted to try out and some new books. I have reservations about reading the books everybody else is raving about at first. I like to check them out at my own pace but when I find an author I go for it in a rather hedonistic manner. Leigh Bardugo and her books are just one more recent example for this.

Holly Black Books!

I did not have a taste or time for reading the same books more than once. Lately I keep coming back to some authors and stories. Holly Black and her stories of faeries have made me want to read the same books over and over. I have gotten her first two books in The Folk of Air trilogy back in 2019. Since then I have been hooked and now I am in the progress of getting the hardcover editions of all three books and getting my hands on other books connected to the same world of faeries. So far I have the third book in hardcover and have ordered the second one as well. Only the first one is missing to have all three in hardcover edition after which I will sell paperback editions. Here are some of the titles I want to get my hands on!

The Modern Faerie Tales : Tithe; Valiant; Ironside by Holly Black

This 800 pages beauty collects three stories set in the world of The Folk of Air I love reading about! I was checking out for the hardcover editions but can’t seem to find it. I am not particulary fond of a book this size in paperback edition and it is making me hesitate.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

One of the reasons I am slow to get these is the need to decipher various editions and their sizes before actually buying the books. My OCD does not like it when the books from the same series are different size and since I am late to buy the hardcover editions of these I must thread carefully to get the right edition that goes well with other books I already have. The edition that is easiest for me to get is completely different than the rest and I must make some hard decisions financially if I want them all to match…

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Another of Holly Black books I would like to read and another one with edition sizes all over the place. It is annoying and exhausting, not to mention totally demotivating when the quest to find the right edition is so difficult! This one has vampires and I am intrigued at how it turns out!

Book of Night by Holly Black

This is the latest book of the author announced for next year. It is a book meant for adult audiences and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I am slowly building my own hype for this one! I like the premise of a underdog character on the run and deceitful types of magic. It should be urban fantasy mystery which is exactly the type of a thing I like!

Fantastic Hope – Book Review

Fantastic Hope

edited by

Laurell K. Hamilton

and William McCaskey

★★★★

Expectation

I was very interested in reading these urban fantasy stories and was mostly in for it for some of my favorite authors. This is a relatively new book for me since it is published earlier this year and I managed to fit it into my N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon for August! Also I was anticipating to read some great stories with characters I already know and love. Stories I was most interested in were Asil and the Not-Date by Patricia Briggs and Zombie Dearest by Laurell K. Hamilton. All the rest of the authors were mostly unknown to me. When I read the foreword I was pleasantly surprised by the general theme of the stories being something happy and something to make the readers feel good. We need more of those kind of stories in the world!

Summary

  • Twilight Falls by Jonathan Maberry ★★★★★

Lately I’ve been watching some spy thriller conspiracy TV dramas and this story fit right up that alley. I was surprised at how much special operatives language and protocols felt familiar to me. I enjoyed this short story quite a bit! It was a good opening into the collection.

  • Not in this Lifetime by Sharon Shinn ★★★

I must admit this story was a bit cheesy for me. Too many things were too convenient in the end. I liked the little group of characters a lot though.

  • Mr. Positive, The Eternal Optimist by Larry Correia ★★★★★

This story has everything I like in my urban fantasy: some supernatural elements, some humor and something for me to connect with. The tone of the story is very endearing and I liked the action parts as well.

  • No Greater Love by Kacey Ezell ★★★★

I was surprised by religious content of this story. It made me thread very carefully. I ended even more surprised by liking this story a lot.

  • Broken Son by Griffin Barber  ★★★★

Science fiction and space themed stories are really not my thing. But this one was really nice. It reminded me a bit at Vorkosigan saga by Lois MacMaster Bujold. I genuienuly liked this story against all odds.

  • Heart of Clay by Kevin J. Anderson ★★★

I could describe this story as a really wild ride. There were too many supernatural elements and quirks for me to be able to really enjoy this story. I liked the humor that reminded me of works of Robert Asprin. I can point out some of the characters and ideas that were really engaging but as a whole I thought it was a bit too much.

  • Reprise by John G. Hartness ★★★★★

So far this story was the easiest to get into. Considering I have never read anything by this author I might have to change that in the future! It’s a vampire themed and intriguing. I loved the slightly melancholly feel of the story combined with demons and slightly changed alternate history setting.

  • Asil and the Not-Date by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

This is one of the two stories in this collection I was most interested about. It is from Alpha and Omega book series. First, it was written by a favorite author and second, it is set in a world full of lovable characters I already know. Asil is not exactly a favorite character but it is quite endearing and releateable for me. I was scared this story would be a sappy one but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t. Loved the ending!

  • In the Dust by Robert E. Hampson ★★★

Style of this story was more a series of short scenes than a traditional short story. Even with all that the emotions and the characters were very well done. This one is a bit science fictiony and thst is the only reason it was not that good for me.

  • Fallen by L. E. Modesitt, Jr ★

Finally a story I did not like at all. The theme, the execution, the flow – it was all very unsatisfactory to read. The little screenshots from history were not picked out with care at all. Pseudo religious content left a really bad aftertaste for me.

  • Working Conditions by Patrick M. Tracy ★★★★

This story is an excellent example of a sweet urban fantasy vampire story. And, yes! I am biased when it comes to vampires in urban fantasy! I like the simplicity and the kinda sad theme. It was very light and made me want to read more about the setting and the vampires in it.

  • Last Contact by M. C. Sumner ★★★★

There was someting about this story that I liked and I can not pintpoint what it was. Theme is thoughtfull and has some aliens in it.

  • Ronin by William McCaskey ★★★★

This one is a tear jerker! The story is a lovely blend of urban fatasy and harsh reality. It was a very endearing story.

  • SKJOLDMOĐIR by Michael Z. Williamson and Jessica Schlenker ★★★★★

Earlier this year I’ve read two different interpretations of nordic myths and this story made me want to read more of them. T has a certain epic quality mixed with subtle pathos of the main characters. I liked it a lot!

  • Bonds of Love and Duty by Monalisa Foster  ★★★★★

Another story that surprised me in a good way! The theme was totally science fiction but it I loved it. It is definitely something I could keep on reading.

  • Zombie Dearest by Laurell K. Hamilton  ★★★★★

This story fits into Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series. I was very interested in this story and was not disappointed! I loved that this story has a little JC in it! Finally it is something that connects to one of the previous books. The idea that it represents is quite outrageous though. Loved reading it!

Conclusion

There were sixteen stories in this collection and about half of them were really excellent for me. Only one story felt underwhelming for me. All the rest were good and mostly surprised me in a good way. I found a few authors I will keep an eye out in my future reading and my two favorites were excellent. Zombie Dearest by Laurell K. Hamilton was especially bittersweet to read since the new book in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series – Sucker Punch, just came out and I will have to wait until next year for mas market paperback to come out to get it and read it! I am glad I got this collection!

May Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – May 2020

This May I have read:

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan ★★★★

Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee ★★★★★

Indiscretions (Scandalous Seductions #2) by Madelynne Ellis ★★★★

The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris ★★

The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth ★★★

Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★

A Most Unsuitable Earl (Marriage By Scandal #2) by Ruth Ann Nordin ★★★★

Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan, John Rocco ★★★★

Cable Volume 1: Shining Path by David Tischman, Igor Kordej ★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read? 

This month I have read ten books altogether. Three were in digital form and the other seven can be seen on the picture above. I am happy to keep my reading in double digits!

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in May? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

There were a lot of good books I read in May but the best for me was Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee. This kind of blend of traditional fantasy setting and some urban elements matched very well with erotica. I wish I could find more books like this one. Anything that is mainstream fantasy is mostly PG13 and most of all who have erotic elements turn out to be nothing but smut written by fanfiction type writers who are annoyed by the lack of sex in the fantasy books in general. This book has it all I and I loved that!

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

There were two books this May that kinda fell flat for me: The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris and Cable Volume 1: Shining Path by David Tischman, Igor Kordej. For The Testament of Loki I just could not seem to find a character that I could connect with. Loki seemed a bit watered down to me and the rest of the characters could have used a bit more backstory and depth for me to start caring and get myself more immersed into the story. The ending of the book seemed a bit psychedelic and kinda bland at the same time. The whole book in general seemed like an interlude to something else and not very good on it’s own. And in case of Cable Volume 1: Shining Path the story was good. I had some problems with following all the action. I kept feeling like I was missing something and had to catch up. I have some issues the artwork. Kordej’s works are very recognizable with chunky characters and muscles. What bugged me the most was actually the coloring and I really did not like how it looked with illustrators firm and dark lines.

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

For the month of May I decided to try out the Medieval-A-Thon reading challenge for the first time – you can check out my original post for it HERE. I will write a more detailed post about my experience with it soon but it is safe to say I am happy with how it all went.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

I am actually very pleased with the reading I have done in finishing and continuing some book series in May! I finished two book series and one of those was a long time coming. I finally made some progress with The Trials of Apollo book series and I can hope to get to the next book soonish as well. I started out one new book series I plan to continue and that would be Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell.

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Instead of the books I would recommend the author Rainbow Rowell for her quirky yet relatable writing style and a reading challenge as creative as Medieval-A-Thon. I loved little updates on Instagram and opportunities for some extra rewards and story plots to further my reading!

Final thoughts on May 2020 reading

At first I thought May was going to be a slow reading month after doing the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April but after finding Medieval-A-Thon reading challenge I was hooked and a bit scared how will I manage it since I started a week later. I managed to exceed all my expectation and have fun reading some books that were on my TBR for a very long time. I’m glad for challenging myself this way. Only thing that is curbing my enthusiasm right now is that I made zero progress with my book club assignment which is due next week.

Looking forward to a fun a and more relaxed reading in June 🙂

Shifting Shadows – Book Review

IMG_20191218_094509.jpg

Shifting Shadows

by Patricia Briggs

★★★★★

Expectation

I’ve taken my time reading this short story collection. For years I owned it I only read two stories and one of those I did read I kept coming back to more than once. Every time I read a new Mercyverse book I get really excited and want to read more. Sadly my waiting time between the books sometimes extends for over a year since I buy mass market paperback editions with US publisher covers. This can sometimes influence my reading interest. Last Mercyverse book I’ve read was earlier this year – Burn Bright of the Alpha & Omega book series.

IMG_20191218_094543

Summary

This time I decided to read all the stories from the first one. The first story kinda gave me trouble since it set the pace for all the others. In comparison to the other stories, this one is a longer and kinda darker. All the stories have some heartwarming elements among the darker themes and characters, but the first one ended a bit frustratingly to me. And this I believe is the reason I had trouble to keep reading the stories in order. The stories are also set in a timeline with the book series. They mostly follow characters that don’t get to tell the stories from their point of view in the both book series – Mercedes Thompson book series and Alpha & Omega book series. Notable exceptions are: Alpha and Omega story that is an introduction to Alpha & Omega book series and the Hollow story which is a short story with Mercy as the main character.

  1. Silver – Melancholy but worth it! This short insight into Bran and Samuel’s past raised more questions than it actually answered.
  2. Fairy Gifts – I loved the angsty feel of this story. The characters had a very short page time but seemed so alive to me. It was short and sweet.
  3. Grey – Loved it. Kinda romantic vampire theme. Awesome read for October and November!
  4. Seeing Eye – This story reminded me how much I enjoy the author’s writing style. The story was full of anticipation for me. I had forgotten how these characters fit into the Mercy Thompson universe. Their intro story was bittersweet. I loved it. I would love to read more on them.
  5. Alpha and Omega – I first read this story in On the Prowl collection years ago. It was an amazing introduction to a new series. Since then I’ve came back to reading this story many times. There is something about it that makes it special for me. For a very long time this story has been an only story I’ve read in Shifting Shadows collection.
  6. The Star of David – I sometimes forget that the world the author created is so rich in supernatural elements and the Wizard in this story took me a little by surprise. The story was kinda melancholy but full of positivity.
  7. Roses in Winter – I’m glad that Kara got some spotlight but reading about Asil was a pleasure in on itself. It was an experience to revisit Asil as a character especially since he’s been having more appearances in Alpha and Omega series as well. It has also been great to see how Bran runs the packs.
  8. In red, with pearls – Warren is such a lovable character. This story had me expecting some noir detective plot. I thought the story was very intriguing.
  9. Redemption – There are so many opposites about Ben and how his character reacts. I enjoyed this story. The IT theme was cool and I loved it.
  10. Hollow – From all the stories this one seemed a bit unpolished. I guess all the other characters were so much engaging to read since they were presented form a different perspective. This is the only story that has a character of Mercy as a leading character. I guess I expect longer and more complicated stories when Mercy is involved.

Two bonus scenes:

Silver Borne bonus with Samuel and Ariana was a pleasure to read. I kinda missed not being able to read more about them getting together again. A background info on them just going off on a honeymoon was definitely not enough.

Night Broken bonus with Adam and Coyote with Mercy in the hospital was unbelievably sweet!

IMG_20191218_094618

Conclusion

It took me by surprise how easily I can get into these stories and how a completely unknown character can seem so close. These characters are so easy to relate to and to understand their motivation. I think this collection serves to make a rich supernatural world the author has built even better and more layered. It is great to see how much effort the author puts in all her characters. I loved this short story collection and I’m glad I finally read it! Another thing that surprised me that I loved all the stories!

I have two new books from Mercyverse to look forward to:

Storm Cursed ( Mercy Thompson Series book 11)

Smoke Bitten ( Mercy Thompson Series book 12)

I’ve pre-ordered Storm Cursed and the mass market edition I go for is coming out in by the end of January next year. Smoke Bitten is being published in March as a hardcover edition and I will be waiting for it to come out as a mass market paperback probably sometime next year…

Clipboard

Books turned into TV series hype!

Blog-GrishaNflix

The latest book series that have been announced to be turned into a TV series by Netflix is The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo also known as The Grisha Trilogy. Now, I must admit I have heard of this author and these books; but in the sea of other books and book series, this one just got lost as one of the many new books that I hear about. And these books aren’t even that new – the first book of the trilogy was published in 2012!

grisha-series.jpg

What got my attention is the news it will be turned into a TV series by Netflix and the casting news that included Ben Barnes. I have no clue what is the character “General Kirigan” that he is supposed to be playing. I tried a sample of first five chapters download on the Kindle and I liked it quite a bit! In those sample chapters there is a fan favorite character named The Darkling and some portals and news refer to Darkling as being the role Ben Barnes will be playing. I am interested and confused at the same time. Most of the other cast members I had to look up and was not familiar with their previous work. But to be fair I have only heard about some of the characters from various Booktube videos.

shadow-and-bone

I was wondering on buying the Kindle edition of the first book Shadow and Bone since the price is amazingly low for a YA mainstream bestseller that has just been announced to be turned into Netflix show. Very tempting though it was I decided that I would probably want a paper copy and the rest of the series as well. This lead to another bookish shopping spree I will be writing more about when the books arrive.

tmp_nr3wpR_463687e69c53b276_Grisha_Trilogy.original

I have no problems getting into the hype for some cool book series that is expanding by getting a TV series, a board game or any other non book medium. I like being a fan of things. I enjoy the happy and exciting emotions I get caught into because of a good story and fun characters. I have embraced my consumer role in being excited for promo videos, action figures, fan theories and rants. I will be enjoying the hype train all the way for this and I hope the TV series will be a success and the books will be popular enough to be translated to many languages and read a lot. I’m looking forward to an adventure in adapting the books to a TV series format with all the little annoying differences that some of the book fans will obsess about. And most of all I am looking forward to a great new story and amazing new characters I will get to meet along the way.

giphy

Vampire Academy – Series Review

 

IMG_20190923_111435

Vampire Academy Series

by Richelle Mead

  1. Vampire Academy ★★★★

  2. Frostbite ★★★★★

  3. Shadow Kiss ★★★★★

  4. Blood Promise ★★★★★

  5. Spirit Bound ★★★★

  6. Last Sacrifice ★★★★

Expectation

I started reading this book series as a part of my Summer reading challenge and a project for reading more of the books I own. Only the first book in the series was a part of the reading challenge and I have deliberately left it for the last book in the challenge in case I decide to read the rest of the series. Good thing I did!

vampire-academy-book-1

 

Sometimes I get put off by the books everyone else is reading or thinks they are great! That is part of the reason I avoided this book series for so long. I got the books sometime last year at a library book sale out of town. When I saw how cheap they were and that they are in excellent condition as a set I decided to buy them. Worst case scenario –  I have many friends who would love to have them in case I don’t like them!

23bfa94d5d334dc98509af8911ec5356

When I started I did not have any high expectations and I approached the book series as a way to catch up with some pop culture references. I am usually a fan of YA urban fantasy and I had a vague memory of a movie being not so good.

Summary

I am not a fan of the covers of Croatian editions and covers with faces of young people in general. While I usually love to enjoy the book I’m reading both by looking at the cover design and materials it is made from, the books I was reading were the cheap editions one could get in general stores or kiosks. I tried not to be bothered by that and I mostly succeeded.

vamp_academy_covers

I was pleasantly surprised with the first book and in two weeks time I quickly managed to read trough the whole six books of the series! I rated all the books quite high with  four and five stars out of five total. This puts the series general score at four and a half stars which is a big thing for me to do. The main reason for this is that I was mostly very pleased with how the books had a dramatic and at times even very sexual appeal without being outright dirty or offensive in sexual descriptions. I appreciated the the author did not use the vile curtain down and pretended that sex had nothing to do with real life or her story like some do. I see it as vital part of our lives and while many do not want to admit this – many of our life choices are heavily influenced by our sexual experiences and preferences. I was even impressed with the authors ability to make things fluid and believable – both the good and the bad.

tumblr_n4ng0jjSTb1qbti6eo1_250

There were many taboo topics hinted in the books. From unhealthy and even illegal relationships to privacy boundaries and honesty issues. Some of these resonated with me and I did not expect this to happen while reading a YA fantasy series since I do consider myself an adult and have read books in the YA category I was unable to understand from that point of view anymore. Some of the books of the series were very dark and I was shocked by how dark they got. The drama in the books was very high and I was impressed more than once.

VAMPIRE ACADEMY

I watched the move again and was actually mad at how much they twisted it. The comedic approach did not go well with the actual setting in the books. It seemed like the director or the producers could not take the theme seriously but they still wanted to make money. Only thing I really liked in the movie was the actress Zoey Deutch and her portrayal of Rose Hathaway. I had some issues getting the actor who played Dimitri out of my vision of the character. His role was much more physical in the books because of his mostly stoic nature.

VA

I did not know there was a graphic novel edition but I should have not been surprised. I definitely would not mind reading those if I ever get my hands on them!

Conclusion

I loved that I read this book series. It made me rethink my occasional prejudice against mainstream favorites. Reading experience was a roller coaster of drama and emotion I had not trouble getting into. I even have a need to rant and vent about some of the characters and the ending itself but will have to refrain from that since the hype train for the books is long gone for most readers. I do recommend this book series and I’m even kinda sad I ended it so quickly!

Book series I almost finished reading

Blank Book Spine Row in Various Colours

I am a big fan of urban fantasy book series. I have many older (ten on more years from when they were first published) book series I was interested in. And then there are some I just added on my TBR without ever knowing if I will get the chance to read them at all.  Then there are some book series I have in my possession that I did not finish but for some reason stopped reading somewhere in the last few years or so. There are various reasons for not finishing a book series and while they may include not having the actual book to read to continue the series, it is usually something less straight forward than that…

giphy

Here are some book series I started reading and did not finish. After some time the reasons for not finishing them all blur into forgetting about them. And forget about them I did so much so that even continuing reading the series requires some research into what book did I read last!

IMG_20190824_165709

The Hollows by Kim Harrison

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison is a thirteen books long series I turned to when life got a bit hard to deal with. Sometimes these books served as a security blanket or something to hold onto when life pulled the ground under me. I even wrote about it in one of my Books that changed me posts. I own all thirteen books and have read all but the last one – The Witch With No Name. I distinctly remember enjoying the story and loving reading about the characters and I’m not really sure why I’m keeping myself from finishing this book series.

IMG_20190824_170210

Kushiel’s Universe series by Jacqueline Carey

Kushile’s Universe book series is a set of three trilogies that build upon one another and each has a different main protagonist. First three books are called Phedre’e Trilogy and the books four to six are called Imriel’s Trilogy by their respective main characters. The last three books and the only ones I did not read are called Naamah Trilogy by the name of the prominent deity Naamah in the books. While the first six books continue more or less directly and make a decent rounded story, the last trilogy is set some further time apart and after all the events of the previous books. In this one the main characters from first two trilogies are vaguely mentioned as their exploits have become an integral part of culture and history of this rich imagined world. For some reason I’m stuck on the last trilogy which I can feel staring at me from the shelves in a totally different edition design than the first two and they even might be a little angry I put them on a different shelf apart from the rest…

IMG_20190824_170405

Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Iron Druid Chronicles was one of the rare book series I was reading together with my boyfriend. We both enjoyed it and he actually read maybe two books (I’m really not sure about the last book I’ve read) more than I did. But I read some of the short stories on Kindle and in some short story collections I got. I had to check on GR how many books in this book series is there at all and I’m still unsure which ones I’ve read. I know I have at least three books in my possession that I did not read from this series.

IMG_20190824_170839

Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

The Sookie Stackhouse book series was a recommendation I got from Amazon long before it was made into a popular TV show on HBO. Back then it was know as a Southern Vampire Mysteries and I was not too thrilled by that title. I ended enjoying the books more than I expected. It was one of the first book series I liked the UK editions design more than the US editions. When the TV show was popular I was glad it differed from the books so I can enjoy each separately and at my own leisure pace. But then they changed the design of the editions I was buying and I was unhappy about it so much so I postponed buying them all in order. Now I don’t know for sure which book I read last and keep forgetting the title of the one I’m missing – and It’s not the last one I’m missing either, I got the last one! Did I mention how irritated it makes me to see same publisher with such different cover design? Colors and sizes tend to jump around here. Just thinking about it all gives me a rash about the mess my reading is with this book series…

IMG_20190824_171250

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Series

I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. So when they decided to continue the story trough graphic novels I was happy to have that to binge on.  They even named it Season 8 since the TV show ended with season seven. There was also Angel TV show and then there were graphic novels that continued Angel as well. Sometime in the last decade I lost track of it all. I did not get them all at the same time because they were still coming out and were a bit pricey for my budget at the time. I was not too thrilled with how the characters looked either. I would read them pretty quick and the long wait until I got the next one I would have to read them again and so on. Now I got the complete Season 8 and no clue as to which ones I’ve read. I stopped buying them at Season 9 and the more time passes so do the chances of me getting the rest or reading them all gets more slim. The thing is, the plot continues between Angel and Faith graphic novels and these and I’m really interested in those as well! I feel like I should start at the start with watching the TV show from scratch. The more I think about it the less I think I can spare that much time on it and I dislike the gaps in my understanding of the series.

Never-Again

There were some book series I stopped reading for not liking them enough as well! I made a conscious decision at some point that I did not enjoy the story or the characters were too irritating to continue. Here are two examples of those:

img_20190824_170959.jpg

Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

I started this book series without knowing much about it. Few years later when I decide I had had enough with the silly names and dislikeable characters this book series became a hit my country. I think that to this day it was one of the rare urban fantasy series that was translated whole into Croatian language. Although the appeal of erotic fiction was probably what did it for the mass market public I did not share in the craze of this one.

IMG_20190824_171026

Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux was a YA romace with aliens I was willing to try out because I never read any YA romance with aliens before! At first it was all cute and refreshing but after reading the third one I decided that these books are just to YA and too cute for what I was looking for. I’m still fond of this book series but I have decided I don’t really need to read any more of it. I guess I kinda grew out of the YA romance with aliens…

Books-in-animated-gifs-books-dancing-waltz

What are your reasons for not finishing a book series? Do you have any advice for me?

Longest book series – Anita Blake Vampire Hunter

shelf

The first book I’ve read by Laurell K. Hamilton is not part of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series actually. The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series (from now on ABVH) was something a friend mentioned. Since I liked the other series  – Merry Gentry, I went all out and got myself a box set with first four books of ABVH. The box set design was in the form of a small coffin (?) all black and with the top kinda sticking out of any bookshelf. I was in college back then and it was the middle of exam season. I went on a small reading spree -four books in four days! before I started my exam studying. Needless to say I was hooked!

box set

The ABVH book series is a long standing one and is still going strong. It has 26 books up to date and the author is actively writing new ones each year. The first book Guilty Pleasures came out way back in 1993. which makes this book series old enough to drink in the US and is older than the age of the main character in the first book (Anita is 24 years old in the first book).

I vaguely remember running trough those books back then. I would read them at a book a day pace as soon as I got them. I’m not a fan of horror setting much but there was something about the main character that inspired confidence despite her many dark adventures. The world and the creatures in it appealed to me.

dav

So when the adventures started to go further south and into supernatural relationship polyamourous exploring I did not mind that much. They were still the characters I liked reading about and I wanted to know more about them. By then the reactions of some readers were far from positive. Many were annoyed with how little the story progressed and how the main character was acting and developing. The sex scenes were handled badly in some books due to how explicit they are. Not many readers like to read books this erotic and even less readers can make a transition from so much smut and sex with big doses of supernatural creatures and all sorts of perverse topics and then switch to coherent mundane stories. At times even the author had trouble getting it done.

graphic novels

As the books of the series pilled up so did the many ideas to new merchandise and promotion. From never happening TV show deals to more creative and doable graphic novel editions by none other than Marvel Comics! These things often happen with long lasting book series. The graphic novel editions came out for the first three books and brought a new story of how Anita met Edward called Vampire Hunter: The First Death which was one of the fans favorite things to wonder about.

gn covers

I have mixed feelings about the graphic novel editions since they changed the original artist from the first two editions and it makes the character sometimes look like they come form the old Egyptian wall murals with their eyes looking weird and plastic in general.

IMG_20190817_121907

But I digress from the books…

There are many fans of the books who could not handle how this book series evolved into something completely different than it was back in the nineties when it first came out. The author used her books to speak about issues she holds important personally – relationship dynamics – and many readers don’t find it that interesting. Many more are offended by the sex scenes. And truth be told there are some books of the series that are just a few sex scenes put together and some relationship talk in between. For people who wanted more detective horror action from the first nine books way back these things seem off-putting and waste of time.

dav

I’ve thought often on what holds me to this series for the sum of my adult life. I would always go back to the characters and creatures I enjoy reading about. Twenty six books in I am holding the pages and wondering all about the new strange creatures this books is bringing out. I still feel intrigued by the story and keep reading. I even think about rereading some of the books again just to make sure I understand the characters and how they were first imagined. Twenty six years is a lot of time for a book series to go on and there aren’t many out there this long. Only one’s that come close I can think of are manga book series that surpass it by the number of volumes but not even close to the number of years they can last.

rptThe bad marketing puns like: The corpse laughs…but only after it kills! did not help…

I’ve made posts before on this book series and I will probably do them again sometime in the future. If you’re interested here is the Book covers around the world post I’ve made with some weird and interesting covers of the series. All things considered I’m actually happy with how the cover art style stood the test of time and managed to keep it somewhat composed in art and book design style.

I’m still wishing for the special omnibus editions that came out in limited quantity with covers made by Luis Royo over twenty years ago which I posted about in my Wishlist presentation exactly five years ago! There is one other book series by the same author I own and it’s Merry Gentry book series. I like collecting the short story compilations as well and I hope that some of the short stories that only came out in digital form will be someday available as a collection as well.

IMG_20190817_115239

I’ve decided almost a decade ago that I’m all in with this book series. I want to see it trough. A sort of relationship I’ve committed myself to for better and for worse. As long as the author keeps writing I will be reading. After two decades here’s to two decades more!

Reading guide to worlds of Rick Riordan

mark-of-athena

I’m a big fan of Rick Riordan’s books. His heroes are lovable and inclusive and his books are filled with light intelligent humor. Before becoming a writer, Rick Riordan was a  English and history teacher in private schools in the United States. After successfully publishing some books for adults, he gained inspiration for his first book for young adults by making up a bedtime story for his son. He has written over twenty books for teenagers and young adults and filled them with stories inspired by world mythologies. To help you navigate this small sea of ​​books, I present to you a reading guide.

The books are arranged chronologically and even though they can be read out of the order given here since there are several interwoven literary series, you will surely achieve the greatest pleasure in reading if you know the correct order.

serijal 1 film 1
What is common to all the books in all the series I am about to talk about here are the main characters who learn that one of their parents is a deity from various mythologies of the world. The author skillfully approaches young audiences and uses teenage issues in a stimulating and imaginative way, presenting possible learning difficulties such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder as symptoms of young demigods and their gifted abilities. Young readers will be able to find many opportunities to identify themselves through many of the characters who take turns as the action-bearers. In addition to the problems of young adults through the prism of fiction, the books deal with a multitude of topics covering various religious attitudes, racial issues, understanding of good and evil, and issues of sexuality. The author often uses intelligent humor to tell his stories. The age of the characters ranges from twelve in the first novels to eighteen and over in some cases.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are several book series, let’s start with the first one –

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

1. The Lightning Thief
2. The Sea of Monsters
3. The Titan’s Curse
4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
5. The Last Olympian

Serijal 1 slika

Named after the main character Percy Jackson, this book series has a total of five books. The theme of this series is based on Greek mythology. First book – The Lightning Thief first appeared on shelves in the spring of 2006. The movie version followed in 2010. The second book – Sea of ​​Monsters, came out just one month after the first book, while the movie version took a full three years after the first movie. The third book, and also the last translated into Croatian, is The Titan’s Curse. The other two books in this series are: The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. The main character at the beginning of the series is 12 years old.

A little guide came out for this book series in 2009 called The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion). It holds an interview with the author and various interesting tidbits. There are also three short stories in this issue.

The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion)

• Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot
• Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon
• Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades

demi

According to the release chronology, the second series is The Kane Chronicles trilogy.
The main characters in this trilogy are brother and sister: Carter and Sadie Kane. The first book of this series was released in May 2010, and by May 2012, all three books were published and available in complete sets. The Kane Chronicles is based on Egyptian mythology and can be read completely separately from the Percy Jackson series. Carter Kane is 15 at the beginning of the series, while his sister is 12.

The Kane Chronicles

1. The Red Pyramid
2. The Throne of Fire
3. The Serpent’s Shadow

serijal 2 slika

Before the last installment of the trilogy – The Serpent’s Shadow, a little guide came out for this series with interesting facts and details from the world of Carter and Sadie Kane.

The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide

detail.kdgj-1693-ga30.1.front.1423153626
The author linked the two series by writing several short stories in which the characters meet, thereby letting the audience know that all the characters are in the same world and opened up opportunities for common adventures and encounters. Three stories where characters from the Percy Jackson series meet characters from the Kane Chronicles trilogy are published in

Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes

demi2
At the same time with the aforementioned Kane Chronicles trilogy, a new series of five books, The Heroes of Olympus, was also published. The first book was released in late 2010 and continues where the last book of Percy Jackson and Olympians series ended. The books slowly introduces the motifs of Roman mythology, and the number of leading characters doubles. In addition to the fantastic elements of the book, the books convey in an educational manner the assimilation of elements of Greek culture into Roman. The characters in this series are about 15 years old.

The Heroes of Olympus

1. The Lost Hero
2. The Son of Neptune
3. The Mark of Athena
4. The House of Hades
5. The Blood of Olympus

seijal 3 slika
In 2012 for the series was published a small guide The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus Companion) with four short stories and curiosities related to characters and mythology, as well as a cute informational book about heroes from Greek mythology told from Percy Jackson’s perspective – Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes

The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus Companion)

• The Diary of Luke Castellan
• Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes
• Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford
• Son of Magic

9780141344379

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes

91YEKHOAzZL
The next  book series is the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy. The trilogy, which bears the name of Magnus Chase, started coming out from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017. This trilogy is based on elements from the Nordic mythology. The title character is related to the character Annabeth Chase, who is one of the main characters in the previous book series. Magnus Chase begins his story as a sixteen-year-old and the plot of this trilogy is a little darker and heavier than the previous book series.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

1. The Sword of Summer
2. The Hammer of Thor
3. The Ship of the Dead

serijal 4 slika

As with all other series in the world of Rick Riordan, a guide has been released for this trilogy, which brings some interesting facts from Nordic mythology and culture. After the trilogy, a short story collection called 9 From the Nine Worlds came out.

• For Magnus Chase: Hotel Valhalla, Guide to the Norse Worlds

Hotel_Valhalla_Guide_to_Norse_Worlds
• 9 From the Nine Worlds

9780241359433

Rick Riordan’s latest and still up-to-date series started coming out in 2016 alongside the Magnus Chase trilogy and is titled The Trials of Apollo. Various characters and heroes from all previous books appear in the series, and unlike all the previous ones, in this one, the god Apollo himself, who is imprisoned in the body of a teenager, is the main character. This series will have five books, and so far the first three are out while the fourth – The Tryants’ Tomb, is announced for Fall 2019.

The Trials of Apollo

1. The Hidden Oracle
2. The Dark Prophecy
3. The Burning Maze
4. The Tryants’ Tomb
5. ?

Trials-Of-Apollo-Book-Series

The guide to the Trials of Apollo series came out after the second book The Dark Prophecy in 2017 and is titled Camp Half-Blood Confidential. This is a guide to the camp for the demigods and continues with the interesting facts of Greek mythology from the perspective of Apollo trapped in the body of a mortal teenager.

Camp Half-Blood Confidential

91CE4LT9lFL

In addition for film adaptations for the first two books, there were also graphic novellas for all five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Graphic novellas were relatively well received, while for the movie versions the author himself said that it was best to skip them because they did not reflect all the educational elements with which he filled the books.

serijal 1 film 2

The themes of myths, legends and heroes is timeless and through popular culture it constantly experiences new versions and approaches in literature for children, young adults and adults. I warmly recommend this author and his fantastic world of extraordinary heroes.
Try it, you might also like it 😊

Favorite cover artist – Daniel dos Santos

 

img_20190803_115055.jpg

Few years back I made a post on pretty book covers of one of my favorite book series by Patricia Briggs –  you can check it out HERE.  I’m still a great fan of Patricia Briggs books and I’m happy to report that her collaboration with artist Daniel dos Santos is still going strong. He makes book covers for the US editions of both of her Mercy Thompson book series and Alpha & Omega book series. The series crossover from time to time and the visual representation on the book covers does them both justice.

rpt

 

Daniel dos Santos is an American artist well known for making fantastic book covers depicting strong women. For more information on the artist you can check his official page – The Art of Dan dos Santos. He even made a guide for the latest Patricia Briggs book in the Mercy Thompson series Smoke Bitten which you can check out HERE.

dav

I collect mass market paperback editions and once I got interested in this series some seven years ago after seeing these beautiful covers I was completely hooked. The strong female leading characters of the booth series are portrayed quite realistically. The go trough hard times and they are flawed but the way they deal with their problems is inspiring. I have one short story collection he made a cover for as well!

67468868_2274548395926509_3063539398449561600_n (1)

While there are some covers I like more than others I really cant decide which is my favorite one! I’m still behind one book in the series that came out this year for Mercy Thompson – Storm Cursed and I loved the next one announced already for Smoke Bitten!

Clipboard.png

Here are three of the books I own in mass market paperback that tie for favorite cover for me. Silence Fallen is the latest that book cover that woowed me at first sight. Silver Borne I have very fond memories of reading and I like the fact that Mercy holds a book on the cover! Bone Crossed was one of the strongest books in the series for me and I love how Mercy is portrayed in profile in the rain.

Dan dos Santos has made some other of my favorite characters and book scenes come to life trough his art and here are some of the ones I like the best! First one is from The Dresden Files series. Second picture is for the Graphic novel edition of Serenity and the last one is for Deluxe edition of graphic novel Fables.

There is something very subdued in the ways Daniel dos Santos book cover art and I find it a great fir for the urban fantasy genre. I love his art and his covers are an added bonus and value for the books I already love. Book covers matter to me and when I can I will pick the edition with this amazing cover art!

67523390_2285416051709242_4412048387956801536_n

I think it is amazing when an artist and a book author make such strong partnership on more than one book series. I wish more artists and authors would do this. It makes me feel a lot better when buying a book series to know that the cover art was picked out with great care and will continue in the same style. I have a few book series that make me groan just by looking at them on the shelf because their discontinuity in the book design and cover art can be seen from a distance. #justbookishthings