Trying out Inkitt / Galatea

If you like trying out new things there are many reading apps out there for brave readers. So far I tried a few apps that help with e-books organisation and provide a platform for reading in general. Years ago before I tried out Kindle I used Aldiko and Cool Reader on an old tablet I used then.

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Lately my Facebook feed has been clogged with adverts for various new reading apps and after ignoring them all for a while I decided to try some out just to get rid of the adds. I went for the most annoying one first – Inkitt. The reason I though of it most annoying is because the add I was getting was for a supernatural werewolf themed story with questionable morals. Basically what jumped out as an add was a message communication in chat form between a girl and an alpha werewolf type going all abusive-possessive. To top it all out the add has an audio of howling wolves to it. The story it advertised is called The Millennium Wolves Series by Sapir Englard.

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The first few chapters are available on Inkitt and after that there is a note that Galatea app has picked up the story and the rest is available there. Both Inkitt and Galatea apps are connected and Inkitt serves as a sort of testing grounds for the stories that get picked for Galatea app.

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So naturally I went and downloaded another free reading app on my phone. Galatea is promoting the stories (I have issues with calling them books for some reason) as “an immersive experience”. And to some extent that is what they are – experience. The most notable difference is the sound system that is in the background of the stories you read. There were sounds one could hear as a background noise in cities, places where people gather and cheer, creepy places, forest sounds and many more. The sounds usually creeped me out and thankfully there is a mute option for those.

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What I was not prepared for were the vibrating effects! In scenes where there is some kind of chase involved or other situations where the character’s pulse is speeding the phone starts to vibrate. And in case of some stories the whole screen would start changing color and sort of pulse during the sexually charged scenes.

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All special effects of the immersive experience aside, the thing that bothered me more is that this app is making the reader feel like an addict. The chapters were very short with reading time around 15 minutes per chapter or less. Each chapter is noted with the amount of “spicy” content.

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While the app is free there are some other ways the creators have found to make money by offering what I refer to in most video game as – in game purchases. You get access to one small chapter a day – there is a clock timer that lets you read next chapter at the same time each day.

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You can skip the wait by paying with points provided trough the app. You can buy bundles of points or earn 1 point per day by commenting on a chapter. There are also few other ways to earn points.

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There are a lot of annoying things that bother me regarding this app. For one – the content of the first three chapters I read on Inkitt was a bit different than what was available in first three chapters on Galatea. The characters reacted a bit different. Point of view was available form another character and the whole story had a different feel to it. The ending of the chapter was the same but the story went a bit different overall.

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This discrepancy annoyed me more than the “pay for a chapter” policy. I even tried calculating how much it would cost for skipping all the chapters to get the whole story and the amount ended up so high it was unacceptable for me. I sometimes binge and get an e-book on Kindle but refuse to spend more than 10$ for an e-book in general since I prefer the paper copy on my shelf.

I ended up frustrated since the story I was interested in is not available anywhere else and the platform of the app did not appeal to me. Another issue is I have trouble with adding the story I’m reading to my Goodreads profile. Finding the actual title takes some time and I find it ludicrous that reading of one “season” of the story takes a whole month unless you pay for access.

This app treats the story as a streaming service would a TV show or another video content. I understand that immersive experience effects make it a package deal and a different multimedia experience, but this type of “reading” just isn’t “my cup of tea”.

What do you think?

Have you tried it?

Would you try it?

October Book Wrap Up 2019

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Monthly reading review – October 2019

This October I have read:

Buick Rivera by Miljenko Jergović ★

The Royal Companion (The Companion, #1) by Tanya Bird ★★★

The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)  by Brenda Pandos ★★★

Black Butler Vol. 1 (Black Butler, #1) by Yana Toboso ★★★★

Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent  ★★★★

Suddenly by Candace Camp ★★★

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1)
by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti ★★★

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2)
by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan ★★★★

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

Due to the trip I recently made I lost a whole week of reading time so I’m a little grumpy to have gone back to single digits by reading 9 books in October.

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

I’m very much into the Grishaverse with Shadow and Bone book by Leigh Bardugo. I’m slowly savoring the characters and the story. I’m hoping to have enough time to rad the whole trilogy soon!

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

The only book I was really not happy about this October was a book club assignment – Buick Rivera by Miljenko Jergović. The plot was completely lost on me and the characters did not help. The book actually started really good but somewhere along the way all sense of the plot was gone.

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

I made a list of fifteen books I wish to read by the end of the year and so far I’ve rad three books and started on another two from the list which is cool. You can check out my list HERE. Also I made progress with my TBR Jar Draw reading challenge by reading two picks in one month! You can check both in my posts HERE and HERE.

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

This October I’ve actually started a few new book series! From all the first books of the series I’ve started I will be continuing almost all of them. The two exceptions are Kindle editions that I am not ready to invest in to buy the sequels so I can read them further: The Royal Companion (The Companion, #1) by Tanya Bird and The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)  by Brenda Pandos. I guess I was not that impressed with them to really want to spend money to continue reading them.

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

Aside from being lost in Grishaverse trilogy I am quite enjoying going back to Rick Riordan’s world of half bloods and Percy Jackson series by reading the graphic novel editions. At first I was not that thrilled with the artwork but the story is still amazing. Sadly I have only first three graphic novels and I don’t know when will I get the other two :/

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Book Reviews in October:

Suddenly by Candace Camp ★★★ – CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW

Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent  ★★★★ – CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW

Currently reading:

Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

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Reading plans by the end of the year

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Making reading plans makes me feel energized and active. The activity of making lists is something I enjoy. This year’s Summer reading challenge made a good impression and I felt good about my reading and proud about the results. Mostly after finishing a book I have a few moments of being lost when I start thinking about what to read next.

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Having an actual list is soothing and relaxing. I like having options and seeing my own progress. And lately I miss seeing my own progress in general. Marking off books I’ve finished reading makes me feel giddy and satisfied.

There are a number of factors that will influence my reading by the end of this year and because of that I will not give myself a time limit but only strive to have at least one book of the list I will be reading at all times.

Here is the list of the books I’ve made a priority to read:

Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1)
by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti,

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2)
by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

Black Butler, Vol. 2 by Yana Toboso

Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card

Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess #5-7) by Natsumi Andō

Shifting Shadows (Mercy Thompson Shorts) by Patricia Briggs

Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races #3) by Thea Harrison

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

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I’ve chosen the books from my own shelves. All books are in the fantasy category and are mostly a part of the series I already love. The only exemption is science fiction Ender’s Game which I’m interested in for quite some time now – I borrowed the book and it is a first one in the series. The list includes graphic novels and manga editions which I wanted to add more but will keep them as a bonus on the side.

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On a whim I decided to go with fifteen books as I had in my last challenge. The time I needed for fifteen books in my Summer reading challenge was around two months and that is exactly what I’m going for by the end of the year!

Wish me luck!

Vampire Academy – Series Review

 

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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…

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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…

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

Longest book series – Anita Blake Vampire Hunter

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Favorite cover artist – Daniel dos Santos

 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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

Reading in first half of 2019!

I’m gonna make a breakdown of the books I’ve read in 2019. up until today. Thanks to the Goodreads site I can track the books much easier and I need all the help I can get to win in this apathy struggle I’ve gotten myself into.

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For some reason reading takes more effort for me as of late. I’ve set the bar for reading books challenge relatively low and the results are even lover that that so far.

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There are only 15 books I’ve read this year and I will go trough them one by one:

First book I’ve finished in 2019 was a graphic novel Perzepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

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I’ve often used graphic novels and mangas to cut corners at getting my reading numbers higher. But the truth of the mater is that I honestly enjoy graphic novels and mangas. While I will not jump at a book with a more serious topic, graphic novels with documentary or biographical theme interest me. I love the visual representations that provide me with more honest and personal understanding on the topic and I choose graphic novels often for that same reason.

Second book of 2019. was a book club assignment Pohvala starosti by Pavao Pavličić.

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The title loosely translates into ” the praise to getting old”. The beginning promised some humor but the book was mostly frustrating since I did not agree with most of the things author wrote about. For every promising idea and thought provoked there were another 4 that just irritated me since I could find real life cases to dispute the author. It made for a good book club discussion in general because it gave some general topics on the process of growing old and elderly in general. Did not enjoy the reading experience because I found the book not serious enough to tackle the topic and not humorous enough to be entertained.

The third book of 2019. was Burn Bright (Aplha & Omega Series) by Patricia Briggs.

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This is one of the book series that made me love and enjoy reading in my free time. Urban fantasy genre just simply does it for me! I love when an author can tackle an urban setting and characters with relatable shortcomings and flaws while keeping it up with technological and other more modern issues. I loved this book and the glimpses into so many characters that did not have the opportunity to shine in previous instalments. I love the character growth and plot advancement.

The fourth book of 2019. was The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.

The Reader

While my reading in the book club has been highly irregular in the last year or so this was one of the books I was very excited about to read and discuss. It is a thought provoking book with plethora of moral issues to talk about and it gives ample opportunity for the reader to think about the past, the present and the future. While some issues are specific to the aftermath of World War II, this book offers a new perspective to our own human judgemental nature and pride.

The fifth book I’ve read in 2019 was a short story collection Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges.

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This book had a certain reputation and standing among my fellow students while I was in college. It took me a decade after graduation to actually get to reading the book. I was surprised it was a short story collection. The themes were interesting but I did not enjoy the multitude of names and references I was not that familiar with. I had a hard time separating the South American and Muslim references in particular and following the metaphors. It was a very difficult and challenging reading experience. The documentary style was not something I particularly enjoyed and made the short stories hard to follow.

The sixth book of 2019. for me was the All Souls Complete Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.

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I’ve read the first book sometime last year so I can freely enjoy the TV adaptation on HBO. After a few months pause I decided to watch the TV series again and got inspired to read the book series trough. I had some issues finding a second book in the edition I wanted so one night I finally caved and got myself the whole trilogy Kindle edition. It took me a few months to finish it all up due the considerable number of pages but I’m happy and pleased to have it finished and I’m awaiting for the second season of the show guilt free!

The seventh book of 2019 by my Goodreads account is The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

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While I’ve read the whole series as a trilogy I’ve found the third book on my TBR list on Goodreads and went to fix it. In an attempt to motivate myself at not failing the reading challenge this year like I failed last year I went back and added it as a separate book in my Read books section. Is that cheating or not I do not know or care. As far as I’m concerned I’ve read three books and put down only two and I’m still one book short for the counting purposes if need be!

The eighth book in 2019. was Comme un roman by Daniel Pennac.

91lUehA+fJL“A well-chosen book saves you from everything, including yourself.”

The English title of this book is The Rights of the Reader and it’s taken from the second part of the book where the Rights of the reader are listed. This is not a story but more a testament to reading. It is my big wish to find this book in Croatian and buy it but sadly there was only one edition in the nineties and they are very hard to come by. It is a book that inspired a many librarian’s projects and helped to promote and understand reading as an activity, life choice and necessity.

Ninth book I’ve read in 2019 was The Treasure Keeper (Drakon book 4) by Shana Abe.

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I have the best boyfriend ever and one day he decided it is time to raid my Book Depository wishlist. Among the book we ordered was The Treasure Keeper the fourth book in the Drakon series I have only nice memories of. It is for once a fantasy series in a sea of urban fantasy I usually prefer. I like the idea of dragon shape shifters and how this author writes them. It might not be the best fantasy out there but it is a guilty pleasure of mine! I would have loved to have bought the edition with the cover on the left instead the right one. The shiny and gaudy is very much part of the charm for these books!

The tenth book I’ve read this year is Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

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This was a bit unusual pick for my mostly very serious book club. And it came from one of the more serious book club members. This book made me feel old and tired at times. The truth is I love YA books and while the fast paced dialogues and witty remarks that go with them I had trouble with keeping up with the account of a teen life in the age of social networking and mostly well off western teenager to young adult view on life. I had a revelation that I prefer my books and stories a bit more darker and angstier that this one was…

The eleventh book in 2019. was The She-Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta

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I’ve got my eye on this book ever since it came out and one of my friends at Goodreads loved it. I liked the idea of actually reading about She-Hulk and some other Marvel heroes in a book as opposed to watching the movies and reading graphic novels. The book had it’s bright moments at that but in the end it was more in lieu of Bridget Jones Diaries than expected Marvel hero action. I sure like the design and the cover. The spine and the rest of the book is bright green and it poops out nicely on the shelf!

The twelvfth book in 2019. was Pretty Reckless ( All Saints High book 1) by L.J. Shen.

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This one was another Kindle spur of the moment buy that provided much needed dose of drama and angst for a period of PMS and opened a door to a period of more reading for me. I’ve checked out the rest of the books in the series but I’m not all that interested in them as of now. Looking into this book on Goodreads I realized that I’ve missed to count another short story that came out as a prequel to this book series!

Thirteenth book and one I missed in the first count was Defy ( All Saints High book 0,5) by L.J. Shen.

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A short and smutty prequel to the All Saints High book series. The main characters are actually the parents of the main character of the Pretty Reckless book. Most of the books that feature the characters who are into sports are not that appealing to me and I still have trouble visualizing all that comes with American football. In my country people play soccer…

Fourteenth book I’ve read in 2019 was Devil’s Daughter ( The Ravenels book 5 ) by Lisa Kleypas

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This one was a must have since it features my favorite characters. I am very picky when it comes to historical romance as a genre. In case of Evie and Sebastian I do not miss the opportunity to read more about them and their children and grandchildren in this case. I’m very happy with how the author finds ways to revisit favorite characters and include them in the new books. It inspired me to once again read the source material as well!

Fifteenth book I’ve read in 2019. was Devil in Winter ( The Wallflowers book 3) by Lisa Kleypas

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One of my favorite books ever and the characters I like to revisit each year. While I rarely choose to reread books with so many unread on my TBR already this is the book that has found a way to my reading schedule at least once a year. While the last reading was inspired by reading the newest book by the same author it has also inspired me to finally but the physical copy in English. I already poses the said book in Croatian but I prefer reading it in English.

And by the corrected counting the last and the sixteenth bok I’ve read in 2019 so far is
I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire (Ravenloft book 7) by P. N. Elrod

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From all the editions of this book and theme I’ve seen so far this one is the most hideous one. I was not at all pleased with the cover of my edition – the artwork looked very much in the opposition with the main character and it bothered me a lot. As for the story – I enjoyed learning the story behind Strahd von Zarovich. It all inspired me to go back to my Ravenloft RPG books and get ideas for a some campaign that will probably never come to life …I am now even more interested in the rest of Ravenloft novels! There are few things that were missing in this book! The most important one was a map for me to enjoy the geography of Ravenloft and Barovia. I hate when the production of the book is not well made!

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I am currently playing around with some creative ways to inspire myself to make more choices for reading books instead of some other activities. Soon I’ll post more about that!

Sorry not sorry about the long post!

Silence Fallen – Book Review

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Finished reading

Silence Fallen

(Mercy Thompson #10)

by Patricia Briggs

★★★★★

Expectation

This is actually the last book I’ve bought this year. It somehow slipped my radar for I’m not really sure how long did I have it on the shelf. On my TBR Jar Draw among my choices for April was also a Joker option – pick any unread book from my shelf and read it! I was actually surprised to see this book on the shelf and a while has passed since I read any books from Mercy Thompson universe (counting both Mercy Thompson AND Alpha & Omega series). I loved reading Patricia Briggs books and remembered how much I enjoyed them. I gladly picked up Silence Fallen to read!

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Summary

Once I started reading this book I got so immersed into the story, the characters and the urban fantasy setting. Imagine my surprise when some of the characters did not exactly ring a bell…

It took me one hundred and fifty pages to look up my Goodreads and check when was the last time I’ve read one of the books from Mercy Thompson series…

I was reading the wrong book!

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I realized I have not read one other book in the series Fire Touched which is number nine in the series and is directly before Silence Fallen. And at this point I was completely hooked in with the action packed plot and I was beside myself with suspense!

So I got to put Silence Fallen down for a while and got down to read Fire Touched. Now when all the characters were completely familiar and I started to piece things together I was in for the ride on Fire Touched!

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Finished reading

Fire Touched

(Mercy Thompson #9)

by Patricia Briggs

★★★★★

Expectation

When I started reading this book I was a bit crazed and jumpy because of the mistake I made picking a book from the series out of order. It might not seem such a big deal but again I was glad for my TBR Jar Draw ongoing project that makes me read more books from my own bookshelves. I got a bit of spoiler from Silence Fallen on some characters and I must admit that I was not hyped about reading this book as much I was for reading the next one.

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Summary

Again I was surprised to read about Mercy and Adam relationship. Out of all the fictional couples Mercy and Adam are by far most fantastic in a way they have a relationship so well balanced and great it belongs with out of this world supernatural elements of the book series. They are inspiring to read about!

It was good to see the dynamics of the pack and family life at work trough out the book. Some of the issues Mercy had to deal with in this book were much more close to me and I was impressed on how the author dealt with those issues.

What I loved about this book was the update on the Fey politics and meeting up with some new and some old favorites. I can’t say much more and keep this review spoiler free but I can throw few hidden hints here and there.

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Conclusion

In the end I loved this book so much and was happy to have another waiting on me to continue reading the book series. It left a feel good impact on me when I finished reading which was one of my favorite things about reading book series. Not to mention the excitement I get finishing a book and getting into another one at fast pace!

Summary – continuation from Silence Fallen

Jumping from the ending of the Fire Touched back into the fray of Silence Fallen gave me a rush! From an ending of one book to the middle of action of another book. I loved Mercy travelling trough Europe. Prague adventures were awesome to read about. I loved how the book series progresses we learn more about different new creatures and how things work and get an update on some of the older characters and past events.

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Conclusion

This one kept me up long into the morning!  I loved it for its action and intelligent humor. This wild ride trough two books had me looking up for the next one. So now I’m impatiently waiting on an opportunity to buy the next one. Hopefully it wont take me so long to get to reading it that I forget how much I enjoy these characters and stories! Absolutely a favorite!

Dr. Who references were much appreciated ❤

 

Fringe: Tales from the Fringe – Book Review

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Finished reading

Fringe: Tales from the Fringe

by Various

★★★

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Expectation

This graphic novel was my pick for the TBR Jar Draw in March. It is one of the books I own I am unsure have I read them or not. I remembered reading some of the stories and that they impressed me as dark and intense.  I bought it for my boyfriend who was a fan of the TV show. I watched the TV show only in passing and was never a devoted fan.

Summary

There were altogether twelve stories from different artists and authors. The stories covered a wide range of characters and topics. It was like watching little flashbacks from the episodes. Themes were diverse and I could only recognize a few characters from the show. But this is really due to me not being that familiar to the show.

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Some stories were gritty and dark and showing certain aspects of human nature while others had more supernatural elements to them. The first story in the collection is more about the characterization of the main character than anything else and as such it made me pause right at the start. I expected to be hit with the weird and supernatural cases from the show right away and that was not the case.

Sure there were stories with more lighter outlook to them but it was either creepy or downright weird.

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I appreciated the trial and error of human condition stories presented. There were lots of moral ambiguity written into each story. Many consider the graphic novel as a form to be lighter and easier for readers as a medium. The sheer amount of difficult choices and topics that can be presented in this way might be a testament to the opposite.

Conclusion

None of the stories were light and each has left an impression. I was taken back with the heavy themes and intensity. I like the stories and how they made me think upon characters choices and morality. While I liked the collection overall I was not blown away by the experience. What did surprised me is the lack of “Mature audiences only” categorization on the cover.
I am sure that for some other true fan of the show reading this graphic novel collection would have been a much more engaging experience.

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