May 2018 Week 1 Reading Plans

As we speed through the end of April, I am beginning my preparations to read more than I did last month. May 2018 is going to be epic in terms of books. Hopefully, I can manage to incorporate more reading into my daily routine. Here are some of my reading plans for the week.

New Segment

Emily from Books with Emily Fox came up with this genius idea of including one big book (at least) per month. Ever the copy-cat, I am going to give this a try. I am torn between The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima and The Well of  Ascension by Brandon Sanderson.

I am going to ask my family to vote on this one. If you see me slacking off, feel free to throw tomatoes at me because I need to get back into a reading groove and I need to read my big books.

Kill Your TBR Challenges

14. A Book With an LGBT+ Romance

And I Darken by Kiersten White has a love triangle that includes an LGBT+ romance. I don’t know the details but this is all I have heard about this story. My connection with this book is amusing because everyone says it’s about a retelling of some fellow called Vlad the Impaler. I have never heard of him. It’ll be neat to see a female who is characterized by the same attitude toward others. It’s not something I encounter often in the books I read.

1. A Book With Alliteration in the Title

For this challenge, I only have the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman. I miss me some Victorian paranormal fun times. The last one I had read was The Falconer, which has become one of my all-time-favorites. I heard mixed things about Goodman’s previous work (Eon). Perhaps this will be closer to what I like to read right not at least. I do have copies of her duology before this one.

A Book With Five Words in the Title

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor has five words in the title and it is one of the oldest books on my shelves. It has been on my shelves the longest and I want to attempt to start it this week. If I don’t manage to finish it, that would be okay, too. What matters to me is that I read some of it this week.

A Book With Three or Fewer Colors on the Cover

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi kind of has three colors? I see the green, white, and lavender. I am counting it for this one challenge and I am hoping it will be a delightful easy read.

 

 

 

Hope your first week of May 2018 is fantastic. What will you be reading this week? Share titles in comments!

 

An Honest Update before the Fall into Fantasy To Be Read Pile: You may have
October of 2018 was a total dumpster fire. Nevertheless, I am determined to bounce back
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Book Review of Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater’s Introduction to the Wolves of Mercy Falls

 

After reading the Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater became one of the most interesting authors on my shelves. Many years ago, I had gathered the first books by her that I had heard of: The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Beginning with Shiver, this trilogy follows werewolves and a girl who is fascinated by them. Unlike the Raven Cycle, this trilogy involves plenty of kissing. Here is my review of the book.

Shiver and warm characters

One of the most surprising things that Maggie Stiefvater accomplishes in this first book is that she creates warm characters. Most books centered around mythological creatures tend to be bloated with world building. I like that this book focuses more on relationships.

There is a sense of urgency to Sam and Grace’s relationship. It colors the relationship with a desperate and hungry tone. When they spend time together, it is domestic at best but they are both drinking in each other’s features, personalities, and quirks. It warmed my heart to see such a love story. To an extent, this ache reminded me of Gansey and Blue in the sense that there are forces beyond the characters, driving them apart.

But, the pack itself was messy and charming, just like a family. I did not expect this either because The Raven Boys had a smaller friend group, and it was not even a set group (new members introduced toward the end of the book series). The complicated dynamics between members of the pack made things even more interesting and realistic. It grounded the story.

The Lone Wolf

I was actually surprised by who is actually the lone wolf. It’s Grace! She is invested in these wolves so much that it often alienates her. Her friendships are rocky and so are her connections to family. This makes her relationship with Sam more intense, more desperate and crucial.

But, of course, the other lone wolf in this is Jack Culpeper. His sister surprised me with her curiosity and cleverness. It is rare in books when so many people are in “the know” about the supernatural creatures in the story. Often, I tried to push myself to empathize with Jack, even though he made a mess in terms of plot. I look forward to his development as a character (and as a wolf).

Dropping Temperatures

With each chapter, the temperature drops and it raises the stakes of this love story. It becomes very clear that Sam is not the Jacob Black of Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. He is sensitive and frank, a pacifist and an artist. In other words, he is our pure cinnamon roll and he must be protected.

Shiver Rating and Final Thoughts

Overall, this was a nice and quick read. It was moving and sweet, but it also lacked depth in terms of character development and conflict. Perhaps this will change in later books. I will say that Stiefvater gets points for creating male characters that do not adhere to strands of toxic masculinity. So, that’s nice to see.

 

 

 

Some of you may know that I lived in Egypt in the 90s. I was
In the most recent months of 2018, I have been aiming to read beyond my
The Love for V.E. Schwab I started reading V.E. Schwab's work about a year ago.

April 2018 Week 4 Reading Plans and A Shot at Increasing my Reading

 

 

 

 

April 2018 has proved to be a quick month but I have not been reading as well as I should. So, I am attempting to increase my reading this month to hit these reading goals. Here are my reading plans for April’s final week.

The Bookish 2018 Reading Challenges

A book you bought for the cover for the cover

I am going to aim for a read-through of Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Ironically, the copy I have has no dust jacket, so my cover of this book is plain dark green. *Thumbs up* It’s okay, though, because this book’s cover is beautiful.

 

An Author’s Debut

Storm Front is Jim Butcher’s debut novel, and it is also the beginning of the Dresden Files. I need to read this book to determine if I want to continue with these books (or even books like them). I am hoping to enjoy it. Crossing fingers and toes.

A book by an author from your state

Julie Kagawa is from California! So, I am hoping to get to Iron King this week, too. I just have not given her work a shot even though I had bought quite a few of her books in this series. My expectations are not high at all.

A book with a one-word title

Twilight is one I want to revisit. I could use some light fluff with a touch of supernatural things. Plus, it was mentioned in Parks and Rec and the reference made me smile. Besides, I want to continue with the books as I have been revisiting the movies. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen still have magic, it seems.

A book whose cover uses three or fewer colors

Hush, Hush is another one I want to get to this week. It should be fairly quick to go through. Patch and Nora also have the magic still going as I tend to look up quotes from this book series often.

 A book that explores the concept of beauty

Finally: I want to try to get at least Radical Beauty and some of my language and style books. The mission is to get a feel for books I have not tried to read in a long time (or stuff I have never read before).

What will you read this week?

 

An Honest Update before the Fall into Fantasy To Be Read Pile: You may have
October of 2018 was a total dumpster fire. Nevertheless, I am determined to bounce back
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April 2018 Week 3 Wrap Up

 

Ah, April is flying by, and so it is time for another weekly wrap-up. For week 3 of this month, I did have a hard time being productive because of some medical issues. Nevertheless, I did manage to finish a few things this week.

wrap up of Books I have Read

As I am working on this post, I am done with two books: Gone by Michael Grant is the first one. This series is one of my favorites, even though the author says things I do not agree with. Still, the characters are fun and the story is really fast-paced without feeling rushed.
It’s a 4.5-star rating for me.

 

 

Next, I am also done with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. It was a difficult read because it did have really unchallenged problematic ideas on mental illness and recovery from traumatic experiences. But, besides that, there’s something uncomfortable about this reading experience. I have read thrillers before, but this book doesn’t provide any answers (even though I am nearing the 3/4 of the way through mark).  I give it a 2-star rating. (I am sorry, fans of the books, but I am unhauling the two books I have from this trilogy. Just not for me).

wrap Up of Movies/ Series I Have Seen

I have gone through some intense times this week and relied on films to cope with things. So, I watched some of my owned films.

Love, Rosie is one of my favorites as it shows a love story between best friends who keep missing opportunities to confess their feelings for each other. Lily Collins makes me happy, and Sam Claflin is endearing.

Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl is up there in terms of stories that I adore. The book was gross but kind of funny and yet the film is way funnier and heartwarming. If anything, you should watch it for the drugs scene.

Netflix show I have been watching is Parks and Rec . I am now on season 3! In fact, I find myself looking forward to watching the show, which is an accomplishment. Besides, it is nice to see a character close to my nervous and ambitious self (Leslie Knope).

I also watched the very strange Dude movie on Netflix, and it made me confused yet touched? I like the actors and there were moments of brilliance and wisdom in there.  (Oh, and I did watch it on 4/20).

That’s my week in a nutshell. How was your week?

 

 

 

You may have noticed the absence of a wrap up last week. I am, as
Image courtesy of username 1103489 on Pixabay. In my first week of July, I have
Goodbye June, you were a rough month. Growing up is hard work, but I am

Top 10 Book Series I am Curious About

 

 

 

For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, we get a freebie. So, I am tackling a topic that I have been thinking about for ages. Basically, I want to tell you about series that I am curiously eyeing.

10. Maximum Ride by James Patterson

James Patterson has been coming up a lot in my book searches. He is introducing a lot of writers. The author of Gunslinger Girl, and the author of Stalking Jack the Ripper, too, they are both published with that kind of heading on their books. So, this peaked my interest and, lo, and behold, I have seen a bunch of books written by him on the ThriftBooks site.

I have noticed that there is a movie of the first book in that series up on Netflix. For now, I am keeping the first book on my wish list.

9. Discworld by Terry Pratchett

I have no clue what this series is about, but my friend Annemieke is a fan of it. The covers give me the impression that these books would be quick reads. It just seems like a lot of books and that scares me a bit because part of the joy of reading is when things wrap up. I like when things end. It’s comforting.

8. N.k. Jemisin’s The Inheritance trilogy

Jemisin’s work keeps popping up all over the Internet. My friend Emily has recently also told me that she’s read this author’s work too. And, if anyone reads cool books, it’d be Emily.

7. Fallen by Lauren Kate

A lot of people make fun of these books, but I am embracing my love for paranormal young adult literature. I am just here for this, okay? I am hoping to get the first book in the series at some point this year because I actually find it really compelling and interesting. Luce and Daniel are fascinating, and they have such an intense bond. Sure, they start off kind of mean to each other but it’s the best when there’s all this history between two people.

6. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Okay. This one is complicated. Or, maybe not. Here is the deal. After finishing my first Gail Carriger novel, this one came up on Goodreads as a recommendation. I fell in love with the cover, and, besides, I found out this novel is a steampunk story, which made me even more interested. Look at that cover, though!

5. The Magician’s Guide by Trudi Canavan

My friend Jolien is fond of this series and for good reason. A woman entering into the world of magicians in an epic high fantasy series? I find this premise amazing particularly because of the long history of men dominating the high fantasy leagues. It’ll be nice to see a female writer tackle such a vast genre.

4. Robin hobb’s books

Jolien kind of loves the Fool in this series of trilogies. I am interested in reading high fantasy novels that feature complex characters. Just the idea of a Fool character is promising because the jester-type of archetype can be a nice thing to mess with.

3. Ryan Graudin

I have been eyeing Wolf by Wolf for a while now, and I just keep hesitating because I am not a history buff at all. In fact, if I am being honest with you, I am not that good at keeping timelines of events. Thus, my hesitation blooms quite a bit as I see mostly history fans talking about this author’s work.

2. Michael J. Sullivan books

I like friendships and adventures. But I have not met my match for fair portrayals of male friendships. To an extent, Locke Lamora had an interesting central friendship, however, I remain uncertain about Sullivan’s books because, for some reason, this genre can be a bit too…over the top in terms of human relationships. I want honest and real friendships that feature men. Can I just get that, please?

 1. Kate Elliot’s books

Ever get an author’s work recommended in multiple spots? This is what happened with Kate Elliott. The funny thing is that I know nothing about her stuff. What does she write? And, why is it being recommended to me? No clue. But, I am curious to find out.

 

Slumps, of all kinds, are the worst. It doesn't matter if you can do your
Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than

A Rather Reaching Attempt to Work on my Reading Challenges 2018

I have not been focusing my reading on the Popsugar reading challenges 2018. Mostly, I have been making more of an effort to seek shorter readathons. Anyway, I am trying to have back up for when the readathons are not working for me. Needless to say, this week, I am going for a rather reaching attempt to work on my challenges.

#KillYourTBR Reading Challenge

Luckily for me, I was able to find this year-long challenge called #KillYourTBR. Here is a link to the full list of prompts.

Reading Challenge 1: A Book with a Character’s Name in the Title

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is perfect for this challenge. It is something I have wanted to read for a while. If you are extra aware of my hauled books, you would also note that this book was on there.

Reading Challenge 2: A Book with an Animal on the Cover

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater has a werewolf on the cover. Boom. Plus, I have been trying to read more of Stiefvater’s stuff. This trilogy is my next series by her.

Reading Challenge 3: A Book with Nature on the Cover

I am aiming to work my way through the Spiderwick books. Right now, I am about to start the Seeing Stone (book 2). It coincidentally has nature on the cover. Perfect!

#Popsugar Reading Challenge

A Book About or Featuring a Sport

I think Gone by Michael Grant has mentions of surfing. Your girl is definitely reaching here, but I want to squeeze this book in my reading before the month is up.

Next Book in a Series You Started

The next book in the Percy Jackson books is Titan’s Curse. Perhaps I can manage to read this one this week.  I am enjoying the books quite a bit and they are easy reads. Definitely, I want to manage to finish this beginning series this month.

Finally:

A Book Set in a Country that Fascinates You

I want to squeeze in The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and it is all about fairies. Their culture always fascinates me, to be honest. Hopefully, this will be a fair manifestation of what fairies are about.

What are you hoping to read this week? Any overlap between our reading plans here?

 

An Honest Update before the Fall into Fantasy To Be Read Pile: You may have
October of 2018 was a total dumpster fire. Nevertheless, I am determined to bounce back
I haven't been able to post on my blog for most of September. The world

April 2018 Week 2 Wrap Up

 

 

I have noticed that a lot of people do weekly wrap-ups. Naturally, a week 2 of April 2018 draws to a close, I am trying this feature out on my blog. In this post, I will summarize my highlights of the week.

reading plans

Initially, I had planned to read about seven books this week. For whatever reason, it’s very hard for me to disconnect and just focus on reading. However, I have been making a more active stance on incorporating reading days (or even half-days). I am entirely in support of scheduling things in because, if it were up to me, I could just stare at my computer or the walls all day.

Here is what I read this week. More detailed reviews to come!

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Werewolves, love, and plenty of poetry or song-writing. I keep worrying that Stiefvater will hurt one of my babies. Hence my slow progress with this book. I am excited to read the next ones.

Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Tyson stole my heart this time. This is kind of a strange experience because last time I read these books, I disliked Tyson. I missed Grover. Percy continues to be awesome. Always trust a cyclops.* (satisfying the Of Wonderland book club’s challenge for the month).

The Field Guide by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
I was savoring this book. Mallory is my hero. Jared and Simon are an interesting duo. It’s still unclear whether they complement one another in terms of skills or not. They definitely balance each other out with their temperament. * (satisfying the Of Wonderland challenge for the month)

Movie

When We First Met was my main new movie for the week. I did like it. It was fluffy and cute, a feel-good movie. Many of Alexandra Daddario’s films are kind of out of my comfort zone, so I don’t get to watch them. Not this one. It was lovely.

“Candid!”

It highlights the misleading nature of first impressions, the inevitability of fate and destiny when it comes to certain relationships, and the fragility of a series of life events. A domino-effect type of consequence comes to life in this film after the main character makes changes in how he addresses the girl he fancies.

Maybe I’ll write a review, but I don’t know if I have much to say.

Music

Frank Ocean’s “Chanel” is the song I have replayed most today. Oh, and King Princess’ 1950.

Your turn:

How was your week? Any favorites?

You may have noticed the absence of a wrap up last week. I am, as
Image courtesy of username 1103489 on Pixabay. In my first week of July, I have
Goodbye June, you were a rough month. Growing up is hard work, but I am

Top 5 SFF Authors I Want To Give Auto-Buy Status

 

 

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday is all about science fiction and fantasy authors. More specifically, it is about what people rely on as auto-buy authors. Now, I am not a cool kid who reads tons of sci-fi or fantasy consistently. So, this post is kind of wishful thinking (and a bit of a prediction, perhaps).

5. Gail Carriger

I only read the first novel in her Parasol Protectorate series and it was such a blast. Following her on Twitter and Goodreads kind of led me to see just how incredibly talented and hilarious she is. I don’t know if steampunk counts as fantasy or science fiction but I am counting her among my favorites.

4. Victoria Schwab

Cool kids know that Schwab writes complex morally ambiguous characters like no one else can. I just keep thinking of A Darker Shade of Magic and how Holland was such a haunting figure.  Plus, the connection between Kell and Rhy, Lucard and Lila, was just impeccable. I randomly remember parts of that finale and get shivers.

3. Cinda Williams Chima

Again, I have seen her books mentioned in so many places. I ended up gathering quite a huge number of her books. When I had read the Demon King, I struggled with the pacing a bit but loved the characters. All I need to do is read more of her work and adjust to how SFF normally comes across in books. I really am out of practice with science fiction and fantasy as a genre.

2.Neil Gaiman

Okay, this man is incredible. I only read The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It blew my mind (quite a bit). Obviously, I am going to read more of his work. I already have a really good feeling about Gaiman novels. My hope is to perhaps find the stories that resonate with me.

 1. Brandon Sanderson

Some people say that this dude had (or used to have) negative attitudes toward the LGBT+ community. It sounds like he doesn’t think the same way anymore (or something along those lines). I am aware of these things, and so I have mixed feelings about having him be an auto-buy kind of writer to me. Still, I do think that people grow and change. Plus, his books sound really good. I haven’t found anything to show that he holds these beliefs anymore.

 

Quick note:

To me, auto-buy authors are kind of a very loose category of writers because, technically, nobody is really an auto-buy author to me. I like to know more about the books they have written first. These writers are just ones who have written about topics I found interesting.

Who are your auto-buy SFF authors?

I am having a particularly rough time existing, so I am taking advantage of post
Ah, welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday where I break the rules. This is becoming
Getting redeemed is often reserved for villains, but today, I am going to be talking

Top 10 Books I Loved But Won’t Reread (for a While)

For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, I am tweaking the prompt a bit to fit my own attitude toward books I loved but won’t reread. Essentially, I function under a “never say never” rule. Many of the books I want to reread are ones I thought of giving away at some point or another. So, I am going to share books I loved but won’t be rereading for a while. By the way,  I’ll explain why, too.

10. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski

This trilogy was an agonizing experience for me. I read the books to see what will happen next, out of a sense of duty. However, I am not reading them for a long while because they drag on. I think there is way too much “oh, you misunderstood me” kind of conflict in there. While I am intrigued by the two main characters and the political tensions, I do not think there was enough to keep the story worth extending to a full-on trilogy.

9. queens of geek by Jen Wilde

Oh man. I actually struggled to finish this book because I understand the author is trying to be inclusive. But, they ended up creating a very forced plot. I like the representation in the story and the very idea of a story including such a wide spectrum of minorities and intersections. Still, the characters were like cardboard cut-outs, not people.

It took me a while to decide to keep the book, even. Needless to say, I am torn about reading it for a long, long while because I think I can read much better-written stories instead.

8. We are okay by Nina LaCour

Actually, I struggle with LaCour’s writing in general. There are pearls of beautiful wisdom in her writing but the stories tend to drag. In some ways, her writing feels like a practice in patience. I do like the topics she includes in her books, though. For a while, I was sure that I won’t be able to get any benefit from rereading her work.

I ended up changing my mind as I recalled all the things I felt while reading her work. There is this weird identification of parts of me that I experience while reading parts of LaCour’s writing.  All the more for me to look forward to while I take a break from reading her work (for a bit).

 

7. Poison Study by Maria v. Snyder

There was just a lot of “love” from Valik in the last book of the first trilogy. I got mad, okay? Part of these characters’ charm is that they were rough around the edges. When they got domesticated by love and relationships, I kind of cringed.  Yelena’s story is empowering and filled to the brim with wonderful relationships. Some of them are a little complex (read: Lief). But, I still found myself thinking of her often, wondering how her story unfolds, and as such, I chose to keep the books on my shelf to be read later.

6. The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen led an incredible journey throughout these books. I know her story is always going to be special to me but I do not think I can handle a reread anytime soon. Listen, this trilogy has some triggering content. The PTSD, the mental anguish that Katniss and her mom experience, Gale’s awful behavior, Peeta and the lack of consent in his and Katniss’ relationship. It all makes me uncomfortable.  I recognize that the story is worthwhile. However, I do not think I can handle reading a story with so much political darkness and hopelessness.

5. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

I actually did not understand the point of this book. Like, to me, the story ended just fine with the book prior to this one, and I was irritated while reading this installment. Before you get upset with me, I want to say that I cherish this series and would not ever choose to give up on it. This is why I kept the whole collection of the books on my shelves for future re-reads. But, I need a break for a bit. Then, many revisits will happen because I love this series and the characters in it.

4. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

My problem with this book is that it made me feel completely unintelligent because the timeline is always mixed up. Many flashbacks happen without any signs of them happening. As a result, yours truly had no idea what was going on in this book.

Still.

There were some funny parts. Besides, I have a couple of friends who enjoyed this book. The chances of me rereading this book are actually pretty slim (okay, I admit. They’re basically nonexistent). While I enjoyed the humor of this book, I don’t want to experience the agony of trying to figure out what exactly the plot is all about.

3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I read this one way back in high school and I hated every second of it. But, in retrospect, I hadn’t been reading any science fiction at the time. My hope is to revisit it after I familiarize myself with the genre better. Unlike the book before this one, I actually intend on rereading this book even though I disliked it initially.

 

2. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Sometimes, I get to read things because everyone says they’re inclusive. This book was indeed one that featured intersections of various minorities. But, there was something kind of over the top with how diversity was presented. It reminds me of Queens of Geek where the representation does not feel authentic and well developed enough to communicate about truths. I may reread it later on, maybe a few years from now. The cover is really pretty.

1. Timekeeper by Tara Sim

This book was overall a fun experience but it did lack a sense of depth when it comes to the two main characters. Still, I do think that not all work has to have this amazing development to be a fun read. It took a while for me to bring it back on my shelves. I know there’s a sequel out now, which I’ll probably get used.

Slumps, of all kinds, are the worst. It doesn't matter if you can do your
Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than

Thoughts in a Review: A Torch Against the Night

Yesterday, I finished reading the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes, which is called A Torch Against the Night by the wonderful Sabaa Tahir. In this book, we follow the journey of Elias, Laia, and Helene as the Empire continues to enslave Scholars. Here are my thoughts wrapped into a review. Let me share my excitement with you.

A Torch Against the night’s beauty: Helene, my heart’s queen

“But you are not finished. You are my masterpiece, Helene Aquilla, but I have just begun. If you survive, you shall be a force to be reckoned with in this world. But first you will be unmade. First, you will be broken.”

The most incredible aspect of this novel is not only the pacing but also the inclusion of Helene’s point of view. I think it was such a privilege to read more from Helene’s perspective. In a way, she and Elias mirror each other’s struggle between tradition and change.

A Torch Against the Night is essentially the unfolding of a much more complex plot than I ever could have imagined. Through Elias’ best friend, we get to the internal functions of the Empire. We also experience a new Emperor (Marcus) and his interactions with the Commandant.

Helene is also pressured to find and destroy her best friend, which is something Elias refused to follow through with. But, with her, I felt that she was even more torn. Her family is known for their loyalty. But, the question is: to whom should she be loyal to? The Empire or Elias?

A torch against the night’s beauty 2: A World built further

What is truly wonderful about this book is how the world is further developed. We experience the tension between the tribes, the treatment of Scholar children, slaves’ relationship with the Commandant.

But, it is also a neat development of the characters. The way they connect with other characters is conveyed in such a compelling manner. I think of Laia and Darin, in particular. Helene and her sisters are other manifestations of relationships’ complexity within this world. It’s like people are under so much oppression and cruelty. They end up making choices that are not ideal.

And, I think this is the most surprising aspect of A Torch Against the Night: no one has the privilege of choosing what they truly want. The introduction of Marcus’ treatment by the elders of the Empire wrinkled the story further. It was not like Marcus won and was immediately welcomed into the role of emperor. No, he has to live with the loss of his brother while trying to gain the respect of the Empire.

The Commandant and the Cook

My favorite people in this story are the ones I do not know enough about so far: The Commandant and the Cook. I would love to read more about Cook. What is her backstory? How was she taken prisoner? What did she do to annoy the Commandant so much?

Besides, I want to know more about her link to Laia. Why is she so protective of her?

Cook gives Helene such a difficult time, and I was just living for that protectiveness. It’s nice to see women play powerful roles in this world.

Now, the Commandant and Elias’ battle (the literal one and the longer, more indirect one) was surprising. I was so shocked by how she alters his fate. Still, I remain hopeful for her development. She needs to have more scenes revealing her inner turmoil. Sabaa Tahir includes glimpses of the Commandant’s fury. But, I want more details.

Keenan: Called it.

I never liked this dude. It was kind of clear that he is shady as heck. That’s all I am going to say.

Overall:

I gave A Torch Against the Night a five-star rating. It was a quick and engaging read. Please check out this series for a brilliant time.

Some of you may know that I lived in Egypt in the 90s. I was
In the most recent months of 2018, I have been aiming to read beyond my
The Love for V.E. Schwab I started reading V.E. Schwab's work about a year ago.