Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2023

It’s March now, and spring is imminent, but it also means that February is over. So I’m gonna go over February’s statistics on The StoryGraph!

I didn’t read nearly as many books as I’d hoped, but I also didn’t read any less than I did in January, so I’m going to count that as a win.

Also, post #100 let’s gooo!!

So, uh anyway, now, on to the stats…

February 2023 Reading Stats

😐 Moods: Lots of moods in the books in February, Adventure of course being the biggest one, as per usual. My other moods were Mysterious, Emotional, and Dark, which also checks as every one of those except Emotional usually appears on my little pie chart.

👢 Pace: Most of the books I read are medium-paced, and that still shows here, but there dud read a book that I felt was fast-paced this month.

🔢 Page Number: I read a lot of longer books than I usually do in February, as 3/4 of them were 500+ page books. My preferred length of books is between 300 and 499 pages, and you can still see that a little bit here.

📖 Fiction/Nonfiction: 100% fiction once again. I swear I have a couple of nonfiction books on my TBR. I swear.

🎭 Genres: I upped the genres I read from last month. All of the books I read were Fantasy, which is my favorite genre so it’s absolutely no surprise. Most of them were also YA, which also isn’t a surprise as most fantasy that I read tends to be YA. Oh and Science Fiction! Hi there, second favorite genre! I read a lot less Romance than I expected to, even though all of the books I read technically featured it, to some degree.

📄 Format: All of the books I read last month were paperbacks.

Rating: My average rating for the month of February was 4.0 stars exactly. Not surprising – I gave all of the novels I read 4 stars, lol.

📉 Pages Read Daily: Once again, I was kind of all all over the place with the amount I read. I read more pages closer to the beginning of February, which makes sense, as I was able to read about three books in the first half of the month.

The Books I Read in February

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Winter by Marissa Meyer
The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber
The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Wrapping Up the Wrap-Up

So I didn’t read and review as many books in February that I’d wanted, but hey, I got sick in the last week and a half, and when I’m really not feeling well I just don’t want to read. But I finally finished A Conjuring of Light, and I finally finally finished Cress, which I’m really happy about.

What books did you read in February? What did you think of them? Did we read any of the same books?

Thank you, as always, for reading, and have a marvelous day/night!

See ya ~Mar

(A Very Late) Weekly Wrap-Up: 2/20 – 2/26

Weekly Wrap-Up 2/20 - 2/26

So, like um… I got sick this past weekend (technically Thursday) and that’s all I’m gonna say about it.

We’re somewhat into a new week already, but it just doesn’t feel right to me, to not start off the week’s posts without a weekly wrap-up. So I’m doing it, even though I’m very disappointed with my posting from last week. (Even though I know it wasn’t my fault.)

Monday 2/20: Majestic Monday #10

Last Monday, I finally got back in the saddle and restarted Majestic Mondays. And what better number to (re) kick it off than with the first of the double digits!

With this post, however, I’ve gone back to doing Majestic Monday the way I did it my very first post – by only highlighting one awesome book cover as opposed to the three that had become the norm. It was just too much on Mondays, with me doing weekly wrap-ups and all.

Anyway, this week I looked at The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. If you missed the big comeback, you can read the post here.

Wednesday 2/22: WWW Wednesday #6

Wednesday, I did my usual. Well, part of my usual, at least. We had to move a meetup around kind of at the last minute, so my Wednesday last week was unexpectedly busy. As such, I only had time enough for one post, and I chose WWW Wednesday. At random.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you wanna know about what I’ve been reading lately, you can check out my post here.

Friday 2/24: A Conjuring of Light Review

On Friday, I finally managed to get my book review out for A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. It’s the third book in the Shades of Magic series, and I thought it was a lovely end to it. (For now – apparently Schwab has more on the way.) (Not really interested in reading those though, as of right now.)

If you’re interested and you missed it, you can read my review for ACOL here.

Goals for 2/27 – 3/5

All I want to do this week (for the blog) is to post more than last week. I don’t have a set number of posts I want to do, or any specific kinds of posts – save for a book review (or two) (hopefully). Also, Majestic Monday is out this week, for (obvious) reasons. (And I don’t have it in me to do it today/Tuesday this week either.)

Anyway, thank you for reading and I hope you have a really great day/night!

See ya ~Mar

A Colorful End to an Amazing Portal Fantasy | “A Conjuring of Light” by V.E. Schwab [Book Review]

Kell wore a coat that billowed in the wind.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab

★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars

Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

My review for A Darker Shade of Magic

My review for A Gathering of Shadows

This series was an incredible adventure. This book was an incredible end to said adventure. There were definitely some ups and downs for me while reading them (mostly from books two and three – book one is practically perfect), but on the whole, I loved it.

A Conjuring of Light is the third book in V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series, and completes the initial trilogy (cuz there’s apparently gonna be another series?). It’s a whopping 624 pages, and was published by Tor Books on February 21, 2017. It’s an awesome historical fantasy series, and one with a take on the portal fantasy subgenre that I’ve rarely seen.

As I said above, I had some ups and downs with this novel. More ups than downs for sure, but I want to be entirely transparent and admit that there was some stuff that just didn’t jive with me (personally) here.

Stuff I Liked

Pure magic has no self. It simply is, a force of nature, the blood of our world, the marrow of our bones. We give it shape, but we must never give it soul.

For sure, the thing I loved the most about A Conjuring of Light was the thing I enjoyed most about the first two books: all the different Londons. It’s just so cool. I love the idea of four completely different worlds that only share one thing – the name of one city.

I also liked most of the characters. Kell, Rhy, and Alucard were just as fun and engaging to read about as before, and I loved the conclusions to their stories. Lila’s too, even though I didn’t much care for her as a character (but we’ll get into that), as her ending felt fine too. And Kell deserves to be happy so… yeah.

“What are we drinking to?”

“The living,” said Rhy.

“The dead,” said Alucard and Lila at the same time.

“We’re being thorough,” added Rhy.

Holland was a great character as usual, too – a rather “gray” kind of character despite being from “White” London. Get it? (*cough*) …Anyway, I really enjoyed his character arc, and all of the stuff we learned about his past, even if it felt a bit info dumpy at times.

Both the climax and the ending were also fantastic. The climax felt just as heart pounding as I knew it would, and the ending was wonderful. These two things really elevated the book for me, and made me end up loving the book.

Now, let’s get into the rant.

Stuff I Didn’t Like

Let’s start off with something similar to the last section: the Londons. Yeah, I know, I just said it was my favorite thing about the series. And it is. It’s just that after A Darker Shade of Magic it kind of became the Red London show, with only brief cameos from the other three. And I kind of didn’t like that.

Like, seriously, there’s only about four – very brief – scenes in this book where Grey London makes an appearance. That barely feels like it qualifies for historical fantasy fiction to me honestly. The Grey London plotline honestly felt useless in this book, and felt like it dragged on for waaayy too long, becoming irrelevant to the plot long ago.

White London also didn’t really make an appearance – compared to Red London, at least. Though it was the second most visited London of the book (though that’s not saying much).

And Black London didn’t appear at all. Which, fair, honestly. The only character “from” that London was no longer there anymore, so it was even more of an empty wasteland than it was before.

Now, let’s get into my second biggest gripe of the novel: certain character stuff.

Firstly, Lila Bard. She’s even more annoying than she was last book. Everyone thinks she’s amazing. Everyone has never met anyone like her before. Blegh. She’s the most Mary Sue character to Mary Sue in a book I’ve read since A Gathering of Shadows. Oh, wait…

Lila Bard was a force to be reckoned with. Whether her hands were filled with knives or fire, her voice low and coaxing or lined with steel, she seemed to hold the world in her hands. Maybe she did. After all, she’d already taken two Londons as her own. She was a thief, a runaway, a pirate, a magician. She was fierce, and powerful, and terrifying.

So yeah, she pissed me off. Again. But I just accepted that and powered through her chapters, and the bits in other characters’ chapters where they were staggered by her amazingness. Also, Kell deserved to be happy, so yeah.

So, now to the other thing that kind of irritated me about the characters as a whole: there were too many POVs. This is more of a me thing, but I just don’t like more than a few POVs in a book. It just annoys me a little, most likely because there’s just too many characters, and I don’t care about some of them, and I want to get back to following those that I enjoy. Nothing else against those characters or they’re POVs though.

And I really hated how many characters were killed off here. Like, really? Why? I just don’t understand when authors decide to off a bunch of the characters in the last book of their series. Even if it’s foreshadowed. It just doesn’t match the patterns of the other books, and it’s so many characters to the point where I feel nothing when they die.

And the last thing that annoyed me about this book (I promise) was the (admittedly very few) plot conveniences. There was really only one, honestly, but it kind of irritated me. I can’t say what it is, because that would be a spoiler, but it ended up affecting a major event in the plot. But, I have to admit, some people might not consider this to be a plot convenience, it might just be another me thing.

Final Thoughts

“Life isn’t made of choices,” said Holland. “It’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.”

A Conjuring of Light was a very good end to one of my favorite series. Though it isn’t my favorite Shades of Magic book (that would be the first one), I didn’t like it any less than the second one (they’re tied) and it’s ended up being one of my favorite adult fiction series.

I definitely recommend this to fans of the Shades of Magic series as well as V.E. Schwab’s other works (some under Victoria Schwab). Fans of historical fantasy fiction might enjoy this as well.

Thanks for reading and have a great day/night! (I was feeling under the weather yesterday, which is why this wasn’t ready and posted then. Sorry.)

See ya ~Mar


SOCIAL LINKS: Goodreads | Instagram

WWW Wednesday #6

Wanna know what I’m currently reading? What book review is imminent? Well then, you’ve come to the right post!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing That I’m Currently Reading

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab

Current Status: 69% (planning on finishing it tonight – review imminent)

Current Feels: 🙂 (pretty good, actually)

Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.


The Thing I Just Finished Reading

The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber

The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) by Stephanie Garber

My Rating: ★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars

Read My Review

Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.

But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.

Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can…


The Thing(s) That I Might Read Next

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1) by Tamsyn Muir

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

OR

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.

Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.

Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…


What kinds of books have you been reading recently? How’ve you been enjoying them?

Thanks for reading and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar