Spell the Month in Books: August 2023

Hello hello. *gasp* It’s an elusive Saturday post! I know, I know, calm down everyone. I’m okay! I just wanted to test the waters on a new monthly post I’ve found that I wanna participate in.

It’s probably obvious from my featured image, but the post is Spell the Month in Books. Spell the Month in Books is a monthly post created and hosted by Jana @ Reviews from the Stacks. I actually discovered it a bit ago, but was nervous about participating in it for whatever reason. But new I’m not, so here. We. Go! I’m gonna spell August in books!


Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton
Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton
★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 • My Review


Unraveller by Frances Hardinge
★★★★★ • 5 / 5 • My Review


Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
★★★★✯ • 4.5 / 5


Unwind by Neal Shusterman
★★★★★ • 5 / 5


The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
★★★★★ • 5 / 5 • My Review


Timekeeper by Tara Sim
★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 • My Review

What books did you choose to spell August with? Did we choose any of the same ones? Have you read any of the books I chose?

As always, thank you to anyone who read and enjoyed my post. Regardless, I hope anyone and everyone has a really good day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Monthly Wrap-Up: April Reading 2023

April 2023 Reading

May the 4th be with you!

Sooo… this is later than I hoped it’d be, but here it finally is – the April 2023 Monthly Reading Wrap-Up!

The first of May falling on a Monday really messed with my posting, and I never post a reading wrap up until the month is done, so I had to wait till today to post this. Better (slightly) late than never, I suppose. Then again, I don’t think I got February 2023’s out until the fourth of the month either…

Anyway, talking about April – I’m very happy with how much I read last month. My statistics were great on The StoryGraph. It was the most reading that I’ve done yet this year! I also finished my reading goal for this year! Yay!

But I’ve prattled on enough. On with the stats!

April 2023 Reading Stats

I read 6 books and 1750 pages
April 2023 Reading

😐 MOODS: Adventurous and Emotional were once again the biggest slices in the Moods pie chart. Mysterious, Tense, and Dark were much smaller slices than they’ve been in the past.

👢 PACE: Medium-paced books were once again king this month, but I did read a decent slice’s worth of a fast-paced novel.

🔢 PAGE NUMBER: I read a lot of shorter books in April than I did in March. 300 to 499 was still the biggest part of the pie here, though.

📖 FICTION/NONFICTION: Once again, all fiction. I have a nonfiction book I’m reading right now though, so May’s F/N pie graph will finally look different.

April 2023 Reading

🎭 GENRES: Science Fiction and Fantasy were the two biggest parts of the graph this time, but that’s cuz I was in a sci-fi mood this month. Dystopian and Romance also made their way onto the Genres bar graph, as well.

📄 FORMAT: The little StoryGraph pie chart for this is wrong once again. (At this rate, I don’t think I’ll ever fix this, haha.) 50% were printed copies, and 50% were digital. (And this is even counting the manga I read, which I didn’t add to my StoryGraph reading stats.)

RATING: My median star rating for the month of April was 3.54. I was even more all over the place with my enjoyment of the books that I read last month than I’ve been all year so far.

📉 PAGES READ DAILY: I read quite a bit during the first week and a half, but dipped down in the middle. During the last third of April though, I read a ton.

The Books I Read in April

Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens


The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells


Heavenly Delusion: Tengoku Daimakyo by Masakazu Ishiguro


(rating is for entire manga)

Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton


Chance by Matthew FitzSimmons


In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune


Noragami: Stray God by Adachitoka


(rating is for entire manga)

Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth


Wrapping Up the Wrap-Up

April was my most successful month for reading so far, and I’m so happy about that. I hope to read even more in May if I can, however. That’s every bookworm’s dream, though, isn’t it? Haha.

The goal for May 2023 is to read more (as I just mentioned), and to blog more. Cuz the latter could’ve gone better. However, I’m having a very good start to the month, so far. Here’s hoping I can keep it up! And the April 2023 Reading Wrap-Up comes to a close.

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 4/17 – 4/23

It’s later than I usually post it, and definitely later than I intended, but here’s the weekly wrap-up for last week. I was just so gosh darn busy yesterday, that I forgot to do my final once-over and post it. Whoops.

Anyway, it’s here now, and I’m happy with the stuff I posted last week, even if I’m not happy with how many days I posted last week. This week, even though I’m not off to the best start, I’m going to do better.

But that’s enough of a preamble. Let’s get into the wrap-up.

Wednesday 4/19: Can’t-Wait Wednesday / WWW Wednesday

Last Wednesday, I participated in Can’t-Wait Wednesday for the first time. Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings. I also posted for (and also participated in) WWW Wednesday, which is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday #1

WWW Wednesday 4/19

Friday 4/21: Antimatter Blues Review / First Line Friday

On Friday, I posted my review of Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton, the sequel to Mickey7. I gave it ★★★★☆. I also participated in First Line Fridays, a weekly feature (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

My review of Antimatter Blues

First Line Friday #11

Saturday 4/22: April 2023 Birthstone Book Covers

Saturday was when I finally posted my contribution to Birthstone Book Covers, a really fun monthly thing created and hosted by Leslie @ Books are the New Black. April was just really hard, okay? I needed to think about it a little more.

Birthstone Book Covers: April 2023

Books I Read Last Week

Heavenly Delusion: Tengoku Daimakyo by Masakazu Ishiguro

I binged the whole thing last week – this rating is for the entire manga. It’s very, very good.

Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton
Chance by Matthew Fitzsimmons

Goals for 4/24 – 4/30

I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, but this time, definitely up my game from last week. I’m gonna keep up my reading momentum though – last week I read a ton compared to the weeks before, and I want to continue that.

As for posts coming this week: my Chance review will be coming later today, I’ll probably be participating in WWW Wednesday tomorrow, I’ll do a review of In the Lives of Puppets tomorrow or the next day, First Line Friday for Friday, and something else probably. I don’t know that it’s gonna be yet, though.

As always, thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

“Antimatter Blues” by Edward Ashton | Book Review

“Look, there is a very good chance that this is going to end badly, okay? You can’t come with me. You’re not an Expendable.”

“Neither are you,” she says. “Remember?”

Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton

Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton

SERIES: Mickey7 (Book #2)

LENGTH: 304 pages

GENRES: Science Fiction, Fiction

PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Press

RELEASE DATE: 14 March 2023


Edward Ashton’s Antimatter Blues is the thrilling follow up to Mickey7 in which an expendable heads out to explore new terrain for human habitation.

Summer has come to Niflheim. The lichens are growing, the six-winged bat-things are chirping, and much to his own surprise, Mickey Barnes is still alive—that last part thanks almost entirely to the fact that Commander Marshall believes that the colony’s creeper neighbors are holding an antimatter bomb, and that Mickey is the only one who’s keeping them from using it. Mickey’s just another colonist now. Instead of cleaning out the reactor core, he spends his time these days cleaning out the rabbit hutches. It’s not a bad life.

It’s not going to last.

It may be sunny now, but winter is coming. The antimatter that fuels the colony is running low, and Marshall wants his bomb back. If Mickey agrees to retrieve it, he’ll be giving up the only thing that’s kept his head off of the chopping block. If he refuses, he might doom the entire colony. Meanwhile, the creepers have their own worries, and they’re not going to surrender the bomb without getting something in return. Once again, Mickey finds the fate of two species resting in his hands. If something goes wrong this time, though, he won’t be coming back.

My Review

“You’re not an Expendable, babe. You’re just Mickey Barnes now. That means you don’t have to die for me anymore.” She puts one hand behind my neck and pulls me to her until our foreheads touch. “That means you don’t get to die for me anymore.”

So, even though I didn’t find it as good as the first book, I still really liked Antimatter Blues. It was still sassy, and it still had the characters I loved from Mickey7 (for the most part – we’ll get to that).

This book begins two years after the first one ends. And it immediately starts off with a banger line that you’d expect out of our MC, Mickey Barnes.

Mickey is just as sassy as he was in book one, and I loved that. But his character doesn’t really change in this book. Like, it seemed like he went and finished his entire character arc in the last novel.

In AB, Mickey honestly seems to regress a little bit as a character and redoes part of his arc from Mickey7 a second time. The sequel even goes out of its way to discuss the Ship of Theseus again.

“Oh no,” he says. “Don’t start with that shit. I gave you up for dead once, remember? It didn’t work out. This time, I’m assuming you’re gonna find a way to weasel out of this right up until I actually see your mangled corpse-and even then, I’m checking for a pulse.”

Berto is definitely someone who’s grown as a character here though. He’s changed from someone who’d abandon his friends during the very rare times that he feels fear, into someone who’d always return for them. With more firepower.

Nasha, one of the best characters of the first book, however, is one of the worst characters here. Mostly because for most of the novel she kept complaining about how they were all going to die, and it became incredibly annoying very quickly. It also seems quite out of character for her, being the independent, badass woman she was.

“Greetings,” it says when it reaches me. “What is pervert? We do not have this word.”

That surprises me a little, considering that they’ve been monitoring my conversations with Berto for two years, but okay.

“It’s a term of affection,” I say. “Have you reached a decision about our request?”

I rather liked Speaker though – the liaison sent by the worm aliens to help Mickey retrieve the antimatter bomb from his “friends in the south.” He was strangely endearing, and I honestly cared more about him over most of the human characters.

Concerning Marshall, our resident a-hole from the first book, I liked him less here. Mostly because he didn’t get as much page time as before, but also because his interactions with Mickey, one of the highlights of book one, were cut down in Antimatter Blues. There’s also the matter of the thing that happens at the end – there wasn’t enough buildup to it, and I felt that it cheapened it significantly.

Speaking of that thing.


Marshall sacrificing himself was nice and all, and was an okay end to his character, but it bothers me that he didn’t interact with Mickey a final time before it happened. We, the reader, find out about it after he does it, and through an exposition dump he left behind. Ugh. I absolutely hated that.

And then the book just kinda ends. Right there. Sure there’s a little epilogue after it, but it’s literally like two pages. And then it ends. It just felt very abrupt and I didn’t like that.


Aside from the thing, and Nasha suddenly acting out of character, the rest of the novel was pretty much fine. All the plot threads were tied up, but it was left slightly open-ended in case Ashton would want to return to this universe someday.

And the hell of it is, I actually hadn’t remembered, not until she said it. I haven’t uploaded in over two years now. Even if Marshall winds up pulling another Mickey Barnes out of the tank when I’m dead, it won’t be me.

All in all, I really liked Antimatter Blues. Though not as good as its predecessor, I thought it was a good follow-up.

I definitely recommend this to fans of Mickey7, but also others who like sci-fi in space. People who enjoy The Murderbot Diaries would also probably like this duology.

Anyway, thanks as always for reading, and have a fabulous day/night!

See ya ~Mar

My review of Mickey7

WWW Wednesday 4/19

Okay. So I’m not reading nearly as much as I had been last month, and that’s slightly disappointing. But that’s cuz I, very unfortunately, fell into a bit of a reading slump midway through last week. So I’ve been holding off. But I’ve recently started a new book that I’m excited to read, so hopefully that slump is ending!

WWW Wednesday is a 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 I’m Currently Reading

Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton

Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton


CURRENT FEELS: 😁 (excited)

The Thing I Just Finished Reading

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

★★★✯☆ • 3. 5 / 5

The Thing I Might Read Next

Chance by Matthew Fitzsimmons

Chance by Matthew Fitzsimmons

As always, thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar