November 2022 Reading Wrap-Up

November is over, and with it, part one of holiday season hell. Oh, and my StoryGraph statistics for my November reading are complete, too. Can’t forget about that; this is a book blog, after all.

Just like for October, I’m going to do a bit of a reading wrap-up talking about my book stats, a la The StoryGraph. This includes my reading moods, genres, page count, et cetera. So, let’s get started!

To begin, I’m going to highlight three pie charts: my moods, pace, and page number. Regarding the moods (the pie graph in the middle), they were adventurous, mysterious, and lighthearted. That’s one mood up from October! Woohoo. I also read more books this past month, so that also probably affected the stats here. I think you guys can get an inkling of the energy I like in my books.

For the pacing, it can be inferred from the graph on the left that I most likely enjoy fast-paced novels the best. Which is… absolutely correct! I just like their flow, and how, even though the characters still have time to have a few moments to reflect, the plot really keeps chugging along.

Regarding page count, it’s obvious from the rightmost pic that I enjoy primarily average length novels. Nothing too long or too short – something juuusst right.

For this section, I’ll be discussing three more graphs: genres, format, and the fiction/nonfiction ratio. Looking at the bar graph in the middle, you can see that I really, really love fantasy. Which is totally me – it is absolutely, hands down, my favorite genre ever. I just can’t get enough of it. The rest of it is a little more all over the place, so it’s a bit harder to identify what other stuff on the graph I like, so I’ll just tell you. Just this once. (Probably.) I primarily read YA and NA (I know, you totally can’t tell from my book reviews, haha), with the occasional adult or middle-grade book here and there. I read books for the story first, and what section I found it in the bookstore second, though. I also really like sci-fi and horror, though this graph doesn’t indicate that nearly as much (or at all).

For the format, print all the way! I’m just not an audiobook kind of person. Like, I’ve given it a shot a couple of times, and it just didn’t do it for me. I like to do the heavy lifting myself when it comes to reading books. No offense to you audiobook lovers out there or anything.

Concerning the fic/nonfic ratio, it more often than not gonna be mostly – if not completely, as seen on the pie chart on the right – fiction. Occasionally, I will however, read a nonfiction book of sorts. Occasionally.

And here we are, the last two graphs. Two lovely bar graphs, one for star ratings and one for pages per day. For the star rating graph, you can see my average is 3.75 stars. Almost a perfect 4 star average! But I just didn’t like The Conjurer all that much, so they really brought the average down.

As for the pages per day graph, it can be seen that I really picked up reading the second half of November. (The first half was just busier, okay?!?) At the end there, though, I really pick up on the book consumption. Like, it really spikes right after Thanksgiving.

And now that we’re finished with all these stats, let’s get into the actual books that I finished last month. Without further ado…

The Conjurer by Nick Oliveri

This book is about a guy named Mikalla, who works as the Conjurer to the king of Idaza. Throughout the novel, he discovers a terrible plot, and the majority of the book deals with his struggle with serving his kingdom, and with what he believes to be right. As well as a lot of extraneous bullcrap.

Those who have been reading some of my book reviews for a couple of weeks now know just how I feel about this book. I won’t spoil anything for anyone, since it’s technically my first book roast (though I really wish it wasn’t – I really wanted to like this one). I gave this 1.5 / 5 stars. Check out the full review here.

In Deeper Waters by F. T. Lukens

This book is about a prince named Tal who’s going on his coming of age kingdom tour. Through all of the crazy stuff that ends up happening, he encounters a mysterious boy named Athlen. Who is definitely not a merman. Definitely not. More stuff happens, they bond, you might be able to figure out the rest. (I know this is a bit vague, but I like to be as spoiler free as possible.)

I gave this 4 / 5 stars, so I totally liked it. Come read the full review here, if you haven’t already.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding [Prosper Redding #1] by Alexandra Bracken

Prosper Redding is the disappointment to the Redding family; as in, he’s a bit of a disaster. (He’s good at art, but unfortunately, no one cares about that. A-holes.) His family’s disdain for him comes to a head two weeks before his thirteenth birthday, where it is revealed that he has the demon, Alastor, Prince of Friends, sharing his body with him. And it all devolves from there.

It was my favorite book that I read in November. I rated it 5 / 5 stars. Check out the full review (if you haven’t yet) here.

The Last Life of Prince Alastor [Prosper Redding #2] by Alexandra Bracken

After the ending of the first novel, Prosper and Alastor must learn to work together, if they want to save the things that they love. But can they? This is really short, but it is a sequel, so I want to keep spoilers to the bare minimum.

I haven’t posted my review for this book yet, but know that I gave it 4.5 / 5 stars. Still a great book, but I liked the first one a little more. The book review for this is coming soon.

And that’s a wrap for the November 2022 Reading Wrap-Up. What books did you read last month? What did you think of them? Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day/night!

Weekly Wrap-Up: 11/14 – 11/20

So, a couple of weeks ago, I posted a book haul/reading update thing. And it taught me that I shouldn’t do book hauls. Not cuz I don’t get books every week or so and read them, but cuz I can’t keep a schedule when it comes to reading books.

Also, sometimes I DNF them and stuff. Yeah…

So, I decided to do it at the end of the week instead. That way I don’t have to commit to specific stuff ahead of time. And, without further ado, let’s get started!

Monday 11/14: Majestic Monday #2

This week on Monday, I did a Majestic Monday, as usual. This week I highlighted Savage Lands by Stacey Marie Brown. It’s another one of those sexy faerie books, a la Sarah J. Maas, and it had good reviews. And a great cover.

As I discuss in the cover review, I really liked the contrast between the gold and the green on the cover. As well as the font of the title and design in general.

Tuesday 11/15: Mickey7 Review

Here, I did a book review. This one was on a book that had been languishing in the back of my mind for a few months, and that I was kinda sitting on the review for a while. It was Mickey7 by Edward Ashton, a sassy, sci-fi adventure, featuring both humor and existentialism.

I know; it’s quite the combination it has there. But Ashton really balances it well. Oh, and it’s apparently gonna be a movie, I guess? With Robert Pattinson. Yeah… Anyway, check out my review.

Wednesday 11/16: Shelf Control #3

For this week’s Shelf Control – on Wednesday, as per usual – I focused on An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. This is a book that I’ve had for years, but has spent that time just sitting on one of my bookshelves.

It’s one of those that I bought on a whim, cuz the summary seemed slightly interesting, and it had good reviews. But, it’s also one I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to reading. Find out why.

Thursday 11/17: Serpent & Dove Retrospective Review

On Thursday, I did another Reading Retrospective. This time, it was on Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Going through it again cemented my feelings that it’s an okay book, but it’s mostly guilty-pleasure-romance.

It’s not really that bad – though I do have Opinions on certain characters – but it isn’t great either. (Blood & Honey, it’s sequel, was not so okay, on the other hand. More on that later.)

Friday 11/18: The Murderbot Diaries Review

At long last, I’ve finally gotten around to doing my The Murderbot Diaries review. It wasn’t a long time coming or anything, but it has been a few weeks since I’ve finished Fugitive Telemetry, so it definitely took a bit to get done.

All I have to say is, I definitely recommend this series. If this little section doesn’t convince you, then please check out my review.

Saturday 11/19: Error 404 Not Found

Uhhh… Just pretend there’s something here. Yeah…

Sunday 11/20: Weekly Wrap-up & Goals for the Coming Week

So yeah, this is all the stuff I posted this week. Not everything I wanted to do, unfortunately, but that’s life. Gonna try to get more of what I want to do done, but we’ll see what happens with the holiday weekend and all that.

Goals for Next Week: 11/21 – 11/27
  • Post 2 or 3 book reviews
  • Post 1 or 2 retrospectives
  • Majestic Monday
  • Shelf Control
  • …Maybe something Thanksgiving themed?

Annnd, that’s all I’ve got for this week! See you all again, next time!

Book Review: Mickey7 • Edward Ashton

“What difference does it make if he replaces them one by one, or if he replaces them all at once?”

About Mickey7

Series: Mickey7 (yes, it’s a series now) (as well as an upcoming movie, apparently)

Length: 288 pages

Genre: Science fiction

Released On: February 15, 2022

Book Description

The Martian meets Multiplicity in Edward Ashton’s high concept science fiction thriller, in which Mickey7, an “expendable,” refuses to let his replacement clone Mickey8 take his place.

Dying isn’t any fun…but at least it’s a living.

Mickey7 is an Expendable: a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonize the ice world Niflheim. Whenever there’s a mission that’s too dangerous—even suicidal—the crew turns to Mickey. After one iteration dies, a new body is regenerated with most of his memories intact. After six deaths, Mickey7 understands the terms of his deal…and why it was the only colonial position unfilled when he took it.

On a fairly routine scouting mission, Mickey7 goes missing and is presumed dead. By the time he returns to the colony base, surprisingly helped back by native life, Mickey7’s fate has been sealed. There’s a new clone, Mickey8, reporting for Expendable duties. The idea of duplicate Expendables is universally loathed, and if caught, they will likely be thrown into the recycler for protein.

Mickey7 must keep his double a secret from the rest of the colony. Meanwhile, life on Niflheim is getting worse. The atmosphere is unsuitable for humans, food is in short supply, and terraforming is going poorly. The native species are growing curious about their new neighbors, and that curiosity has Commander Marshall very afraid. Ultimately, the survival of both lifeforms will come down to Mickey7.

That is, if he can just keep from dying for good.

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

× 5 / 5 stars

So, like, I know that I said I’d read Children of Ragnarok next – and I am! But, this review has been languishing for a while – I read Mickey7 a few months ago (*cough* When-It-Came-Out-And-No-I-Don’t-Want-To-Talk-About–It* cough*), so I thought that it was finally time to release this.

Let’s get into how I felt about this book, because this book made me feel.


  • The Characters

The strongest aspect of this book was definitely the characters. Mickey Barnes, both 7 and 8, were both very compelling characters; though Mickey7 was our main protagonist, and the one whose POV we followed throughout the story.

I really liked Mickey, he was blunt and sassy, and he was a history major. A history major. Who doesn’t love that? Especially with how out of place it is in a sci-fi setting, wherein it’s just a tad useless. (Mickey realizes the irony, don’t worry.) In fact, his poorly chosen college major (sorry, all history majors. I sincerely promise I’m not dunking on you. I was very nearly a history major myself.) is the conduit to many of the events of the plot.

But the real highlight of Mickey’s character is definitely his personality. His sass is absolutely fantastic. Not only is it prevalent in his dialogue, but throughout his entire narration, as well. And it never gets old

I’m not the most sensitive person, but I’ve been alive long enough to figure out that telling a miserable person about how much worse things can be is usually a bad idea.

The banter and relationship between the two Mickeys is also extremely compelling and interesting. Are you still the same person if there’s suddenly two of you? If you’re missing some of the memories that another you has, how different are you really? Are you the same individual you were seven or eight clones ago? The existentialism focused on in Mickey7 is as fascinating as it is soul crushing.

Regarding the rest of the cast: I quite liked them. Berto was a fun best-friend-type character who plays off of Mickey’s wit pretty well, as well as his differing skills and interests. You also understood very clearly why these two were friends, which is something that some books don’t establish very well. So kudos to that.

Nasha is also amazing. She’s introduced as Mickey’s girlfriend, but immediately feels like so much more. She’s awesome, not just cuz she’s a badass, but because of how committed to her and Mickey’s relationship. As difficult as being an Expendable is for Mickey – with the whole dying horribly over and over again thing – Nasha has to deal with this externally. She continues an extremely intimate relationship with him, despite the fact that he might suddenly no longer be the same man that he was the day before (literally). But she just takes everything in stride and gives everything she has to their relationship, just like Mickey. It should be noted that their dialogue together is also amazing.

The other characters were also great, though I don’t find them nearly that notable. The human antagonist was decent, too, and I loved the verbal shiz he and Mickey constantly flung at each other. Also, the giant space worms were pretty cool too, I guess.

  • The Setting

Ashton manages to create a richly built world (worlds? universe?). The ship that is most of the setting feels so vivid, and the entire atmosphere of Niflheim – the land and the alien creatures – are so richly described.

I also like the emphasis on how it’s so far in the future, that history and our modern era (Mickey7’s past) are irrelevant. It almost feels like a fantastical space opera, in some ways.


  • The World Building

I know, I know. I just mentioned how much I loved the setting and all that, but I didn’t care as much for how it was actually built. The switching between “past” and “present” chapters kind of prevented me being as completely drawn in as I would’ve liked.

And there was also a lot of superfluous exposition, particularly in the “past” chapters, which really kept me from getting as into those as I would’ve liked. I found myself skimming several paragraphs at a time, and I still didn’t miss anything. Don’t get me wrong, some of the background was pretty cool. I just wish it hadn’t been so info dumpy at times.

  • The Plot

It wasn’t as strongly focused on as it could’ve been, but that’s the drawback of a mostly character focused narrative. I’m not disappointed about this at all, actually, but it could technically be considered a weak point of the book, so I put it here for that reason. That’s also why this part is so short and sweet – nothing really positive or negative about it, honestly.

Final Thoughts

Mickey7 was an enjoyable little read, perfect for a free afternoon or (preferably) late at night when the existentialism hits you harder. It balances snappy dialogue and humor masterfully with the more serious aspects of the narrative.

I definitely recommend to those who like sci-fi, but more soft sci-fi. Like I said, the world building is okay, but it’s not as grand as many hard sci-fi epics out there. This is a very character driven story, and the novel is very aware of this, and does this part very well. So if you like character focused stories, you’ll probably like Mickey7, too.

Majestic Mondays (Admiring Pretty Book Covers) Week #2: Savage Lands

Well, it’s Monday again. So it’s once again time to admire pretty looking book covers. That’s it, that’s what this is.

Anyway, it’s Majestic Monday!

This week, instead of bubbly blue and pretty pink, the cover that I’m highlighting is green and gold.

This Monday it’s Savage Lands by Stacey Marie Brown.

Savage Lands • Stacey Marie Brown

Series: Savage Lands [Book #1]

Length: 425 pages

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Publication: Self-published [October 20, 2020]

Book Description

Almost twenty years after the barrier between Earth and the Otherworld fell in the Fae Wars, Budapest is balancing on the precipice. A battle for dominance is brewing between the elite fae and the privileged humans in Eastern Europe. The prejudice between the sides is bubbling with hate and violence.

Nineteen-year-old human, Brexley, has grown up in privilege, but not without heartbreak. After being orphaned, she is taken in by General Markos, living in a walled city rife with power grabs and ruthless political games. Then one night the course of her life changes, and Brexley is thrown into the most feared prison in the east. Halalhaz, the House of Death—where you go in but don’t come out. She must learn to live with the worst of fae and human criminals. The rule of hierarchy puts humans on the bottom, where the only way to survive each day is to make alliances with the fae.

Here she meets the sexy, vicious legend, Warwick Farkas. A myth among man and fae. He is as brutal, cruel, arrogant, and as lethal as the lore says he is, ruling the prison with unchallenged authority. Brexley can’t deny an intense draw to him, one that might cost her life. If The Games don’t take her out first—A fight to the death where only one survives.

*This series is set in the same world as the Darkness>Collector>Lightness Saga, but can be read alone. Though, there are a lot of hidden gems from the other books in here!

To start off, this cover is gorgeous – obviously (it wouldn’t be on this list if it wasn’t). I love how boldly the gold stands out atop the green. I also love how the lettering transforms into flames at the top – it makes the cover look feral and untamed.

I adore how the castle looks near the bottom. Once again, the gold stands out beautifully on the green. The emerald shade of the green is so pretty, as well. The entire thing looks so rich and magical. It really evokes the thought “This is a fantasy novel,” super well. Like, you can definitely tell that this book has fairies in it.

This book looks like it has a fairly decent premise, and it has good reviews (however that doesn’t always mean anything, as The Conjurer taught us last week). It’ll probably be something that fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses series would like, though, so if you’re into that, I have a feeling that this is probably your type of book. I’ve decided to start rating how good I think the covers are, beginning with Savage Lands. So, here it is:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

× 4 / 5 stars

And so ends another Majestic Monday. I’m thinking of doing a few books, like three or something, starting next week. One just doesn’t feel like enough to me, for whatever reason.

So anyway, what do you think of this Savage Lands’ cover? Have you read it or any of its sequels? As always, thanks for reading!

Reading Retrospective: The Thief

So… I’ve decided to start a little series here where I highlight books that I’ve read in the past, before starting The Blog That Nobody Knows.

Books that I’ve read and loved and hated, but have never reviewed at all. Books from my college days and childhood days alike. Books that I want to acknowledge and remember.

I present to everyone, the first Reading Retrospective.

This time, I’m going to be talking about The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner.

About This Book

Title & Author: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Series: The Queen’s Thief

Length: 320 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Publication: Greenwillow Books; Reprint Edition [February 28, 2017]

When I Originally Read It: October 2018

Book Description

New York Times-bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner’s entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics. This first book in series introduces one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. The Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.

Eugenides, the queen’s thief, can steal anything—or so he says. When his boasting lands him in prison and the king’s magus invites him on a quest to steal a legendary object, he’s in no position to refuse. The magus thinks he has the right tool for the job, but Gen has plans of his own. The Queen’s Thief novels have been praised by writers, critics, reviewers, and fans, and have been honored with glowing reviews, “best of” citations, and numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Newbery Honor, the Andre Norton Award shortlist, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.

Retrospective Review

★★★✩✩ • 3 / 5 stars

I am a master of foolhardy plans, I thought. I have so much practice I consider them professional risks.

So, listen, I know that this book is well-loved and nostalgic for quite a few people, but the highest rating that I could give this was “okay.” It was just a bit too slow-paced for my liking. And I’m not super big on political stuff in books, especially when it’s as prominent as it is in this one. I’m here for the adventure, not all that other stuff.

I will say that Eugenides was the absolute best part of the book, and the reason that I continued to power through it. I loved his sassy personality and how he constantly pissed everyone off around him. It’s a bit reminiscent of Murderbot/SecUnit from The Murderbot Diaries looking back on it.

I identified them as Useless the Older and Useless the Younger for the time being.

See, isn’t that such a Murderbot thing to say? Anyway, I never really connected with any of the other characters, and that also put a damper on my reading experience. And I found all the political and war stuff boring, so that also really affected what I thought of the book. Honestly, if this book wasn’t as short as it was, I probably would have ended up DNF-ing it.

But yeah, Gen (I don’t care how much he hates that name, I am not typing out the other thing again) was an absolute delight, and totally carried the book for me.

I should also probably mention that I don’t like it when info dumps happen; whether their plot or character-related, is irrelevant. And this book had a huge one near the end and it completely changes the way that you see the entire novel. And yeah, I sometimes think stuff like that is cool. But not when it involves an exposition dump to explain everything to the reader in great detail. (If you were curious, this one was actually both. So it was doubly annoying, in my opinion.)

I, unfortunately, don’t have a lot to say about this book. (I’ve found that this happens sometimes with “okay” books.) Anyway, if the synopsis intrigues you, then definitely check this one out. Like I said above, this one is kind of beloved, and probably for a good reason, even if it wasn’t my favorite.

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Have you read the rest of the series? Thanks, as always, for tuning in and have a fantastic day/night!

Book Review: The Conjurer • Nick Oliveri

Power is a dance of shadows.

About This Book

Title & Author: The Conjurer by Nick Oliveri

Length: 194 pages

Genres: Literary Fiction

Publication: Write My Wrongs LLC [December 8, 2021]

Book Description

In the thriving kingdom of Idaza, Mikalla is the adored Conjurer, the nation’s chief storyteller, using the shadows cast by the city’s glorious ceremonial flame.

But death awaits around every corner. Addiction rattles the king. Trauma haunts the nobility and their conflicting motives. Murder happens, but to find out who succumbs to it is a journey the reader must take alone through the halls and palaces of the glorious Inner Gardens.

With a beautiful family and his position as one of King Oro’s favorite courtiers, Mikalla’s life is perfect. That is, until the king commands him to deliver a deadly message—one that will inevitably end in bloodshed and a war-torn Idaza.

With King Oro’s minions—Secretary Kitan and General Jax—skulking in the wings, Mikalla doesn’t know who to trust. Worse, he isn’t sure who’s really pulling the strings behind this political charade.

Betrayal and murder lie in the shadows Mikalla has always used to captivate the masses.

Will the flames reveal the truth hidden within the twisted schemes, or will Mikalla rise to his government’s call? Mikalla, the Conjurer, must realize his choices alone hold the power to change Idaza—to change everything.

My Review

★✬✩✩✩ • 1.5 / 5 stars (I’m sorry… ☹️)

This book… Unfortunately, I have things to say about this book, and most of them aren’t good. I feel terrible about it, because I hate rating stuff one star – and I’ve never done it for a book before – but I just couldn’t justify rating it any higher.

I have things to say about all kinds of things, from the plot, to the characters, to the dialogue, to the prose itself. Because of this, I’ll be doing something I haven’t really done before here: I’m going to be breaking this review into different sections. It’ll all be one review, don’t worry, I’m just talking about the formatting. Cuz I want everything to be clear (unlike this book).

And I really don’t want to dunk on it too much, since it’s a debut novel and all – and I firmly believe that all writers can improve – but I will be presenting my points as criticisms. I’m not flaming or anything – I promise! I always aim to be my best self, even on the internet – and I am intending absolutely no offense whatsoever. Think of these as some critiques! 😁

The Pros

I thought I’d start off this review on a brighter light. To start with, I actually really like the cover. It’s pretty simple, and some might not find it to be eye-catching, but I honestly did. It’s actually what attracted me to The Conjurer in the first place. I love the way that the red looks on the white background, and how there’s only occasionally a bit of black used for the shadow puppets. It really makes them stand out all the more. I also like how the red fire underneath the puppets appears to be creeping upwards – it makes the threat juxtaposed against Mikalla’s morality seem dangerous.

The other thing that I really liked, were some of the lines. The opening line in particular is pretty good, and it’s the quote I used at the top of my review. It really boils the core of the story down to one line in a fantastic way. There were other good lines though:

He was the caster of narrative whimsy, the creator of the gods.


He entrenched his audience in the characters’ lives. He swept them up in the torrent of the plot. And then, awash in the rapids of the story, he spat the audience out of the cyclone and left them transformed.

I also quite liked the first chapter. It was the part of the novel where the writing was strongest. (The writing, unfortunately, went downhill from there.) In fact, it’s where I found most of my favorite lines, including all of the quotes above.

It’s a shame I didn’t have anything else that I liked, because I was pretty excited about reading this book, as the plot looked promising and it had good reviews. But I just didn’t gel with most of what this book had.

The Cons

Part I: The Writing (or Prose – Whichever You Prefer)

It’s not that great. I hate to say it, but it really isn’t. To me at least. Maybe I’m completely wrong and this book is actually amazing. I don’t know. The only thing I can say for sure is that the writing in this book definitely wasn’t for me.

First off, the POV is all over the place. Like, in the same chapter, the POV will suddenly shift from one character to another, without even a divider, or even extra space between paragraphs. It was very disjointed and felt as if the author was attempting 3rd Person Limited and 3rd Person Omniscient at the exact same time, which sorry, but it’s just not possible.

To elaborate, what I mean is it’ll stay on one character in 3rd Person Limited, and then abruptly transition to another character and be slightly more omniscient. And sometimes, in a character’s limited POV they’ll notice something about another character’s thoughts or expressions that this particular character shouldn’t know, and is clearly for the reader’s benefit.

A good example of this is when the King of Idaza, Oro, is having a discussion with his advisor, Kiten, and then they break off and Kiten walks away from the king. This is in Oro’s POV by the way. Anyway, Kiten walks away from the king, completely facing away from the king, by the way, and then he smirks to himself. There is no way that King Oro can possibly see this, so how is Kiten smirking in Oro’s POV? Or is it somehow Kiten’s POV now?

And don’t even get me started on some of the descriptions in this book. The way the author chooses to describe certain things boggles my mind. Also, the similes and metaphors don’t make sense.

I guess I’ll get into the grammar a little bit. There’s several run-on sentences, incorrect use of tenses, and missing punctuation, among other things. I really, really hate to say this, but it really felt like a first draft or something, not a book ready to go. But yeah, here’s a quote that’s kind of all over the place in terms of tense, and it also doubles as being a poor metaphor:

The next morning, Oro sat on his throne like fungi sitting atop the moss of a tree.

I’m not going to say anything specific about this quote, you can make any and all judgements on your own. I also don’t want to start getting nitpicky about anything, as this review is already ludicrously long. (Sorry about that.)

Part II: The Plot

The plot was probably the least egregious part of the novel. Even though the synopsis embellishes it a little, it is accurate. Now, I didn’t end up enjoying the story as much as I’d hoped, but that part’s on me. Nothing against the storytelling itself. So good on the author for that! You did good there author!

There was an odd dream sequence about halfway through that I didn’t really get. I guess it was supposed to be Mikalla, the main character’s, subconscious realization that that something was very wrong in his personal life, even if he wouldn’t accept it outwardly. But it was a little confusing, and it really came out of nowhere, and I wasn’t really sure why it was there at all.

Part III: The Characters

I didn’t like any of them. Mikalla wasn’t a compelling protagonist. Characters in the book often describe him as a child in a thirty-eight year old man’s body (not in those exact words), and I can’t say that they’re wrong, unfortunately. I think that the author was trying to go for a free spirit who has a strong moral compass, and will do the right thing at the cost of everything. The moral compass aspect came across decently, but everything else didn’t really. He’s also incredibly indecisive and nervous most of the time, despite his very high station. Also, it should be noted that Mikalla is not like other guys: he was born on the lower end of nobility so he’s not as much of an ignoramus as the rest of them.

King Oro was probably the worst character in the book, though. I don’t understand how this man hasn’t passed away from alcohol poisoning already, because every scene he’s in – and not just the ones from his POV either – he’s constantly drinking. Constantly. And also, he’s incredibly lazy and idiotic, which I understand was probably the point, but it still stinks. Like, I get that he was supposed to be essentially a puppet king, with his advisor making the real decisions from behind his shoulder, but Oro was comically incompetent. He couldn’t do anything on his own. And yes, there was a bit of a backstory for this in the last third of the book, but it didn’t help me sympathize with him at all. At some point in your life, you just need to start adulting, and he never does. (It should be noted that characters often describe him as an overgrown child, just like Mikalla.)

Kiten and Jani, Mikalla’s wife, also suck. Kiten is a weak antagonist (that’s not a spoiler, it’s obvious from the second he’s introduced), and he was only able to function that way in any capacity, was because everyone else around him was obscenely stupid and obtuse. Jani was annoying and she was clearly out to get Mikalla (that’s not a spoiler, it’s obvious from the second she’s introduced), and was an even weaker antagonist. Near the end, the author attempts to show that she has empathy and perhaps make her seem as more of a grayer character, but it just doesn’t work – she’d been established as something else for the entire novel until that point, with the empathy thing coming out of nowhere. Also, and this applies to both Kiten and Jani, their motivations didn’t feel very strong. I didn’t get a sense that either of them loved Idaza as much as they claimed they did.

The other characters didn’t matter and were extremely bland.

Part IV: The Dialogue

Oh, the dialogue… 😮‍💨 It wasn’t consistent at all. And some of the language used just did not fit the character using it. Like, King Oro would say “guys” all the time when talking to a group and it doesn’t sound very… kingly.

Don’t get me wrong, it can definitely work to have a ruler or leader speak like this, especially to their close friends, but this book allegedly takes place in an ancient time, though whether in a fantasy world or otherwise is unclear. So it was kinda weird to read Millennial speak coming out of some ancient king’s mouth. As well as everyone else’s. It just felt extremely unprofessional to me, and it really took me out of the story.

Part V: The Setting

I wasn’t originally going to do a Part 5, but as I was writing this review, I remembered that there were a few problems with the setting. It’s labeled as ancient historical literary fiction, but the prose makes this unclear. It’s a mish-mash of ancient culture and indoor plumbing. No, I’m not kidding: some of the nobles have plumbing. Because of this, it reads more as a fantasy novel to me, but without any magic. There’s nothing wrong with the literary fiction part of its genre classification though – that works perfectly fine.

TW: graphic descriptions of regurgitation, extreme alcohol addiction, war and violence

And that’s all I’ve got to say about The Conjurer. I desperately wanted to like this book, guys. Like I say near the beginning of my review (way, way up there), I was genuinely looking forward to this book, and perhaps that’s why I was so disappointed by the end of it. I feel horrible about one and a half star-ing it, but I just don’t feel like I could put it higher. It wouldn’t be true to my feelings, and I don’t want to display any falsehoods on that front. Ever.

I still encourage anyone who thinks the synopsis looks interesting to give it a shot, as the problem could have just been me, and the book might not be as much as fault as I feel it is.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to start reading Children of Ragnarok by Cinda Williams Chima. Thanks everyone, as always, for tuning in, and have a fantastic day/night!

Shelf Control Week #2: The Last Unicorn

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It’s that time of week again. So it’s time for more Shelf Control.

Shelf Control is an original feature created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out

For this week I chose The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.

The Last Unicorn • Peter S. Beagle

Length: 320 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Publication: Ace; Reissue Edition [January 1, 1991]

Book Description

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone... she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction....

In The Last Unicorn, renowned and beloved novelist Peter S. Beagle spins a poignant tale of love, loss, and wonder that has resonated with millions of readers around the world.

When I Got It

July 2016

Why I Wanted to Read It

I wanted to read The Last Unicorn because it’s a piece of classic fantasy literature, and I’ve heard such wonderful things about it. I’ve never seen the movie either, though I’ve also heard great things about that, too. It just seems like such a beautiful story, and I wanted to experience it for myself.

Why I Haven’t Read It Yet

I acquired it at the same time as several other books, and it just got lost in the shuffle. And I just kind of forgot that I had it on the back burner and never got around to reading it. I’d still like to though; hopefully soon rather than later.

Have you read The Last Unicorn? Did you find it to be as wonderful as everyone says it is?

As always, thank you to everyone for tuning in, and have a fantastic day/night!

Book Haul: Week of 11/6 – 11/12

Book hauls. Mm-hmm. Sooo… This is a book haul. Sort of. Everyone in the reading community has at least an inkling of what they are, and if you don’t, this picture above probably gives you a bit of an idea. But they’re usually kind of big – or at least bigger than this – but this is the best I can do. I just can’t commit to more than a couple books at a time, okay?

Now, I’ve gotta be honest here. I haven’t done too many book hauls, and the ones that I have done have always been a little too much. I know the reason, though. It’s cuz I read one or two, and then I feel obligated to read the rest of the books, but I’d also just gotten distracted and enticed by a new book I’ve come across, and I really want to read that one right now immediately.

So instead of doing five or six books, I’m doing three. That way there won’t be any anxieties about deciding on my next read.

So, here we go!

The Conjurer • Nick Oliveri

Length: 194 pages

Genre: Ancient Historical Fiction

Publication: Write My Wrongs LLC [December 8, 2021]

Book Description

In the thriving kingdom of Idaza, Mikalla is the adored Conjurer, the nation’s chief storyteller, using the shadows cast by the city’s glorious ceremonial flame.

But death awaits around every corner. Addiction rattles the king. Trauma haunts the nobility and their conflicting motives. Murder happens, but to find out who succumbs to it is a journey the reader must take alone through the halls and palaces of the glorious Inner Gardens.

With a beautiful family and his position as one of King Oro’s favorite courtiers, Mikalla’s life is perfect. That is, until the king commands him to deliver a deadly message—one that will inevitably end in bloodshed and a war-torn Idaza.

Why I Decided to Read This: book kind of popped up under my radar a couple of weeks ago from out of nowhere, and I just thought that it sounded interesting to me. I also like to dive outside of my comfortable science-fantasy box occasionally, and check out other books that jump out at me. So I thought that I’d give it a whirl since it’s pretty short.

This’ll most likely be the one that I read first (since it’s short), so keep an eye out for the review over the next couple of days.

Children of Ragnarok [Runestone Saga #1] • Cinda Williams Chima

Length: 560 pages

Genres: Fantasy, YA, Adventure

Publication: Balzer + Bray [November 8, 2022]

Book Description

Since Ragnarok—the great war between the gods and the forces of chaos—the human realm of the Midlands has become a desperate and dangerous place, bereft of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones—his family has remained prosperous. But he stands to lose everything when he’s wrongly convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is Eiric’s half-systir, Liv, who’s under suspicion for her interest in seidr, or magic. Then a powerful jarl steps in: He will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove—the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.

Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reginn Eiklund has spent her life performing at alehouses for the benefit of her master, Asger, a fire demon she is desperate to escape. After one performance that amazes even herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make Reginn an irresistible offer: return with them to the Temple to be trained in seidr, forever free of Asger.

Eiric’s, Liv’s, and Reginn’s journeys converge in New Jotunheim, a paradise fueled by magic and the site of the Temple. They soon realize that a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface and that old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.

Why I Decided to Read This: This was actually one of the books on my Most Anticipated Books Releasing November 2022 post. I explain why there, but basically I want to read this because Vikings.

Cursed [Gilded #2] • Marissa Meyer

Length: 496 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folklore

Publication: Feiwel & Friends [November 8, 2022]

Book Description

Be still now, and I will tell you a tale.

Adalheid Castle is in chaos.

Following a shocking turn of events, Serilda finds herself ensnared in a deadly game of make-believe with the Erlking, who is determined to propel her deeper into the castle’s lies. Meanwhile, Serilda is determined to work with Gild to help him solve the mystery of his forgotten name and past.

But soon it becomes clear that the Erlking doesn’t only want to use Serilda to bring back his one true love. He also seeks vengeance against the seven gods who have long trapped the Dark Ones behind the veil. If the Erlking succeeds, it could change the mortal realm forever.

Can Serilda find a way to use her storytelling gifts for good―once and for all? And can Serilda and Gild break the spells that tether their spirits to the castle before the Endless Moon finds them truly cursed?

Romance and adventure collide in this stunning finale to the Rumpelstilskin-inspired fairy tale.

Why I Decided to Read This: This was also on my Most Anticipated Books Releasing November 2022 post. Like Children of Ragnarok, I explain my reasons there, but the gist of it is that I loved the first book, so I wanted to read the sequel.

Annnd, that’s it for the books I’ve collected for reading this week. I don’t know if this’ll become a thing or not, especially since it’s unlikely that I’ll finish all three within the coming week, but who knows! And at least it was fun the one time.

Have you had your eye on any of these three books yourself? What books are at the top of your TBR? As always, thanks for tuning in, and have a fantastic day/night!

Majestic Mondays – Where We Admire Pretty Book Covers #1: Lore Olympus

Yes, I understand that by the time this comes out, it will no longer be Monday, and that this is not the way to start a new series. All I have to say to that is: pssh, semantics! (In all honesty, this past weekend was unexpectedly more busy than I thought it would be, and stuff came up, making me a little behind on my posts.)

Anyway, Majestic Mondays was born out of one of my favorite activities to kill time: looking at pretty covers on the Kindle app when I don’t know what to read next/am bored. There’s just so many nice looking ones out there!

And yeah, of course there are, having a good cover is important when trying to get your book to sell and stand out. But the covers I’m gonna pick for this series are the ones that stood out to me in particular; the ones that I thought were the prettiest, and the ones that I want to share with everyone.

So yeah, we’re doing this. And for the first week…

…I’m bringing to attention, Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe.

(*cough* Published by Random House Worlds on November 2, 2021 *cough*)

Now this book has an eye-catching cover! But it is a graphic novel, so it’s really no surprise. You gotta have good writing and good art for those, after all.

But I absolutely love the colors and the contrast between the pinks and blues. I love how the natural beauty of the fields of flowers that Persephone(?) rides through on the bottom half, is diametrically opposed to the cold, blue, modern-looking skyscrapers (of the Underworld?), dangling upside-down like teeth, as if they’re attempting to eat Persephone and the field. But it also acts as a mirror, as Persephone runs freely, and Hades(?) stands there at the top, alone and immobile.

And the title’s font is absolutely gorgeous. I love the twisting, curls of the letters, and how it’s placed over where the skies above Persephone and Hades meet.

*cough* Did I mention that I love (over)analyzing book covers too? And that’s the reason why I like some of the pretty ones?

Now, if it wasn’t obvious by all of the question marks in parentheses above, I have read this book (yet). But I kind of want to already, just from the cover’s design. It’s both eye-catching and beautiful. And the book’s synopsis makes the retelling of Hades and Persephone within, sound very intriguing:

Persephone, young goddess of spring, is new to Olympus. Her mother, Demeter, has raised her in the mortal realm, but after Persephone promises to train as a sacred virgin, she’s allowed to live in the fast-moving, glamorous world of the gods. When her roommate, Artemis, takes her to a party, her entire life changes: she ends up meeting Hades and feels an immediate spark with the charming yet misunderstood ruler of the Underworld. Now Persephone must navigate the confusing politics and relationships that rule Olympus, while also figuring out her own place—and her own power.

It just sounds sooo good! This is totally going on my TRR, haha. It already feels like a graphic novel, Greek myth retelling in the vein of a Marissa Meyer book. Which are some of the kinds of retellings I love, by the way. So yeah, probably reading this one before the end of the year.

I should also definitely mention that the covers for the other volumes in this series are also extremely beautiful. They all have that pink and blue duology going on that makes them all just pop! It’s really no surprise that the internet has (apparently) gone ga-ga over this series. Here’s to the first Majestic Mondays!

Have you read this book already? Did you think it was as good as the internet claims it is? Do you like the art style? Thanks for tuning in, and have a fantastic day/night!

October 2022 Reading Wrap-up

This post is gonna be a bit of a different post than usual, but I wanted to talk about my reading progress from last month.

I was dealing with a lot of stuff before I got this blog going, and it unfortunately affected my work ethic, as well as pushing me into a little reading slump for a while.

But this October, I really got everything together. I started reading books again, I started writing nearly every day, and I got this blog going. I haven’t felt this invigorated in so long, and it feels completely and utterly amazing.

So, here are my reading stats from October, courtesy of The StoryGraph. Don’t worry, I won’t go into that much detail, but I thought I’d share it.

The Graphs

Unfortunately, even though I got back into reading this month (finally), I didn’t actually read too many books.

I only read two. (I know… 😢)

But two is better than one – which is what I read in September, haha – so I’m gonna count it as progress.

From the graphs above, I guess you can guess some of the stuff I like to read. I looove humor and adventure, and some light-heartedness occasionally. But I also like lots of other stuff, which you’ll probably see as I read more books.

The books I read this past month were When Life Gives You Vampires by Gloria Duke and Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells, the sixth installment to The Murderbot Diaries.

This is a pretty accurate depiction of what I read, actually. I’m a big fantasy, sci-fi, and science fantasy reader. Sometimes I will do romance though, especially since it usually seems to weasel its way into most books.

I’m not usually a contemporary reader though, so you might see a different looking graph next month.

When Life Gives You Vampires

I just reviewed this recently. Yesterday recently, actually, but I thought I’d give it a little sample of what’s there. I really liked the main character – Lily Baines’ – personality. She had some minor things about her that irritated me, but otherwise she was a fun narrator.

The love interest, Tristan, was also dreamy, and though he had his issues, he genuinely cared for Lily and wasn’t Edward Cullen creepy. Oh, and speaking of Ed, the Twilight references are glorious.

Everything else was pretty decent, however, I wouldn’t put it above average. I gave it 3 / 5 stars: ⭐⭐⭐ (or the bat equivalent, lol).

You can read my full review here.

Fugitive Telemetry [The Murderbot Diaries #6]

I’m gonna be straight with you guys: I love The Murderbot Diaries. Everything from Murderbot’s/SecUnit’s sass, the internal narration, and the character interactions. It’s all beautiful.

Fugitive Telemetry might not be my favorite of the series, but it’s still very, very good. Since I don’t have a review yet (I’m working on a bigger review for the entire series so far), I’m just gonna give you the gist of this book. Murderbot basically has to do some detective work and figure out who killed a tourist at Preservation – the planet that MB resides on with its human friends.

And the sarcasm in this novella is just as on point as it was in the others, let me tell you. Especially because MB is dealing with people it doesn’t know, and those of us who’ve read the others know just what kind of sass-fest that turns into. I don’t have a review for this yet, cuz I’m doing that bigger review, but I rated this 4 / 5 stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Anyway, these are my reading stats from October 2022. It’s not super impressive, and I’m honestly not aiming for it to be, but I hope to increase the amount of books that I read beyond two. Haha. I think that I’m gonna do this every month, so I hope that at least a few of you were able to enjoy it. 😁

How many books did you read last month? What are your go to genres? Thanks for tuning in and have a wonderful day/night!