Monthly Wrap-Up: July Reading 2023

It’s August now, which means it’s a new month! So it’s time to wrap up July!

The first thing I want to say, before I get into it, is wow, I don’t think I’ve even been able to post one of these on the first of the month! I could be completely wrong though.

The other thing I wanted to say was, ew July was a little pathetic, reading and review wise. Actually, very pathetic review wise. Sure, I technically read eight books and just a thousand pages, but they were all for a children’s series, and I didn’t read and review anything else. So I’m disappointed in myself for that.

But yeah, without further ado, let’s get into my states for The StoryGraph for my July reading 2023.

July 2023 Reading

😐 MOODS: Adventurous was the biggest slice of pie once again. There are like no Moods on this graph though for July though. The only other one is Mysterious, which is almost as big as Adventurous.

👢 PACE: Unlike last month every single book I read was fast-paced. This is the first month where fast-paced was the entire graph, though.

🔢 PAGE NUMBER: Everything I read was super short this month, because all I read were the books in the Deltora Quest series, and they’re all less than 150 pages. So all of them were less than 300 pages.

📖 FICTION/NONFICTION: All fiction once again this month.

🎭 GENRES: Fantasy was the biggest part of the graph this time, as per usual. The only other genre on the bar graph, though, is Children’s, which is actually equal. So hasn’t been as colorful as it usually is.

📄 FORMAT: This little StoryGraph pie chart is actually correct again! All the books I read were physical print copies.

⭐ RATING: My median star rating for last month was 4.0. I rated two books 3.5 stars, four books 4.0 stars, and two books 4.5 stars.

📉 PAGES READ DAILY: I read some during the second week, but dipped down a bit in the middle. During the last third of the month of July though, I read a lot, comparatively.

The Books I Read in July

Wrapping Up the Wrap-Up

So July still kind of definitely sucked reading and review wise. But for whatever reason, over the last couple of years, I’ve had some trouble not falling into reading slumps and the like during the summer. I don’t know what it is about summertime or whatever, but I’ve had trouble getting into books lately.

I’m hoping that’s going to change with August though, since it’s kind of the bridge between summer and fall, and fall is my reading jam. Plus, I’ve never really had as much trouble finding a book to read in August. So yeah, the July 2023 Reading Wrap-Up comes to a close.

As per usual, thank you all so much for reading and have a wonderful day/night! What books did you guys read in July? What did you think of them? What genres did you read?

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday: 7/26

So, I skipped last week. I know, a rare occurrence for me, who participates in this post almost religiously, regardless of whether anything’s changed or not.

But last Wednesday, I was still making my way through the Deltora Quest books – for almost a third week in a row – and I wanted to do a different post last Wednesday… so I decided to drop it for the week.

But I’m back! And with some new books to read!

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 I’m Currently Reading

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

CURRENT STATUS: 32%

CURRENT FEELS: 🤩 (loving it, even though I don’t understand any of the Cosmere references, and find the narrator a bit annoying)


The Thing I Just Finished Reading

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda


The Thing I Might Read Next

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker


As always, thank you so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 7/17 – 7/23

Yay! Last week was better for me! I got in four posts (aside from the weekly wrap-up of course). It was a huge improvement after the week preceding it.

I honestly don’t have much of an intro this time. ☹️ So without further ado, let’s jump right into the wrap-up.

Monday 7/17: Majestic Monday

Last Monday, I did the first Majestic Monday that I’ve done in a long time. It felt great, and I’m excited to post more of these in the future. For those who don’t know, Majestic Mondays are when I gush over covers that I like.

Majestic Monday #14

Wednesday 7/19: Shelf Control

On Wednesday, I finally posted another Shelf Control. Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books languishing on our bookshelves created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control #14

Friday 7/21: First Line Friday

Last Friday, I once again participated in First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday 7/21

Sunday 7/23: Deltora Quest Review

Yesterday, I finally posted my review for the entire first series of Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest. It’s a series of fantasy books geared towards children/middle grade. I rated the entire series as a whole ★★★★☆, but I also rated each of the eight books individually.

Deltora Quest Series Review

Books That I Read Last Week

The City of Rats by Emily Rodda
The Shifting Sands by Emily Rodda
Dread Mountain by Emily Rodda
The Maze of the Beast by Emily Rodda
The Valley of the Lost by Emily Rodda
Return to Del by Emily Rodda

Goals for 7/24 – 7/30

I want to do at least four or five blog posts, aside from this weekly wrap-up. I’ll be doing my usual weekly feature participating, of course, but I also definitely want to do one and hopefully two book reviews. I’m also considering doing a new post this week.

So yeah, I just want to keep on keeping on, basically. Wish me luck! 🤞

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

See ya ~Mar

Deltora Quest | Book Series Review

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

SERIES: Deltora Quest (Books 1 – 8)

LENGTH: 736 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Omnibus Books (Scholastic Australia)

RELEASE DATE: 2021 (Original editions published 2000)

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A special 21st anniversary edition of the best-selling first series of Deltora Quest from award-winning master story-teller Emily Rodda…

Three companions – Leif, Barda and Jasmine – are on a perilous quest to find the seven lost gems of the Belt of Deltora. Only when the belt is complete will the evil Shadow Lord and his rule of tyranny be overcome. Set in the fantasy world of Deltora, a sprawling kingdom of magic and monsters, bordered by the sea and a vast, curving mountain range, beyond which is an unknown territory called the Shadowlands. The adventurers must solve puzzles, clues and mysteries to fulfil the quest.

The much-loved first series of eight books is bound in this volume, celebrating 21 years of Deltora magic and mystery.

My Review

So… This review took forever. Sorry about that. (And it wasn’t because I didn’t like it – quite the contrary actually.) The next one hopefully won’t take as long, haha.

This series… This series was something I’ve wanted to read for a long time. As the thumbnail alludes to. But I didn’t discover it until I was about thirteen, and I felt at the time that I was too old to give it a shot. I was also super afraid of being judged by my peers, and I didn’t really have a subtle way of acquiring a chance to read them. I’d suspected that I’d like this series though, so it’s rested in the back of my mind for over a decade.

And now, I’m an adult with no shame and an Amazon account, so both of the perceived hurdles of my early teenhood are gone. So, I read it.

And I really enjoyed it. Yes, it is very clearly a series of books written for ten year olds, and there was a lot of awkward, stilted dialogue (and the author has something against contractions), and there were a couple of huge plot holes, but it was otherwise very enjoyable. I think Deltora Quest is very good. Especially if you consider it’s meant for kids who don’t really notice or care about that stuff. I would’ve given it five stars, had I read it as a tween, and I still rated it pretty highly now.

A long time ago, like on Wikipedia or something, I read that this series was inspired by the videogames that Emily Rodda’s children played. I have no idea whether this was true or not, but I certainly believe it’s possible. The series entire structure is extremely comparable to several fantasy games – The Legend of Zelda in particular comes to mind. (And this is why I’ve always suspected that I’d like it.)

The Characters and Setting

The main characters were pretty likable, though they were a bit simple. They made a lot of very stupid decisions that I’m surprised at, concerning two of them are sixteen (Leif and Jasmine) and one is an adult at least in his thirties (Barda). Though this kind of decision-making did decrease a fair amount in the last couple of books, so I guess that’s character growth.

I thought that Leif was a decent protagonist, and is easy for the reader to root for. His cleverness and sneaky streak were also fun, and I wish they appeared more. Barda worked well as the wiser mentor figure (when he wasn’t being stupid), and he also worked great as the muscle of the group. Jasmine was a great female character, and was definitely the most useful member of the trio in several situations.

I found the setting to be extremely rich and immersive. It’s a credit to Rodda’s writing that this is so despite how short these books are, as well as all of the locations visited. I really loved it.

The Other Stuff

There were also a lot of surprisingly darker aspects throughout. I often forget how dark children’s/middle grade sci-fi and fantasy can get, and Deltora Quest once again reminded me. There’s quite a bit of dying and almost-dying going on, as well as a cult in one of the books, mind control, and some pretty gruesome descriptions. It was a pleasant surprise to read.

However, the “key quest items” that the trio retrieved at the end of each book began to get overpowered. Actually, no, some of them kind of started out overpowered. Leif used the topaz in particular in nearly every book, almost every time he wanted to think up a plan. I just kind of wish he used his own mind as it was and his own ingenuity. It kind of felt like he was “cheating” some a few of these moments.

My Individual Ratings for All the Books in Deltora Quest

So yeah, I quite enjoyed this series, and it was a long time coming. Here are my ratings for each individual book in the series.

There was the topaz, symbol of faithfulness, gold as the setting sun.

The Forests of Silence by Emily Rodda

There was the ruby for happiness, red as blood.

The Lake of Tears by Emily Rodda

The opal, symbol of hope, sparkling with all the colours of the rainbow.

The City of the Rats by Emily Rodda

There was the lapis lazuli, the heavenly stone, midnight blue with pinpoints of silver like the night sky.

The Shifting Sands by Emily Rodda

For honour there was the emerald, green as lush grass.

Dread Mountain by Emily Rodda

There was the amethyst, symbol of truth, purple as the violets that grew by the banks of the river Del.

The Maze of the Beast by Emily Rodda

And for purity and strength there was the diamond, clear and sparkling as ice.

The Valley of the Lost by Emily Rodda

Where this story began, so it will end.

Return to Del by Emily Rodda

Closing Thoughts

Deltora Quest is a great little fantasy series. I definitely recommend it to kids, and honestly, anyone could read it. It’s kind of trope-y, and there’s a fairly obvious hero’s journey, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.

As always, thank you to everyone so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day/night! Sorry again for the long wait between book reviews. Life kind of happened.

See ya ~Mar


MY LINKS:


WWW Wednesday: 7/12

I totally intended to post this earlier today, but, ya know. Life. Anyway, here’s another WWW Wednesday.

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 I’m Currently Reading

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series - 21st Anniversary Edition by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series – 21st Anniversary Edition by Emily Rodda

CURRENT STATUS: 40%

CURRENT FEELS: 😊 (liking it)


The Thing I Recently Finished Reading

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

★★★★☆


The Thing I Might Read Next

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker


As always, thank you so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday: 7/5

So I totally meant to post yesterday, but then I got sick. Ugh. It sucked, trust me. I’ll be posting the thing I was gonna post tomorrow.

Also, here’s a late Happy 4th of July!! 🇺🇲🎇🇺🇲🎇

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 I’m Currently Reading

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

CURRENT STATUS: 2%

CURRENT FEELS: 😆 (very excited, I’ve always wanted to read this, but never had the opportunity as a kid)


The Thing I Recently Finished Reading

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

★★★★☆


The Thing I Might Read Next

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker


As always, thank you so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Books I’ve Read with Legend of Zelda Vibes

Books I've Read Like the Legend of Zelda, with a beautiful backdrop of Hyrule Castle during a sunset

Sooo… This is kinda out of left field. A bit of an oddball post, too. But, um, I’ve got something to confess to everyone.

I. Am. A. Huge. Geek.

There, I said it! Whew! So glad I finally got that off my chest. I mean, I’m sure it was pretty obvious, from the kinds of books I read, but I wasn’t completely sure.

Anyway, I’m a geek, and The Legend of Zelda is like my favorite thing ever. Ever. And there’s a new game coming out tomorrow – Tears of the Kingdom. So I thought, what better way to pay tribute to the franchise that I love the most, than to connect it to books in some way and post about it on my blog. (Where everyone can see it.) (Cuz the internet is forever.)

(Yeah…)

So yeah, I’m bursting with excitement. These last 24 hours or so are gonna be hell. But I’m still riding the high of the hype train nonetheless.

But I’m heading towards a tangent. Let’s get back to books with Legend of Zelda vibes. Here’s five books (or series really, they’re all series) that I’ve read that reminded me of Zelda.

If you’re interested in any of the books/series on this list, click on the corresponding images if you want to learn more information. I got ’em linked.

#1: The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I thought I’d get the obvious one out of the way first. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is the progenitor of modern fantasy. Not just of books either. Of a lot of fantasy stuff.

Elf-like beings? Check. An epic quest to save the land from dark lord? Check. Magic and swords? Check. There’s a lot of similar vibes between these two series. Particularly if you watch the Peter Jackson movies and then play Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess.

#2: The Inheritance Cycle

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

So, I’m totally aware that The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is a bit of an homage/ripoff of a lot of the fantasy that’s come before it. (And Star Wars.) But I haven’t read any of those books (except for part of The Lord of the Rings), so Eragon and its sequels are going on this list.

Farmboy is upended from his normal life and set on the path to defeating a dark lord? Check. Dragons? Check. Magical blue swords? Check. Magic sentient trees? Check. And, last but not least, elves? Check.

#3: The Seven Realms

The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima is a bit of the odd-man-out in this list, but I still felt a ton of Legend of Zelda vibes while reading these books.

A kingdom in turmoil? Check. Very atmospheric and immersive? Check. A male and female lead, one a mage and one a warrior? Check.

#4: The Chronicles of Prydain

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

Of this list, I’m probably the least familiar with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain. But I’ve seen The Black Cauldron movie that Disney made, and I’ve read the first book (and most of the second, I think), so I know enough.

Orphan boy upended from his quiet life to go defeat a dark lord? Check. A quirky companion or two? Check. A beautiful princess with a complicated relationship with said orphan boy? Check.

#5: Deltora Quest

Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda has a special place in my heart. I didn’t really read them until I was in middle school – and even then I didn’t get very far because I thought I was too old for them and got embarrassed – but I did like what I read.

Then, in high school I found the anime adaptation (yes, there’s an official, licensed, anime adaptation) and watched it. And I absolutely adored it, even though the voice acting was… not the best. I loved the world and the story so much though, and I hope to read through the entire thing for the first time soon, and then share it with my children when they exist.

(Also, its similarities to a quest in a videogame are deliberate. Rodda saw his much her kids enjoyed games and wanted to write a book/series that reflected them.)

Oh, almost forgot. An epic quest to defeat the dark lord? Check. Swords and magic? Check. Locating magical stones to unlock a McGuffuin of sorts? Check.

BONUS: The Legend of Zelda Mangas

The Legend of Zelda Mangas (Legendary Edition) by Akira Himekawa

This is cheating a little, but I just couldn’t help it. I absolutely HAD to plug the Zelda manga. Mangas. They’re just so wonderful – the kind of supplemental material that fans love. And they have gorgeous artwork and they follow the base plot extremely well, even if a lot of stuff is cut to meet the page count.

The Legendary Editions of the mangas are also fantastic. I love how colorful and distinct they are, not to mention their omnibus forms makes them a bit more convenient to shelve and store.

And I can’t talk about the LOZ manga without mentioning the crème de la crème.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (The Manga) by Akira Himekawa

The Twilight Princess manga adaptation is absolutely amazing. Dare I say, nearly perfect. (And that’s not just cuz it’s my favorite game in the series and I’m biased. Nuh-uh.)

The art is beautiful, just like the other mangas, which is not at all surprising. (They’re all written and drawn by the same author, Akira Himekawa (which is an alias for a mangaka duo).) But this time, the mangakas were allowed to adapt the game at a more sedate pace. So, instead of doing the entire game in a volume of two, they had eleven volumes to tell the story. And it makes a glorious difference.

But yeah, I gotta stop gushing or else I’ll just keep going on. Forever.*coughs awkwardly*

So, these are the books with Legend of Zelda vibes. Have you played any of the games? Have you read any of these books/series on my list? What did you think of them?

Anyway, as always, thank you so much for reading, and have a really, really, awesome day/night!

See ya ~Mar