Birthstone Book Covers: August 2023

Since I decided to take an impromptu vacation last week, I had to postpone this post. But I’m back from my blogging vacay, so here’s August 2023’s Birthstone Book Covers.

Leslie @ Books Are the New Black created a fun monthly post called Birthstone Book Covers. Each month, she features book covers that are either the same color of that month’s birthstone or include the color in the title.

August has one birthstone – Peridot.

This one was a bit harder for me than I expected it would be. Regardless, I did my best. The covers are all lighter green, at least.


📚 Mention the creator (Leslie @ Books Are The New Black) and link back to her so she can check out your post.
📚 Pick 5+ book covers that match the current month’s Birthstone.
📚 Nominate people if you want!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

As always, thank you to everyone who popped in and checked out my post. I hope you have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

“Masters of Death” by Olivie Blake | Book Review

Even after centuries of practice, it never grew less unsettling when it happened this way – sloppily. Gorily. Murder had never been his favorite method of disposal.

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

My Review

This is the story mortals tell about a man who was the godson of Death, who they say eventually learned my secrets and came to control me, and who still walks the earth today, eternally youthful, as he keeps Death close at his side, a golden lasso tied around my neck with which to prevent me, cunningly and valiantly, from taking ownership of his soul.

Before I get into the review proper, I can explain! My previously unexplained absence, that is. I just… needed a little break. A vacation, as it were. (Especially cuz I hadn’t really had one in the almost-year that I’ve been blogging.) But I’m back now, and with another book review at that!

Masters of Death was something that I was pretty excited for – it was even on my list of anticipated books coming out during the third part of 2023. So yeah, I was pretty excited for it.

But it kind of fell flat for me. Just a bit. I know the reason – it was a couple of different things, actually. As much as I enjoyed many things about this book, there were almost as many things that I didn’t much care for.

The Characters

I really, really liked a lot of the characters. Fox D’Mora was a fun protagonist to follow, and his relationship with his adoptive father made him easy to root for. I liked his dialogue with the other characters, and how, throughout the novel, the mask that he displays to the world is slowly pulled off.

Death was probably my favorite character, however. Even though he didn’t get as much pagetime as I thought he should, whenever he was in a scene, he absolutely stole the show. His relationship and dialogue with Fox was extremely endearing (and entertaining), and I wish that there was more of it.

“Let me guess. This is her husband?”

“Fiancé,” Fox corrected in a blandly guiltless tone. “He passed just before they could be wed.”

“How fucking convenient,” Death remarked with a sensation he often experienced but had not felt prior to Fox’s guardianship. It was a mix of things. Not anger, exactly. More like disappointment.

“Papa,” Fox warned, arching a brow in expectation. “What did we say about the cursing?”

Death lifted a hand, dutifully snapping the rubber band he wore on his wrist for the reward (if such a thing could be said) of Fox’s indulgent smirk. “I still don’t see why this is necessary,”

Our leading lady was Viola Marek. I actually rather enjoyed her character, even though she was technically not like other vampires. Her arc was one I found incredibly relatable to follow, despite the fact that she was an ordinary woman with extraordinary circumstances. Or perhaps that was the reason.

I also really, really, really liked almost all of the other characters. There are too many to discuss here, though, so I’ll just talk about the two that will pertain to my review later on. I really enjoyed Tom, and his and Viola’s begrudging friendship with each other was fun. Brandt kind of sucked as a character, though. I didn’t really like him that much.

The Plot

There is a game that the immortals play.

It is played around tables that open at dusk, and close at dawn.

The stakes are impossibly high, and yet laughably low.

There is only one secret: The more you have to lose, the harder it is to win.

There is only one rule: Don’t lose.

The plot was pretty interesting, but it was also one of the slowest that I’ve ever read. The summary is also written a certain way that implies the story to be a little different than it actually is. I get that they were trying to attract readers without giving too much of the plot away, but I feel slightly lied too.

I enjoyed the plot that we did get to see, to a degree. The buildup during the first half was great, and really pumped me up for the second part of the book. Only, the second half of the book fell somewhat flat. I didn’t find the immortals’ game to be all that interesting, until the very, very end of the novel, and it took up so much pagetime.

The Romance

For me, the romance in Masters of Death was its weakest aspect. I just wasn’t really interested in any of the couples. Not to mention that there was at least one romantic relationship too many.

Scratch one thing, actually. There was one couple that I was pretty invested in – Viola and Tom. They were just super cute together, and they had the most natural romantic chemistry out of everyone. But I didn’t like any of the other couples.

I found Brandt, Fox’s love interest, to be annoying as a character, so I found them hard to root for as a couple. (I hated Brandt, actually.) And as for Cal and Mayra – they were just one couple too many, at that point. Yeah, they were really sweet together, but this book just wasn’t long enough to develop all of these relationships to the way they should’ve been.

The Writing

I found Blake to have a rather dry wit (that I enjoyed), and her prose was very strong. She tells a story very well. And the humor is on point (did I mention that?).

A few parts of the book were too much for me. I thought the book was overly written at certain times, which is something that I never appreciate. It forced the story to move a bit slowly for my liking, which is one of the biggest reasons for my rating.

Final Thoughts

“Everything’s a game if you play it right,” the second figure said.

“But strictly speaking, this is no longer a game,” said the first figure. “Now it’s a war.”

And then everything went dark.

Masters of Death is a rather intricately woven urban fantasy by Olivie Blake. I personally found it to be a kind of mid, slow moving book, but it’s something that I think a lot of other people would like.

As always, thank you to everyone for reading. I hope that you all have a fabulous day/night!

See ya ~Mar

My Links:

WWW Wednesday: 8/9

Um… So, I kinda skipped this post last week again. I still posted, but it was something different! Anyway, I think that I’m finally coming out of this stupid reading slump that’s been dogging my heels since mid-May. Finally.

So yeah, here I am participating in 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

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake


CURRENT FEELS: 🥰 (really enjoying it so far – depending on how the rest of the book is, I might have to read more Olivie Blake)


Vampiric estate agents, death’s godson and a demonic personal trainer all abound in this smart, freewheeling dark fantasy from the author of the bestselling The Atlas Six.

When Viola Marek hires Fox D’Mora to deal with her ghost-infested mansion, she expects a competent medium. But unbeknownst to Viola, Fox is a fraud – despite being the godson of Death.As the mystery unfolds, Viola and Fox are drawn into a quest that neither wants nor expects. And they’ll need the help of a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel and a love-stricken reaper. And it transpires that the difference between a mysterious lost love and a dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as you’d hope.

The Thing I Most Recently Finished Reading

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson


#1 New York Times Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings us a gripping story set in the Cosmere universe told by Hoid, where two people from incredibly different worlds must compromise and work together to save their worlds from ruin.

Yumi comes from a land of gardens, meditation, and spirits, while Painter lives in a world of darkness, technology, and nightmares. When their lives suddenly become intertwined in strange ways, can they put aside their differences and work together to uncover the mysteries of their situation and save each other’s communities from certain disaster?

The Thing I’m Gonna Read Next

My Happy Marriage by Akumi Agitogi

My Happy Marriage by Akumi Agitogi

(I haven’t read a light novel in years, so I’m kind of excited about this. The anime for this started airing this summer, and it’s so, so good so far. 5/5. I’ve cried every episode. I just had to continue it because I’m impatient, lol.)



​Born talentless to a noble family famous for their supernatural abilities, Miyo Saimori is forced into an existence of servitude by her abusive stepmother. When Miyo finally comes of marriageable age, though, her hopes of being whisked away to a better life crumble after she discovers her fiancé’s identity: Kiyoka Kudou, a commander apparently so cold and cruel that his previous would-be brides all fled within three days of their engagements. With no home to return to, Miyo resigns herself to her fate—and soon finds that her pale and beautiful husband-to-be is anything but the monster she expected. As they slowly open their hearts to each other, both realize the other may be their chance at finding true love and happiness.

What books are you guys currently reading? Have you read any of the ones on my list this week? What did you think of them, if you had? How do you feel about the book(s) you’re reading now?

Anyway, thank you to everyone for reading, and I hope that you have a fantastic day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 7/31 – 8/6

It’s Monday again, which means that it’s once again the beginning of another week. So it’s time to wrap up the last one!

I didn’t do everything that I’d wanted to, but I’m somehow okay with that. I think it’s because I did a lot of varied posts, and even started participating in a new one. I also finally finished another book, and a review for it will be making its way onto this blog very soon.

Enough of my talking. Let’s just dive right in!

Tuesday 8/1: July 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

Last Tuesday, I posted my monthly reading wrap-up for July 2023. The earliest I posted it in a month yet! (You don’t get any earlier than August 1st after all.) Yay!

I didn’t read or review – or even post – as much as I’d hoped to, but that’s in the past now and there’s nothing I can do about it. All I can hope is that I have a better August!

July 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

Wednesday 8/2: Can’t Wait Wednesday

On Wednesday, I participated in Can’t-Wait Wednesday for the first time in foreverCan’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings.

Can’t Wait Wednesday: “Masters of Death”

Friday 8/4: 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 8/4

Saturday 8/5: August 2023 Spell the Month in Books

On Saturday, not only did I do a rare Saturday post, but I participated in Spell the Month in Books for the first time. Spell the Month in Books is a monthly post created and hosted by Jana @ Reviews from the Stacks.

Spell the Month in Books – August 2023

Books That I Read Last Week

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Goals for 8/7 – 8/13

So yeah, I didn’t get any reviews out last week like I’d wanted. But, like I mentioned earlier, I still finished another book, and I did a bunch of different posts this past week. So I’m gonna count that as a win this time!

This week, I’m going to definitely post a book review (in the very near future), and hopefully I’ll get around to reading another book and posting another review. I’m also going to do the usual posts I participate in (of course), and maybe another Popular Books post. We’ll see.

And of course, as always, thank you to everyone so much for taking the time to read my little bookish blog. It means the world. And I hope you have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: “Masters of Death”

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done one of these, but there’s finally a bunch of books coming out in the near future that I’m excited for. So I thought I’d participate in another Can’t-Wait Wednesday.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings (and was previously hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where it was known as Waiting on Wednesday) to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. They’re usually books that have not yet been released.

This week’s book is:

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake!

This one is technically a rerelease, but it’s the author’s preferred text, and I’ve never read it before, so I’m pretty excited. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Olivie Blake’s writing as well.

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Thank you so much for reading, and have an awesome day/night!

See ya ~Mar

My Most Anticipated SFF Reads of 2023 | Months 7, 8, & 9 🐚☀️🍁

So, this post is a few days later than I’d planned, but once again, I was super busy this past week as well as ill. But I’m posting it today.

It’s quarter three of 2023 now, so it’s time to do that thing I’ve done every quarter again. I’m gonna go over the books that are coming out over the next three months that interest me the most.

This time I have five. For real this time. I’m genuinely interested in five different books releasing (or re-releasing) this quarter.

Without further ado, let’s be off!

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker

RELEASING: July 18th

NOTE: The physical copy has already been released, but the digital version hasn’t yet, so I’m listing it here on a technicality. 😆😅

Ours is a land of many gods, and we are a people with the ability to pick the worst of them.

Cahan du Nahare is known as the forester – a man who can navigate the dangerous Deepforest like no-one else. But once he was more. Once he belonged to the god of fire.

Udinny serves the goddess of the lost, a goddess of small things; when she ventures into the Deepforest to find a lost child, Cahan will be her guide. But in a land where territory is won and lost for uncaring gods, where temples of warrior monks pit one prophet against another – Cahan will need to choose the forest or the fire – and his choice will have consequences for his entire world.

Gods of the Wyrdwood is book one in an evocative new fantasy trilogy from RJ Barker, the British Fantasy Society Award-winning author of The Bone Ships and Age of Assassins.

Masters of Death: Revised Edition by Olivie Blake

RELEASING: August 8th

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six comes Masters of Death, a story about vampires, ghosts, and death itself.

*Now newly revised and edited with additional content, this hardcover edition will include new interior illustrations from Little Chmura and special illustrated endpapers from artist Polarts.*

There is a game that the immortals play.

There is only one rule: Don’t lose.

Viola Marek is a struggling real estate agent, and a vampire. But her biggest problem currently is that the house she needs to sell is haunted. The ghost haunting the mansion has been murdered, and until he can solve the mystery of how he died, he refuses to move on.

Fox D’Mora is a medium, and though he is also most-definitely a shameless fraud, he isn’t entirely without his uses―seeing as he’s actually the godson of Death.

When Viola seeks out Fox to help her with the ghost infestation, he becomes inextricably involved in a quest that neither he nor Vi expects (or wants). But with the help of an unruly poltergeist, a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel, a love-stricken reaper, and a few mindfulness-practicing creatures, Vi and Fox soon discover the difference between a mysterious lost love and an annoying dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as they thought.

Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher

RELEASING: August 15th

From USA Today bestselling author T. Kingfisher, Thornhedge is the tale of a kind-hearted, toad-shaped heroine, a gentle knight, and a mission gone completely sideways.

There’s a princess trapped in a tower. This isn’t her story.

Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of Toadling: return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right?

But nothing with fairies is ever simple.

Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He’s heard there’s a curse here that needs breaking, but it’s a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold…

City of Bones: Updated & Revised Edition by Martha Wells

RELEASING: September 5th

Before Martha Wells captured the hearts of MILLIONS with her Murderbot series, there was Khat, Sagai, and Elen, and a city risen out of death and decay…

The city of Charisat, a tiered monolith of the Ancients’ design, sits on the edge of the vast desert known as the Waste. Khat, a member of a humanoid race created by the Ancients to survive in the Waste, and Sagai, his human partner, are relic dealers working in the bottom tiers of society, trying to stay one step ahead of the Trade Inspectors.

When Khat is hired by the all-powerful Warders to find relics believed to be part of one of the Ancients’ arcane engines, he, and his party, begin unravelling the mysteries of an age-old technology.

This they expected.

They soon find themselves as the last line of defense between the suffering masses of Charisat and a fanatical cult, bent on unleashing an evil upon the city with an undying thirst for bone.

Sandymancer by David Edison

RELEASING: September 19th

A wild girl with sand magic in her bones and a mad god who is trying to fix the world he broke come together in SANDYMANCER, a genre-warping mashup of weird fantasy and hard science fiction.

All Caralee Vinnet has ever known is dust. Her whole world is made up of the stuff; water is the most precious thing in the cosmos. A privileged few control what elements remain. But the world was not always a dust bowl and the green is not all lost.

Caralee has a secret―she has magic in her bones and can draw up power from the sand beneath her feet to do her bidding. But when she does she winds up summoning a monster: the former god-king who broke the world 800 years ago and has stolen the body of her best friend.

Caralee will risk the whole world to take back what she’s lost. If her new companion doesn’t kill her first.

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

See ya ~Mar