Review: Stormbreak by Natalie C. Parker

I will miss this series. Caledonia and crew are special and took me on a quite of adventure. When the series begins the crew’s motto has run and hide and stay away from bullet ships. They are no longer running or hiding. They are striking back in hopes of creating a new world. Despite of all the trials Caledonia and crew continue to inspire others to join them and fight. They do it by giving the people the power of choice. They can stay and help them or they can go back to their life of servitude but for once it’s their choice. They all grow as characters but this is Caledonia’s story. She starts guilt ridden and angry, seeking revenge on Lir and Arik’s Bullet army to killing her family. Her need for vengeance often got her in trouble. Her inability to let it go and to not let her sisters in made her fail over and over again. It wasn’t until she was able to let go of her own wants and needs and let her crew burden some of the responsibility did they succeed. The book doesn’t sugar coat her flaws. It doesn’t gloss over her mistakes and her bad decisions. Her own personal struggles with who she is and the choices she has to make. She knows that to win they have to be as ruthless as their enemy but how do you do that without becoming them. She does it by again letting people choose their own destiny. When the fight is over it doesn’t mean that everything is now perfect or that she can go back to living as she did because life doesn’t work that way. She may have succeeded but now she has to live with everything she did to get there and that’s not easy. Caledonia wasn’t the only one who grew over the three books. Picses was always Caledonia’s second in command. There to help and follow Caledonia’s lead. She was Caledonia’s moral compass when she ever went to far but seemed at the beginning only wanting to follow. Over the series, she found her voice and began to not only challenge Caledonia more but also take more of the lead until she was the one giving orders. It’s great to see.

This books is full of great characters of all spectrums that anyone can see themselves represented. They all brought their own strengths to the crew and made it possible to win the day. From Amina to Hime to Nettle to Tin to Oran to Pine, Sledge and more. I don’t think there was an unlikeable character. Lir, our big bad was a good villain. He did unthinkable things but it wasn’t just for evils sake but born out of years of violence and abuse. It doesn’t excuse his actions but makes sense to the story and motivation. I do hope that someone buys the rights to this series because it would make a great series or movie. I would say TV show then movie because there is just so much into that it would lend itself well to an episodic format. So yes read this series from beginning to end. Especially if you liked Mad Max: Fury Road. You won’t regret it.

What I’m Reading Now: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

It’s been a while since the last book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses came out. Now we are following Cassian and Nesta as the Night Court prepares for war once again.

A Quick Review: Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

This one was fine. It didn’t pack the same punch as the previous books in the series as it didn’t have quite as high of stakes. To be honest I’m not sure if it’s a standalone novel set after the events of the All Souls Trilogy or the beginning of a new series. As a Standalone it’s good. It showed us the aftermath of the last book and what happened to Diana, Matthew and their twins but it mainly focuses on Marcus and Phoebe. They have been separated as Phoebe goes through the transmission from human to Vampire. It gives Marcus time to look back at his life and work through his feelings. We finally get to know how Matthew met Marcus and how he was made to a vampire and more importantly what happened between the two of them in New Orleans. It also interesting to see the process it takes to become a vampire. It doesn’t end with being bitten by a vampire. You have a lot to learn to be a vampire and a lot to give up. It seems to have ended on a happy note. So if it is a standalone it was fine but there is still the issue of Gerbert punishment and other issues with the congregation left open. Matthew hasn’t cured his blood rage yet and one of the twins is a weaver and has a Griffin for a familiar. There are so many left open questions to answer but there really wasn’t a lot of set up to what is to come. Sure there were hints of problems brewing in the congregation and Clairmont-Bishop family. I’m curious as to what is going on in Romania between the warring vampire clans. It feels important because why else mention it? So there has to be more books to come, right? It can’t just end here with Marcus and Phoebe being together as vampires and Diana and Matthew going back to teaching? There just has to be more.

Thoughts on Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

  1. I like this one better than the first one.
  2. Matthew is still a little too bit possessive for my liking but Diana has also starting to come into her own and is better at standing up for herself.
  3. Of course, Matthew would be a friends and collegues of some of the most important people of the time and of course he would be one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorites.
  4. Gallowglass is a delight and happy that he is still around for the next book.
  5. I loved the little family that they made with Jack and Annie.
  6. Who would I want to meet if I could go back in time?
  7. Diana meeting her dad as an adult was really touching.
  8. The Book of Life is gross. Who would want to make a book like that?
  9. Matthew’s son is going to be an issue.

What I’m Reading Now: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Diana and Matthew are back to the future. Haha I couldn’t help myself. I’m excited to have them reunited with the rest of the gang but devastated that one of them is already gone. How dare Deborah Harkness drop the news like that so casually. *tears*

To Make a Reading Goal or To Not Make a Reading Goal.

I’ve debated over and over with myself whether or not I wanted to participate in this year’s Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’ve made a goal every year since 2011 and have reached it every year. (I made an adjustment to my goal midway last year because things only just barely made it) Last year was my lowest book count in ten years and even though I’m back to work and such doing more commuting to work where I do most of my reading, I’m only going in to work 3 or 4 days a week. The other days I’m working from home. Also it maybe a new year but the troubles of 2020 didn’t just go away when the calendar changed and the events of the world can be make things hard to concentrate. (See Re: yesterday) So do I make a reading goal this year or not? On one hand, it’s good to have a goal and to have something to work towards but it also can add extra stress that we all don’t need. I only read 20 books last year which is good considering last year but I also can’t help but think that is some kind of a failure when I usually read twice as many. In 2012, I read 90 books! Over the last couple of years, I’ve scaled back my goals. Allowing myself more time to really read them but also have a life. I do feel like it has given me a little more of a life balance. I could go a couple of days without reading and not freak out that I was now 2 books behind in my goal. So what should I do this year? I think it would be understandable to just take the year off. It’s not like you get a prize for making your goal. It is after all supposed to be fun and if it just adding stress then it’s not worth it right. I’m going to read anyways, so why do I need to set a certain number of books I have to read? However it is an easy way to keep track of what I’m reading and what I’ve read. I use my challenge when I do my year end lists to remind myself what books I really loved and were a disappointed. In the end I decided to set my goal at 20 like last year. I think this is fair. If I can somehow manage 20 last year I should be able to do this year right? If I don’t make it I don’t make it.

What about you? Are you making any reading goals or participating in any challenges this year? I want to hear what your reading plans are.

Quick Review: Dividing Eden and Eden Conquered by Joelle Charbonneau

I believe I bought Dividing Eden because it was on sale and I had read other books by the author and thought why not? I finally got around to reading it thanks to USPS delivery The Tower of Nero to the apartment building across the street. (Yeah, tenant association email chain for the assist) I’m glad that I got around to it because it was a fun read. The premise is that Eden was at war with a neighboring kingdom, the previous royal family still had influence in the kingdom and the power of the wind that kept the power going to the kingdom and the threat to the terrors of the night at bay was failing. Twins, Carys and Andreus were not expected to ascend to the throne thanks to having an older brother but when he and their father, the king die they must compete against each other for the crown. Once inseparable, their loyalty gets out to the test when power is on the line. At least for one. Carys never really wanted to be in power but she is clever. You see, when she and her brother were born the seer made a prediction that one of them is cursed and would be the downfall of the Kingdom. It was assumed that the cursed one was Andreus because he was born sickly. Carys has always stepped in to protect him. When he has one of his episodes, she’ll do something to draw attention away from him so no one will be the wiser. It was her role and she thought it would always be. That was until Andreus met the new Seer, Imogen and his brother was dead and he could be king and out of everyone’s shadow. But who was behind the deaths of their brother and father? Wasn’t the Neighboring Kingdom? The ousted royals? The members of the council? Carys does what she always done and goes out of her way to help and protect her brother. Andreus betrays her the moment he sees he could have everything he ever wanted and a pretty girl. Typical boy believes a woman he wants to sleep with over his sister who has done nothing but protect him his whole life. The end of the first book, we get the resolution of who wins the crown but who is behind it all not so much. It’s much more complicated then that because there a lot of things at play here. All pretty well set up too. I was able to guess some of who was behind but one subplot I didn’t really see coming. All in all it was a good two books. If you are looking for a quick fantasy read with lots of subplots and palace intrigue, this is for you.