Happy One Year Anniversary to The Raven King and Maggie Stiefvater!

April 2016 was our most successful month page views wise.  We had 589 views, which beat our previous record of 552 in December 2015. It made me wonder what were we writing about a year ago to get so much traffic.  Well, The Raven Cycle and Maggie Stiefvater.  It’s hard to believe that the The Raven King came out a year ago.  That it has been a year since we found out if Gansey, Blue, Ronan and Adam would find the sleeping Welsh King and If Blue and Gansey would kiss and if Gansey would die.  Those mysteries have been solved.  Thankfully, we know that we haven’t read the last of the Gang as Maggie is working on a trilogy about Ronan. Whee!!!

And we have another Maggie book coming in October.  So we have a lot to look forward to but let’s take a moment, in honor of the 1 year anniversary of the release of The Raven King and the end of the The Raven Cycle, to look at everything we have ever written about the series.

What I’m Listening to Now: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Public Service Announcement

What I’m Thankful for

Cover Reveal: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Books that Rocked My Face off, Part two

Let’s Do Some Reading: Goals for 2015

Cover Reveal: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Discussion Posts: Re-reading series before the new installment comes out

Books that Rocked My Face Off in 2015

What I Can’t Wait to Read in 2016

First Listen of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Countdown to The Raven King!

What I’m ReReading Now: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Observations on The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Observations on The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Observations on Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

My To-Read List for the next month or so

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 1

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 2

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 3

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 4

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 5

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 6

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 7

What I’m Reading Now: THE RAVEN KING BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER

What I’m Listening to: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Our Top 5 Posts of 2016

My Top 10 Books I read in 2016

Top Eight for 2016!

Th Raven Cycle as a TV Show Yes Please

March: Discussion Part 3

9781603093958_p0_v6_s192x300I would like to discuss the format. What do you think about John Lewis presenting this story as a graphic novel instead of a straight narrative story?  I personally, I loved it.  I think it was kind of genius. It’s one thing to read about the sit-ins, marches and the violence that followed but it’s another thing to have it visualized.  The illustrations are truly powerful and really make his story and the story of the Civil Rights movement come to life.  The graphic novel format also makes it more accessible.  How many kids or teens willing read history books?  All three books were quick reads but still powerful.  Giving the readers a full look of all the challenges that John Lewis and the movement faced.  The sacrifices that they made, knowing that they could be arrested or killed.  The visual aspect of the novel makes all of these more powerful because the illustrations are simple, yet specific.

Do you agree with me? What do you think of the presentation?

Review: Blood and Absinthe by Chloe Hart

These three novellas all packaged into one are your standard paranormal romance fluff that is the sort of mindless fun that you’d expect from anything that can be described as “standard paranormal romance fluff”. They weren’t really well written and I wasn’t in love with any of the characters but I didn’t hate any of them either. The novellas asked nothing of me and that was exactly what I was looking for.

Plus, I got them from a book bub blast for 99 cents.

The first of the three novellas follows Liz, a faery warrior whose job it is to keep dark paranormal things out of the world. She is forced to work with her nemesis Jack (who is a vampire) to fight a particularly awful demon. It turns out that they both are crushing on each other. The next sentence is a little spoilery in account of this story was kind of formulaic. It also turns out that Jack can lend Liz his super vamp strength so that she can kill the demon if they spend one night of passion together.

The second story follows Celia, Liz’s friend, who is a mage faery and a vampire named Grant. Celia makes a discovery about the faery absinthe that all of the fae use occasionally to up their strength and connect them to their magic. She goes to Grant for protection when she realizes someone is trying to kill her. Intrigue, mayhem and romance ensue. Fun times.

The final story follows Jessica, a faery princess and Vampire assassin Hawk as they try to save magic and keep the human world from being overrun with demons and other evil faeries. There was a lot of hotness early on in this one but I’ll admit that I didn’t finish it because I was kind of bored with the whole world by this point.

I do have one bone to pick with these stories (and in romance novels in general). Sometimes, the sexy bits of these books are problematic in that they show sexual encounters that should not be considered consensual (even though we, as readers with access to the thoughts and feelings of the characters know that that the encounters are consensual). This happened at least once in these novellas: a character was under the influence of a spell or some kind of drug or was having a waking dream and got all hot and heavy with another character. In the worst of these instances, when the non-magicked/drugged/dreaming character realized that they were having sexy times with an incapacitated person they chose to pretend like the incident never happened. This led the other character to wake up and realize that it had happened and to be confused about how to go forward. When I read the novella, I found it enjoyable. But, after I had finished reading it, I felt very uncomfortable with how this had played out. I was uncomfortable because this was a terrible modeling of how people should treat each other in relationships. If you accidentally have magical faery sex with someone who thinks they’re asleep and dreaming your reaction to realizing they thought they were dreaming shouldn’t be, “Well, I’ll just pretend like this didn’t happen.” At the very least, you should make sure that they are physically and emotionally okay. (Or, you know, turn yourself in for sexual assault.) This has been an issue that has been discussed a lot recently with the release of 50 Shades of Grey. It is an important topic to critique and discuss because literature and art allow us to explore our world in a safe space. If the representations that we encounter are problematic, we need to talk about why they are problematic and how they could have been made better. I’m not saying that Chloe Hart should have written any of her scenes differently. They were hot and they served the story and the reader even if they didn’t serve the characters. But, these novellas don’t exist in a vacuum, so it is worth discussing things that make us uncomfortable.

These novellas were fine and they were quick reads but I won’t be reading anything else in the series. Meh.