**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [195]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


January is always a busy month it seems.  Everything from catching up on things left for after the holidays to getting a fresh start on new projects and of course, more books to read!!

STS 30 Jan 16

  • Bad Country is a very interesting take on the detective novel.  There's a bit of an ethnicity twist to this one.

  • I got Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates because my son had to do a book report on it and I wanted to be familiar with the book so I could help him with his report.  I'm glad I did.  It gives an insight to U.S. Marine history that I only got the bare essentials of in boot camp.

  • Syndrome E is a techno-thriller unlike most.  It starts the reader in one direction and winds up where you don't expect

  • Of course, if there is a new Brandon Sanderson book out there, I will likely be purchasing it.  I will have more to say on The Bands of Mourning, the latest in the Mistborn Series, very soon!

So, let us know, what literary additions have you made to your Todo List for this year?

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The Blood of Olympus is the fifth and final Heroes of Olympus book, and boy does the series go out with a bang!

Just as in the previous books, the action picks up immediately where it left off in the book before.  The demigods are still traveling the world in the Argo II with the Athena Parthenos statue, trying to complete their mission in time to stop Gaea from awakening.  Every time Rick Riordan would remind us readers how many days were left, I'd get more and more nervous!  How on earth would these teens get back to Athens in time?  And on top of that, they start hearing about an impending war between Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, and they decide that the statue must get back to Long Island!

This young-YA series continues to impress me.  There are many characters, and many personalities, and much mythology, but I didn't struggle too much to keep up.  (I listened to the first four books on CD, and the first half of the fifth book... didn't realize until I picked up the hard copy to finish the story that there's a really handy glossary of characters and gods in the back of the hard copy.)  The pacing of the series is great; perhaps because Riordan has had practice laying out series?  I never felt overwhelmed with too many characters or plot points being introduced at once.  By the time you reach this fifth book, there are a lot of characters, but they're well-developed, so you feel like you know them.  I also love the "cameos" in this final book!  The Amazons make a brief appearance, for instance.  That's fun.

Speaking of characters being well-developed... the main characters all show remarkable growth through the series, but none of it feels forced.  A few natural relationships form, deep friendships are forged, and all of them mature.  Occasionally, younger-YA or MG books have moments in the ending that feel very "after-school special," but this book didn't.  Riordan trusts his readers to pick up on the growth and changes without being overly explicit.  I appreciate him trusting me like that.

As I mentioned in this review's opening, The Blood of Olympus ends on a huge bang.  It doesn't wrap up overly neatly too quickly.  (It is younger-YA, so it does eventually wrap up pretty nicely.)  There's lingering tension, even after the battle ends.  I won't tell you anything about it, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ending!  It was so right for this series.  I can totally see the readalike comparison to the Harry Potter series as far as writing and action go.  It's hard to describe, but Riordan manages to stage a huge battle with many Greek and Roman gods and demigods, where some campers even end up slain, without being gratuitously gory or descriptive.  It's amazing.

And finally, I both listened to and physically read this book.  (My audiobook checkout expired before I reached the end of the story!)  The narration is done by Nick Chamian, who did the previous four books as well, and he continues his excellent storytelling.  I would definitely recommend the audiobook... except that there's that great glossary of gods/terms in the back of hard copies!  I don't know... that throws a small kink in my audiobook recommendation!  No matter what format you choose, I do recommend that you try this series!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Insurgent (Divergent Series) by Veronica Roth

This is the second book in the  Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.  The review will definitely touch on subjects that are major plot points in the first book.  So, if you are not a big fan of spoilers and think you may want to read this book, stop reading this review here.  You can always read the review of Divergent and decide to read the book and then read this review later.

By the end of the first book, Tris and Tobias (Four) had shut down the Erudite's simulation they were using to control the Dauntless (at least those who weren't Divergent).  They were not in time to save a great many Abnegation (including Tris' mom and dad) that were slaughtered during that invasion.  This was all done with the bonus task of bringing Tobias out of a simulation that was engineered to worked on Divergents.  This brings us to the point where Tris and Tobias try to rally support from all the other factions as well as the Factionless.

I really liked the first book.  Maybe it was the clear and concise goals  and the movement towards them that seemed to be set out for the characters.  Maybe it was the rhythm of the story and the feeling of always climbing towards a greater reveal or resolution.  It might have been the interesting introduction and exposition of each of the principle characters in the story.  It was likely a combination of all these factors that I felt were done well in the first book yet, lacking in the second.

Character development was a bit stifled in the second book.  There were a handful of new characters brought in but, none of them seemed to be brought to life quite in the same way the ones in the first book had.  As far as already established characters like Tris, Tobias and Caleb were concerned, there was some continuing development and growth though not enough to keep my interest up.  Some characters were so incomplete I kept confusing them with each other.

Part of my problem with the characters could have been rooted in the slow pace of the story as a whole.  Where the first book climbed a spiral staircase of events and revelations to and ultimate event, the second book felt mired in trying to accomplish a single goal.  Maybe that was on purpose and the author was trying to express the futility of the struggle.  I really don't think that's the case.  Either way,  it leaves plenty of time for readers to grow bored with the progress of the protagonists and look for more exciting selections.

As a whole,  Insurgent is not a bad addition to the series.  It just suffers from being the slower, more deliberative sequel used to get readers ready for the more thrilling conclusion in the third of the series.  It does have some very graphic violence and the interpersonal is getting a lot more personal in spots.  All of which lands this one as solid PG13.


Roberts Signature

Monday, January 25, 2016

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

This is a truly wonderful and epic book. The kind of book that keeps you up way past your bed time because you just can't get enough. As it turns out, it's the first book I rate 5 stars in 2016 and I expect it to remain at the top of my list, despite the fact the year has only just begun. I think it's the combination of great characters, an amazing fantasy world, epic battles and magic that makes this book so gripping. The series has only just begun but it already has a strong fan base on social media.

Truthwitch is primarily the story about the Truthwitch. Her real name is Safiya and her magical gift allows her to tell truth from lies. It's almost impossible to lie to her, however, it is possible to fool her if you truly believe your words. Iseult is her Threadsister, the one person she can depend on and will always be linked to. Iseult is a Threadwitch, able to see the threads or the auras that describe a person's emotions and the links that bind people together. The two girls form a really kickass pair who end up on the run from multiple enemies. Her whole life, Safiya hid the fact that she was a Truthwitch, afraid that everyone would want to use her witchery for their own purposes. Now that the secret's out, everyone wants to use her for their own political gain.

Oddly enough, both Safiya and Iseult have passive witch gifts. Some of the other characters have very strong gifts which they're able to use to their advantage in a fight. For example, some are able to control fire or wind, elements that can easily help them win a fight. One of the antagonists of the book is a Bloodwitch which allows him to smell your blood and track you from very far distances. His gift also allows him to control your blood, so in theory, control your life if he so wants. Despite their passive witchery, the girls are amazing fighters and often depend on swords and other weapons to defend themselves.

One of the main reasons Safiya is on the run is because she has been betrothed to an Emperor three times her age, without her consent. She definitely doesn't believe in the union since she knows all the Emperor wants, is to use her Truthwitchery in order the gain the advantage in the upcoming war. The Twenty Year Truce is slowly coming to an end so all political leaders are trying their best to get the advantage over their enemies, even if that means kidnapping a young woman like Safiya. Through all this, Safiya meets Prince Merik, a Windwitch and Admiral for his country's navy. He helps Safiya escape for his own advantage since her uncle has promised the Prince a treaty if he delivers Safiya safely. Easier said than done since everyone is out to get her.

No Young Adult book would be complete without some sort of romance. The beginnings of romance, or strong youthful lust is visible between Safiya and Merik. Iseult isn't sure if their threads are binding because of anger or because of passion, but one thing is for sure, their bond is fierce. We don't get to explore their relationship very much in this novel, but we can definitely anticipate something more in the sequel.

I definitely recommend Truthwitch. After only a few week, it's already on the New York Times Bestseller list so obviously, I'm not the only one that thinks it's pretty awesome. Author Sarah J. Maas has dubbed it a "new instant classic" and I'm inclined to agree with her. Honestly, this is a book you won't want to miss!

stephsig moon

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

I was so lost for so much of this book. I read Wicked Lovely last year and I guess it didn't really impact me. I spent much of the book trying to remember these characters, and whether or not I should like them.

I didn't like any of them.

The protagonist is in a HORRIFIC life situation, with an absentee dad who can't even manage to pay the power bill and a recent sexual assault and a drug dealer brother. She makes this great ( <-- sarcasm) life choice to get a big tattoo and it manages to wreck her life further by putting her squarely in the middle of a big faery court battle. The guy who gives her the tattoo doesn't warn her and doesn't help her and never falls under any retribution for what he's done. The protagonist's best friend is a queen of a faery court, but she's very laissez-afire about the whole thing and tries to avoid getting involved and helping her friend.

The whole book is so freaking dark and depressing!

But that's just my singular impression.  This series is wide-read and loved by some.  It does have faeries, which I usually love.  These faeries are on the darker side of magic, though.  I could totally see if you like bad-boy romance, you'd like these books.  Also, while not a book series I'd hand to younger teens, I would hand it to an older teen who is looking for edgy romance.  So while I did not get into this book, others may.  Sometimes you just have to be in the right mood.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (The Expanse Book 1)

I think it might be obvious what brought this choice to mind since recently SyFy has started airing a TV series on this book series.  So, let's address the 800 pound CG gorilla in the room:  This is NOT made by the same folks who gave us Sharknado.  The TV show Expanse is a well done small screen adaptation of the book series.  Yes, there are differences between the two but, it is a case of Vive la difference! Now, we have two very cool science fiction stories to get lost in!

Now, on to the book!  This is a true space opera.  I imagine it helps that James S. A. Corey is actually two authors so, offering them the ability to develop the story in parallel while still maintaining a central theme.  This is something that Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (their real names) manage to do very well.  It's like when children sing songs like Row-Row Your Boat in the round only, these guys are doing that with at the concerto level.  It moves from exposition to cliff hanger and on to the next scene with a certain grace.  I never felt bombarded by tech or period jargon.

There are many characters we get introduced to in this, the first installment of the series but, it's easy to pick out the ones you will see the most of as the story unfolds.  We get to see many of the most familiar archetypes: The Hard-nosed Detective, The 'Boy Scout', The Hard Drinking Lech and many more.  I don't want to give too much away because, this is one of those tales where the fun is in the journey and the journey is often less than predictable.

The scenes and scenery are just as unique and almost as plentiful as the characters.  These also have the added bonus of giving the reader a glimpse in the origination and motivation of the people who inhabit this world.  To me, it brings up the age old question of "nature vs nurture".

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey is an entertaining space opera that will both engage and intrigue most readers.  There are many scenes of harsh violence and some mature discussions all of which lands in the PG13 rating but, not too deeply.

Roberts Signature

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Stacking The Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


 Hey everyone! I am so sorry the post is late, it totally slipped my mind this week!

I didnt get any print books this week, but I was approved on Netgalley for the following titles:

I can't wait to read them both!

I also had a photoshoot last week, here are some of my favorites:

IMG_2438s IMG_2479s IMG_2502s

And last both not least, I added some new designs to my etsy shop, feel free to look and share :)

1eranni 1stanni 1stbday BSI8-p


What did you add to you shelves?

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series, so there will be spoilers in this review for the first book, City of Bones. You've been warned.  Also, this is kind of a "Throwback Thursday" type of review.  Here on Tynga's Reviews, we've already reviewed books #3, #4, #5, and #6; but not #2!  Here we go...

(A quick aside on the cover: the focal point is Clary's chest. Does that bother anyone else?)

City of Ashes opens with Jace being investigated and massive death and destruction in the City of Bones. A very harsh Inquisitor is investigating Jace because the Clave worries that Jace took the second Mortal Instrument, the Soul-Sword. Is Jace guilty? Did he help his father, Valentine, take the sword, which would still make him culpable? On top of the drama at the Institute, someone is killing NYC Downworlder children. Clary and Simon join up with the Shadowhunters to solve the mystery before any more Downworlder children die, and before Jace is locked up for a crime he may or may not have committed.

I was totally torn over this book. I loved most of the storyline, and I thought the pacing of the action was great. I listened to this book on CD, and even though it was much longer than some other books I've listened to recently it felt like it flew by. I also really liked how even though this is the second book in a six-book series, it didn't feel like a "bridge." It definitely had it's own conflict which developed and was resolved (for the most part). It's not a stand-alone; you'd want to have read City of Bones in order to understand how the characters fit together, but it didn't leave me hanging at the end. I appreciate that.

There is so much action in City of Ashes! A werewolf fight in a nightclub to a meeting with fairies to prison escapes... The reader never gets to sit still and catch their breath. I will say that Cassandra Clare did a great job of squeezing in a few feelings in between all the action, so that we can see relationships blossom between characters. But we never linger on feelings. The only down side is that in order to squeeze in those feelings, Ms. Clare did more telling than showing. As in, the characters state out loud or in their thoughts how they feel, instead of demonstrating those feelings. Oh well. Can't be perfect, and it's not terrible.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright

Suzanne Wright brings us into a world where the more animalistic side isn't just considered, often it is obeyed almost without question.  It's a world in which pack means more than family or even self.  For people such as Taryn, Roscoe and Trey, it is a world they each try to control and each trying to stay on top.

I will always be the first to insist that a good entertaining book is not necessarily synonymous with good literature.  In other words, you don't have to follow all the rules in order to touch somebody's mind, spirit or heart with a story.  That said, this book is not my cup of tea.  It's not due to any real flaw in construction of the story or the uses of the characters or setting.  There was one annoying problem with the timeline that had me flipping back and forth between chapters but, that could be easily fixed in a second edition.  The raw elements of the story were intriguing enough to make be buy the book. It was the presentation that bothered me.

I had a similar issue with  Claimed (Brides of the Kindred) by Evangeline Anderson.  Just like in that review I'll start off by saying, I'm no prude when it comes to sex scenes in stories whether on the page or on screen.  Using full details in these scenes can be crucial to story progression or establishing character connections or just  showing us another side of a character.  What bothers is me is when the author chooses to use the crudest of terms to describe what could be the most beautiful of expressions among characters.  I will  say that those terms are not just acceptable but required when used by characters where it's fitting.

In my opinion, Feral Sins faltered when the narrative portions used the vulgar parts of the language that the characters used.  Not only did it blur the lines between narration and dialog or inner monolog, it made the voice of the whole story a bit coarser than necessary.  Had this been written in first person say from Taryn's point of view not only would it make more sense for it to be written this way but, we could have gone deeper (pardon the pun).  I often thought the author was held back slightly because of choosing the third person perspective.

An aspect that made it difficult for me to really enjoy the book was how rough the sex was portrayed in.  This is a group of shapeshifters who take the form and mannerisms of wolves so, it makes sense that a very aggressive submissive/dominance dance be part of their ritual for selecting and interacting with a mate.  If this were a community of elves or a group seen just as peaceful, these types of rough sexual encounters would seem out of place.  Many readers are able to lose themselves in the fantasy of it, I'm just not one of them.

Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright is, in my opinion, hard-core romance.  It is a story of two people locked into a world that is secretive, savage and carnal.  Due to the significant amount of violence and  graphic sex scenes, this book earns a rare X rating from me.


Roberts Signature

Monday, January 11, 2016

The nth Day by Jonathan Huls

When I first read the synopsis of the book, I was really intrigued. I liked the idea of God, or a version of God being reborn in our present world and time. Despite the original ideas, I had a really hard time getting through the whole book.  For the most part, the story was captivating, and I always wanted to know what happened next. However, despite the fascinating scenes, it was too difficult to overlook certain things.

First off, let me say I'm usually ok with a certain amounts of gore and horror. In this book, however, it was it was too vulgar and gory for my tastes. A character getting stabbed in a testicle? I really don't need to read that. Another character getting emasculated after an accident? I see a pattern forming here. And it's not just the gore. I thought it was tasteless to include a scene where a little girl is almost rapped by a foster parent. I had to skip over most of the scene. I can understand if it needs to happen in order to further the story, but please don't make me read through it like any other regular scene.

Justin is by far the most interesting character that I've read in while, I'll give you that. I like that it's never really clear whether he's simply a supernatural deity or if he's actually God with a capital "G". I also like that he was born from immaculate conception. I'm not a religious person so I really don't care whether it's blasphemous or not. Then again, the joke about getting it in the "wrong hole" was another tasteless matter. It's quite interesting to see Justin go from a very serene and beautiful baby, to a trouble-making pre-adolescent. However, as a god, when Justin throws a tantrum, bad things happen which sometimes extends to the entire world. The repercussions can be minor, such as changing most of the population's eyes to brilliant emerald green, or catastrophic, like the disappearance of all money and currency.

The timeline is a little confusing. One moment Justin is a toddler, the next he's a little bit older. How old isn't very clear so it's hard to judge the passage of time. Cassie's timeline is as confusing. She survives an atrocious upbringing as a toddler and then she's thrown into foster care. Her amount of time in foster care isn't very clear and her age only guessed by another character towards the end of the book. As Justin's journey converges with Theodore and Cassie's storylines, I really thought things were going to escalate and lead to something meaningful. However, when the story ended, I was confused and left searching for the point. It feels like there wasn't really any meaning to the story, except destruction and chaos.

Also, the actual writing felt a little clumsy. Like I mentioned, it was difficult to follow the timelines, and the passage of time. The story could have used a little bit more editing and a little less thesaurus use. If you want to say blood, simply use the world blood. Don't describe it as hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells, which is a composition of blood itself. Another grammar error that I couldn't ignore was "genetically disposed" instead of "genetically predisposed." Whether that error was done purposely or not, I'm not sure, but I just couldn't overlook it. My spelling and grammar is far from perfect but I expect a little better from published books.

Overall, the ideas in the novel were interesting but could have used a little bit more finesse and little bit more editing. If gore isn't for you, I would stay clear of this book. Honestly, I can't think of any books to compare it to. It's definitely original, but in this case, that's not necessarily a good thing.

stephsig moon

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Stacking The Shelves {193}

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Hello All!! I hope you all had a great Holiday Season as we have here in the formerly Sunny (now Soggy) San Diego ;)  I started off my New Year by setting a goal on the GoodReads Reading Challenge.  I went for the easy goal of 50 books for the year.  Here's how I started out!

STS Jan 16

  • I really enjoyed The Mermaid's Sister and gave it a fitting review earlier this week.  It's a really good story for younger readers.

  • Way on the other end of the spectrum is Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright.  I'll be posting more on that one next week.

  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World is an excellent book to learn about how the Mongols influenced the entire civilized world.  I also found it interesting to see some of the best sci-fi and fantasy plots and tropes show up.

  • Some Fine Day by Kat Ross is an interesting Post Apocalyptic story.  It's an intriguing concept that could have been split into two more in depth books.

  • Crow Hollow by Michael Wallace is a 18th century period piece.  Nothing supernatural or other worldly so far.  Just an entertaining story.

  • Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster is another of mature selections of this bunch.  It's a fascinating retelling of some of our favorite classic paranormal stories.

So, tell me, what how have you started this year's reading?

 Roberts Signature

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Son by Lois Lowry

This is such a neat quartet of books! You really need to read all four to get the best appreciation, but each one could also be a standalone. That really impresses me, that Lois Lowry pulled that off. If you read The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger you are in for a real treat in Son: the main characters from the previous three books are all present and accounted for in it!

Son is told in three parts, with multiple chapters in each part. There is Before, Between, and Beyond. In the first part, Before, we meet Claire. She's a young girl, 13 years old, and is at her first work assignment in her community. She is a Vessel. Come to find out, Vessels are young girls (13-16 years old), and their "job" is to produce Products. Products being babies. Older girls, who have already Produced one or two Products tell Claire what to expect. There will be a little bit of pain, and she'll be blindfolded, and then it will be over and she'll get to rest for 6 months before Producing again. Are you weirded out yet? I sure was! Anyway, it gets worse: when it comes time for Claire to Produce, something goes wrong. The pain is intense. She ends up undergoing a c-section, although it's not called that in the book. Because of this, Claire is allowed a little time to recover and then released from being a Vessel and reassigned to the fish hatchery. In her society, everyone takes "vitamins" every day, and the vitamins damp down feelings. There's a clerical error or something and Claire ends up not taking the vitamins, even after being reassigned to the fish hatchery. She finds reasons to visit the infant care center, and ends up discovering which baby she produced. No surprise here: she loves the baby, Product 36, and daydreams of taking him and raising him herself. Of course that can't happen. She ends up sort of befriending a nursery worker guy, who is taking extra special care of Product 36.

So that's Before. And I feel like there'd be spoilers if I went into too much detail with Between and Beyond. Lets see... so in the official back-of-book description it does say that there's a culmination to the battle between good and evil. So you know that's coming. And you know from the back of the book that Claire will stop at nothing to get her son back. And I mean nothing. Claire has to work long and hard, like, for years, to get back to her son. She also ends up having to make a pretty huge sacrifice. I'm an adult reading this book and I got all kinds of emotionally invested and my heart just broke for Claire. I was so rooting for her!

I listened to this book on CD and loved it. I thought the narrator did a great job. The pacing was great and the narrator kept me engaged and focused. There were a few times I was tempted to sit in my car in the parking lot and just keep listening.


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble

How far can sisterly love take a person and is there such thing as  too far in such a case?  Those questions never occur for the mild mannered Clara when it comes to her sister Maren.

The Mermaid's Sister is what I would think a modern day fairy tale should be.  It is full of unusual people who are put in extreme circumstances that call on a perseverance of will and character to make it through.  No, it is not modern in the truest sense of the word but, relative to more traditional fairy tales, it's brand new.

As with many fairy tales, the cast of characters is relatively short.  For this story that works very well as it adds to the feelings of isolation or separation at various parts.  While the player list is shallow, the character are not.  While they occupy many of the archetypes we come to expect in stories, there is uniqueness in their development and even a few minor twists and turns as we get to know them.

The setting of the story was never completely clear to me though we do find out bits and pieces about where they are headed at times.  It is set in the U.S.  seemingly at an earlier time in the country's history.  It put me in mind of The Wizard of Oz or Tom Sawyer as far as the era it came from.  I thought that using a time where technology is so underdeveloped helped keep the story at a pace that allowed for things to seem as they were occurring more naturally.  While there are times of urgency, the story is never rushed and we can see things and people for what and who they are.

This is a story that is definitely written with the younger readers in mind.  I would caution that, though it does have a fairy tale feel to it, it is a bit violent in spots and there are some mature subjects discussed.  I would have know problem letting my 14 year old read it that's why I would rate it a soft PG13.


Roberts Signature

Monday, January 04, 2016

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Magonia is a magnificent and exceptional debut novel. That said, it's not a book that will be enjoyed by everyone. I think it's meant for readers that are able to look beyond the physical world and are able to stretch their imagination. I mean, there's bird people, skyships, floating cities in the sky and talking birds. Lots of birds. But it's also about strong human connections, family and love. It's beautifully written and evokes strong emotions throughout the story.

Oddly enough, the first third of the book could have been compared to any contemporary young adult novels. It reminds me of The Fault In Our Stars, because Aza Ray is living on borrowed time. Despite her fragile body, she's a spunky 15 year old full of angst and unafraid to use her medical condition to get into trouble or cause some disturbances in school. Her lungs have a hard time transporting oxygen into her blood, making it very hard for her to breathe and do pretty much anything a normal teen might want to do. Doctors are barely able to keep her alive since they're pretty much clueless about what she has. Actually, there's no precedent so they named the disease after her. With her being the only patient with this disease, there's obviously no cure.

The first third of the book is where we meet Aza and her best friend Jason. They're almost always together, and have been friend since Aza's fifth birthday. Both are very analytical and intelligent, so when Aza starts seeing airships floating in the clouds and hearing her name whispered on the wind, they wave it off as hallucinations or try to find a scientific explanation for everything. Aza is on so many different medication that any of them could be making her see things. However, Aza can't help but feel something is coming.

When you hit the 100 page mark, everything shifts from a realistic world to a fantasy world filled with airships, bird people and magic songs. And for the first time since she can remember, Aza can actually breathe normally. Obviously her world is turned upside down and she sets off on a grand adventure. However, she can't help but feel homesick. She misses her mother, her father and her sister, but most of all, she misses Jason. She never got the chance to tell him how she felt and now that she's separated from her childhood life, she knows it will take a miracle for her to ever see her loved ones again.

I don't want to reveal to much about the plot because it deserves to be experienced first hand. I love the fantasy world Maria Dahvana Headley created and because the characters are so analytical, we're almost led to believe that this fantasy world is actually plausible. So many themes emerge throughout the book, like family ties, teenage death, teenage romance, industrialism and its effects on the environment, and so much more. The book has been compared to Neil Gaiman and I completely agree with the comparison, so any fan of the genre and his writing will undoubtably enjoy this debut novel.


stephsig moon

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [192]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


My first Stacking the Shelves post after Christmas is always a big one, for obvious reasons. The books that I had on my Christmas wish list were unwrapped. The books I didn't received were bought with gift cards....

Version 2


The Drafter by Kim Harrison

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015

Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward

The Shadows by J.R. Ward


A Court of Thorn and Roses Sarah J. Maas

Lock and Mori by Heather W. Petty

Soundless by Richelle Mead


 Legend by Marie Lu

Feel free to share your stack or make a comment on mine! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you all the luck in 2016!

stephsig moon

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