Thursday, November 15, 2018

We Love Lists: Books Gretl Wants to Read Before 2019

They say Great Minds think alike, right? Well, so do ours! Yesterday Rose Red posted her year end TBR list. I was just thinking that I needed to make one of those.

 November is traditionally a bad reading month for me. I just don't feel it. But since I've been not feeling it since July, I need to power through this month. It's just about time to make our best of 2018 list and I'm afraid I haven't read the best book yet. Plus, I'm only 4 books shy of 200 Netgalley reviews and I was sure I would get that badge this year.

So here's my Year End TBR. While I probably won't get to all of them since I'm the worst at sticking to a TBR, I think 6 books in the last 6 weeks is certainly doable.

Iron and Magic (Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews
You know how I said I may not have read the best book of the year yet?

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews
See above. I was planning to read these two back to back.

Darkest Heart (Dominion #1) by Juliette Cross
I read the first few pages of this one and it's such an interesting world. I'd like to get back to it.

Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert
I think it's a good idea to put some novellas on my TBR. It's especially good when you're slumping to have an easily attainable goal.

The Guardian (Immortal Dealers #2) by Sarah Fine
This is one of those 4 ARCs I want to get to before the end of the year.

Heart of Ice (Alice Worth #3)by Lisa Edmonds
I've really enjoyed the first two books of this series and I feel like I need to sneak some KU reads into my list.

Wolf Rising (SWAT #8) by Paige Tyler
I've been about to start this book for the last week. Usually Tyler is one of my go to slump-busters and this is a character whose book I've been looking forward to since the beginning of the series.

Shades of Wicked (Night Rebel #1) by Jeaniene Frost
I don't have an ARC, I've just been waiting for this book for so long.

Nightchaser (Endeavor #1) by Amanda Bouchet
This one will be one of my Most Anticipated for 2019. Plus, it releases January 1 so I'd like to be a good blogger and read it before then.

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren
I've read two Christina Lauren books this year and really enjoyed them. I'm going to try to sneak this one to break up all the paranormal stuff.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

We Love Lists: Books Rose Red Wants To Read Before 2019

For me, 2018 has been the year of the reading slump. I may have completed my Goodreads Challenge goal but I'm woefully behind on my unofficial goal to read 100 books. I was trying to figure out when was the last time I read so little in a year and the answer was 2013, my first year of grad school for the PhD that didn't quite happen.

There's not much I can do about how the rest of the year has gone but I am determined to finish the year off strong. There's 48 days left in 2018 and I'm guessing that I can read 15 books that aren't manga before it ends even with factoring in the busyness of the holidays. So to hold myself accountable, I'm making a year end TBR. I'm not promising I'll get to all of these books. I might read others because, let's be real, I have a ton of books in my possession that I want to read ASAP and I'm not real good at sticking to TBR lists. But as of right now, these are the books that I really want to read before the year is over.

1. Chainbreaker by Tara Sim
 It's about time for the third and final book in this series to come out and I've decided that I need to quit procrastinating picking it up because I'm scared of what's coming. I want to be ready to pick Firestarter up the minute it hits my kindle so I'm planning on reading over the Christmas holidays.

2. A Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
 I got caught up on this series earlier this year specifically so I could read the ARC I got of this book and I still haven't read yet. I don't know why other than I've been in that dratted reading slump. I know I'll love this book, I just need to pick it up.

3. Balefire by Jordan L. Hawk
I'm still baffled at the fact that I have a Whyborne & Griffin book in my possession that I haven't read. It quickly became one of my favorite series after I binge read the first nine books in less than a week last year. I think part of the reason I haven't picked this up yet is because it's the second to last book in this series and I'm not ready for it to be over. But that's no excuse. I need to read this book soon because I need more of Whyborne's and Griffin's shenanigans in my life.

4. Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
You know this year is all sorts of wrong in the reading department when I haven't picked up an Anastasia retelling that has the unofficial tagline of GAYS IN SPACE! I'm so behind on all the books but I need to read this one this year so I'm ready for the sequel to come out next year!

5. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Yet another ARC I was so excited to get but never picked up. I got this as a gift from a friend and I'm still excited to read it! This book is based on Japanese mythology and has kitsune in it! Two of my favorite things! Good thing this is this month's book club book so I know I'll get it read before the end of the month!

6. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
I don't feel so bad about not having this one read as it just came out. I'm so excited to read it! BRANDON SANDERSON WROTE A YA SCI-FI SERIES! I've heard nothing but great things about this book. I really have no idea what it's truly about except it was described to me as How to Train Your Dragon meets Top Gun IN SPACE! I was sold with it just being a new Sanderson book but now I'm really sold on it!

7. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I'm pretty sure this book has been on every TBR Bingo card I've made this year and I still haven't read it. I even read the first few chapters for my Try A Chapter post and still haven't finished it. I recently rewatched the Studio Ghibli movie with my nephews and it completely resparked my interest in reading it. I just have to finish the series I'm in the middle of right now.

8. The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of my favorite books of 2017 and I've been dying to get my hands on Felicity's book since it was announced. As with most books on this list, my reading slump has really put me behind on reading my most anticipateds. I can't wait to read more of Felicity's adventures and meet her science girl gang!

9. The Omega Objection by G.L. Carriger
You guys know how much I love a good queer love story and how much I love Gail Carriger's books. So after adoring The Sumage Solution, I've been looking forward to this next book in this series so much and it's finally here! I'm so excited to read Tank's story and see more of the San Andreas Pack!

10. London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy by Bec McMaster
I know this is a series and not just a book but I'm already almost done with Mission: Improper and I know I should be done with the series in the next week or so if I keep up the pace I reread the previous series at earlier this month.

11. The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
I know. I know. Another series. If you add the page counts for each novella, they would equal the length of one book so it totally counts, right? I read All Systems Red a couple months ago and I adored it! I bought the rest of the books in the series but my reading slump really put a kink in my reading plans. I'm hoping to listen to all of these on audio over the next few weeks.

12. Witchmark by C. L. Polk
I really haven't heard much about this one. My best friend brought a copy over, dropped it in my lap, and demanded that I read it as soon as possible. I'm going to admit that I'm totally here for it after reading the synopsis. Magical families, a mage who faked his death, and what looks to be a queer romance! I'm sold! It sounds just like my kind of book!

13. Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett
I was steadily making my way through the Arcadia Bell series before my reading slump really hit and I was loving it! I just need to read this book to complete the series. I'm equal parts scared after the ending of book three, excited to see how things end, and sad to see it end. This is one of those series where I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to read it.

14. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Is November 2018 the November I will finally sit down and read The Scorpio Races? I certainly hope so! I've been saving this book to read in November for like four years now. Enough is enough! I need to read it this year and finally get it off my TBR pile.

15. How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger
I've been wanting Channing's story ever since we got Lyle and Biffy's novella last year and I'm so excited to have it in my hands finally! This book sounds hilarious and cute! Channing's always been one of the more mysterious but grumpy characters in the Parasolverse and I just need to know more about him like yesterday!

I have roughly 48 days to read the 20 books (7222 pages) on this list! It's totally doable! I just need to read 150 pages every day between now and the end of the year. Wish me luck!

What books are you hoping to get read before it's 2019?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Review: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews


Diamond Fire
(Hidden Legacy #3.5)
Ilona Andrews
Release: November 3, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done. 

Words cannot express how happy I am to have more Hidden Legacy. I love this world so much! Diamond Fire is set just after the end of Wildfire and transitions away from Nevada's POV, which we see in the prologue, to her younger sister's.

The world looks slightly different when seen through Catalina's eyes. Like Nevada, she's been taught to hide her powers but Catalina's even more guarded. She's wary of attention and fears forming attachments to anyone outside her family. It will be interesting to see her having an adult relationship, though that's not happening here. Catalina's only eighteen at this point and there's going to be a time jump to her first full length novel.

What we do get is the story of how Catalina learns to accept her magic over the course of her first big case. I'm looking forward to seeing how far she's come by the time we get her next book. I also love the rest of the younger Baylors and can't wait to see more from all of them. It looks like Rogan's mother may stick around as well. She's such an interesting combination of formidable and unassuming. Nevada doesn't appear much in the story but I didn't really miss her. Rogan shows up a few times, but I think the shift in focus to the younger characters was quite successful. So what I'm saying is I love them all and I need the next book like now!

My only complaint about Diamond Fire is that it ends abruptly and wraps up the mystery a little too easily. That's kind of to be expected with the novella length though. There are also some descriptions of characters' powers where I would have liked more explanation, but I'm thinking that will come in later books.

If you haven't read the Hidden Legacy series, I think you could start here and continue with Catalina's story. There are some spoilers for the first three books, though. But I don't know why you'd want to do that. This series is so good!

4 1/2  stars

Our reviews of other books in this series:
Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy #1)
White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2)
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3)

Friday, November 2, 2018

We Love Lists: Five Spooky Manga to Read Around Halloween

Halloween has come and gone but we can still read stuff with those creepy Halloween vibes! I love picking up specific books that just give off creepy and monster mashy vibes all year round but I especially love reading them around Halloween. I've talked several times about some of my favorite Halloween reads but I haven't talked about my favorite Halloween manga. There’s nothing like reading some great manga to help get you in the spirit and excitement for the season! So let's talk about some of my series!

1. Vassalord
Vassalord is one of my favorite manga series of all time! It's also perfect for Halloween! There's vampires, cyborgs, devils, murder, wonderful queer relationships, and intriguing conflicts against a host of enemies. I love Rayflo and Charlie and their band of misfits they collect over the course of the manga. The sad thing is that only the first four volumes were translated into English. The last three were translated into German though and I had a good friend who did a rough translation for me so I could finish the series. I live in eternal hope that we'll get the last three volumes in English someday.

2. Tokyo Ghoul
Out of all the manga on this list, Tokyo Ghoul is the manga with the most horror in it. It's set in a world where ghouls stalk Tokyo. College student, Ken Kaneki, gets in an accident and gets ghoul organs transplanted into his body instead of human ones and becomes half-ghoul. This manga perfectly marries vampire and zombie tropes and is the most horror-filled manga I've ever read. I will say that if you don't do much horror, this isn't the series to start with. It gets stomach-turning in parts.

3. Hellsing
Hellsing has all the greatest elements of a Halloween monster manga: vampires, the undead, a corrupt church, and plenty of blood. What I like about it is it’s scary without being terrifying. It's more of a thriller with lots of intense action and violence rather than a haunting story that messes with your mind. Hellsing also has the benefit of having a great anime you can watch after you read it! The story is really good and full of intriguing characters. It's an oldie but a goodie!

4. Blue Exorcist
This series has a very Harry Potterish vibe except instead of going to a magic school the students got to school to learn how to exorcise demons. One of those students happens to be the son of Satan. This series is so great! Plus, it has one of the best sibling relationships I've ever read. It's also has super fun secondary characters.

5. Delicious in Dungeon
This series isn't a horror series but it's kind of a monster mash meets Dungeon and Dragons meets Chopped. I never would have thought I'd be loving a manga about a party of adventurers who head into a dungeon to save a friend but run out of food and money so they decide to EAT THE MONSTERS! It's a really odd mix of adventure and... cooking. And it's wonderful! I can't recommend it enough! Plus, the monsters make it a great Halloween read.

Do you have any manga series that you like to read around Halloween?


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Month in Review: October 2018

Wait, where did October go?  Before we know it, we'll be shoveling snow and shopping for the holidays! At least we've got some candy left to remember it by.

Here's what we've been up to other than satisfying our sweet tooths.

Check out our October Book Hauls!


Rose Red


Rose Red

Rereads/Beat the Backlist


Miyazakiworld by Susan Napier
The Black God's Drums by P. Djeli Clark
To Catch a Rogue by Bec McMaster
The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams
Archangel's Prophecy by Nalini Singh

Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert Excerpt

We Love Lists
Books That Give Us Fall Feels
Books We'd Buy This Minute If We Could

Weres Wanna Know
How do you find time to read?

Goldilox and the Three Scares
Instagram Challenge
Kristi Charish Guest Post

 Our Most Anticipated November Releases:





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