What Should I Read Next?

Howdy, howdy! How is everyone doing today? I hope your plans for St. Paddy’s day include sitting around and reading or something equally fun/relaxing/socially distanced. I’ve been slowly rereading the Harry Potter series. After I finished book five a couple of days ago, I had this weird urge to binge read the last two books. I haven’t had this desire towards books in a long time, so I’m giving into it despite the other 20+ unread books judging me from my Kindle app (not to mention the hundreds of books in the other room that I haven’t read yet). It’ll take me a while to finish these two (a month and a half or two), but I want some help deciding what to read afterward. So, I’m going to list all of my currently downloaded ebooks and whatever hardcopies I can think of that I’m interested in right now, and let you all tell me what I should read next.

1. The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

2. Death in a Budapest Butterfly by Julia Buckley. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

3. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

4. A Crafter Hooks a Killer by Holly Quinn. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

5. Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

6. Fantastic Creatures: A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology by multiple authors. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

7. Death in Neverland by Isadora Brown. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

8. Arterial Bloom edited by Mercedes M. Yardley. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

9. Killer Cruise by A.R. Winters. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

10. Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

11. Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

12. The Best of the Best Horror of the Year: 10 Years of Essential Short Horror Fiction edited by Ellen Datlow. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

13. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

14. Dead Man in a Ditch by Luke Arnold. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

15. Storm the Earth by Rebecca Kim Wells. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

16. Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

17. Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

18. Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it. I also have the next book in this series if you think I should read it too.

19. Watch Her by Edwin Hill. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

20. Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

21. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

22. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

23. Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

24. The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

25. Dark Power by Danielle Rose. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it. Technically I don’t have this one yet, but it’s pre-ordered and will be out before I finish Harry Potter.

So, what should I read after I finish HP6 and 7? I certainly have my preferences, but nothing strong enough for me to make up my mind. Leave your votes here or on my social media pages. Also, feel free to recommend books you think I might like (I’m not too picky about trying new things), but I should probably get through some of the books I already have.

Thoughts on The Last Smile in Sunder City

Howdy, howdy! It’s the last week of February which means that it’s review time. And guess what! I got approved at the very last minute for another February release, so you’ll get another review either next week or the week after, depending on how fast I can get through it. Are you tired of book reviews yet? Tough noogies, I guess. Anyway, today I’m taking a look at The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold. It was released by Orbit Books on February 25th. As usual, I must thank the publisher and NetGalley for access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Let’s get to it!

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An interesting cover.

The Last Smile in Sunder City follows Fetch Phillips, a human and a former jack-of-all-trades turned soldier turned PI, as he tries to do some good with his life. Six years ago, the source of magic was cut off from the world due to human greed. This left all the monsters to adapt to a miserable new life and sometimes, they need favors. That’s where Fetch comes in handy. This time, he’s hired to find a missing vampire, but nobody is prepared for what else he discovers along the way.

Sounds fun, right? It is to an extent. I mean, who wouldn’t love a gritty noir-esque mystery with real monsters? The problem is that that’s not what we get. Not really. There are a bunch of different stories all packed into one here and none of them are fleshed out into a story worth the time it takes to sift through them. And I don’t mean that various storylines are layered together like a book should have, I’m talking about a multitude of main stories being stuffed into one. In fact, the story that seems the most planned out is Fletch’s backstory which takes up half the book in flashbacks. That’s the story that wants to be told. It’s epic verging on dark fantasy. And I’d totally read that book. It would be awesome. But as a mystery, this story falls flat.

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Me as I was reading.

As far as the characters go, there are too many introduced to keep track of or develop feelings for. This is also due to the multiple stories vying for attention. It’s kind of annoying to have to go back to figure out who’s being talked about all the time. And there’s also the fact that Fetch doesn’t really do anything, at least not pertaining to the main story, so it’s hard to get into him. He gets lucky a couple of times and stumbles upon clues, but he very rarely actively does his job. And whenever he’s in trouble, someone else saves him. It became easy to hope Fetch failed. At least then I would’ve had a laugh. That being said, I did like his personality for the most part.

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It’s me.

The writing itself was nice. It flowed and would’ve made for a quick read if I didn’t have to keep going back to see who was who. There was some surprising imagery mixed in with some that was just awkward. But mostly it was just nice. Not great but not bad either. There’s a lot of good potential if the writer can stick to one main story and a few subplots next time.

Ultimately, The Last Smile in Sunder City sounds like a great idea, but the execution could have been better. I will check out the next book because I really want to like this series. If it’s not better, I’ll probably give it up.

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Overall, I gave it two out of five stars because the premise is really good. I’m not going to urge you to try it, unless I discover future books are much better, but if you’re bored it’s not entirely bad.