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 SHATTER THE SKY

Howdy, howdy!  It’s the last Wednesday of July, so you should all know what that means.  It’s time for another book review!  This month, I felt like getting into something fantastical, maybe with dragons or something, so that’s what I looked for on NetGalley.  They recommended the young adult novel Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells, which was released yesterday (July 30th).  It sounded interesting, so I went ahead and requested it.  I must thank NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for allowing me access to an ARC (advanced reader copy) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.  Now, let’s get to the review.

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A pretty generic YA cover.  No idea what the glowy thing she’s holding is, but I’m guessing a vial which is never described as glowing in the book.

Shatter the Sky follows Maren who leaves her secluded home in the hopes of rescuing her girlfriend, Kaia, who is taken by the Aurati seers.  Maren never actually wanted to leave her home and always believed she was average, especially next to Kaia who was obviously meant for greater things than the mountains could provide.  But when Kaia is stolen, Maren decides she needs to reclaim a dragon from the Flame of the West (the warlord who loves nothing more than conquering lands) and rain down fire and destruction upon the Aurati.  But how is an average girl like her supposed to do that?  With a little help from friends, apparently.  But is Sev, a guy she meets along the way, really a friend?  And can his allies really help her rescue Kaia?  Maren doesn’t have any idea what she’s doing or who to trust, but she does all she can to keep moving forward.

The plot is pretty standard fantasy fare.  An underdog rises above her challenges in order to achieve her goals, discovering along the way that she’s actually super special.  Not only must she face physical obstacles, but there’s also a budding romance with the new friend despite her devotion to her heartmate, which brings up shame and all that good stuff.  And there’s an adorable little dragon that gets sucked into the adventures.  It’s a little predictable at points, but still enjoyable.

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But not so ashamed she’ll ditch him.

It’s not the plot that pulled me in, but the characters.  Of course, in the beginning, Kaia is the obvious choice for a heroine, but then she’s abducted and we only get to see snippets of her in Maren’s visions.  By the end, she’s so completely changed that it makes me want to read the next book to find out what she really becomes.  Maren is headstrong and a little flighty.  She rarely has more than a vague notion of a plan, but that never stops her.  However, her insistence that Kaia is somehow better than her does become annoying.  Sev is an ambiguous character that could either be really good or he could go really bad, which is fun.  He’s adamant that his cause is the only way to a better future, which most villains feel the same way.  But if he keeps with Maren, and lets her influence shape him, he could become a hero in his own right.  This book is leaning toward the latter for him, but it doesn’t mean he won’t veer off in the next book.  Otherwise, I love the dragons and want more of them.

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A Dragon Witch by Nene Thomas.  Just because dragons.

The writing itself was smooth and a made for nice read.  A lot of the description was beautiful and the pacing pulled me along at a good clip.  The dialogue occasionally felt stilted, but not enough to really distract from the story.

Ultimately, I enjoyed Shatter the Sky so much that I’m looking forward to book two and am a little sad that I have to wait for it.

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Overall, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.  Like I said, it’s standard fantasy fare, but the characters made it worth reading for me.  If you enjoy character development and can get past some predictableness, this is definitely worth reading.