Weekend Reads #10: A disappointment

I’m back with another Weekend Reads post. I skipped last weekend, July 4th Independence Day (U.S.), because I was busy with family in town.

Weekend Reads is a Goodreads group created by Nici, a booktuber over at LitPixie. Basically book lovers can record a video or write a blog post about what they plan to read on the weekend, and also answer a fun question.

The question for this weekend:

Tell us about your least favorite book you’ve read this year.

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“Shadow Scale” by Rachel Hartman

Shadow ScaleI was surprised when I received a copy of Rachel Hartman’s Shadow Scale in the mail. I’d sent a request for an ARC after seeing a giveaway in a Shelf Awareness newsletter. Once I got it, I delayed reading. I knew that if I started reading immediately, I’d probably get stuck in a fantasy rut and forget about completing Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, a book on habits. Also, I had to reread Seraphina, the first in the series to acclimate myself to the story once again. I even read the prequel, The Audition, though it didn’t add much to the story, I find. But reading the books back-to-back helped me to keep up with the story.

Re-reading Seraphina made me appreciate the story more. Though I enjoyed my first read, I didn’t find the story fulfilling because I rushed through it. This time I read quickly but also paid attention and thus grew to admire both Hartman’s world building and Seraphina’s strength and gumption. These elements are heightened in Shadow Scale, which is adventurous where Seraphina is more introspective. The adventures Seraphina embarks on while searching for the half-dragons requires her to draw on all her skills and also exposes the foundation of Hartman’s world of dragons.

A quick recount: (spoilers)

Shadow Scale picks up a few months after the events is Seraphina. The dragon civil war is in full swing. Demands have been made for the Comonot to return to Tanamoot to be excised and punished but Princess Glisselda refuses to turn him over, which places Goredd in danger of a dragon attack. Since Goredd doesn’t have much dracomachia machines, or many men knowledgeable in fighting dragons, they are at a disadvantage. Therefore the Princess, Prince Lucian, and Seraphina were all happy when Orma sent a note detailing a weapon that ityasaaris (a.k.a. half-dragons) can wield to fight the dragons and protect Goredd. The weapon requires that the ityasaaris link their minds using their mind-fire, the source of the special abilities. After having Abdo and Lars test a small version of it, the Princess consents to Seraphina’s search for the ityasaaris she encountered in her mind to bring them to Goredd to help with the war. With the consent, Seraphina hopes to make real the garden she has created in her mind.

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Book Haul: Dragons and an Assassination

It’s a semi-peaceful, boring Sunday. I’m inundated by work but thought to take a break to do something fun hence this post on books! I recently started doing posts called Wishes for My TBR Pile in which I share the top books I’ve discovered and added to my Goodreads “to be read” list. I frequently add books to my TBR list so “top” here refers to those I’m most likely to purchase and read.

While working, I realized that I’ve never shared whether I’ve actually gotten any of the books I wished for so I thought it would be a great idea to take a break and do a post on the ones I received. Here they are:

The World of Ice & Fire

The first TBR pile book I bought is The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones. It’s from my October TBR pile round-up. I’ve already started reading it, but am doing so at a leisurely pace. To me it is written like an history book, which makes sense (duh!) but the pacing bores me a bit so I allow myself to be easily interrupted while reading. But so far I enjoy the back story it provides on the Targaryens and how they came to be in Westeros. The artwork is great as well.

A Brief History of Seven Killings

Next I got an audiobook of Marlon James’ recent story on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel, from Goodreads. This one is from the October TBR pile round-up as well. I would have started it already if it was a novel. I have to work myself up to listen to an audiobook since I don’t retain much when I simply listen. My mind tends to drift. I’ll have to work out a routine for this one: either drawing while listening or purchasing the book and reading along while I listen.

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Fiction to Fashion, my new favorite website

I discovered a new blog to love called Fiction to Fashion. The creator, Julie, posts outfits inspired by various books. And the great part is that she includes links to the websites where you can purchase them! It’s totally great for book nerds who love fashion, such as myself. My mantra is “boots & books!”

My favorite outfits are below but click here to check out the rest.

Inspired by Yann Martel's Life of Pi.
Inspired by Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

I can see myself wearing this outfit in the spring or summer. My favorite item is the trousers.

Inspired by Rachel Hartman's Seraphina.
Inspired by Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina.

I read Hartman’s Seraphina last year and this outfit fits the novel. I could see Eskar wearing this outfit. The colors and the leather vest gives it a Steampunk look, which fits the nature of the novel.

“Seraphina” by Rachel Hartman

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

A few months ago, I was reading one of my Shelf Awareness newsletters when I discovered a new book to read, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I was drawn to the story since it featured dragons that can take on human form. Why did this interest me? Well, it just so happens that a few nights prior to my discovery I had a weird dream about dragons that could become humans so I was elated to find a book that’s based on part of my dream. It’s pretty cool.

Since I’ve just got a Nook Color, I decided to use Seraphina as my guinea pig/test-rat. So instead of skipping off to Barnes & Noble and harassing the booksellers into convincing me to buy a book since I suck at convincing myself sometimes, I instead searched for Seraphina in the Nook books shopping database, clicked “buy”, and download.

It was weird reading on the Nook. Mainly it’s because I’m one of those readers who always look back to the book’s cover while reading. For some reason, I always think that the cover will give me a clue as to what will happen. Other times, I look at the cover to see if it fits the story. It’s a bit difficult to do this on the Nook since it’s easy to lose the page you’re presently reading. Hence the bookmark feature comes in handy.

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