Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, Fantasy, General Books, Humor, Kid Fiction, Middle Grade, Science Fiction

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1) by Andrew Petersen – #eARC #BookReview

Goodreads: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1)
Publish date: 10 March 2020
Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah
Genre: Middle Grade, Children’s Book, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Panda Rating:

Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.

It’s been a very long time since I read any middle grade books but I’ve recently added a few to my shelves that have been well praised by many book lovers, and when I saw the cover for this book I immediately wanted to read it because it’s simply a really attractive cover (yes, I’m judging a book by it’s cover so hard now). Plus, the blurb sounded good and I enjoyed the excerpt I read of it!

That said, while I was generally entertained by the book, I also found myself unexpectedly bored for certain periods of time (off-pacing), and I think that the story was going on for a lot longer than it should’ve. I was also unsure about the use of the footnotes. While some of the footnotes were interesting, I found that even if I didn’t read them, I wasn’t missing out on anything other than a humorous story or anecdote. I’m also wondering if footnotes are something young readers (especially middle graders) would appreciate? I don’t recall ever reading a book with footnotes in it when I was younger unless it was non-fiction or a textbook, and as an adult reader, I’m still not always a fan of footnotes; unless they really added key/important elements to the world building and the story itself.

I think one of the things I struggled with was not being able to form a connection with the story overall and in particular with the characters. I liked the Igiby family well enough–Janner, Tink and Leeli were interesting characters–but I just didn’t feel as invested in their journey as I hoped to be. Perhaps my favorite characters in the story were Peet and Nugget (the doggo, reasons for which go without saying. He’s a loyal companion to the Igiby children, particularly for Leeli)!

Peet was a courageous side-character who suffered from (what I can tell) possible mental health issues and a disability. He was pitied in town and was treated pretty awfully by the Igiby heads of house (Podo and Nia) for a reason that only becomes apparent at the end, but to me never justified the unfair treatment of his character. While I started off liking Podo’s character, his awful treatment of Peet was so distasteful and made me like him a lot less (it says a lot about a person’s character IRL just as much as in a book)! The Fangs of Dang were obviously awful characters we were meant to hate and the author did a great job of stoking those feelings against these characters. I thought the disability rep with Leeli’s and Podo’s characters was really great. Leeli was such a strong female character that had a fierce independent streak. I loved that her disability didn’t stop her from having adventures and getting up to mischief with her brothers; her disability was normalized (as in, it didn’t hamper her in any way) and it was nice to see that being shown in books to such a young audience.

As this was an e-ARC, most of the illustrations and maps were not yet included, so that was also a little bit disappointing because the illustrations that were already included in the story were pretty amazing! I can only imagine how much fun these illustrations will be to look at once it’s done (and in color too)! Overall, while I was really pulled in by the premise of this story, I found it a bit difficult to get into and that’s what made me remove stars. I wish that the pacing was more consistent but it was still an enjoyable enough read. I think many young middle grade readers would enjoy it too!

Thanks to NetGalley and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This new hard cover edition is out March 2020.
Have you read The Wingfeather Saga books? Let’s
chat in the comments!

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Posted in General Books, WWW Wednesday

#WWWWednesday: 23 October

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

HEY FRIENDS! As I’ve probably mentioned a time or two before this, I was off on a staycation in Bali last week when my friends had come to visit, and because we had so much time chilling by the poolside, I managed to squeeze in more reads than I expected (three to be exact)! I’ve been feeling lazy AF though and haven’t written reviews for the majority of these reads (and I’m already feeling my memory slipping on me ARGH! Why is memory so bad?)! I enjoyed the majority of my reads this past week but I think my favorites were: Serpent & Dove and Rules for Vanishing (YES, it’s a scary book! I don’t even know who I am anymore 😂)! I enjoyed These Witches Don’t Burn and The Sea of Lost Girls (e-ARC), but thought Birthday Girl, while pretty steamy, was just OK. I’m falling behind on SO MANY reviews and my memory is already failing me, so I’m hoping to get to writing some this weekend! *fingers crossed*

What are you currently reading?

I’ve got a few reads going at the moment because I can’t decide what to keep on reading. I’m part of a group read for Frankly in Love, which we’re discussing at the end of the week, so I should probs get rolling on that one. I’m not sure I’m in the right mood though, but I also don’t know what I’m in the mood for 😅I’ve also picked up Wicked Saints and I’m thinking of starting Under Locke as well (I’me excited to see it’s under 500 pages too!). I’m also part of a group read for a Lisa Jewell book but I can’t actually remember which book I should be reading? Haha I’m clearly on the ball this week! I’m so glad it’s already Wednesday although I won’t be catching a “break” until Saturday evening!

What will you read next?

This message will probably continue to stay unchanged for the foreseeable future: I’m still trying to give priority to several eARCs that are well overdue! I’m still hoping to read TH1RT3EN soon because I’ve seen a ton of people posting about it and I think it’d be great to stick to my goal of reading more creepy books this month. I’ve heard great things! Shadow Frost is also a bit of a priority since it was just published earlier this month but I’ve heard so many mixed reviews (mostly not so great ones) that it’s making me reluctant to read it 🤦🏻‍♀️

What are you currently reading? How’s your week going? I’m hoping my vacation-brain-mode deactivates soon! Leave me a comment and let’s chat 🙂

Posted in General Books, Top Tuesday

#TopTenTuesday: Fantasy Book Title Generators

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: books I’d give different titles to. It seems that this prompt is just too much for my post-holiday dazed brain to take because I’ve completely blanked out. I honestly don’t know that I’d change the title of any of the books I’ve read because I’m pretty terrible at picking or making up titles for anything; but for the most part I also think the titles suit the books.

That said, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do a prompt for this week until I came across Annemieke’s TTT post for today on fantasy book title generators and I loved it, so I decided to hop on board with this one. Thanks for the inspo, Annemieke 💛This was fun to do, especially when I tried to picture what some of the covers would look like and what they’d be about. I chose a mix of adventure and fantasy titles for this list! All titles were generated on: Fantasy Name Generators.

Wives of Hell

Well, okay then. I mean, I’m totally intrigued. Aren’t you? 😂


Animals of the Nation

Hmm… I think I’m curious because animals could be taken literally or metaphorically? Why do I wish a blurb existed for this non-existent book?


Serpents and Mice

Not really sure about this one. It honestly sounds a bit boring and not up my alley…


Vampires of Ice

Hella curious about this. I mean, I don’t normally put vampires and ice together 😅


Spire Without a Conscience

This one had me cracking a bit. Do spires have a conscience? Is this a thing now? Am I misunderstanding the definition of a spire? Haha


Owl of the Lost Ones

Ooh, yes. I’d definitely be picking this one up!


Palace Without Glory

Hmm… Interesting, definitely interesting. (Not really)


Invader with Immortality

I don’t know why but this one has me chuckling. For some reason my brain has also immediately pinged to the song “Immortality” by the BeeGees (lmao) I don’t know if a story about an invader’s unending existence would really be my jam?


Soldier of Stardust

This sounds like a fantasy title with a potentially liberal sprinkling of romance? I’m down 😬


Humans and Criminals

I think I’m mostly curious about how this would be the title of an adventure book!

What do you think of these titles? Did you know these random title generators existed? If you’ve done a TTT for today, please leave your links in the comments so I can mosey over to your blog and check it out! 🙂

Posted in Down the TBR Hole, General Books

Down the TBR Hole – 04

We’re back with another episode of Down the TBR Hole! Y’all, I’m proud to say that I’m down to 1,015 books. PROUD PANDA 🐼Last week was a really quick post of five books and I think this week will be the same too because, life is still life! Let’s see if I manage to cut any out this week!

Down the TBR Hole is a weekly book meme created by the wonderful Lia @ Lost in a Story that attempts to organize our ridiculously long Goodreads TBR list by choosing either to keep or eliminate the books we’ve saved on there. Here’s how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

Verdict: Keep

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. I remember seeing this one so much back in the day but never ended up purchasing it. It has a lot of amazing reviews, plus the premise sounds like something I’d really enjoy. Nothing in the blurb gives away why it’s called The Memory Keeper’s Daughter either, so I’m even more intrigued!

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This is one of those books that you keep hearing people talk about. I do enjoy a good family saga and this one sounds like it has a bit of a mystery to it, so I’m definitely intrigued. I don’t know when I’ll get to it but it’s one of the books I want to read at some point!

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Everything about this sounds completely up my alley. I didn’t remember it when I saw it on my list but it seems a lot of friends have read it and rated it very highly.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I honestly think the only reason I’m keeping this book on my list is because I have the physical copy (I got it from a former colleague who was giving away books) and I’m thinking: since I already have it I might as well read it, right? Lol

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I remember really enjoying this movie and wanting to read the book after watching it. Never did get to it (obv) but I think I’m still interested in reading it!

bluepanda

Okay, that’s it folks. I clearly spoke too soon about being on a roll with taking books of my TBR list because it’s another week of reviewing five and removing none 😂 All of these do sound good (well, I’m still on the fence about the Poisonwood Bible) and like stories I’ll enjoy reading so… 🤷🏻‍♀️

Have you read any of these books? How easy is it to cull your TBR list? Leave me a comment and let’s chat!

Posted in General Books

Cover Reveal: His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey

R.S. Grey’s next romantic comedy, HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS, releases November 14th! See the gorgeous cover below and find out more about HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS!

About HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS (available November 14th)

I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek.

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end.

He’s just biding his time.

Making me sweat.

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.

And he wants me.

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS releases November 14th – you’ll be able to preorder your copy for .99c a few days before release!

Keep an eye on R.S. Grey’s Facebook page for the link!

 

 

About R.S. Grey

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com

Website | Twitter | Facebook | R.S. Grey’s Little Reds Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram

Posted in Book Tags, General Books

The Guilty Reader Book Tag!

Despite having a million tags that I was actually tagged in but haven’t done yet *cough*, I decided that I wanted to do this Guilty Reader Book Tag that I saw on Anniek @ Anniek’s Library a few months ago! It looked like a fun and quick tag to answer and I’m always all for that, especially since I always end up taking forever to answer tags lol

Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been given?

Nope! At least, not that I can remember. But I honestly don’t have a lot of people who read in my life so I wouldn’t re-gift a book as a gift because I don’t really have anyone to give it to 😅 I’ve re-gifted other non-book items though! LOL

Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t ?

Heh. I mean… We’ve all done this, right?! Most of the time it was for class, but there were times when I was having a discussion with someone who mentioned some classic and… Well, I have to admit that I said I’ve read it when I haven’t 😂 But then I did go out and read that book before someone tested my knowledge of it haha

Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?

Maybe… It was totally be accident though. I didn’t intentionally keep the book… It was just that I didn’t bring it on the day we were supposed to return it, and then next thing I knew the year was over, and another year was over… and then I’d forget I still haven’t returned it and … it was just too late 😅

Have you ever read a series out of order?

My first instinct is to say no because why would you do something like that? But then I think about it and realize that sometimes I do read series out of order when the story and characters don’t overlap. So it doesn’t really matter lol but never when it’s a “proper” series!

Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?

NO! Never! I’m pretty sure that I haven’t. I would never do that because I hate when people do that to me. Some people may think it’s funny but no. No, it’s not 😒

Have you ever dogeared a book?

I can’t lie, I haaaaaave. It doesn’t happen often if at all, but it’s usually when I’m really desperate and don’t have anything on hand and know that I won’t be able to remember the page number where I left off. But… It’s very rare! 😅

Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?

No, I don’t believe I have. If I’ve done this it’s probably because I can’t remember whether I do have it or not (or I’m thinking of another book that’s really similar).

Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have?

YES. This is usually when it comes to romances because I honestly get such judgmental looks and comments when I say I read and enjoy romance. So for a long time I’ve not mentioned or denied that I read these books… 😒

Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?

The only times I’ve done this is when I want to DNF a book. I don’t like to DNF but when I really can’t stand the book and want to get through it as quickly as possible, I skip sections and quickly skim chapters.

Have you ever badmouthed a book you actually liked?

My memory is so bad… I really can’t remember if I’ve ever done this but my instinct is to immediately claim no, I haven’t! I honestly can’t see why I would even do such a thing tbh.

I’M TAGGING YOU, LOVELY PERSON READING THIS POST!

Posted in General Books, WWW Wednesday

#WWWWednesday: 16 October

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

Since the last check in, I’ve managed to finish four books! I’m really loving Mariana Zapata’s books and finished two in the last week alone. Although the formula to her stories isn’t all that complicated and not entirely unpredictable, I really enjoy the journey I go through with her characters. Sometimes it’s just really satisfying to get what you sign up for in these reads, you know? I finished Dear Aaron and Wait For It. Dear Aaron was alright but Wait For It had me smiling constantly. I also finally finished House of Salt and Sorrows and I also read Faker, another contemporary romance.

What are you currently reading?

I started Serpent & Dove yesterday and um… I love it so much?! Lou is so bad ass and why am I developing a soft spot for Reid?! I haven’t had much time to read since my friend is visiting, but I’m really fighting the desire to read this book non-stop! At the same time, because my friend is here I’ve decided that NOW IS THE TIME to start reading Rules for Vanishing. It’s… TERRIFYING. I’ve only managed to read a little bit but my toes are curling thinking about how scary this is sounding. I don’t honestly don’t know if I’ll be ready for the scary shit, with or without my friend here 😅

What will you read next?

I’m still trying to give priority to several eARCs that are well overdue! I’m still hoping to read TH1RT3EN soon because I’ve seen a ton of people posting about it and I think it’d be great to stick to my goal of reading more creepy books this month. I’ve heard great things! Shadow Frost is also a bit of a priority since it was just published earlier this month but I’ve heard so many mixed reviews (mostly not so great ones) that it’s making me reluctant to read it 🤦🏻‍♀️

What are you currently reading? How’s your week going?
Leave me a comment and let’s chat 🙂