Book Review: A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Goodreads: A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1)
Publisher: Tordotcom
Published: 13 July 2021
Genre: Adult SFF

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

Centuries before, robots of Panga gained self-awareness, laid down their tools, wandered, en masse into the wilderness, never to be seen again. They faded into myth and urban legend.

Now the life of the tea monk who tells this story is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They will need to ask it a 
lot. Chambers’ series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter? 

I asked Jess @ Jessticulates to buddy read this with me so I would actually pick this book up. I’m so glad that I finally read my first Becky Chambers book because the hype is real, friends!

TL;DR: It took no more than one chapter for me to realise just how much I would enjoy this book. The characters rapidly grew on me and the story was a soothing read that asked questions that really hit a mark with me. I followed along with parts of the book with the audio, which I would also recommend, and I have a feeling I’ll return to this book often when I’m craving a comforting read.

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Book Review: Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Goodreads: Gallant
Publisher: Titan Books
Published: 01 March 2022
Genre: Young Adult Gothic Fantasy

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.

Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him? 

If it weren’t for my buddy read with Leslie @Books Are the New Black, this probably would’ve ended up sitting unread on my shelf for a while. Sadly, she didn’t have as great a time with this one as I did and although I liked it, I can totally understand why she didn’t!

TL;DR: I had a bit of a hard time figuring out how I really felt about this book. Although I did end up enjoying it, I can also really understand why people wouldn’t like it. While I don’t think this fully lived up to the hype for me, I was still able to get on board with Olivia’s search for the truth about her family and for a place to call home. If you like slow-moving plots and spooky atmospheric writing, not to mention a pretty quick read, I’d recommend checking this out!

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Book Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Goodreads: Gods of Jade and Shadow
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Published: 23 July 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Fantasy

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

I buddy read this with Leslie @Books Are the New Black and although it started out rocky for the both of us, we ended up really enjoying the story. The angst really sent us! 😂


CHECK OUT LESLIE’S REVIEW!


TL;DR: The moment I finished this book I immediately re-read the last few chapters of the book three times throughout the day. To say this ending had me in a chokehold would be an understatement! If you love stories rich in mythology, culture and history, fantastical adventures, and a classic swoonworthy and achingly angsty romance, I would definitely recommend giving this a try! This was my first book by Moreno-Garcia and I’m sure it won’t be my last!

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Top 5 Saturday: Hyped Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: Hyped Books.

There are so many hyped books so this list really could be endless. While I’m always eager to know what the hyped books are, I’m also quite wary of them because I’m intimidated by the hype and I’m always worried that I won’t end up liking the book half as much as everyone else! Though I do get caught up in the hype and I quite often cave in and pre-order or buy the book not long after its been released, they usually end up sitting on my physical/kindle shelves for… A long time before they actually get read. I know you know what I’m talking about, right?! Here are some more “recent” hyped books that I’ve been telling myself to read but have still not picked up!

These Violent Delights

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

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Top 5 Saturday: Intimidating Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: Intimidating Books.

I’m pretty sure I’ve done a similar topic to this quite a few times on the blog already but I always focused on chunky books that intimidated me. So for today’s post I’m going to look at books that I’m intimidated by because of the hype surrounding them. Some of these are classics that I have heard so many good things about and that are often referenced in modern texts, and the others are more recent releases in the fantasy genre that have been so hyped up that I’m a little afraid to pick them up! 😂 Now without further ado, let’s get into it!

Rebecca

A classic that has had several remakes now and that has influenced many art forms, whether it’s movies, books and/or songs. This book intimidates me on various levels but one of the main reasons is because it’s so well-lauded and I’m worried I won’t like it as much?

On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband’s home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.

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Top 5 Saturday: Intimidating Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: intimidating books!

When I first saw this prompt my mind immediately went to the classics and tomes (and classic tomes) because those are truly some of the most intimidating books on my shelves! But I feel like I’ve answered this before and I think that whenever I get asked about intimidating books my go-to answer (classics/tomes) is always the same. So I decided to not look at classics this week and share some of the other intimidating books on my TBR and the reasons why they scare me 😝

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

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Top 5 Saturday: Award Winning Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: award winning books!

Ooh, this is a tough but fun prompt! I gotta admit that I don’t pay close attention to which books win which prizes, so it took a bit of digging to find what on my TBR fit the bill. I’m surprised to say that I actually have quite a few award winning books on my shelves! These are books that I saw hyped up through book clubs (like Oprah’s and Reese’s) and mainly through gorgeous pictures on bookstagram. They’re also mostly a departure from my go-to YA SFF and Romances and are contemporary/literary fiction books that I do enjoy and can be a good challenge to read, but sometimes they also go over my head. 😅 That said, I’ve picked five from my TBR that I’m really looking forward to reading in the (hopefully) near future!

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

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Top 5 Saturday: Science Fiction Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: science fiction books!

Oof, do I have a lot of these or do I really have a lot of these on my TBR? 😅 I found a love for SF books when I first started reading Michael Crichton’s books back in 2010. I can’t even remember when I started reading more SFF but I do have quite a few that I’ve added to my TBR, especially in the last year+, thanks to all your wonderful recommendations. The five below are ones I already have on my physical/digital libraries and they’re just waiting to be read… (lol what’s new) I have to admit that I’m most excited to get to Becky Chambers’ books because I’ve heard endlessly good things about them!

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

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Top 5 Saturday: Young Adult Detective Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: detective books but I really wanted to do last week’s topic on Young Adult Books and I’m sad that I missed it. So I decided that I would combine the two topics this week to share: Young Adult Detective Books!

After making the decision to focus on YA Detective Books I realised that I wasn’t even sure I had (m)any on my TBR in the first place! Luckily, after a quick sweep through my Kindle shelves and my Goodreads TBR, I’ve managed to find a few. A lot of these are pretty hyped and popular titles although one is a much older release from 2014 but I only added it to my TBR last year. I’ve had the majority of these on my shelf for at least one year? So I’m hoping that I can get to at least a few at some point this year!

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Young Adult Detective Books”

Top 5 Saturday: Recommended Reads

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: recommended reads.

For today’s prompt on recommended reads, I’m going to look at five books on my TBR that have been recommended to me and I’m going to use the term “recommended” pretty loosely here because I consider the books that I see on blogs as recommendations, so there’s definitely no shortage of that! 😂 I don’t think I’ll be focusing on any particular theme either so it’s just going to be the first ones that come to mind…

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Recommended Reads”