Tag Archives: Rachel Aaron

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Weren’t My Typical Read

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books I Enjoyed That Weren’t My Typical Genre

This week’s theme was really hard for me, and if I weren’t already making an effort to read more broadly, this would be a serious kick in the pants for me! I had to cheat a lot with this list, and most of my “atypical” genres aren’t really all that atypical – most of them are just romance sub-genres I tend to avoid. That being said, most of the ways I want to expand my reading focus on exploring different cultures and perspectives rather than genres, and I’m okay with that, at least for now. So with that out of the way, here are my top ten!

Young Adult

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Science Fiction is one genre that I feel like I should love, but I can rarely get into. I definitely did not have that problem with Illuminae. The fascinating format and action-packed plot kept me racing through the story and I finished it in a couple sittings!

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – I’ve reviewed both this book and it’s sequel, so you may have seen them on here before. It’s genre-nonconformity makes this series hard to describe to others, and I was initially hesitant to pick it up, but I’m so glad I did!

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I can be a little wary of YA Contemporary, but more than that, I almost never read books from the perspective of one male main character. This is definitely something I’d like to change!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I adored this book, and retellings/YA romance aren’t exactly a stretch for me. I’m including this one because it’s also a more diverse YA novel, taking place in historical Persia and having been written by a woman with a mixed-race heritage. We absolutely need more diverse perspectives!

Adult

Venetia  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)  Hard to Be Good (Hard Ink, #3.5)  A Spear of Summer Grass  Silver Lining

Venetia by Georgette Heyer – I usually shy away from purely historical romances, despite being a lover of Jane Austen. This is largely because I often run into historically accurate context (like discrimination and xenophobia) that detract from my enjoyment of the romance. I didn’t encounter that in Venetia, though it does crop up occasionally in other Heyer novels.

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – Here’s another Sci Fi! Just like I mentioned with Illuminae, this one was seriously action-packed, and it sucked me into the story.

Hard To Be Good by Laura Kaye – This novella was my first M/M romance, and I loved it 🙂 I was already a big fan of Kaye’s work, so I was more than willing to step out of my box for this one. It’s a good thing, too, because I discovered a new sub-genre to enjoy!

A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn – Here’s another Historical Romance. This one did have a couple cringe-worthy historical scenarios, but the African setting was vibrant and engaging, and the story was fascinating.

Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne – I have to admit, I only picked this American western historical romance up because it was a book club pick. I won’t be reaching out for the genre again any time soon, but I can say that Silver Lining made me laugh, and I’m really glad I gave it a shot.

Top of my TBR

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor – For my tenth pick, I’m going with another diverse book that’s on the top of my TBR pile! This is a YA Fantasy taking place in Nigeria, and the blerb sounds fantastic 😀

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Which books shook things up for you? Link your own Top Ten Tuesday in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Surviving Seattle Rain

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books for Surviving Seattle Rain

This week’s theme is a general freebie, so I decided to go with one that is meaningful to me. While the internet has been bombarding me with posts about the American East Coast’s epic blizzard, I’ve been getting drenched each time I set foot outside (dog walks and uncovered bus stops certainly don’t help). This is about the time of year when the constant wet really wears me down. Thank goodness for good books that help us survive the winter.

Without further ado, if you can’t beat it, join it!

Books to BEAT the rain:

No matter the genre, these books will take you to a place where winter rain isn’t even a blip on the radar.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Uprooted  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)  Venetia

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – For fans of YA contemporary romance – This one features a sunny, pan-American road trip.

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – For fans of quirky urban fantasies- The Heartstrikers series will suck you in with its post-magical-invasion-Detroit setting and amazing cast of characters.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – For fans of fantasy and/or fairy tales – A vivid fantasy featuring a seemingly unstoppable corrupted wood.

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – For fans of fast-paced science fiction – This is the start to a really approachable sci fi trilogy with a bit of fantasy on the side.

Venetia by Georgette Heyer – For fans of Regency romances – This one is set in a sunny countryside and is generally lighthearted and goofy.

Books to JOIN the rain:

If you just can’t seem to ignore the rain, these are great books for embracing the foul weather. You can read all about crazy antics in gloomy worlds from the comfort of your own chair, blanket, and hot beverage of your choice.

Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)  Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, #1)  A Natural History of Dragons (Memoir by Lady Trent, #1)  Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, #1)

Sanctum by Sarah Fine – For fans of YA paranormal/fantasy – This fast-paced trilogy is set in a dark, vivid world – no rain, but LOTS of grey.

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn -For fans of Victorian mysteries with a side of romance – This is a fun, quirky murder mystery set in rainy Victorian London.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – For fans of historical sci fi/fantasy – As a fictional memoir by the world’s leading dragon naturalist, there are plenty of muddy, wet adventures to be had in this one.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – For fans of YA paranormal/fantasy – The dark, mysterious setting of Prague is, hands down, my favorite part of this trilogy.

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett – For fans of period romance – This is the first book in a paranormal series set in rainy-but-vibrant Roaring Twenties San Francisco.

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What books do you read when the weather gets you down? Link you own TTT in the comments so I can check out your freebie theme!

Minute Review: One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron (Heartstrikers, Book 2)
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

“This isn’t a game, you know.”

“Of course it’s a game,” the seer said, walking back over to the couch where Marci was standing over Amelia. “Everything’s a game, Julius. It has to be. Life is whimsical, random, and cruel, but a game is something you can win.”

This is a great second in series! It was longer, but read very quickly, and everything was explored in more depth: the characters and relationships, world building, and the magic system. The end result was a great story that had me falling in love with the series even more, and I am dying for Book 3, which isn’t due to come out until the middle of this year.

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you should give this series a try starting with Book 1 (Nice Dragons Finish Last). It’s dragons instead of magicians, but the vivid story and amazing character dynamics remind me so much of when I read HP for the first time.

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases I Didn’t Get To

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten 2015 Releases I Meant to Get to But Didn’t

There were so many great releases last year, and while I did get to some, there are a ton that haven’t made it off my TBR pile yet. Here are the ten I’m most excited about getting to THIS year…

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)  Soundless  One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)  Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)  These Shallow Graves

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Soundless by Richelle Mead
One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron
Beastly Bones by William Ritter
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

A Thousand Nights  The Anatomical Shape of a Heart  Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1)  An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)  Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Which books were you meaning to get to last year? Link your own Top Ten Tuesday in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

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Or, um, Wednesday, as the case may be…

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

This holiday season marks sort of an unofficial anniversary for me and the rediscovery of my passion for reading. It seems like I’ve wanted to read everything in sight (because you never know when a new favorite author will come along), and most of these books have passed through my Kindle courtesy of Amazon Daily Deals and the amazing Seattle library system. Given this, most of my wishlist consists of Hardcover editions of books I found this year and know I will read again and again. There are also a couple TBR books with beautiful covers that I’m dying to read!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  A Natural History of Dragons (Memoir by Lady Trent, #1)  After the End (After the End, #1)  Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – So heartfelt and hilarious. I love this book. I want to put it on my shelf right next to Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – I can’t get enough of the cover. My inner biologist wants to study every inch of the illustration.

After the End and Until the Beginning by Amy Plum – I’ve seen some mixed reviews of this duology, but I adored it. So far I have yet to read something from Amy Plum that I didn’t love.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – I’ve only read the first book in the trilogy so far, but the setting alone is enough for me to want this one on my shelf.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I’d love to have the whole trilogy, but I’ll start with Anna. (Text cover only – I really hate the other one…)

The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4)  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)  Illusionarium  An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

The Kraken King by Meljean Brook – It makes me sad that this is only available in paperback. In my future library, full of wonderful books, this one will be featured front and center on my Steampunk shelf.

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – I’ve only read the first in series so far (there are only two out right now), but I loved it.

Still on the TBR list:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I’ve heard so many great things about this one; I can’t wait to read it! Besides, the beautiful cover will still look great on the shelf no matter how good the story is 😉

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon – I read Dixon’s Enchanted and really enjoyed it. This one definitely intrigues me, and the interesting cover only adds to the appeal.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – This is another that I’ve heard great things about. I think I’m going to be kicking off 2016 with an excellent TBR lineup.

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Which books are on your wish list this year? Link your TTT in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: This Year’s New-To-Me Favorite Authors

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

I read so many great books this year. Here are 10 of my favorite new-to-me authors:

Young Adult:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)  Carry On  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)

Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – After reading Simon, I am anxiously awaiting anything else Albertalli decides to publish.

Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass and ACOTAR – I’m still not caught up in the Throne of Glass series, but mostly because I want to savor it. I fell in love with Maas’ fantasy writing this year.

Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss trilogy – Because Étienne in Paris, Cricket in San Francisco, and Josh in New York…

Rainbow RowellFangirl and Carry On – I don’t think I will ever get over how much I loved Carry On. I’m sensing many more Rowell books in my future.

Rachel Aaron/Rachel BachNice Dragons Finish Last and the Paradox trilogy (Adult) – So far I’ve loved both her adult and her young adult work. Here’s hoping for more impending releases!

Adult:

Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness, #1)  The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4)  Venetia  Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)  Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians, #6)

Laura KayeHearts in Darkness and the Hard Ink series – I will forever be indebted to Romance Novels for the Beach for convincing me to try to Laura Kaye’s work.

Meljean Brook Iron Seas series – Brook is my favorite Steampunk author, and I can’t wait for the Blacksmith’s story!

Georgette HeyerVenetia and Faro’s Daughter – I was REALLY late to the Georgette Heyer party, but I’m really glad I found another author to fill my Jane Austen cravings.

Jeaniene Frost – The Night Huntress and Night Prince series’ – I read a whopping 14 books by Frost this year, and I can’t wait for The Sweetest Burn to come out next March.

Dianne Duvall Immortal Guardians series – Duvall became one of my go to authors this year, especially when I’m in the mood for characters that are both kick ass and kind-hearted.

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Who are some of your own “new” favorites? Link your TTT in the comments!

Minute Review: Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)
Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron (Heartstrikers, Book 1)
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

“So far as I can tell, ‘good dragon’ is just another name for coldblooded sociopath,” he said. “No friends, no trust, no love. Why would I ever want to live like that? It’s not like any of you good dragons are happy.”

I was pretty sure I’d like this book, but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did! Despite a slower start, by 40% I was completely hooked by Aaron’s charismatic writing and the growing plot. By the end I was dying to pick up the next installment.

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy quirky urban fantasies and sociopathic, yet lovable dragons. Also, read this because of Bob…