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Top 5 series that got better

Series that got better T5W

Happy Wednesday! (whop whop) This week’s topic is series that got better. This is an interesting topic because usually it goes the other way, haw. I’ll have to dig to see if I can come up with five. 😛

If you’d like to join T5W, you can do so here.


5 – Losing It trilogy by Cora Carmack

Faking It (Losing It, #2)I’ve only read the first two so far, but the second one is my opinion is much better than the first. Not saying the first was bad persay, it was just kinda… bland. The main character didn’t really have much personality other than ‘stereotypical super-shy virgin’, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but hey, you need to have hobbies or a personality other than that one trait, man. Humans have that stuff, this character didn’t. The couple the second book Faking It focuses on is a lot more developed personality-wise and I enjoyed their dynamic a lot more. This is a new adult series so beware of boobs and wiggly bits if you’re a youngin’.

4 – The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)This is another one I’ve only read the first two of (I’ll get to the third here pretty quickly) but the first book was just okay for me I think. Nothing really stuck out as interesting or unique and the goofy love-triangle they threw in there was a bit tiring honestly. It’s definitely still there in the second book, but the world itself is more fleshed out and I really, really liked the direction it took. The second book along with the world building, had better characterization as well. I think the ‘middle book syndrome’ that most series get was actually present in book one for this series and had solved itself by book two. I’m hoping book three will be even better.

3 – A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)I feel like this one is going to be very popular on this week’s list for YA readers. It’s like the quintessential ‘was sucky and then ended up less sucky’ series. The first one is okay – I actually thought it was a decent book. I saw its issues but overall the book was not bad. The second book ended up being one of my favorites of this year, one of my favorites ever, which is strange since neither books 1 or 3 came anywhere near my favorites list. I think it was just so polar opposite from the first book that I couldn’t help but love it.

2 – The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)Let me start by saying that this series is amazing the whole way through. The only reason it’s on my list is because for me, the first book was about 4 stars and the last two were 5 each. Technically, it means the series got better as it progressed :”D

If you haven’t read this one yet, do it. Do it. It was super popular for a while a couple years ago, but it has earned all the notoriety it has received. AHHHH read it ❤

1 – The Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)I think this series has the most pronounced improvement of all the ones on my list. Note, I am about 100 pages away from finishing at this point, so it’s the most fresh in my mind as well. The first book Ship of Magic is good – I gave it about four stars, but the characters in there are all really grating on the nerves and emotionally, the series is exhausting…. well, that second part never really goes away. It’s consistently emotionally exhausting. But! The character arcs in this book are fantastic. I went from barely liking anyone to really liking (or in some cases really, really loathing) almost everyone. Seeing the development really made me fall for this series and made reading it a more intense and absorbing experience. It’s just so good. It’s so good. 


And that’s it! That’s it for me this bleary Wednesday morning. Happy reading! :”D

 
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Posted by on 07/26/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top 5 Books with non-western settings

Nonwestern settings T5W

Top 5 WednesdayHappy Hump Day! (whop whop) Today’s topic is books that aren’t set in or inspired by western influence. So nothing set in the US, nothing inspired by medieval Europe (so… a lot of fantasy with traditional monarchies, etc). Looking for Eastern, African or completely original social structures for this one. Lucky me, I’m a manga fanatic. 😛

If you would like to participate in T5W, here is the link to do so.


5 – Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara

Mushishi, Vol. 1

This is one of the most mellow series that I’ve ever read. It follows man as he aids various people in dealing with Mushi, creatures that have been around since the dawn of time. Not quite plant, not quite animal, not quite living, not quite dead, these creatures live among us, in our ears, in our pillows, among battles and bloodshed, by newborns and toddlers. Mushi are everywhere and most of the time are completely unnoticeable and harmless. Occassionally though, they wreak a bit of havoc, and the Mushishi, the main character, comes in to handle it.

This series is very slow-paced. It’s definitely more of a thinker series than an action-y one. The first volume is divided into two or three ‘cases’ of Mushi acting out of the norm and I’m assuming the remaining volumes follow the same structure. It’s definitely interesting though, and I recommend it if you’re wanting something with a bit of a surreal feeling to it.

4 – Saiyuki by Kazuya Minkura

Saiyuki, Vol. 1This is the second time I’ve mentioned this series rather recently, and I’m really happy about that. Any excuse to make this one relevant is okay by me – I feel like there’s a recent push in the online book community for those who usually just stick to books to get into manga too. I’ve been reading manga for more than a decade and now I’m all excited to be able to point out series that might not occur to someone new to manga to read, whether they be finished and out of print or ‘classics’ or just enjoyable but without the big buzz behind them.

This is one of those series. It’s definitely considered a classic and when it was being written, was definitely rather popular. I haven’t heard much about it from anyone else though, so I’m always looking for a chance to recommend it to new manga readers.

Saiyuki, drawing its influences from China, India and various other Asian countries, follows four characters as they trek across China towards India to solve the origins of the Minus Wave, a blast of energy that spread out across the land, driving all youkai to become frothing, uncontrollable creatures. The four characters are some of my favorite characters ever. A priest who is by no means preisty, a half demon, the legendary Monkey King and a demon whom I believe has one of the most heart-breaking and disturbing backsotries I’ve ever come across. This series. Is. SO. GOOD.

READ IT. AHHH.

3 – Stars Between the Sun and the Moon: One Woman’s Life in North Korea and Escape to Freedom by Lucia Jang

Stars Between the Sun and Moon: One Woman's Life in North Korea and Escape to FreedomI feel like memoirs from North Korean defectors are very important to read. The most well known one In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, is also definitely worth the read, but I feel this one has just as much to say as any other. Each experience is unique but at the same time, paints a picture of North Korea that is becoming all too familiar.

This is the second North Korean Memoir I’ve read and it’s made me want to read more, it’s made me pay more attention to the news anytime I hear anything about North Korea. It’s definitely made me more aware of the world, and I recommend it.

2 – Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi

InuYasha: Turning Back Time (InuYasha, #1)This is the series that really got me into anime and manga. It wasn’t my first series, but it was pretty close to it. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for this one and will always return to it when feeling nostalgic for my teenage years.

This series follows Kagome, a young girl who falls down her family’s ancient well and is transported 500 years back in time to Feudal Japan, where all the youkai and spirits of Japanese myth are alive and thriving. She comes across Inuyasha, a half demon who is in a deep sleep, pinned to a tree. He awakens and the two find themselves stuck on a quest that will change their lives.

This series has comedy, action, romance, heart-break, horror aspects… it’s just so lovely. I adore this series. The anime as well as the manga is pretty great.

1 – The Good Women of China by Xinran

The Good Women of China: Hidden VoicesThis is another memoir of sorts, but I feel like it’s a lot more unique than your typical one. In the 1980s, Xinran, a woman in China, was given the opportunity to host a radio show. She decided to use it to allow Chinese women who would otherwise remain silent to call in and anonymously tell their stories to the world. This book is a collection of those stories. Some are happy, some are sad, some are heart-breaking, all are powerful in their own way.

I actually read this as assigned reading in one of my college classes back in 2010, but I buzzed through the whole thing in one sitting and now, 7 years later, the stories still stick with me. If you pick up any of the books on this list, make it this one.

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And that’s it! I’m going on a honeymoon in a bit over two weeks, so during that time, I’m hoping to pre-schedule posts to pop up while I’m gone. My goal is to write them all before I leave. So if you see a lull in my posting, it means I didn’t write as many as I had wanted to. 😛 Wish me luck!

Happy reading :”D

 
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Posted by on 07/19/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top 5 children’s books

Childrens Books T5W.png

Top 5 WednesdayHappy Wednesday! (whop whop) Today’s topic is favorite children’s books. Off to nostalgia-land we go!

If you’d like to join T5W, you can do so here.


5 – The Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson

Tawny Scrawny LionThis was my favorite Golden Book when I was younger. This whole list could have been full of Golden Books but I feel like that might have gotten a bit repetitive. It’s about a lion who’s really hungry and ten rabbits to teach him to make carrot stew to avoid being eaten. It’s super cute and I’m gonna read it to my future kids.

 

4 – The Island of Giant Pokemon by Tracey West

Island of the Giant Pokemon (Pokemon Chapter Book, #2)This is another pick that this whole list could be dominated by. This is the second book in a what, 8 or 9 book series? Maybe more. Usually this series gets brought up when discussing topics like ‘Why I’m a Reader’ or ‘Childhood memories’ in blog posts. This series definitely got me reading and this one in particular stands out as the most memorable. I have my copies somewhere still – I think they’re at my parents’ house in storage. I need to go get them.

 

3 – Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)When I was first starting my book collection, I’m talking actually making a conscious effort to buy and read books, I was about 12 I think. I had books before then, but I didn’t love buying books yet, if that makes sense. This book and its sequel were my first purchases. My dad convinced me to buy hard backs, which I had never done before. It was super neat and now I’m a hopeless case – books books everywhere and not a drop to drink!

 

2 – Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella EnchantedThis is the first book I ever read that could be considered ‘romance’ to any degree. I was again probably 12 or so when I randomly picked it up at the library…. and then I proceeded to re-rent it over and over. I have probably read this book 20 times if not more. It’s definitely one of the cornerstones of my childhood reading development and I still have a really soft spot for it.

 

 

1 – Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)This is number one for a few reasons: It sparked my love in fantasy (along with HP), it’s a really, really good series that I still enjoy as an adult, and it’s very easy to dish out as a recommendation for a young, budding reader. It follows a 12-year-old mastermind and his lethally trained butler named Butler. Artemis is neat but I love Butler. He’s definitely one of my favorite characters ever.

Wah, NOSTALGIA.

 

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And that’s it! Happy reading!

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Posted by on 07/12/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top 5 books without romance

Top 5 Wednesday Banner

Happy Wednesday! (Hush, I know, pbtbt.) I haven’t participated in T5W in about a month or so, but this month’s topics are calling to me much more than last month’s ones. So, I’m hoping to participate in each one this month. Wish me luck! 😀

Here is the link to the T5W group if you would like to participate as well!


So this week’s topic I thought would be really hard to come up with five books that didn’t have at least a romantic subplot in them, but look at that, I came up with seven. And, since they’re all wonderful books, I’m going to list them all  (the bottom two being honorable mentions).

Honorable Mentions

A Monster Calls  The Martian

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and The Martian by Andy Weir. The only reason they’re down on this list instead of the main one is because I mentioned them so damn much. I figured I’d try to get in less-talked-about-books onto the top 5 list. Otherwise, both of these are fantastic and I highly recommend each of them.


5 – The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)So, when I originally read this, I went into it thinking it was a YA fantasy. It is not. It is definitely not YA. It follows a young woman who has been raised in secret in preparation for taking and holding the crown that is her birthright. This character is rather wonderful overall (I wrote a review on this book, where I go into my likes and dislikes of it) and she definitely gets a small crush at some point but it’s never really focused on or forms into anything more. So as far as romance goes, there isn’t any. It’s wonderful.

The land where this story takes place is really neat – it’s in Earth’s future in a regressed society, on a continent that surfaced out of the ocean between America and Asia. It’s so neeeat. The trilogy just finished recently and while I have the second book, I still haven’t read it. I need to get on that, man.

4 – Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)Now, it’s been a while since I read this, so there is possibly a minor romance somewhere that I just forgot about, but I’m 95% sure there isn’t one. So if there is, oops.

I feel like this book is one that a reader appreciates in retrospect as opposed to when it’s actually being read. It follows a group of travels as they slowly make their way towards Hyperion, a planet shrouded in mystery, home to the Shrike, who has affected in of their lives in some way. On the way, each of these characters tell their stories on how they came to journey to the planet. Now that I think of it, I think one of the characters miiiight be in a relationship? I think? There might be a tad of romance, maybe. I can’t quite remember. I just remember listening to this audiobook and being completely absorbed. It reads a lot like Gulliver’s Travels, but uh… sci-fi and entertaining. 😛

3 – The Relic Master series by Catherine Fisher

The Dark City (Relic Master, #1)I’ve said it before and I’ll keep sayin it. This is one of the most underrated/underread series in the book community. I still don’t think I’ve seen anyone else ever say anything about it. It follows an old relic master, a uh.. wizard/priest of sorts, and his apprentice, as they survive in a world after being left there by their mysterious founders. All that remains of the race of people that left them on the planet is a series of relics, all of which have a strange power but whose functions are unknown by the relic masters, the ones who collect these items. The world is full of fantasy, sci-fi and all sorts of neat things. I really enjuoyed this one.

2 – Saiyuki by Kazuya Minekura

Saiyuki, Vol. 1Anyone who’s wanting to try a new manga series that’s a finished, complete thing, check this out. I first read this back when I was in high school and have reread it maybe six times since then. I really like this bugger. It follows a group of four – a priest, a half demon and two full-blood demons as they trek across China in search of a mysterious power whose effect has driven all demons in the country crazy, making them blood-thirsty and vicious.

The priest is not your typical priest: he smokes, he swears, he kills people. One one of the demons in his group is the mythical monkey king.

My favorite thing about this series is that it’s hilarious. Plenty of humor while at the same time being a serious, action-driven story. I dig it.

1 – The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)This is the farthest thing from romance that I can think of. Action, horror, ahhh ❤

I’ve actually only ever read the first book in this four book series and every time I mention it on here, I keep telling myself I should read the rest of it. Maybe someday!

 

 

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And that’s it! I literally forgot yesterday was Wednesday, which is why this is late. Whoops. I’m old, time is slipping through my fingers.

 
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Posted by on 07/06/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top 5 fantasy and sci-fi cover arts

Top 5 Wednesday

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Hello it’s Wednesday Thursday!! And it’s the first Wednesday Thursday since January where I didn’t have the looming knowledge of YOU’RE BEHIND IN YOUR CODING PROJECT EMILY YOU SHOULDN’T BE WRITING A POST floating in the back of my mind. Guess who has two thumbs and has finished the project. ME. YEAH.

So back to books and my overly loud excitement about them.

This week’s topic is cover arts for science fiction and fantasy. Sounds lovely!! 😀 If you’d like to participate in T5W, here is the link to the group!


Okay so: I’ve come up with seven covers that are grabbing my attention. Instead of doing a tiered-top-five, I’m just going to list all seven in no particular order because all these covers are lovely. 😀

Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein

This book was a cover-buy for me. I had no idea what it was about, nor had I heard of it before I saw it sitting on the shelf. A purchase like this has happened exactly two times in my life, the other being listed below. I can’t get over how pretty this book is. I mean sure, the dust jacket is okay I guess, but the actual book underneath it? Gorgeous 😀

saturn run

Iron Angel and Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell

Campbell is one of this weird-steampunk-fantasy authors and I dig everything I’ve read by him. I totally recommend The Deepgate Codex, by the way, Iron Angel being the second book in that series.

Iron Angel (Deepgate Codex, #2)Sea of Ghosts (The Gravedigger Chronicles, #1)

The Fold by Peter Clines

This is that other cover-buy I mentioned. I feel like images of it online don’t do it justice. It’s just so PRETTY in real life. The cover is textured, it’s shiny, the fold going down the middle of the page pops out to the eye. It’s lovely! And the book itself is really good too :”D

The Fold

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The art in this entire book is lovely. The cover just showcases it. :”D

A Monster Calls

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

I picked this one because if I mentioned recently in my blabber that this cover, while rather lovely, is super poignant. It describes the tone of the book so well that I had just to throw it in here. It’s super suave.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Rook by Sharon Cameron

When I read Rook last year or two ago, I gave it a three star rating. Every time I’ve mentioned it since, it always confuses me why I gave it a 3, not a 4. I’m thinking pacing? But at this point, all I remember is loving the setting and the characters, haha. This cover is rather lovely, I think. :”D

Rook


And that’s it for this week! Happy reading. :”D

 
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Posted by on 05/04/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top 5 books that would make good video games

Top 5 Wednesday

Happy Thursday! No camel today because my post is late (whoops). Yesterday was a frenzy and I probably shouldn’t be writing this today, either. But I need something to keep me from having a mental implosion, SO HERE WE ARE. This week’s topic is books that would make good video games – this was a really neato topic and I had a lot of fun writing it 😀

If you’d like to join T5W, you can do so here.


5. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

Attack on Titan, Volume 1This one probably is a video game and I just haven’t heard about it. If you don’t read manga at all and haven’t heard of these series, I highly recommend you check it out – either through the manga or via the anime, which is available on netflix and crunchyroll.

This series follows a cast of characters who live within a walled country. On the outside are the titans: huge, mindless humanoid creatures with a taste for human flesh. The show begins when the wall, kept intact for a hundred years, is compromised, allowing the titans to break inside. This series is grueling, it’s graphically violent and it’s so, so good. It takes on almost steampunky elements when it comes to how the humans in the story go about combatting the titans. Aerial tactical maneuvering using pulling and steam and… it’s so cool. I feel like the combat aspect of this especially would translate well into a video game. That, and the whole ‘where did they titans come from and what actually are they’ mystery aspect. It’d be really neat to play.

4. Rook by Sharon Cameron

RookThis book I read sometime last year and at the time, rated it three stars. I’m thinking now, looking back on it, it should be more like 3.5 or 4. This book takes place is a regressed society in France. The characters throughout the book, find old relics of civilizations past. I think at one point that one of the characters had found a video game controller… had no idea what it was or what it was for. It was really neat. The plot of this book, while already in regressed Paris, which is awesome in itself, involves a budding revolution, hidden and recovered technology and a lot of sneaking around. I feel like it was translate really well into a video game, maybe something with the feel of a city crawler.

3. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)This is a neato book, guys. Mieville writes ‘Weird Fantasy’ and the city he’s created in this novel is about as weird as they come. The story follows a few different perspectives… a mad scientist, a lady with a bug for a head, a giant bird-man that’s lost his wings… all sorts. The plot meanders through a few different subplots about creatures sucking the dreams out of people and the ambassador to hell shows up briefly and an underground newspaper tries to uncover a huge, insidious story. Seriously, this book is good. And it would make a great sandbox-esque video game with all these subplots planted in there and intertwining nicely. I’d totally buy this thing on release day.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusI think this would be the best point-and-click roleplaying game ever. Imagine being able to walk through the Night Circus and just see all the stuff that’s talked about in the plot of the book. Sure, the main events would still occur but honestly I’d just want to play and see the acts. I’d probably never actually beat the game, hahaha.

 

 

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian(Emily, when are you gonna stop talking about the Martian? Never. ) This would be the best survival game. I’m talking like puzzle-survival. Obviously you need water… but how do you make it? You need food – how do you grow it? Combined with an ever-dwindling supply of oxygen and random disasters for chemical reactions gone wrong, this would be an amazing game. Steam, get on it!

 

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And that’s it for this week! I know it’s Thursday, hush hush. Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 04/13/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top 5 sci-fi and fantasy novels on my TBR

Top 5 Wednesday

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Happy Camel Day 😀 This week’s topic are sci-fi and fantasy books I haven’t actually read yet. So for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to go with books that I haven’t read yet that I already own. None of this ‘Gonna ignore the 200 unread books I own to add more to my list’ stuff. Gonna try to focus on the books I have. Money dollars, people. I’m not made of them.

If you’d like to join t5w, here is the link to do so. Synopsis for all books will be linked in the titles.


5 – A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)I’m one of those late-on-the-bandwagon people with this series. Didn’t start reading it until I think season 3 of the show had already come out. At that point, I was sick of getting spoilers about things I didn’t even understand. So I decided to read the books so I’d understand the spoilers so I’d understand the plot. So I have this last one left and then I’ll be waiting for Winds of Winter along with everyone else. I think I’m going to tackle this one on audiobook. I read the second one in physical copy but that was a struggle. The other ones were all listened to. As much as I dislike the narrator I have a copy of, it’ll still be better for me and move the process along. And then I can continue the tv show.

4 – Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey

Caliban's War (Expanse, #2)Book one in this series, Leviathan Wakes, was among my favorite books of last year. I ended up going out to the bookstore immediately after finishing it and paying list price for this baby because I needed it…. and then I read 50 pages and got distracted by another book. I’m a bad fan. D:

I’d really like to catch up on this series though, especially since i started watching the show and it’s going to eclipse book one soon. Gotta do it, gotta do it.

 

3 – Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)Book one out of ten in Eriksons The Malazan Book of the Fallen series, this one is on the list because when I was in Malaysia, a neato friend recommended it to me and I bought it. She also bought Leviathan Wakes at my recommendation… and she has since binged that entire series. I have yet to even start this one. :”D So it’s made the list because aside from wanting to read it as is, there’s a good amount of reader’s guilt stuck to it, haha.

I’ll get to it, Shep-y. I promise. :”D

 

2 – Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (Elantris, #1)This was in my most recent haul. I bought it because I’ve had the mistborn trilogy sitting on my shelves forever, but I heard that if I’m going to read Sanderson’s later works, which I want to, I need to read his earliest ones first. If I don’t, I won’t like them when I got back and read them after reading the later ones…. so I figured, this is his first book, so I’m starting with it. And after, then I’ll pick up the mistborn trilogy.

If I’m incorrect in my assumption, feel free to correct me.

 

1 – The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)This is the third book in Weeks’ Lightbringer series, which I am unendingly obsessed about. The only reason why I haven’t started this book already is that I’m currently reading a few others and I know if I start this one, those will fall to the wayside. I’m in the middle of a buddy read which I’m already behind on, so I don’t want to make that any worse, haha. Once Mad Ship and The Traitor Baru Cormorant are finished though, you bet your butt I’m reading this book. I can already taste it.

 

 

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And that’s it! :”D Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 04/05/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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