Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up: January 2019

Since I’ve whined enough how much my personal life sucked in January, this time I’ll take mercy on you all. Reading wise it was a productive month, but a very mixed one. And since I’m very behind on reviews, not everything will be featured in this post.

Book reviews

In case you missed any of my reviews in January you can read them by clicking on the title! 🙂 After the holidays, Jen and me got back on track and got quite a few reviews out there for you. I still have about 3 to write, but as I said, January was quite chaotic. I did some comfort rereads of my favorite books, and had some disappointments as well.

Detonation Boulevard by Craig Schaefer – 4/5

Detonation Boulevard

The second book of The Wisdom’s Grave Trilogy, which I read right after Sworn to the Night, but didn’t get around reviewing it because of the holidays 🙂

” Detonation Boulevard is a fast paced, action packed middle book, which shows you just enough to make you want more, but holds off all the best parts to give an even bigger punch in the end. Highly imaginative, excellent world building and a story well worth your time.”

The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schaefer – 3.75/5

the whitefire crossing

Jen’s first review of the new year was the first book of the Shattered Sigil series.

“This story finishes up tidily, while leaving lots of space to continue. I really liked how it set itself up for book two. There were a couple of additional characters added that I am excited to come back for – one of them being Captain Martennan and I’m hoping for more Cara. Overall this was a quick enjoyable read and I’m excited to continue this series..”

Jack and Jill: Up a Hill by Vance Smith – 3.75/5

jack and jill up a hill

Seems like Jen was kind of fond of the 3.75 rating in January 🙂 She reviewed the first book of a debuting author’s YA series.

“The reveals are paced nicely – keeping those pages turning and was a strong pointin the story. It’s the perfect length for what it was trying to tell and the quick pace will keep the younger readers from losing interest. There’s enough stuff hinted at and left unanswered to make me want to come back, while also wrapping up the mystery of the locket and other things that were uncovered in this story.”

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie – 2.5/5

the raven tower

As much as I was looking forward to read this one, I was as disappointed with it. I think it was just wasn’t for me, which is sad. This was my first read of the year too. Not the best start. But then, we all know how my January was anyway.

“It actually has some cool ideas like the army the Forest sends to defend Vastai, or the way the gods communicate with people, even the Raven’s pact to have a Lease and a Heir at all times. It’s just a shame it couldn’t deliver the way I expected.

If you like your epic fantasy to be less action packed and more focused on the events that lead to the main plot, you might find this one in your favor. The Raven Tower offers the tale of slow burning revange, sacrifice and tragedy.”

The Glass Dagger by M.D. Presley – 5/5

the glass dagger

 Jen reviewed raved about the third book of M.D. Presley’s Sol’s Harvest series. The book is out on February 6th, so make sure to get your copy! She also picked one of my favorite Brand New songs too 🙂

“This series is like deep fried crack – it’s addicting and these marathon reads where I don’t do a damn thing else for three days because I can’t quit reading, are not healthy.”

Grimdark Magazine #18 by Adrian Collins – 4/5

gdm 18

I might be biased since I write for GdM, but I got quite addicted to this magazine. I mean, they deliver such awesome short stories from all the right people! Not talking about the articles, my favorite so far is Mike Myers’ writing advices. That guy got some humor and good tips!

“The Eighteenth issue of Grimdark Magazine (GDM) features a nice selection of authors with stories or various articles. You can read a short stories from Peter McLeanCameron Johnston and Andy Remic, an interview with Devin Madson and Cameron Jonhston, two book reviews about The Igenious by Darius Hinks, plus two articles from Alan Baxter about his experience with publishing, and Mike Myers giving some useful tips.”

Never Die by Rob J. Hayes – 3/5

never die

And since we are talking about GdM, my last read for 2018 was Never Die, which was released in January. I know a lot of people love this book, but I had some issues with it.

“There are some twists at the end of the book, one of them becomes quite obvious about 75% in, and another one isn’t as surprising either if one pays enough attention to the little hints placed in the story. Despite these flaws Never Die, which has a Mortal Kombat-like feeling to it, will be well liked by fantasy readers. It’s fast-paced, features unique monsters and tells the tale of a band of heroes on their way to glory and vengeance. Never Die is a story about gaining a second chance at life for the price of death.”

The Blighted City by Scott Kaelen – 3.75/5

the blighted city 1

The Blighted City was one of FBR’s semi finalist in SPFBO this year. I haven’t got around reading it, but Jen did and she had some nice things to say about it.

“This story left me with such a distinct sadness. The feelings of what is life really, when you’re existing but not living, or having purpose? When you can gather no happiness from the moments? I feel like there should be a life message in here and it’s all very bittersweet. I suspect some of these character’s choices will stay with me for a long time after the last page.”

Where She Went by Gayle Forman – 5/5


In the middle of January I decided I need a break from fantasy (and life in general) so I’ve reread 2 of my all time favorite books. I picked Where She Went first – which is the sequel to If I Stay – because I just adore this love story and this was exactly what I needed at the time.

“Even though I veered away from YA books in recent years, I don’t mind picking up Gayle Forman’s books every once in a while. Especially Where She Went, a heartwrenching, emotional read which will make you curse and smile and cry. A fast and sweet read for cold winter days.”

Other Bookish Posts

What Do We Plan for 2019?

Jen and me have plans! Plans, I say! Though if we can keep to them is an entirely different question, lol. One thing’s for sure: we’ll keep reading and writing reviews and entertain you all 🙂 As for me, I should start thinking on how to celebrate the blog’s one year anniversary next month. And my career switch to the publishing world. I certainly hope that despite the shitty start, 2019 will hold some good stuff for me too 🙂

Read about all of our super professional 2019 plans!

Cover Reveal: Legends of the Exiles by Jesse Teller

Jesse Teller will release a stand alone book this coming April, which will feature short novellas about 4 women, their life intervowing with each other. This is nicely represented on this fabulous cover!

Check out the cover and the blurb of Legends of the Exiles!


With January 1st, the second phase of SPFBO started. Since phase 1, I got promoted to a judging position within the Fantasy Book Review team 🙂 Accordingly, I updated a bit my pages dedicated to the competition.

Everything about SPFBO Phase 1 can be found here!

The original SPFBO 4 page is now dedicated to the Finals and everything regarding it 🙂

Music Musings

Music Monday

If you missed any of them, give them a listen and read my personal notes/thoughts/ramblings regarding them 🙂

That’s it from me now. Hope to see you all in February (which is my favorite month, thanks to my birthday ;)!