November came and went and my second month living alone has passed. I spent November on different crafting projects and reading some truly awesome books. And giving the blog a bit of face lifting. What? I can’t stop fiddling with it, go away. But of course, we had some other posts other than reviews as well – cover reveals, an interview, book tours.
All that being said, it’s time for a Monthly Wrap Up, let’s see what we were up to in November!
In case you missed any of our reviews in November, it’s your chance to catch up!
Fae: The Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King – 3.5/5
As I loved every book I’ve read from Graham so far, I decided it was time to go back to his very first book. Not quite what I expected, but an intriguing start nonetheless.
“I think I was hoping for something more folketale-y in regard to the setting and overall feel. While I admire Austin-King‘s worldbuilding and the way he waves the life of his characters together, Fae: The Wild Hunt lacked the charm to sway me off my feet. I really couldn’t get invested in any of the characters and eventually that affected my enjoyment. But if you are into some dark atmospheric epic fantasy which doesn’t shy away from some bloodletting, then you definitely should give Fae: The Wild Hunt a try.”
Shadow Debt by William Ray – 4.5/5
Jen is our resident William Ray fan and of course she had to review his recently released 3rd book, Shadow Debt.
“I don’t know if you can be underrated in self-pub, which is already underrated on its own, but William Ray, definitely falls in that category of authors that should be getting more attention because he consistently puts out quality work. I can’t even choose a book in this series that I like the best because they are all so damn good and they are all so different.”
A Time for Witches by Craig Schaefer – 5/5
This was the perfect October read for me, even if I only reviewed it in November. Did I say yet how much I love Craig’s stuff?
“A Time for Witches is a most excellent follow up to Ghosts of Gotham. If Urban Fantasy and Greek mythology ever had a love child it probably would be this series. Schafer takes the reader on a thrilling ride along with characters you can root for all the way to whatever end. Buckle up people, because this will be a bumpy road. But so. Damn. Good.”
Kept From Cages by Phil Williams – 4/5
Another review from Jen, this time for Phil Williams‘ latest book, Kept From Cages.
“Kept From Cages was pure popcorn. I could have easily read this in a couple of sittings just because the thriller-style pacing had me flipping the pages pretty quickly. It’s non-stop action with a bit of government conspiracy type stuff thrown in as we have one of our POVs, an Agent Tasker, investigating a Norwegian village incident that rivals something out of 28 days later.”
Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker – 5/5
As I said, I had an excellent reading month, starting with Call of the Bone Ships which reserved a spot on my best books of the year list for sure.
“Call of the Bone Ships deserves all the stars for being one of the best books I’ve read in 2020 and for making me all emotional on this journey. If you haven’t started reading this series yet, I honestly don’t know what are you even doing with your life. A world full of wonders, as myths come to life again; a path sprayed by blood and sweat and tears; and characters who will rip your heart out whether you like it or not. Who would not want that?!”
The Gates of Golorath by R. M. Garino – 3.5/5
We are catching up with review requests slowly but steadily! The Gates of Golorath was one such book, read by Jen.
“I have to admit I kind of felt like I was tossed into the deep end of the pool at the start of The Gates of Golorath. It’s thick with complicated names and terms, and there is no easing you into it. It’s a very sink or swim style. There is a glossary though which does help a lot. Once I found my feet, the story settles in quickly and the pages blew by at a rate that was unexpected from an almost 700-page book.”
A Fool’s Hope by Mike Shackle – 5/5
After Call of the Bone Ships destroyed me, apparently, I didn’t have enough, so went and got destroyed by A Fool’s Hope too. Who said I don’t know how to have fun?
“A Fool’s Hope is a most excellent follow up to We Are the Dead, and one of the best books I’ve read this year. Sekanowari is here and gods help anyone who gets caught up in the chaos and mayhem that follows in its wake. If these books were any indication, the coming events won’t be any less brutal, bloody and utterly heart-wrenching with nothing to guide us but a fool’s hope.”
An Unnatural Life by Erin K. Wagner – 3.5/5
Arina’s contribution this month is a review of a sci-fi novella. She is our resident sci-fi lady *grin*
“A plangent and dismal story that resonates in the now, Erin K. Wagner’s latest novella, An Unnatural Life, takes us to the coming probabilities of robot civil rights through an exploration of sentience, free will, and humanity. But more importantly, science fiction novella extrapolates on how we humans react and shun new forms of identity.”
In the summer of 1844, Tom Lyman flees to Bonaventure, a transcendentalist farming cooperative tucked away in eastern Connecticut, to hide from his past. There Lyman must adjust to a new life among idealists, under the fatherly eye of the group’s founder, David Grosvenor. When he isn’t ducking work or the questions of the eccentric residents, Lyman occupies himself by courting Grosvenor’s daughter Minerva.
But Bonaventure isn’t as utopian as it seems. One by one, Lyman’s secrets begin to catch up with him, and Bonaventure has a few secrets of its own. Why did the farm have an ominous reputation long before Grosvenor bought it? What caused the previous tenants to vanish? And who is playing the violin in the basement? Time is running out, and Lyman must discover the truth before he’s driven mad by the whispering through the walls.
Organized by Storytellers On Tour, we brought to you the brand new cover of Alyssa Fairfield by Tiffany Christina Lewis.
Organized by Storytellers On Tour, we brought to you the brand new cover of The Echoed Realm, sequel to The Hollow Gods by A. J. Vrana.
Ginger Smith has worked as a record store employee, freelance writer, bookstore assistant manager and high school teacher of English. In the past, she has played in many tabletop RPG groups and even run several of her own. She collects vintage toys, sci-fi novels and comic books, as well as mid-century furniture. She currently lives in the southern USA with her husband and two cats, spending her free time writing and watching classic film noir and sci-fi movies.
Noor Al-Shanti stopped by, to give us some tips for presenting worldbuilding naturally in your stories. She has some great advice here and hope you’ll find something you can use later!
What the Hungarian?!
I briefly brought back one of my features in November, the one where I torture innocent volunteers by giving them 5 quotes from books in Hungarian and they have to figure out which books they are from. This time Arina gave it a go.
Shadow Debt by William Ray
We gave the spotlight to Shadow Debt, the third book of the Tales of the Verin Empire series by William Ray in celebration of Halloween! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews, interviews and other posts. Come and learn a bit more about the world of Shadow Debt through William‘s playlist and our Q&A!
Amethyst by Jesse Nolan Bailey
We gave the spotlight to Amethyst, a stand alone Fantasy novella by Jesse Nolan Bailey in celebration of its release! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews, interviews and other posts. Come and learn a bit more about the world of Amethyst through our Q&A!
Finding Your Harpy Place by D.H. Willison
We gave the spotlight to Finding Your Harpy Place, the stand alone sequel novel to Harpyness is Only Skin Deep by D.H. Willison in celebration of its release! Our Roadies brought several great posts on this bookstagram tour. Come and learn a bit more about the world of Finding Your Harpy Place through our Q&A!
To Dream and Die as a Taniwha Girl by Benedict Patrick
We gave the spotlight to To Dream and Die as a Taniwha Girl, the newest stand alone novel in the Yarnsworld series by Benedict Patrick in celebration of its release! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews, interviews and other posts. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of To Dream and Die as a Taniwha Girl through our Q&A with Benedict!
River Magic by M. A. Phillips
We gave the spotlight to River Magic, the debut Magical Realism novel by M. A. Phillips in celebration of its release! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews, interviews and other posts. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of River Magic through M. A.’s playlist and our Q&A!
I think that’s it for November. I hope to see you all in December!