Tag: Empire of the Vampire

Sunday Summary – 14th April 2024

Welcome to another Sunday Summary update. Admittedly I suspect this post is going to be on the light side, as will become apparent. I have made some reading progress, but not very much due to events out of my control.

First, let’s take a look at the blog posts I shared throughout the week. Later than usual, I shared my Monthly TBR for April. It was always going to be late anyway, but it ended up being even later still as a result of the events I mentioned above.

On Friday I shared my latest feature in my First Lines Friday series. In that post, I feature a non-fiction book I added to my reading list recently after watching a TV series based on it. I hope you can take a moment to check both of those posts out!

 

Books Read

 

Empire of the Vampire

In my last Sunday Summary post I shared that I’d only read 25 pages of Empire of the Vampire. Progress is better than that this week, but I am still reading this book as of this post.

It’s awkward to explain without going back for a minute because I’ve not really shared that I started seeing someone yet. But, a couple of months ago I started seeing my boyfriend Shane. Well, somebody close to him passed away on Monday. We ended up taking temporary custody of their dog and making arrangements for her return to family on Tuesday.

From there on all my plans for the week went awry. The charity cake sale I was supposed to bake for this week ended up with donations of the shop-bought variety. But, life happens.

In between everything, I did read about 80 pages of Empire of the Vampire. It’s not much to write about, but it’s something.

 

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

Audiobook progress has been better this week thankfully!

I’ve not had as much time as I would usually to sit down and read in the usual way. However, audio has stepped into this gap a little as I’ve been able to listen to it in and around commuting, lunch hours etc.

As of this Sunday Summary post I have listened to a further six chapters, bringing me to a total 25% progress.

 

Books Discovered

With everything that has gone on this week, I haven’t really had the chance to discover any new reads this week. Given I’ve not done much in the way of reading progress either, this is not a bad thing!

 

Coming Up…

I want to try and catch up on some reading this week. So, I’m taking the blog schedule down to just one post mid-week and my Sunday Summary at the end of the week.

The plan is to share a discussion post about re-reading books, and why we can get so much more out of our favourite books by doing so! That’s obviously not at all inspired by my current re-read of Empire of the Vampire… obviously 😉

Today’s Sunday Summary is a relatively quick one, but I hope you enjoyed reading nonetheless. Until my next post, have a great week and me, your bookshelves ever be overflowing!

 

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Monthly TBR – April 2024

Hi readers and welcome to a slightly later than planned Monthly TBR post!

To get through a slightly longer reading list in April, I’m making an effort to listen to more audio than usual. I’ve found in the past that non-fiction works best in this format, so that’s what I’ll be listening to. This also works great for my goal of reading more than 15 nonfiction books by the end of the year.

In addition to this, I’m picking up two fantasy reads and a sci-fi physically, and lastly, one e-ARC that I need to review by the 27th April. It’s a full list, so let’s get stuck in!

 

Monthly TBR


Empire of the Vampire

My first read of the month is my re-read of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I’m looking forward to picking up the relatively new release of the sequel. However, before I dive into that I wanted a refresher of events so far.

As you’ll see from my last Sunday Summary post, I’m enjoying this read so far! I started reading it last month but had to put it aside for blog tour obligations. However, I’m back into it in full swing and loving the story as much as I did the first time.

 

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

My first listen of the month is Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? Admittedly I started this audio on a whim after finishing The Atlas Six, but I have no regrets!

It’s just the kind of non-fiction that I can consume easily. I’m already 10 chapters or 2 hours 20mins in, and that’s been pretty easy to work through.

I’m looking forward to listening to more of this audio in the comings days, as well as looking at the exercises that come with it.

 

The Maiden of Florence

Next to feature on this monthly TBR is my one reading obligation this month, The Maiden of Florence. As I’ve already shared, I am reviewing this book on the 27th of the month.

I signed up for the blog tour as I was interested in the story’s ties to the Medici family. I love historical fiction anyway, but it reminds me of my favourite series in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I could play the Ezio storylines over and over and not get bored!

It’s a period of history I haven’t read in a while, and all about casting light on a female character cast aside by history… which has me intrigued!

 

The Icepick Surgeon

The second non-fiction audio I hope to listen to this month is The Icepick Surgeon. I discovered this book when an Instagrammer I follow shared she was reading it in March. Initially I’d hoped to read it then as well. However, time as always runs away and I didn’t get to it at the same time.

But, a month late is better than never! As someone who enjoyed exploring this side of science in psychology, I’m looking forward to reading further around the subject!

 

Master of Sorrows

Master of Sorrows… how many monthly TBR’s has this been on now? Three perhaps? I’ve just not gotten to it so far, but I’m determined to at the very least start it in April.

Last month I deliberately didn’t draw another book out my TBR jar give myself chance to read this one. Given I’ve ended up carrying it over again, the same applies this month.

 

Stretch Goal

The Long Earth

On the off-chance I manage to read all the books above, I’m going to pick up The Long Earth next.

It has been on my TBR since February 2018, but I’ve managed to borrow a copy from someone at work who was discussing it with me recently. He has not long finished it, so I want to state my intentions to pick it up as soon as I can so we can compare notes!


Summary

I’ve plenty of reading to do and as of this post, I have two at currently reading status and no completions! Best get a wriggle on!

Have you read any of the books I feature in this post?

Until next time, happy reading!

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Sunday Summary – 7th April 2024

Good evening readers and welcome to another Sunday Summary update full of bookish news and going on from here! Make yourselves comfortable so we can dive in to this week’s update post.

As always, let’s recap the blog posts I have shared in the last week. My first post of the week was a blog tour post featuring Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater. I originally published my review of this book back in February. But when I saw the tour invite, I promised to revamp it and share it as part of the tour. It worked out nicely as the author gets more publicity, and I already had a good deal of content prepared to share.

I shared a second blog to post just a couple of days later – this one for Enemies of Mercia by M.J. Porter. This was a brand-new read and review obligation, so that was my priority for this week. I really enjoyed this sixth instalment to the Eagle of Mercia Chronicles. If you have been following my reviews of the series on my blog, you’ll be especially interested to check out this latest review!

I shared a further post on Saturday given that those tour obligations meant I couldn’t feature my regular monthly wrap-up at the beginning of this month. Instead, that went live on Saturday, and I had plenty to recap in terms of reading throughout March. If you want a summary of the books I picked up, that is the post to take a look at!

 

Books Read

 

Enemies of Mercia

The first priority I had this week was to finish my read of Enemies of Mercia by M.J. Porter. As you will see above, I had a spot on the blog tour organised for its publication, and I had the pleasure of kicking the tour off. Needless to say, it was important that I finish this read in time to share my full thoughts on the whole book.

I enjoyed Enemies of Mercia every bit as much as I expected I would. Having read five books in the series to date, I had high expectations for the characters and storyline. I wasn’t disappointed!

If you love historical fiction set during the time Vikings came to Britain, then check out this book. Whilst the main events of this storyline don’t feature Vikings too heavily, they have already had their influence on the setting and characters so far. They are more prevalent in earlier books of the series, so I recommend checking them out.

Naturally, if you want to find out more about this book, or get access to links to reviews of the early book in the series, check out that review post I shared on Thursday.

 

Empire of the Vampire

As a result of prioritising Enemies of Mercia, Empire of the Vampire took a backseat this week. I did pick the book up one evening before bed, but admittedly only read 25 pages!

So, as of this Sunday Summary post, that puts me at page 196. Now that all my immediate obligations are out of the way, Empire of the Vampire will be my main reading focus once again.

 

The Atlas Six

After sharing in last week’s Sunday Summary post that I was so close to the conclusion of this book, I made it my priority to finish this audio this week.

In fact, I finished this audiobook on Monday. As it happens, the audiobook version I was listening to has quite a bit of bonus content at the end, so I was even closer to the finish line than I thought in that post!

I really enjoyed the story overall, although I wouldn’t say it lives up to the hype it’s gotten in my opinion. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I will continue to read the rest of the series. I’ve enjoyed it as a standalone and I think it has some interesting ideas.

 

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before

After finishing The Atlas Six, I looked for my next audiobook to pick up. On a whim, I chose to listen to Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before.

Of late, I find non-fiction a lot easier to listen to than fiction. I find it easier to follow, and it has become my preferred method of reading this type of book. To try and pick up the pace with audiobooks a bit more, and to listen to something different, I deliberately chose a non-fiction this time.

As of this Sunday Summary post, I have listened to the first four chapters of the book, which is about an hour and 20 minutes of the audio. If you’re interested, that works out at about 15% progress.

Next week I’ll be spending several hours on Monday and Tuesday evening baking for a charity cake sale at work. That would be the perfect opportunity to make further progress as I won’t be able to conventionally sit down and read during that time.

 

Books Discovered

I picked up some book recommendations around the topic of Neurodiversity this week. It’s a topic that’s been discussed at work, and several staff (including myself) put forward recommendations of content on the subject.

Someone seconded my recommendation of Unmasked by Ellie Middleton, which was great! They also shared a couple of other books which I added to my reading list – Untypical and Dirty Laundry.

 

Coming Up…

My first blog post of next week will be my reading list for April. As I am sharing this list quite late, you’re already seeing some of the books I’ll feature show up in my reading. However, circumstantially I had blog tours come up at the beginning of the month which inevitably delayed my regular monthly posts. I am looking forward to sharing that list though and giving you some more detail on what books I plan to pick up shortly!

Later in the week I bring back my First Lines Friday regular feature post. It’s been a few weeks since I shared one of these, and I’m looking forward to bringing it back. They are a fun type of post to share. Depending on my choice of book, I get to feature a great book I love, or get excited for one coming up on my reading list! Stick around to find out which I share in Friday’s post.

I’ll wrap up next week with another Sunday Summary post just like this one. If I have as much reading progress to share with you, then I’ll be on the right track!

Until then, have a great week and happy reading!

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – March 2024

A steadier pace was the aim for March, and taking the pressure off reading at such a pace was definitely needed and appreciated! Whilst I didn’t get to all the books I had hoped to on March’s TBR, as of this monthly wrap-up post I am still on track to read 60 books by the end of the year.

Shall we get into this monthly wrap-up post and look at the books I read in March?

 

Books Read

 

Hogfather

Hogfather was a carryover from February’s TBR. I had read about 50% of the book already, and my first aim of the month was to complete this read.

In the end, I rated Hogfather three stars. I enjoyed the play on belief and the festive vibe of the book. However, it wasn’t my favourite book in the Death mini-series.

The Discworld books are so readable. Just a few days into the month, I read the final 50% to finish the book. I’m glad I continued with the series. It’s the longest series I am progressing with and I hope to continue on further with it this year!

 

At the Stroke of Midnight

The first of my blog tour obligations this month was to read and review At the Stroke of Midnight by Jenni Keer.

I loved the sound of the book as it’s very reminiscent of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. It has a Groundhog Day theme just the same, set in a Manor House style setting.

Naturally it does has its differences, and the mystery that unravels within are compelling. I also enjoyed the development of the protagonist throughout! If you want to check out that review, here is a link to that here.

 

Raven Lord

Next I started my next blog your read, and the first of two historical fiction novels featuring Vikings!

Raven Lord is the sequel to Warrior Prince, which I reviewed last year. I really enjoyed that first book, and also the sequel, because it features Vikings as we know it, but in a unique setting. Rather than exploring British history, instead Harald and his band of warriors venture through Eastern Europe to secure fame and riches before trying to reclaim the throne of Norway.

The narrative style of this book is one that I love to come back to time and again. Not only that, but the book is full of action and political intrigue in equal measure. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the sequel and I can’t wait to see where the characters end up next.

As with the previous book, here is a link to my full review if you want to read on about this.

 

Enemies of Mercia

The second historical fiction book I picked up throughout the month of March is Enemies of Mercia by M.J. Porter.

This book is the sixth instalment in the authors Eagle of Mercia Chronicles series. Whilst this series does go back to British history, a subset of the genre I have read a lot of, the protagonist makes these books. In that review post shared on Thursday, I expressed that protagonist Icel is one of my favourite characters of the genre! He has undergone so much character development in the series to date, and there are no signs of him stopping.

This book also balances action and intrigue very well, so that fans of either can respect each part without one or the other overwhelming the narrative.

 

The Atlas Six

I’m pleased to share in this monthly wrap-up post that I finished The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake this week!

It has been a long time coming. Of all the ways in which I read books, I am the slowest with audio. It’s not my preferred reading method, but it does have its benefits. Over the last month or so, I have spent most of the time listening to The Atlas Six whilst working on craft projects.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, but I am undecided as yet as to whether I’m going to continue with the series. The Atlas Six is a very hyped read. Most of the time, I don’t feel that these books live up to that. As good as it was, I think the same of The Atlas Six.

I have doubts as to whether I’m invested enough in the characters and the story to go out of my way to read more. Ultimately, I have a ridiculous reading list with lots of fantasy on there already. Do I need books I’m not sure about on that list? No.

 

Empire of the Vampire

The last book I’ll talk about in today’s monthly wrap-up post, as it is my current read, is Empire of the Vampire byJay Kristoff. I started this book a little after mid-month. However, I had to temporarily set this aside in order to read Enemies of Mercia ahead of my review date.

As of this post, I am 171 pages into this 720 page narrative. It’s a healthy start, and one I’m looking forward to building on in the next few days! This is a re-read, so not the first time I’ve picked up. However, I am enjoying reading a special edition this time round. It’ll also set me in good stead to pick up the sequel soon!

 

Summary

I’ve managed to break even this month and read the number of books required to meet my reading goal. Currently, I can’t ask for more!

Not only that, but I’ve enjoyed the books I picked up in March, the variety between them and I have an exciting monthly TBR coming up to get hyped about!

 

Thanks for checking out this monthly wrap-up post! What have you been reading recently? Have you read any of the books in today’s list? Do you have any recommendations for me?

 

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Sunday Summary – 31st March 2024

Good evening all and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post! It’s been a mad busy week with work, so there’s been a lot to juggle.

Nevertheless, I’ve kept the blog ticking over! My first post of the week was a review of one of my favourite reads of 2022 – Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I’m not sure if I’ve done the book justice, but I’ve for sure done my best to sell it to you. If you haven’t checked out that post and you want to check out the first book of an epic series, please do!

On Friday I shared the next instalment of Shelf Control, and I finally moved away from my deluge of non-fiction. This week, I featured a historical fiction novel that I’m looking forward to. It’s set from the perspective of German youths in WW2. Having read books in a similar setting before, I’m keen to see how unique the take is on the subject. If you want to know more, here’s a link to that post so you can check it out!

 

Books Read

 

Empire of the Vampire

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was 12%, or about 86 pages, into Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff.

I haven’t made lot of progress in this book this week due to work, plans and other commitments. I have read about another 90 pages though, which I’m not going to turn my nose up at. What I have read I have really enjoyed. Although I’ve read the book before, that’s not hampering my enjoyment second time around at all!

I have also had to set this aside temporarily in order to read another book for a blog tour coming up soon. More on that below.

So, as of this post, I will be picking up from page 171, after I finish reading Enemies of Mercia.

 

Enemies of Mercia

Speaking of which, Enemies of Mercia is a book I’m reviewing for blog tour next week. With that in mind, I picked up this book for the first time yesterday so that I have time to read it ahead of my review date.

Enemies of Mercia is the fifth instalment in M.J. Porter’s Eagle of Mercia Chronicles. I’ve read and enjoyed the earlier books in the series and featured them for blog tours. When I saw Enemies of Mercia on tour, I signed up straight away! I love the protagonist in this series as he is quite unique. As a young boy, he saw his place in the world as healing as opposed to becoming a warrior. However, circumstance dictated that he did indeed learn to become an accomplished warrior, though he doesn’t relish the role.

I’m not too far into Enemies of Mercia, but if it’s already clear that Icel is suffering from events that have taken place in the previous book. He is not the strong warrior he was then, and I’m keen to see if this ends up being a developmental opportunity for his character.

As of this Sunday Summary post, I am 14% into the book and will be making an effort to prioritise this in the next couple of days!

 

The Atlas Six

Around this week’s busy schedule, I have taken some time away from screens and enjoyed two hobbies in tandem – cross stitch and listening to audiobooks.

Listening to The Atlas Six is a slow burn at this point just because I don’t pick up audiobooks very much. That said, I am really enjoying this audio and I feel like events are really starting to pick up. I’m now 81% into this audiobook, and I’m really looking forward to finishing it! Admittedly, I wanted to listen to more of this audio this morning, but I had other things to do and so I’ve had to wait. It’s not very often I have to make that call, but clearly the drive to listen is there.

I listen to audiobooks on x1.2 speed, so I have 2 hours and 43 minutes listening time left of this audio. That’s not long, and given I’ve already listened to more than that this week alone, I should be able to tell you this time next week that I am done with this book! Finally…

 

Books Discovered

Since adding Breathtaking to the TBR last week, there’s been no activity or further additions to my reading list.

It’s long enough as it is, so I’m not complaining!

 

Coming Up…

I have two blog tour obligations this week, although thankfully I already have content pretty much sorted for one.

You may recall that I reviewed Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater a little while ago after reading the book last year. That book is now on tour, and I have agreed to spruce up and re-publish my review as part of the tour. Fans of science-fiction should definitely take a moment of their day to check out that post on Tuesday.

On Thursday, I am touring with Boldwood Books by sharing my review of Enemies of Mercia. If you have enjoyed any of my reviews for the prior books in the series, or enjoy historical fiction set in the Viking era, I hope you can take a look at my review.

Although it’ll be a little late compared to my usual scheduling, I plan to share my monthly wrap-up for March on Saturday next week. I need to prioritise my blog tours first. I’m also reluctant to commit to any more tight blogging deadlines next week as it’s one of my busiest weeks at work too. So, the wrap-up will be a little later than usual, as will April’s reading list.

That won’t be my final post of the week though. I’ll be back this time next week with another Sunday Summary post as usual. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to mark at least two of my current reads as complete in that update!

Until then, happy reading and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

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Sunday Summary – 24th March 2024

Today’s Sunday Summary post comes to you from a very chilled out Rebecca. I have enjoyed this week off work and I really haven’t done that much at all. Unless you count making jobs of clearing out my wardrobe, taking said clothes to a donation bank and generally tidying up the house a bit. I honestly don’t know how I’ve managed to take the strain…

Jokes aside, it has been a great week for just switching off and taking time for hobbies. I’ve been working on my cross stitch project, reading, and in the latter half of the week, playing Horizon Forbidden West.

So, what have I been doing on the blog? Well, I started off the week sharing a book tag post that I saw initially on Misty‘s Book Space. Given upcoming content later in the week, I wanted to do something lighthearted. I had a great time sharing this post, and if you haven’t checked it out already, there is a link above.

Friday’s book review was for recent read Raven Lord by J.C. Duncan. This sequel to The Last Viking series is every bit is good as expected. If you want to check out my full thoughts on the book, there is a link to that review above. As I finished the book this week, there is a brief commentary below to give you a taster.

 

Books Read

 

Raven Lord

With my review for Raven Lord rapidly upcoming, my first priority this week was to finish the book. I left off last week’s Sunday Summary post having read 54%, so I still had nearly half to read. Oh what a shame that I had plenty of time to do so, eh?

I finished Raven Lord on Wednesday, and the book was every bit as good as I thought it was going to be! I enjoy how this series blends together action-heavy battle scenes with underlying political intrigue that drives this action. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter whether you are a reader who likes action lead narratives, or if you are someone who prefers the subtler side of things. There’s a bit of both in here!

I also really enjoyed the format in which the story is told. The present day narrative involves one of Harald’s key followers, Eric, retelling his story. It’s a format I love as it’s very light and conversational, making it approachable to read. It also offers a unique insight of feelings and impression rather than just pure fact.

I’m intrigued as to where this story will go. I believe this is a five part series, so there’s still plenty of scope for action and development! You can be sure I’ll be keeping up with it.

 

Empire of the Vampire

This week I have also started a re-read of one of my favourite books in 2022, Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I’m re-reading this book as the sequel has not long been released and I want to refresher of what’s happened so far. Granted, I could have looked up on the web so then I could dive straight into the sequel, but where is the fun in that? I’m also very lucky to have received a special edition copy of the book as a gift since my initial read. It would be rude not to appreciate that… right?

As of this Sunday Summary, I’m not too far into the book, but I’ve made a healthy start. I’m 12% into this approximately 720 page narrative. I’ve loved whatever I’ve read as much as I did the first time, so I’m hopeful for a fun reading experience with this book once again!

 

The Atlas Six

Whilst I’ve been working on my cross stitch this week, I have taken the opportunity to listen to more of The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake.

I doubled last week’s efforts as I’ve listened to 2hrs over the week so far. Had I not been spending time gaming that would’ve been higher. However, I don’t really get the opportunity to play Horizon Forbidden West unless I am on leave purely because it’s not a game you can pick up for half an hour.

Excuses aside, I’ve had a good time with The Atlas Six. I still have absolutely no idea how this book is going to conclude, but I’m excited to see how things play out. There is potential for a lot of character conflict and drama. If that doesn’t happen, I might end up a bit disappointed, but I think it will. All the set up and tension is there ready to exploit, but we’ll see!

 

Books Discovered

Another thing I have been making more time for in the last week or so is catching up with TV series. This week I finished watching Breathtaking which was on ITV recently. If you are unfamiliar, this drama was set based on insights from a book of the same name, written by Rachel Clarke.

It’s a very good series, so if you haven’t watched it, I would recommend doing so. Or, if you’re on the bookish side like me, why not pick up the book?

 

Coming Up…

I’ve shared a few reviews for blog tours lately, and I’m looking forward to sharing another off my backlist. I have a lot of reviews to write, so I want to keep up momentum sharing these. For this week’s feature, I intend to review one of my favourite authors. My journey with this author started with this book and at the recommendation of my friend Rachael. That book is Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb.

I’ll be back with a Friday feature after a few weeks break due to other obligations. This week it’s the turn of my Shelf Control feature. Stay tuned for that!

Lastly, I’ll share my next Sunday Summary wrap up in a week’s time. With some great reads, I’m hopeful for a lot to share with you! If nothing else, I have a busy blog schedule coming up to share with you in next week’s Sunday Summary update.

What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Monthly TBR – February 2024

I have a great reading list line up for February, and today, I’m sharing that with you in this monthly TBR post!

I had a great start to the year in terms of reading progress in January. I recapped this in Thursday’s post, if you’re interested in checking that out. Trying to keep momentum, I’m setting myself another good size list as that seems to be motivating me at the moment. I have a re-read, some non-fiction and a conclusion to a series on the list. All these go towards my reading goals of 2024!

Shall we take a look at the list?

 

Fixed Reads

 

January Insta Poll – The Atlas Six

I might as well kick off this monthly TBR post by starting with my one carryover from January. I started listening to The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake at the end of the month, and to date, I’m just over 10% through.

So far, I am only really just in the introduction of the book, but I am enjoying it so far. I’m looking forward to listening to more of this audio as I’m enjoying the casting and overall production of it so far. The story definitely has interesting elements to learn about and I’m looking forward to exploring this more.

 

Insta Poll – The Queen’s Gambit

The runner-up to the Insta Poll I ran in January was The Queen’s Gambit. I like to try and read one a month, although The Atlas Six has bled over into February.

I watched the Netflix series years ago, so I am somewhat familiar with the story. However, it’s not so fresh in my mind, that reading the book will feel too much like repetition. I did really enjoy that series, so I have high hopes for this book.

It’s a shorter than I expected considering the length of the series, but I’m sure it will be good nonetheless.

 

The Icepick Surgeon

I discovered the The Icepick Surgeon via a fellow book blogger I follow on Instagram. Bibliobeth shared her intention to pick The Icepick Surgeon up in March this year. I like the sound of the book so much that I intend to pick it up now. Naturally, I want to keep up momentum with reading non-fiction as that is a reading goal this year.

I like the sound of this one as it covers, to an extent, subjects I enjoyed in psychology. You may call me morbid if you wish, but I found it both fascinating and horrifying. If you’re squeamish, then it may not want to go into too much detail. I’m ready for it though, and I’m looking forward to picking it up.

 

Heart of the Sun Warrior

Heart of the Sun Warrior is the sequel in the Daughter of the Moon Goddess duology. I read daughter of the moon goddess just over a year ago now so it feels like the right time to conclude the series. As you are probably aware, wrapping up series is one of my goals for this year. As I have just one book to read to complete, it’s an easy win… and what I’m looking forward to in any case.

What I liked about this first book is the Asian influence on fantasy as opposed to Western. I read a lot of westernised fantasy and I’m deliberately trying to branch out.

 

TBR Jar – Master of Sorrows

I’m not consciously trying to start new series, particularly this year, but the TBR jar has forced my hand. This time I pulled out Master of Sorrows by Justin Call.

I have a good few friends on Goodreads to have picked this up and really enjoyed the book. More specifically, though, it was the thoughts of Ashleigh that persuaded me to add the book to my reading list in June 2022.

Full of magic, a villain origin story arch and disability representation, it is a fantasy that offers some different elements to those I read normally.

 

Mood Reads

 

Hogfather

If I’d realised that Hogfather was the next Discworld book I needed to pick up, I would have been more proactive and read it in December. However, I didn’t, and I’m not waiting a whole year to keep going with the series!

I’m especially looking forward to reading Hogfather, as it is the fourth book in the death mini-series. If you are unfamiliar, the various books in the Discworld universe follow different types of characters. My favourite is The Witches series so far, but it is closely followed by Death.

I also love these books because they are satirical. It’s not a genre I read Emma, but I do enjoy the humorous plot, which is usually laced with a serious underlying topic or message underneath.

 

Fool’s Errand

It’s been a few months since I’ve picked up a book in the Realm of the Elderlings series. I wrapped up The Liveship Traders series in August last year and so it’s time to return.

With the next book, Fool’s Errand, we journey back to familiar characters from the first trilogy. I’m looking forward to revisiting those characters and seeing what happens next. I believe events jump forward in time from the first trilogy, so I have some catching up to do on what happened in between.

 

Empire of the Vampire

The last book to feature on this monthly TBR is a reread of a book I read in 2022. If you are unaware, the sequel to Empire of the Vampire is due out at the end of this month. With this in mind, I’m looking to pick up this first book in the series as a refresher, so then I can go onto to read Empire of the Damned – hopefully in March.

Whilst I could have just read a recap, I have since been gifted a special addition, copy of the book, and it will be rude not to appreciate it, right?!

 

Summary

I may only have eight books on February‘s reading list, as opposed to the 10 I featured in January’s monthly TBR. However, I read just under eight books in January, and some of these are longer than those I picked up last month too.

There is enough on this list to be a stretch without being too overzealous either. I’m looking forward to each of every book on this list, and I hope you can stick around for my thoughts and my reading progress.

For now though, that’s all from me in today’s monthly TBR post. Have you read any of the books on this list?

 

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Book Review: Empire of the Vampire – Jay Kristoff

In today’s post, I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts on one of my favourite reads of 2022! The book easily made it into my top 2022 reads list, and I will be reading the sequel as soon as it’s out next year!

Not too long to wait now!

 

Empire of the Vampire – Jay Kristoff

Genre: Epic fantasy / Gothic fantasy

Pages: 718

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: 07 Sept 2021

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Empire of the Vampire

From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hand sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.

It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order could not stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

 

My Thoughts

For the most part, I’m not really one for vampire stories. There are some exceptions to that rule, and this book and future series is now one of them. I suppose I’m a little guilty of tarring books with vampires with a negative brush – whilst I haven’t read or watched Twilight, I’ve heard enough to have made my mind up…

I decided to give this book a go against my instinct because it was written by Jay Kristoff. Since I really enjoyed his Nevernight Chronicles series in audio format, I took the plunge in getting a hardback of this book. I didn’t regret it – not even taking this chunk in my hand luggage on holiday!

 

Plot

Empire of the Vampire, structurally, it’s quite typical of popular epic fantasy novels. There is good and evil, a smattering of religion, and magic that stretches the bounds of reality as we know it. There is some small element of coming of age growth by some characters in this book too, which I enjoyed. At the same time, it doesn’t overly overtake the plot in terms of emphasis either, which makes a refreshing change.

There is plenty of action in Empire of the Vampire, given there’s an ongoing war between humanity and the undead to keep the pacing of the book… alive. See what I did there? Fantasy books are stereotypically earmarked as being full of world building and info dumping. Don’t get me wrong, some of them do. It’s rare that I’ll complain about a book being too descriptive, because I personally enjoy delving into the background and setting of a book. If anything, I’m more likely to criticise a book for being too action orientated, and there not being enough depth for me. I’m still bitter at how much I loved Red Rising by Pierce Brown, but disliked its sequel, Golden Son. It’s a prime example of this at play. However, Empire of the Vampire balanced the two nicely!

 

Characters

If you’re looking to read fantasy on the lighthearted side, then you’re looking at the wrong type of book. Empire of the Vampire is very dark and visceral. What do you expect with vampires on the scene? However, we’re not just talking about the characters. We’re talking about descriptions, events and language. If you ever read the Nevernight trilogy by Jay Kristoff then you’ve already had a flavour of what you can expect in Empire of the Vampire.

One of the tropes I enjoy in fantasy, and is something I discussed recently in my favourite fantasy tropes post, is a non-altruistic protagonist. The protagonist Gabriel is a Silversaint, born and raised to fight against the paranormal and defeat the vampires oppressing humanity. However, he is not the devout and altruistic man he was raised to be. He is a man who experiences doubts and loses his way.

He is the last Silversaint, and whilst he does try to do the right thing broadly, it’s more for his own motives rather than for humankind’s benefit. In my opinion, having a protagonist any other way wouldn’t fit with this book. As I’ve already mentioned, it is a dark and gritty novel. If we had a sweetness and light go-getter to save the world character, he would stick out like a sore thumb. He has been kicked and beaten, physically and emotionally. He’s lost friends. To an extent, he loses his own identity because of the world he lives in. Whilst he may be fighting on the side of humankind in the long run, there are plenty who consider him a monster as well.

 

Narrative Style

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book. I wanted to give it a try because I have really come to enjoy Jay Kristoff’s writing style in previous books.

The narrative style (likened to Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind) and setting of the world appealed to me. It appealed to me for all the right reasons! I love the way in which this story is told. As in the aforementioned book, the story is told almost in the style of a confessional, through the eyes of the main character retrospectively. There are lots of people out there that love the style of narrative. Others don’t so much. Personally, I want to see more of it! I’ve read some fantastic books using this narrative style. Whilst some argue that it takes some of the joy and suspense out of knowing what happens to characters, I would argue that if it’s written well, that’s not the case at all!

The atmosphere and tension in the book kept me hooked! It definitely maintained Gothic vibes throughout, and I really enjoyed this. It’s not the typical book you would take for summer holiday reading, but I’m not a typical person! It really worked for me!

 

Summary

This book has everything you would expect from an epic fantasy – complex and detailed world-building, a vast array of characters with detailed backstories and relationships, and a storyline that will inevitably span a large number of chunky books!

I can’t wait for the sequel!

 

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Sunday Summary – 29th May 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my Sunday Summary update, which is now back to usual scheduling!

As I just came back from holiday at the beginning of this week (and already it feels like longer!), I shared a Belated Sunday Summary post on Tuesday this week. In that post, I caught you up with all my reading news from the past couple of weeks… including what reading I took on holiday with me. In that post I also shared a bit of personal news – that I had come back from holiday with Covid. I’m pleased to report I am now officially negative and doing well!

Later this week I decided to break my usual posting pattern and share a book review with you rather than one of my typical Friday features. It was well overdue, and I really wanted to champion something by a local author. There’s something about going on holiday that makes you appreciate home all the more, and this was the inspiration behind sharing this review. The book I featured was Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall, and if you haven’t checked out that review already you can do so with this link. If you love mysteries or thrillers, or are interested in books set on the Isle of Man, then this is definitely for you!

 

Books Read

I thought I would read quite a lot whilst I was on holiday, but the truth is, I’ve read more now that I’ve come back!

As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was 72% through The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. I knew I wanted to finish reading this one, and with only approximately an hour’s reading time left this was a goal that was fairly easy to achieve. Whilst it was fresh in my mind from talking about my progress in my Belated Sunday Summary post, I decided to pick this up on Tuesday evening and I finished it in one sitting! Overall, it turned out to be an okay read. My impression from my last update hasn’t changed – I neither love it or hate it. I’m firm in my decision not to continue the series.

Next, I moved on to continuing my read of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. If you are familiar with the book then you know it’s a bit of a chonker at just over 700 pages. As of my Belated Sunday Summary update, I was just under 300 pages into this book. This has been my main read over the course of this week, and I finished reading this one last night. Despite its size, this book was very easy to sink your teeth into (pun intended)! It’s all too easy to be daunted by a book’s size, but I’m glad I didn’t let this stop me.

I didn’t expect this to 100% be my cup of tea because I don’t really read books about vampires. I gave it a chance because it was written by Jay Kristoff and I am so glad I did. It was a very easy five star rating from me and is my favourite read of 2022 so far!

But my reading progress doesn’t quite stop there. I’ve picked up one further book this week, being Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert. This is quite a different read compared to Empire of the Vampire. Whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a light read, it is in contrast, short. At under 300 pages, it gives you gratification in terms of feeling like you make quick progress. I just picked this up today and I am already on page 73 of the book.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added any books to the TBR this week, and as I’ve ticked a couple off reading wise, the list is going in the right direction!

Makes a change…

 

Coming Up…

Next week I will be sharing both my Monthly Wrap-Up for May, as well as a TBR for June. I don’t quite know where time is going if I’m honest! I’m really pleased with this month’s reading progress, so I’m looking forward to recapping the books I’ve picked up and telling you what I thought, in summary, about them.

If I’m honest, I have very little idea as to what I am planning to read during the month of June. I’m taking part in one blog tour, so that book will be on my reading list, but other than that I haven’t christened anything. However, I’ll sit down and have a think and I’ll be bringing that list to you towards the end of next week.

As always, I’ll be back next Sunday to share all my reading updates with you and recap my week in the usual format.

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update post – I hope you’ve enjoyed catching up with me. What have you been reading this week? Do you have any good book recommendations?

I look forward to seeing you in my next post!

 

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Belated Sunday Summary Post – 24th May 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to a belated Sunday Summary update post.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last updated you on my reading progress, and that’s because I’ve been on holiday. I didn’t want to advertise that I was going away ahead of time, especially online. I had a great time away with my family for what was supposed to be our family holiday in 2020, which was cancelled for obvious reasons. That’s not to say it wasn’t without its dampener; I tested positive for Covid whilst we were away. It’s typical, but we didn’t let it spoil the holiday. I’ve managed to dodge it for the last two years, and I’m not too bad with it. I am on the road to recovery now and I’m hoping to be clear of it very soon!

Whilst I was away I scheduled a number of blog posts to tide you over. That first post, which went live not long before I went away, was a Top Ten Tuesday post featuring my top ten bookish characters. That was an interesting post to put together and I actually struggled a little. Surprisingly, there aren’t that many famously bookish characters. That said, I did manage to find enough for this list!

Later that week, I shared a Shelf Control post. In that post I featured The Incendium Plot by A. D. Swanston. I added this book to my TBR because it gives me the opportunity to read about British history – a subject I felt my education lacked. If you want to find out more details about the book and why I wanted to read it, you could find a link to that post above.

The second week I’ve been away, I shared another Top Ten Tuesday post. This one featured my top ten books I was excited to get, but haven’t read yet. This post has reminded me that I have plenty reading to be getting on with, including one book that I’ve had on my TBR for far longer than I would like to admit! If you want to check out the full list, the link is above.

Last Friday, my First Lines Friday scheduled post went live. In that post, I set myself a challenge that was designed to give you some insight into my reading plans; I decided that I wanted to feature a book that I wanted to pick up and read later this year. I am really excited to pick up this book. I have a friend who really loves this author and has recommended her to me in the past. I’ve also sampled this particular book before, but never just quite got round to reading it. That’s going to change. If you want to find out what this book is, you know what to do.

 

Books Read

When I last left you in my previous Sunday Summary update post of the 8th May, I was 15% of the way through The Duke & I by Julia Quinn. I’ve decided to pick up this book based on my enjoyment of the Bridgerton Netflix series. It’s not my usual cup of tea, but I was willing to give it a try in to broaden my horizons. Since that Sunday Summary update I have continued with the book and I’m now 72% of the way through. In terms of reading time left, my Kindle suggests that it’s about an hour’s worth of reading time left.

I’m glad I’ve decided to read it and give it a go, but I’ve already made my mind up that I’m not going to read the rest of the series. I’ve picked it up and given it a try. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I can’t lie – I have rolled my eyes plenty of times whilst reading this book. I have a real gripe with the male characters being described as roguish, rakish etc in a charming and endearing way, whilst the female characters cannot be anything but proper. Even a kiss is scandalous and ruinous for her. I just can’t deal with the inequality of it all. So, I’ll finish it off and tick my box and say I’ve read it, but I’m not going to subject myself to any more of it either.

In my last Sunday Summary update I confided in you that I had taken another book to bed one evening to sample, that being Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I couldn’t admit it to you at the time, but I was doing this to make sure I was going to get on with the book as it was my planned holiday reading! I took it away with me but admittedly, I didn’t read half as much as I expected to.

When I last went on holiday with my sister I read the equivalent of Empire of the Vampire, and a bit more. However, as I went away with more people, naturally there was more chatter and socialising going on and so I didn’t read as much! I have read just under 300 pages of the book, which is 40% of the narrative. It’s still a respectable amount to have read, and I’m going to continue to read this one now that I’m back.

I’m loving the story so far and I’m glad that I picked this up even though vampire stories aren’t really my thing. There is so much more to this book and it’s fantastic… to be expected from Jay Kristoff really. I bought this book based on my love of the Nevernight series and I’m not disappointed.

 

Books Discovered

In the time I’ve been away I have added a book to my TBR, and if memory serves, it is a recommendation I’ve taken from the Currently Reading podcast. I really loved the sound of the story behind this book. I’m huge fan of fantasy and the way it’s blended with sci-fi and includes difficult topics such as racism and misogyny, I want to pick this up and give it a go!

 

Coming Up…

Naturally the section is going to be a little bit shorter than usual, as this Sunday Summary update is a belated one.

I will be sharing one other post with you later this week. I’m feeling in the mood to share a review with you, especially seeing as how I’ve been sharing other content with you recently. With that in mind, I would like to take the opportunity to review a book by a local author. I recently read Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall… and it was a surreal experience reading a book set where I live. Having the events of a narrative take place in towns and streets you know like the back of your hand is a very strange experience, but it was a refreshing one. In my review later this week I want to set down exactly why I think you should give this book a read as well!

Naturally, my next Sunday Summary update will return to normal schedule and I will be rounding up my reading progress from the week for you.

That’s all for me in today’s belated Sunday Summary update post – thanks for persevering with today’s very long update and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

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