#SciFiMonth Friday Face-Off: Explosion

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy! Each Friday, we will pit cover against cover while also taking the opportunity to showcase gorgeous artwork and feature some of our favorite book covers. If you want to join the fun, simply choose a book each Friday that fits that week’s predetermined theme, post and compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme is:

“Big badda boom”
a cover featuring an EXPLOSION

Mogsy’s Pick:

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

It’s Sci-Fi November! To celebrate, I’ll be featuring science fiction titles on Friday Face-Off for the full month. Up next, we’re shining the spotlight on the third and final book of Sanderson’s super-villain trilogy, The Reckoners. And how apt that this week’s theme is all about explosions, because this book sure end things with a bang. Let’s take a look at some of the covers:

From left to right:
Delacorte Press (2016) – Gollancz (2016)

Portuguese Edition (2018) – Polish Edition (2017) – Dutch Edition (2017)

Greek Edition (2017) – French Edition (2018) – Russian Edition (2018)

Czech Edition (2016) – Bulgarian Edition (2016) – Danish Edition (2017)

Winner:

So many colors! I found it hard to choose a favorite this week, because there were quite a few that stood out, including the Portuguese edition with its comic book art style, the Gollancz edition with its monochromatic theme and silhouette, and of course the Delacorte hardcover with its vibrant pinks and purples. And then there’s the Russian edition, which is like a marriage of all three, so that’s the one I’m going to have to go with.

But what do you think? Which one is your favorite?

#SciFiMonth Book Review: Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik

Mogsy’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction

Series: Book 2 of Consortium Rebellion

Publisher: Harper Voyager (October 1, 2019)

Length: 400 pages

Author Information: Website | Twitter

I won’t lie, these are the types of romances I can only take once in a while and in small doses, but when I do, damned if I don’t have a lot of fun with them. The first book Polaris Rising served up so much entertainment, I was beyond excited and curious to check out the next installment, a standalone follow-up featuring Ada’s sister Bianca.

Bianca von Hasenberg might not be the action hero like her little sister, but she has her own bag tricks, even if they came at a steep price. No one really knew it, but for years she was trapped in a deeply unhappy marriage. Her husband was essentially this mad scientist who experimented on her against her will, injecting her with nanotechnology that altered her brain structure and endowed her with the ability to intercept communications. This secret made Bianca a very powerful intelligence gatherer, but her health and life was never the same again, and following the death of her husband, she vowed she would never remarry.

Nevertheless, Bianca finds it impossible to deny an attraction to Ian Bishop, the head of security for House von Hasenberg, even though the two of them share a complicated romantic past. But then one day, following an attack, Bianca’s eldest bother and their house’s heir is taken by mysterious kidnappers, sending the entire place into lockdown mode. Knowing that she alone has the unique capabilities to get her brother back, Bianca defies orders and embarks upon a rescue mission to go find him. In response to her disobedience, her father sends Ian on her trail to stop her and bring her home. Bianca, however, believes that she and the security director would make a great team, if only she can look past their history and convince him that working together will mean a greater chance at saving her brother.

You’d think given the background details of her history and all that her character has gone through, Bianca would be a very different protagonist than her sister Ada, but the are actually very similar in the ways that count. Yes, while Bianca is more of a thinker than a fighter, she can still certainly crack a few skulls when the situation calls for it. And of course, as evidenced by her inclinations to break rules and take off on her own, Bianca also has the same rebel spirit as her sister. While I appreciated that her weariness and trauma had to be downplayed in order to make her character come across as stronger in this book, I think I would have liked to see them factored into her emotional depth. Anyway, I don’t want to make it sound like the two characters are the same because they’re not, but I confess I had hoped for a little more to set Bianca and Ada’s personalities and voices apart, especially since there could have been so many possible directions to take Bianca’s spymistress/master hacker/ information broker persona, which would have been way more interesting.

I guess it also didn’t help that like Ada, Bianca ends up falling for a man who’s kind of an asshole. Like Loch, Ian is on the possessive and domineering side, but because he lacks the former’s swagger and sheer force of personality, the way he comes across is much less appealing, if that makes sense. Something about Ian just did not sit right with me, and I didn’t feel like he had as much chemistry with Bianca as Ada did with Loch. To be fair though, we know relatively less about Ian in this book, since he is kept at a distance for so much of the story, and we don’t even get know the true extent of his feeling for Bianca until close to the end, at which point the romance gets dialed up from 1 to 10 in like no time flat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a slow-burn romance as much as the next reader, but I have to say the payoff here was slightly lacking, and I suspect the reason for this is because we were never given a chance to really know Ian.

But at the end of the day, I suppose what I’m trying to get at here is that in many ways, Aurora Blazing feels like a retread of a lot of the ideas in Polaris Rising (and from countless other romance novels, if I’m to be honest). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you enjoyed the first book. In fact, if you did, you’re pretty much guaranteed to like this sequel, which I did too, despite my gripes. My only criticisms stem from mainly two things: 1) the fact that Ian was not as great as Loch, and 2) the story had less action, and while things could have improved with the addition of more intrigue, instead the pacing just felt slower overall. Everything else—like the lighter world-building elements or the flimsier aspects of the plot—I didn’t mind at all, as it’s all sort of a given when it comes to a book like this that makes no claims to be anything but a romance first and foremost, and a sci-fi novel second. It’s why I picked it up, after all.

To sum up, I had a good time with Aurora Blazing, despite it being not as strong as the first book. But like I said, every once in a while it’s great to kick back with a book like this—an unapologetic and deliciously self-indulgent romance whose only aim is delivering a fun sexy read. I look forward to Jessie Mihalik’s next book in the Consortium Rebellion sequence, which I hear will focus on the third sister in the House von Hasenberg clan, Catarina.

More on The BiblioSanctum:
Review of Polaris Rising (Book 1)

#SciFiMonth Waiting on Wednesday 11/06/2019

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that first originated at Breaking the Spine but has since linked up with “Can’t Wait Wednesday” at Wishful Endings now that the original creator is unable to host it anymore. Either way, this fun feature is a chance to showcase the upcoming releases that we can’t wait to get our hands on!

Mogsy’s Pick

Unreconciled by W. Michael Gear (May 12th 2020 by DAW)

In honor of Sci-Fi Month, I’m featuring sci-fi picks for my Waiting on Wednesday posts for the whole of November. First up is the fourth Donovan novel – just when I thought things had come to an end, along comes another book to get me excited all over again! I was thrilled when I found out the series was going beyond what I thought was a trilogy, and I can’t wait to dive back in to this world.

“The fourth book in the thrilling Donovan sci-fi series returns to a treacherous alien planet where corporate threats and dangerous creatures imperil the lives of the colonists.

Where does one put a messianic cult of practicing cannibals? That becomes the question when Ashanti appears in Donovan’s skies. She was designed for no more than four years in space. It’s taken ten. The crew has sealed the transportees onto a single deck–and over the years, the few survivors down there have become monsters. Lead by the messiah, Batuhan, they call themselves the Unreconciled.

Supervisor Kalico Aguila settles them at remote Tyson Station. With the discovery of a wasting disease among the Unreconciled, it’s up to Kalico, Dya Simonov, and Mark Talbot to try and deal with the epidemic. Only Batuhan has plans of his own–and Kalico and her people are to be the main course.

Talina Perez has brokered an uneasy truce with the quetzal molecules that float in her blood. Now, she, young Kylee Simonov, a quetzal named Flute, and a clueless nobleman named Taglioni rush to save Kalico’s vanished party.

But as always, Donovan is playing its own deadly game. Lurking in the forest outside Tyson Base is an old and previously unknown terror that even quetzals fear. And it has already begun to hunt.”

#ScifiMonth Book Review: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

Mogsy’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Series: Book 1 of The Thorne Chronicles

Publisher: DAW (October 8, 2019)

Length: 416 pages

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Not surprisingly, the first thing to catch my eye when I saw the publisher blurb for How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse was this little nugget: “The Princess Brides meets Princess Leia.” And now that I’ve finished the book, want to know how closely that description fits the reality? Well, pretty damn close, actually. This rollicking genre-bending adventure reads almost exactly like a fairy tale set in space, with an overload of fun, unique twists on the classic tropes we know and love.

Once upon a time in a space kingdom, there lived a king eagerly awaiting the birth of his son and heir—only, when the day finally arrived, everyone is shocked when the royal consort gives birth to a girl! While a firstborn daughter has not been seen in more than ten generations, the Thorne Consortium decides to move forward with the traditional Naming Ceremony in which the princess will be presented to the galaxy at large, as well as to each of the thirteen fairies invited to bless the child.  These blessings, which can range from a gift of beauty to a knack for playing the harp, can shape a person for the rest of their lives, but the 13th fairy instead bestows upon the newborn Rory a “curse”—the ability to see through lies and flattery, no matter how well concealed. Fortunately, the 12th fairy, who hadn’t given her blessing yet, responds by gifting Rory with tenacity and courage. And so, a new galactic legend is born.

Growing up though, our princess did not have the easiest time, especially when her father is assassinated and her mother gives birth a second time, this time to a boy, who unseats Rory as heir. Our protagonist is also betrothed to a prince of a distant world, Ivar, who is sweet but cowardly, and doesn’t make a very good impression on Rory the first time they meet. Still, she is whisked off to space station Urse the moment she comes of age in order to prepare for the marriage, but of course, fate has other ideas as always. Ivar’s nefarious regent, Minister Moss, has decided to seize power for himself, leaving it up to Rory to uncover the conspiracy and rescue the prince.

With shades of Sleeping Beauty playing at its edges, How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a gender-flipping fantasy-in-space opera that turns several major fairy tale themes on their head. Reading it was an interesting experience because I recognized so many tropes, yet at the same time knew enough not to count on anything going as planned. This was the key feature that made this book so fun to read, as I could never guess where author K. Eason was going to take the story or the characters, only that it would lead to something unexpected.

Still, I didn’t feel as emotionally involved with this novel as I probably could have, and I place the blame squarely on its quirky narrative style. It felt a bit strange, to say the least, to be presented with this omnipresent voice which both seemed like an appropriate and tongue-in-cheek way to tell this story. Regrettably though, I don’t think I ever grew accustomed to it. While the writing itself was superb and I thought Eason handled the prose style with deftness and skill, when it comes to this type of historical narration in particular, I just feel that it puts a distance between me and the characters, which needless to say, impacted how well I was able to connect with Rory.

To be sure, it’s a pretty big hiccup, but happily not a deal breaker. I honestly enjoyed many of the features and elements in this book, from the world-building with its special brand of magic to the supporting characters like Grytt. This gave depth to the setting and plot, providing the little things in life that make a novel worth reading. The story also touched upon some meaningful themes, while keeping a lighthearted and cheerful tone. Overall, it’s a feel-good kind of book that goes down easy and smooth.

So, if you are looking for something fun, breezy, and fairy-tale inspired but are sick of the same old tedious retellings, definitely go ahead and give How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse a try. With its unconventional genre-mashing perspective and unique charms, it might very well turn out to be one of the most interesting sci-fi novels you’ll read this year.

#SciFiMonth Audiobook Review: System Failure by Joe Zieja

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

System Failure by Joe Zieja

Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Book 3 of Epic Failure

Publisher: Tantor Audio (September 17, 2019)

Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Narrator: Joe Zieja

The Epic Failure series started off as a fun diversion for me, something to pick up between heavier reads as a light and fluffy palate cleanser, but somewhere along the way I grew to really love it! So when I found out that System Failure coming out, it looked to be the conclusion of this humorous series and I knew I had to check it out.

If you’ve read the previous installments, then chances are you’ll already know the kind of hijinks to expect from book three. Joe Zieja continues the running joke of having his protagonist Captain Rogers fall inadvertently into roles he is frightfully ill-suited and unqualified for, as the more he screws up or tries to slack off, the more he seems to get promoted. Everyone thinks he’s the genius he isn’t, and now he’s somehow found himself the head of the Joint Force tasked with fending off the latest threat to the galaxy. This time it’s the Snaggardirs, and no, they’re not some brutal new race of space alien looking to invade, they’re actually a chain of entertainment centers and party supply stores that has gone galactic, like Chuck E. Cheese in space on steroids. Of course, it doesn’t help that they also happen to be the manufacturers behind all the droids and much of the technology that runs the Free Systems military.

Meanwhile, tensions between the Thelicosan and Meridan fleets are still high, held in check by a delicate truce while details of a more permanent peace treaty can be ironed out. As usual, Rogers finds himself in the middle of the whole fiasco, and if things weren’t messy enough, sparks are also flying between him and the Viking, the Marine captain with whom he has been having a complicated love affair, but not necessarily the good kind.

What I love about these books are the common threads that run through them, tying the whole series together. Over time, Zieja has also perfected the tone of the humor, growing more confident with the style of comedy and the kind of jokes he wants to tell. While slapstick and snappy one-liners are still the order of the day, they seem to come easier and are delivered with more effectiveness in System Failure, but this might also be due to the familiarity with these characters and the outlandish situations they seem to constantly find themselves in.

Speaking of which, Captain Rogers is a riot as always. Even though it might seem farcical to talk about a character’s growth in a book like this, that is indeed what we’ve seen with our protagonist over the course of the series. There are important things to him now, like his friends and his ideals. Still, I was glad to see that through it all, Rogers has retained all the wackiness and important personality traits that make up his character. The series just wouldn’t be the same without his tendency to always try to find the path of least work possible, which just makes it funnier when his plans to slack off backfire on him spectacularly. Not to mention, he and the Viking are adorable, mainly due to the fact the two of them are so different, and also because Rogers so desperately wants to protect the woman he loves, who clearly need no protecting.

If you appreciate humor in your space opera, there’s no question you’ll need to at least give the Epic Failure series a chance. It’s a bit silly, sometimes a little too cheesy, but books two and three really stepped up the plot while keeping a good balance between the story and comedic elements. What people find funny being so subject, you have to be okay with a fair amount of absurdity given how wildly preposterous the scenarios can get. However, a fantastic cast of oddball characters keep the interest high, as does the energetic pace. There’s nothing too deep or complicated here, just plain old good pure fun.

Overall, I enjoyed System Failure and felt it was a good send-off for the trilogy and its characters. It gave me the rollicking, space-faring entertainment I wanted, and at the end of the day, isn’t that what’s most important? So if you’re looking for a fun science fiction adventure, make sure you remember the name Joe Zieja—with any luck, he’ll be writing more sci-fi humor real soon.

Audiobook Comments: For this third book I made the switch to audio, and at first I was wary because I’m always a bit skeptical of authors narrating their own books. But wow, Zieja knocked it out of the park! His reading was professional and pitch-perfect, and no wonder—after listening to his stellar performance, I got curious and looked up his bio and apparently, he’s quite the accomplished voice actor as well as an author. And of course, the benefit of having an author-narrated book is that he knows what all the characters are supposed to sound like and exactly what to emphasis in the story, which absolutely made the experience more personal and immersive.

More on The BiblioSanctum:
Review of Mechanical Failure (Book 1)
Review of Communication Failure (Book 2)

YA Weekend: Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Book 2 of Bring Me Their Hearts

Publisher: Entangled: Teen (November 5, 2019)

Length: 400 pages

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Last year I absolutely adored Sara Wolf’s Bring Me Their Hearts, so it should come as no surprise that its sequel Find Me Their Bones became one of my most anticipated YA releases in 2019. While the story lacked some of the intrigue and drive that made the first book so fun, as well growing a little too twisty to the point of convolution, I still enjoyed myself a lot and was not disappointed.

Continuing immediately after the events at the end of Bring Me Their Hearts, we return to the world of Cavanos in Find Me Their Bones with Zera, our protagonist who has tried for three long years to win back her heart. It also picks up from a quite a hefty cliffhanger, so be aware this review may contain spoilers for the first book if you’re not caught up. In short, we begin with the story with two huge bombshells: One, Zera has revealed her identity as a heartless, a thrall tasked by her witch Nightsinger to infiltrate the royal court and steal the heart of Prince Lucien d’Malvane—as in literally cutting it from his chest; and two, Lucien’s older sister, the princess Varia whom everyone thought was dead, is actually still alive. What’s more, Varia herself is a powerful witch, who manages to wrest control of Zera from Nightsinger.

Determined to forge a truce between humans and witches, Varia has a plan which involves a powerful totem known as the Bone Tree, and the job has fallen to Zera to seek it out. To do so, our heartless protagonist will have to first gain knowledge of the tree’s location from creature known as a valkerax. Bloodthirsty and half-mad, this monster lives in the labyrinthine tunnels beneath and city and is not generally known for its willingness to cooperate, but choice does Zera have? Her own heart is on the line, along with the last chance she has to become human again. But that also leaves the problem of Lucien, for whom Zera has developed feelings, despite her efforts to keep a distance. And it appears that he may have fallen for her too, even in light of her betrayal.

If you enjoyed Bring Me Their Hearts, chances are you’ll have a good time with this sequel too. I’m happy to report that Wolf succeeds in carrying through the same tone plus many of the familiar themes from the first book. Zera is as feisty and full of snark as ever, and I continue to love her take-no-crap personality and snappy comebacks. And still, her character also evolves as more conflicts are added to her already overburdened psyche, now that true romantic feelings for Lucien has been thrown into the mix. Surprisingly though, there was less focus on their relationship than I expected, but for which I was grateful because it gave the story a chance to explore the more complex—and, quite honestly, more interesting—dynamics between Zera and Varia. While the revelations about the latter were shocking at the end of the first book, it was refreshing to see that the character had more of a purpose and a significant role to play in this one.

Which goes to show, the author had everything planned out. But while the story itself was solid, some of its plot points were a bit sensationalistic, tossing out twists for their own sake. I was slightly exasperated at the ending, for example, which served up another killer cliffhanger, and at some point, this pattern just becomes tiresome. We also lose some of that delicious tension from the first book which resulted from Zera’s internal discordance and guilt at manipulating Lucien. Now that the secret is out in the open, their interactions just didn’t have the same kind of magic, and it just felt like they were going in circles at times. To be fair though, Zera’s quest in this book was very different than the one she had in Bring Me Their Hearts, and the nature of Varia’s task presents unique challenges, bringing its own pros and cons.

All in all, I look forward to seeing where Zera’s story will go from here. The poor girl is dealing with so many conflicts pulling her in all different directions, you just have to wonder how much more she can take! It will also be interesting to see how Sara Wolf will handle the character, now that the stage is set for even higher stakes. As more is also revealed about the world and the mythology behind the war between human and witches, I think the next book will see more threads come together and the result will no doubt be epic. I can’t wait.

More on The BiblioSanctum:
Review of Bring Me Their Hearts (Book 1)

Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads

Bookshelf Roundup is a feature I do every other weekend which fills the role of several blog memes, like Stacking the Shelves where I talk about the new books I’ve added to my library or received for review, as well as It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where I round up what I’ve read since the last update and what I’m planning to read soon. Mostly it also serves as a recap post, so sometimes I’ll throw in stuff like reading challenge progress reports, book lists, and other random bookish thoughts or announcements.

black line

Received for Review

My thanks to the publishers and authors for the following review copies received, and be sure to click the links to their Goodreads pages for more details and full descriptions!

The kind folks at Saga Press served me up a really nice surprise this month, with a box containing these beauties: first, a finished copy of The Deep by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, a mythological story that imagines the infants of pregnant African women, thrown overboard, born as mer-people. This wasn’t really on my radar before, but as I have a copy on hand now I might give it a read later this fall. Next is this hefty hardcover of The Monsters Know What They’re Doing by Keith Ammann, which appears to be a compilation of villainous battle plans from the author’s Dungeons & Dragons blog. I’m not really one for DM’ing, but if you are, this has been deemed essential reading for any Dungeon Master who wants to up their game so you should check it out.

Also thanks to Inkshares for sending me a finished copy of Cryptozoology for Beginners by Matt Harry, the sequel to Sorcery for Beginners though it can be read as a standalone. This one was already on my radar, so I’m super grateful to the publisher for sending it.

And Tor.com really spoiled me this month, with a trio of their highly anticipated 2020 titles including ARCs of Docile by K.M. Szpara, Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey, and Repo Virtual by Corey J. White!

I also want to catch up with a huge book drop from the amazing team at Ace/Roc/DAW. First up, an ARC of Sword of Fire by Katharine Kerr, the start of a new Celtic fantasy trilogy. This one’s new to me, but it sounds right up my alley. I also received an ARC of The New Improved Sorceress by Sara Hanover, the follow-up to The Late Great Wizard, which I shamefully still need to read so this sequel should give me the motivation I need. Mazes of Power by Juliette Wade is another new-to-me arrival, one I am very curious to try.

Earlier this month I also received a paperback of Shield of the People by Marshall Ryan Maresca, the second book in the author’s newest series set in his world of Maradaine. The historical mystery buff in me is also very excited to receive this ARC of Cries from the Lost Island by Kathleen O’Neal Gear, described as a standalone Egyptian mystery set against a modern background. I just learned about this book recently, but I’m already so excited to read it! The author is also an anthropologist and the wife of W. Michael Gear, whose sci-fi Donovan trilogy I really enjoyed, so this is one talented couple. And speaking of excitement, I was thrilled to receive an ARC of The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman, the sixth volume of the Invisible Library sequence. I just love this series! And finally, rounding out the batch is an ARC of Burn Cycle by Joel Dane, sequel to Cry Pilot. I wasn’t crazy about the first book, but depending on the reviews for this one, I probably could be convinced to give the series another go.

This week, I also want to do a very special unboxing – because this one’s just too cool and special not to rave about! A couple weeks ago, I received this gorgeous package from Entangled: Teen, promoting the upcoming release of Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf, the sequel to highly acclaimed Bring Me Their Hearts, which was one of my favorite YA novels last year. As you can see from the box, they really went all out! Here’s a look at what was inside:

The BOOM CHICKA POP popcorn was a riot, and definitely got a chuckle out of me as I was opening this box. But the highlight was hands down the personalized clip. As you can see, the spelling of my name isn’t the more common, traditional way, so clearly someone took some serious care and effort to get these custom-made for us – and believe me, it’s so very much appreciated! Also in the box were some temporary tattoos and this really adorable pin, whose design is based on the cover.

And of course, last but not least we have the book itself. Thank you again to Entangled: Teen for sending me the ARC along with all this wonderful swag! I already read the book and loved it, so you should be seeing the review up real soon.

My last couple of roundups saw some crazy digital hauls so I’m relieved to say this week’s is much lighter. I only grabbed two eARCs from NetGalley, first a post-apocalyptic dystopian called Day Zero by Kelly deVos, and also The Other People by C.J. Tudor which is the highly anticipated release from one of my new favorite authors.

Reviews

Below is a quick summary of my reviews since the last update. There weren’t as many posted, because as you know, Sci-Fi Month has started up and I’d been using the last two weeks to prepare, getting some reading done and content queued up.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones (4 of 5 stars)
The Possession by Michael Rutger (3.5 of 5 stars)
Ghoster by Jason Arnopp (3.5 of 5 stars)
Angel Mage by Garth Nix (3.5 of 5 stars)
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (3 of 5 stars)
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (2.5 of 5 stars)

Interviews and Guest Posts

A shout out to the author(s) featured on The BiblioSanctum this week! On Monday, we were lucky enough to have been a stop on the book release tour for The Violent Fae by Phil Williams, featuring the short story “The Chemist” in his series of Ordshaw Vignettes!

Guest Post: “The Violent Fae: The Orshaw Vignettes” by Phil Williams

What I’ve Read Since the Last Update

Here’s what I’ve managed to “unstack” from the TBR since the last update. More reviews coming soon!

black line

Have you heard of or read any of the books featured this week? What caught your eye? Any new discoveries? I hope you found something interesting for a future read! Let me know what you plan on checking out. Until next time, see you next Roundup!:)

#SciFiMonth Friday Face-Off: Grey

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy! Each Friday, we will pit cover against cover while also taking the opportunity to showcase gorgeous artwork and feature some of our favorite book covers. If you want to join the fun, simply choose a book each Friday that fits that week’s predetermined theme, post and compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme is:

~ a cover that is predominantly GREY

Mogsy’s Pick:

Artemis by Andy Weir

It’s Sci-Fi November! To celebrate, I’ll be featuring science fiction titles on Friday Face-Off for the full month. Kicking us off, this week we’re shining the spotlight on Andy Weir’s Artemis, an entertaining caper that takes place on the moon. Let’s take a look at some of the covers:

From left to right:
Crown (2017) – Del Rey (2017) – Subterranean Press (2018)

 

Swedish Edition (2018) – Hebrew Edition (2018) – Estonian Edition (2018)

Lithuanian Edition (2019) – Korean Edition (2017) – Russian Edition (2017)

Winner:

As soon as I discovered there was a Subterranean Edition, it was over! I always enjoy their covers, and this one was especially nice. Just look at that stunning detail.

But what do you think? Which one is your favorite?

Get Ready for #SciFiMonth 2019!

You may have noticed the hashtag #SciFiMonth and its related images popping up all over the book blogosphere lately. That’s because November is right around the corner, which means it’s that time of the year again! Yep, it’s Sci-Fi Month. The BiblioSanctum has had such a great time being a part of this event in previous years that we’re participating again in 2018. This year, the hosts are Lisa of Dear Geek Place and Imyril of One More.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be joining other bloggers, authors, and readers in a month-long celebration of everything science fiction. That doesn’t mean we’ll stop covering all our other favorite speculative fiction genres though! You will most definitely continue to see our usual fantasy reviews, weekly memes and features, spotlights, and all that other fun stuff. The only difference is, some of our reviews and posts will branch off from the usual to encompass the various mediums of science fiction.

The great thing about Sci-Fi Month is that it’s a casual, low-pressure event. It has no deadlines, no specific challenges or quotas to meet–just a month of fun to enjoy, discuss, and share everything science fiction. Sci-Fi Month is whatever you make it, and you are welcome to join anytime. The organizers have also arranged for some pretty exciting features like giveaways, readalongs, and a whole lot of other fun activities including prompt challenges and sci-fi themed Top Tens. So if this is something you’re interested in taking part of, head on over to the Google form to sign up.

After that, grab the banner and button, and dive right in! Everyone is welcome! Be sure to also follow the hashtag #SciFiMonth and follow the event on Twitter @SciFiMonth so you won’t miss a thing!

Here at The BiblioSanctum, simply look for posts tagged with “SciFi November” or those that contain the SciFi Month images and hashtags to see how we’re getting involved. Come explore the wonders of science fiction with us, and to kick off the discussion, feel free to let us know:

How long have you been a fan of science fiction?

Why do you like sci-fi and what is your favorite thing about it?

What are your favorite books/games/films/TV shows in the genre?

What are your plans for Sci-Fi Month?

As for me, I haven’t been on the ball with regards to planning, so once again I’ll be playing things mostly by ear. That being said, I do have a few books I’ve been saving up for November, and I also plan on using this opportunity to catch up with a few science fiction titles I missed reading earlier in the year. Below you’ll find a preview of some of the books I hope to read next month. As you can see, I’m aiming for a good variety, including some humor, some romance, plenty of aliens, a bit of weirdness, a healthy dose of good old fashioned space opera, and of course, some Star Wars!

Waiting on Wednesday 10/30/19

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that first originated at Breaking the Spine but has since linked up with “Can’t Wait Wednesday” at Wishful Endings now that the original creator is unable to host it anymore. Either way, this fun feature is a chance to showcase the upcoming releases that we can’t wait to get our hands on!

Mogsy’s Pick

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim (July 7th 2020 by Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Spin the Dawn was such a nice surprise, and that’s definitely not something I take for granted when it comes to YA these days. I’m hoping the sequel will be just as wonderful, but at least we know the cover is all kinds of stunning!

“The thrilling sequel to SPIN THE DAWN, a magical series steeped in Chinese culture.

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of UNRAVEL THE DUSK.”