Summer Book Haul (at last!)

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been extremely busy these past few months – busy in a way I really have never been before. So, of course, my reading pace has taken a nose-dive and, with it, my book-purchasing rate. So much so that Book Depository sent me a 10% off code to say “come baaaaaaaack!”.

Geez okay okay. I get the point. Take my money.

July book haul 2

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre (goodreads)
I’m not sure how many times I’ve said this, but I’ll say it again: Ann Aguirre is one of my auto-buy authors. She’s amazing, fantastic, brilliant and other superlatives. I couldn’t care less what the synopsis is, it goes into the basket.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (goodreads)

Eon by Alison Goodman (goodreads)
I bought Eona yeaaaaars ago (it was on sale) and obviously was never able to read it as I was missing a key element. Now I can (at last) find out what all the hype is about!

End of Days by Susan Ee (goodreads)
I can’t believe this series is coming to an end. I remember when this was a self-published phenomena that I never imagined seeing on the shelves – and, of course, when I had the chance to meet Susan back when the second book came out (she is amazing, y’all). In short: a lot of memories and a lot of mixed feelings about the end.

July book haul

Deadly Class Volume 2 by Rick Remender (goodreads)
I read and enjoyed Volume 1 last year – gorgeous art and super, super dark. Excited to see where this goes…

The Fade Out Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker (goodreads)
I bought the first issue of this comic last year and immediately thought “this needs to be read in a trade paperback”. I bought no further issues and have been NOT PATIENTLY waiting for this release. :)

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (goodreads)
Oh come on. Of course I got this. It is all the 21st century girls-being-awesome that I love about the internet – only with swords.


That’s all folks! Let me know if you have a recommendation out of this haul – need to know what to start with!

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Kapow! Comic Book Readathon time!

Rah Rah Readathon! 
Once again, Dewey’s readathon is here! The event is starting in about 15 minutes, so you still have time to join for kickoff!

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

La France – where it is overcast and not too hot (my perfect reading weather).

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Probably Joss Whedon’s Fray – I’ve been looking forward to that forever!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Nutella (obviously).

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’m Kay and I’ve been blogging about books since 2009 and – in that time – I’ve done a lot of readathons (and loved each and every one). My reading companion on today’s readathon is my massive hound, Odin.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

For this year’s Readathon… I am doing 1000% comic books! I love graphic novels and the readathon is a perfect opportunity to binge read them. They make you feel great too, as you manage to get a LOT of them done in the 24 hours!


What’cha reading?

On my list so far:

  • Kill my Mother by Jules Feiffer
  • V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
  • Batman: the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
  • Fray by Joss Whedon
  • Iron Man Noir by Scott Snyder
  • Y: the Last Man by Brian K Vaughn
  • Velvet by Ed Brubaker

Since my post yesterday, I’ve received a lot of suggestions on twitter for other graphic novels to check out – so I may be adding to this list, with the help of Marvel Unlimited and Comixology!


Hour 1: I’m starting with Velvet by Ed Brubaker! I’ve read the first issue already, so I know I am going to love it :)

Hour 4: I finished and loved Velvet – it was all the James Bond/Black Widow/spy-assassin awesomeness that I expected. Only now I am desperate

Hour 7: So, I took some time off to make cookies (because WHY NOT) and have only gotten a few chapters through Fray. I really like it so far – it’s Buffy… but with flying cars. Oh, and the intro by Jeph Loeb. Wow – that was amazing.

Hour 12: I’ve made it through Fray but don’t think I will manage more today!

Books completed

  1. Velvet by Ed Brubake
  2. Fray by Joss Wheson



Hour 2: Classics words of wisdom (A Literary Odyssey)

secrets dorian grayThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde was one of those books that… transformed me as a teenager. It was witty and dark and subversive – it made me run out and find out everything I could about Oscar Wilde. He was a man unfortunately born in the wrong era, yet he managed so much in spite of that. This quote from Dorian Gray makes me think about the author, his life, my own life – and how little we know about the people we know. Secrets, my friends.

Hour 3: Four seasons (Bart’s Bookshelf)


My 4 seasons of #readathon! (Fire seemed like the most apt description of summer ) #minichallenge4s A photo posted by Kay (@darlinbooksnpins) on

Hour 7: Treasure Hunt


From left to right: a whole bunch of trees, a scary ax and snow!

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Getting ready for the Readathon… the Comic Book edition!


That’s right – once again, Dewey’s Readathon is coming up! In fact, it starts tomorrow – so sign up and clear your schedule quick, as there is still time to participate!

Anyhow, since this is my fifth (or sixth?) Readathon, I wanted to do something a little bit different. Which, given my new obsession with graphic novels, obviously meant… doing a Comic Book Readathon! The above are but a small selection of the books I have, but I thought they’d be a good place to start.

On my list so far:

  • Kill my Mother by Jules Feiffer
  • V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
  • Batman: the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
  • Fray by Joss Wheson
  • Iron Man Noir by Scott Snyder
  • Y: the Last Man by Brian K Vaughn
  • Velvet by Ed Brubaker

And, since I am a Marvel Unlimited subscriber, I think I may delve into some more of the Daredevil run by Brian Michael Bendis. I am about 6 graphic novels through the run and it is getting really dark (totally loving it, of course!).

Anyhow, I am really looking forward to doing something different for this readathon. Everyone says you should try to include some graphic novels in the mix… so why not let them take up the whole thing! It’s going to be epic, people. :)

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10 April releases to look into

Another month, another great set of releases coming our way.  Here’s my April edit: what I may not have read, but would certainly recommend giving a go! (Images will take you either to Wordery or to the Publisher page)

The Novels

My Pick: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre


The Graphic Novels

My Pick: Superior Ion Man Volume 1!

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Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. SnyderShadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #4
Published by MIRA
Published on 2015-02-24
Genres: Fantasy YA, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Source: Received for review from publishers
Rated: four-stars
Buy the BookAdd to Goodreads
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance… Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…

Thoughts: Let me start off by saying that I am one of those fans. You know, the one of the fans that loved the Study series but was really disappointed by the final book, Fire Study. I mean, I still recommended the hell out of the series – but always with a caveat. So when I heard about Shadow Study I was both excited and nervous.

Well, I needn’t have worried. While not as stellar as the first book in the series, it was the perfect continuation of a series I had considered complete. For starters, it jumps between Valek and Yelena’s POVs – thus answering all those “but where is VALEK?” questions I had in the other books. Not only do we know where he is and what he is up to, we also get the chance to learn more about his childhood, his relationship with the Commander and his background as an assassin.

Actually, the best scenes in this book were Valek scenes. Watching him – the master of disguise – live as a woman for months in order to sneak up on a mark. Seeing how his priorities begin to shift – from the Commander to Yelena – and the impact of such a decision. From the little details to the big revelations… it was all Valek and glorious and wonderful and I wanted MORE.

Which is probably why I wasn’t quite as enraptured with Yelena’s mystery. I still adore the woman, of course, but I had such faith in her ability to handle things on her own that – well – I wasn’t too concerned about seeing her actually get out of trouble. “You’ll be fine,” I thought, rushing forward to Valek’s next chapter. That’s not to say that plot-line wasn’t good but, hey, I had other things on my mind. *cough* Valek. *cough*

I was also happy to see how Ms. Snyder incorporated her Glass series into the Study series without over or under explaining. I’m afraid I’ve read none of Opal’s books, but I was still able to get the gist of the characters and events. I imagine a lot of fans who skipped those novels will want to give them a go after reading Shadow Study.

4 Stars

Bottom line? Shadow Study was a wonderfully pleasant surprise. Rather than simple fan service,  Shadow Study is a solid, plot-heavy and logical continuation to the series. There was always meant to be a fourth book, it seems, and here it is.

Note: I was tempted to take this book down half a star after reading the ending! MAJOR CLIFFHANGER, people, and I do NOT approve! (Though maybe everyone else will love it? I dunno. Either way, I was NOT PREPARED. *cries*)

Shadow Study Blog tour

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Hi there! I’m Kay: an opinionated book blogger enamoured with the world of novels. Reader of Speculative Fiction (the posh word for Sci-Fi/Fantasy) and Young Adult (don’t judge, it’s brilliant). Believer in the many uses of the towel, the science of deduction and other fandom in-jokes.

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Recent Reviews

Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. SnyderReview: This Shattered World by Meagan Spooner and Amie KaufmanReview: United We Spy by Ally CarterReview: All Fall Down by Ally CarterReview: Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine ApplegateReview: Hex Hall by Rachel HawkinsReview: Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally CarterReview: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally CarterReview: Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsReview: Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine HarrisReview: The Realm of Possibility by David LevithanReview: Horde by Ann Aguirre