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

Magic Burns by Ilona AndrewsAurelia by Anne OsterlundUprooted by Naomi NovikShadow Study by Maria V. SnyderThis Shattered World by Amie Kaufman, Meagan SpoonerUnited We Spy by Ally CarterAll Fall Down by Ally CarterEve and Adam by Katherine Applegate, Michael GrantHex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Stacking the shelves with… comics!

So, I went a bit comic-book crazy when I was last in London… and then I got home and went comic-book crazy online. So here you have it: “Stacking the Shelves” the Graphic Novel edition!


  • Daredevil by Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark (Ultimate Collection) Vol.1 reprints V2 #82-93
    • I love the Brian Michael Bendis run and am interested in seeing what Brubaker does with Matt!
  • Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Valentine De Landro Vol. 1
    • OMG this book! I’ve only read the first issue by WOW. It’s amazing and I cannot wait to read more
  • Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl Vol 1
    • A DC book! Alert the media! I’ve already read this one and found it to be super fun.


  • The New York Five by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly
    • No idea if I’ll enjoy this but I’ve heard great things!
  • Runaways Volume 2 by Brian K Vaughn (4 Books – Digest editions)
    • I’ll be honest, I didn’t realise how tiny these would be! I would have prefered the oversized hardcovers or even the regular trades… but oh well. Since I’ve already read this series it’s OK.


  • Saga Volume 3 and 4 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
    • Obviously
  • Saucer Country Volume 1 by Paul Cornell & Ryan Kelly
    • I’ve heard that the first volume of this series is great, but that it wraps up too quickly (poor sales).
  • Avengers Academy Volume 1 & Volume 2 by Christos Gage & Mike McKone
    • Amy Dallen is a big fan of this series, so I didn’t hesitate to pick up both hardcover volumes when I saw them on sale!


I also got a TONNE of single issues! I highly recommend Paper Girls, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and Spider-Gwen!

Look forward to seeing what everyone picked up this week! :)

Top 10 Books of 2015

Although I read over 50 books in 2015, but putting together a top ten list was rather difficult. On the whole, I had a decent reading year, but few crossed that “Best of” threshold.

But after a lot of thought, I was able to come up with 8 really great novels/graphic novels, and 2 all-time favourites. Here’s what I picked!

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Although this certainly wasn’t my all-time-favourite Carter book, it is an amazing start to an engaging series. It fills the shoes left by the Gallagher Girls, while also setting its own path. Though if there is no crossover, I may go nuts!! Read full review here.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

No surprise here – I adore Novik, and that hasn’t changed. But Uprooted was a supremely unique novel, set in a universe I can guarantee you’ve never been to. If you’re suffering from genre fatigue, Uprooted will leave you uplifted. Read full review here.

Legends of the Ferengi by Ira Steven Behr

A book with a cover this ugly should NOT be on a top ten favourites list… and yet. I listened to the audio rendition of this Star Trek novel and was floored by how much I adored it. The Ferengi are one of my favourite Star Trek species (for comedy alone) and this book got their culture just right. SO much fun.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

This is a weird fav, because there were a lot of things about this book I wasn’t a fan of (the mahoot story, in particular, made me want to stop reading). But the vast majority of this book was incredibly atmospheric, rich in history and actually took a very progressive view on the rights of animals. Add to that the fact I read the book while in India, and it is certainly an unforgettable read of 2015.


Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Vol. 2 Generation Why
Vol. 3 Crushed

This series continues to get better and better with each book! This was the one-and-only series I read issue-to-issue, and I really, really looked forward to them each month. Alas, I am not completely caught up with the series now (as I took a comic break while waiting for Secret Wars to come to Marvel Unlimited) but – now that it has – it means I can finally read the last few issues of this first series, and then catch up with the new Ms Marvel book that is out! The new series has me psyched – it will be really interesting to see how Kamala handles the Big Leagues.

Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More
Vol. 2: Stay Fly

I read the first volume of DeConnick’s Captain Marvel last year and, while I liked it, I wasn’t in love. But WOW. The 2014-2015 series, collected in 3 volumes, is just so friggin’ amazing. Unlike the previous series, Carol is dealing with all new villains in all new settings (i.e. planets), and she is super awesome while doing it. These books made me a card-carrying Carol Corps member – go pick them up!


The Top Two

Drumroll please! Here are my two favourite books of 2015!

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I really, really need to review this book – because my feelings about it are way too long and complex to put into a few sentences. Let’s just say this: Amazing. Addictive. Lived up to the hype.

This Shattered World by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman

Gah, this book. I can’t… it was just so amazing. In my review I described it as: “pure science fiction with a well- incorporated romantic plot, that just happens to be aimed at young adults.” I highly recommend it. Read full review here.

Let me know your favourite reads of 2015!

Novel Challenges of 2016


It’s that time of the year again! I love signing up for reading challenges (though, I admit, I’m not so great at finishing them!). Is it just me or are there not as many challenges out this year? Hmmm….

The TBR Triple Dog Dare

The TBR Triple Dog Dare

For the first three months of 2016 read only the books that were already in your TBR stack as of midnight December 31, 2015. Sign up here.

I think this is SUCH a cool challenge. I participated in it back in 2014 (I think?) and really liked how it pushed me to read my TBR pile. Since it is only a 3 month challenge, it is much more manageable. Sad to hear this is its last year though!


The Goodreads Challenge

I’ll be shooting for 75 books again. I never make these but HEY. MAYBE 2016 will be THE YEAR.


The Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge

The Challenge? To read graphic novels, collected trade editions, manga, comic strip collections, comic books. In print or digital. Sign up here.
Level? Bronze Age: read and review 24 books during the year

I kinda completed this challenge in 2015, in the sense that I READ over 24 books… but didn’t review them! Am planning to rectify that in 2016!


For 2016, I’m also going to keep track of all my readathons and mini-challenges on this page!

Bout of BooksBout of Books 15

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.

This will be my second? third? Bout of Books readathon! I’m love these week-long events as it gives me a lot more breathing space to reeeeeead.

Upcoming readathons

Image comic-book-buying madness

Did you see the massive IMAGE COMICS sale? Because I sure did! And… I made have gone a little cray-cray.

But whatever – it is hard NOT to buy comics from IMAGE, for many reasons. Here, I made a list:

  1. They are creator owned. In other words, the money flow is more direct and the rights stay with the creators.
  2. You get a DRM-free file!! Image even puts a “save to dropbox” button right by your comic book after you’ve bought it! Just, wow… I wish every publisher did that!
  3. If you buy straight from their website, you can avoid comixology (aka Amazon!). Huzzah!!

Anyhow, here’s what I got:

No idea how much I’m going to enjoy these, though they all have great reviews and great creators. Oh, but I have read the first issue of PAPER GIRLS and OMG. It is SO GOOD you guuuuuuuys! DON’T WAIT FOR THE TRADE – GET IT NOW!

Anyhow: great books, Image Comics!


Review: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Review: Magic Burns by Ilona AndrewsMagic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #2
Published by Penguin on April 1st 2008
Pages: 272
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
Also in this series: Magic Bites

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels knows how waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shape shifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug of war between two gods hoping for rebirth, and if Kate can't stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive.

Thoughts: The Kate Daniels series has so many fans, it’s ridiculous. It’s one of the top-selling, most anticipated Urban Fantasy series out there. But, after reading Magic Burns, all I can think is: the books must get a hell of a lot better than this if they’re still so popular.

Don’t get me wrong, Magic Burns is a good book. It’s solidly written, with interesting world building and high-stakes action. There were some elements here that, even as a relatively seasoned UF fan, really stood out: namely, I loved the idea of the central city park over growing to become a hub of witchcraft, complete with a giant turtle into whose belly you crawled. I have such a clear mental image of it – and it’s really stuck with me.

I also really enjoyed a number of the secondary characters: I’d read a series starring Kate’s were-shadow, Derek. He’s a sweetie in that silent-but-observant-and-may-also-kill-you sort of way. I also thought it was pretty awesome how quickly Kate latched onto Julie – the orphan introduced in this book. I was expecting her to be written out by the end of the novel, but colour me surprised.

That being said, there was a lot in this book that just made me roll my eyes: Kate is a special flower, but no one can know – except, of course, until she really needs to use that power. What even. Then there was the senseless dog death – how does having the main character kill a dog help endear her to me? Oh, and Curran? I’m sorry, but he was really creepy in this book. Some of his “famed” “seductive” lines just came off very assault-y. If Adam (from the Mercy books) had said this crap, Mercy would have had his butt kicked. And I would have helped.

Bottom line? Technically a good book, but there were things in it I just found abhorrent. I’ll be reading on, as it can only go up from here… right?

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