Season 2, Episode 2: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Because here we ask the important questions! Like “What Turkish and Moroccan place do we hit up next?” and “Do taking archery lessons really make you look sexy?”

If you have answers to these questions, we totally welcome them!

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The Reading Quest: A Sort of Wrap Up

I think if we limited this to the amount of times I’ve Instagrammed #thereadingquest I probably would have done well. As is…I got kind of overwhelmed with work and reading other things off my TBR that my quest pretty much failed to launch. As a Mage, anyway. When I changed my character to a Bard (because heck, if I’m still in the character customization zone I can totally change my character class without penalty, right?), I at least felt a little bit accomplished, lol!

Last month, I’d signed up for The Reading Quest challenge hosted by Aentee @ Read at Midnight. It was such a cool challenge that I was so enthused about it that I made myself a huge list that accounted for all of the quests and side quests on the board, knowing that I probably wouldn’t hit many in a month but hell, might as well fill up the board with possibilities!

In the end, I took some bookstagram pics, I read a bit, I crossed a few things off my TBR, and I realized I practically meandered into sidequest land. Which, if you know me, shouldn’t be surprising. I’m the type of girl who plays games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim and starts deviating from the main quest the minute I’m given freedom to roam. (“Alright, let’s head down to the settlement to meet the–OH THERE’S SOMETHING SHINY DOWN IN THE WATER LET’S JUMP IN!”)

So I changed my class. Beep boop. And the rest is history?

In summary, I read:

Book with TV/Movie AdaptationThe Killing Joke by Alan Moore
Mini-GameMonstress, Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu
GrindDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

I started reading Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie as a Buddy Read but my friend and I realized we were not getting into the novel so decided just to DNF it, so I suppose it doesn’t count. I also started Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch but it wasn’t likely that I’d get it finished anytime soon. Well, maybe by next week, who knows.

So okay, I went up 20 experience points? All the same, it was pretty fun to play, and it definitely gave me excuse to take pretty pics of my books!

What do I do with the rest of the list, you ask? Well, I suppose I can try to keep track of it as a TBR for the foreseeable future. I mean, I’m pretty behind on most of my reading challenges minus the Goodreads one, so…who knows.

In any case, how did you guys do?

Book Traveling Thursdays: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Okay, so I have been pretty bad with TTTs lately and thought I needed a new bookish meme to post that wasn’t on a Tuesday (owing to the fact that I tend to either post a review or reblog a Fableulous Retellings post on the same day). I have seen this going around ages back and really liked the idea of looking at book covers around the world. I also love traveling, and I tend to travel vicariously through books when I’m not doing any actual traveling during the year. So, Book Traveling Thursdays it is! There’s a sizable Goodreads group you can check out for more information.

The rules are pretty simple: Pick a book that matches the week’s theme, then find different book covers of said book from around the world. Post its original cover, talk about why the book fits the theme, and then post your country’s edition(s) if applicable, as well as post favorite and least favorite covers. It sounds fun to me, so here we go!

This week’s theme coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month, so the book I had to pick involved a Latinx main character. To be honest, my first thought was The Second Guard by J.D. Vaughn for its Latin-Am inspired fantasy (and Talimendra is awesome), but there was only one book cover, so I’ll go with a book I own but haven’t read yet: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Original Cover

TGoFaT revolves around a Hispanic-inspired world, and the main character, Princess Elisa, is the younger of two princesses who is thrust into a responsibility she doesn’t think she can handle. I haven’t read the book yet, but I did have the opportunity to attend one of Rae Carson’s signings (where I got the entire trilogy signed), and she had addressed the inspiration of her world as well as the fabulous Spanish-inspired names and then-some.

US Covers

My Favorite Cover(s)

The first picture is from the German edition of TGoFaT, which I thought was pretty, since I’m normally not a person who likes models on the covers. But then of course I turn around and realize my other favorite cover is the French version, which HAS a model on the cover. But it’s still really pretty anyway. I mostly love the color in the French edition, which is a nice shade of blue-green.

My Least Favorite Cover

The Spanish edition was my least favorite because having a person’s half-face on the cover says NOTHING about the book half the time. I didn’t like it in The Uglies, and I still don’t like it here.

There were a lot of different editions I wanted to highlight as well, but if I kept on going I’d never stop, hah.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Mini Reviews: All the Light We Cannot See, Waking Gods

In truth, I could probably have written much more about both these books that could garner full reviews, but I’m pressed for time and you really don’t want me ranting about Waking Gods anyway, right? Okay, maybe you might (I rant rather rantily), but the timing issue pretty much screws things up.

Anyway, both of these were audiobooks I’d listened to in the span of a few days. They were pretty addicting, and All the Light We Cannot See was surprisingly fantastic, even though again, I would say that I probably should have taken a reviewer’s advise and stopped at around page 477. The ending…well, ended in a hopeful note much like The Book Thief did, but I found it anticlimactic and honestly, by that point, I thought the story just went on for too long.

As for Waking Gods, well. Maybe I should have read the book and not listened to the audio. The audiobook pissed me off because there were so many ingratiatingly annoying voices added into the mix, most of it being mother-effing Eva. This is supposed to be a scared 10- or 11-year-old girl but sounded like a whiny 40-year-old instead. I don’t know if I could listen to the third book knowing that Eva will be back, because holy crap, I cringed and wanted to chuck my phone out the window every single time she came into the scene (and unfortunately she becomes main in the last half hour of the damn audiobook). I’m hoping there’s a change in the voice actress in any case, though I highly doubt it, considering they’ve remained pretty consistent on both books so far.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

Fables of Arabia || 1001 Nights of Snowfall Review

Initial Thoughts:

I’m really sad that it ended! I would have loved to hear more stories that Snow told of the Fables in the early days, even though for the most part, we get a bunch of that narrative in the actual series. All the same, this was super enjoyable!

FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL

by Bill Willingham
Vertigo, October 2006
Graphic novel, fairy tales
Rated: 4.5 / 5 cookies

Traveling to Arabia as an ambassador from the exiled Fables community, Snow White is captured by the local sultan who wants to marry her (and then kill her). But clever Snow attempts to charm the sultan instead by playing Scheherazade, telling him fantastic stories for a total of 1001 nights, saving her very skin in the process.

Running the gamut from unexpected horror to dark intrigue to mercurial coming-of-age, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall reveals the secret histories of familiar Fables characters through a series of compelling and visually illustrative tales. Writer Bill Willingham is joined by an impressive array of artists from comic book industry legends to the amazing young painters of the next wave.

I will preface this review by letting you know that I am a big Fables fan. I have been since Volume 2 and I have quite literally two more volumes to go before I’m finished with the series. So it’s kind of weird that I haven’t read this particular volume until recently.

And like most of the Fables volumes I’ve read, I really enjoyed this one.

While 1001 Nights of Snowfall is listed down as book 7 of the Fables series, it’s not exactly within the series itself. I consider it a #7.5, as it were, because it really is a spinoff and standalone. It does deal with Arabian Fables, which makes sense that it was called #7, in conjunction with the actual volume 7, which is Arabian Nights (And Days).  In this particular case, though, the story takes place centuries before the actual Fables storyline.

And for those who haven’t read or want to know where to start with Fables, I’d probably recommend this volume, if only to put one’s toe into the water. That said, I would also like to make note that different artists were responsible for each story, which means Mark Buckingham, the main artist of the series, illustrated just one. I tend to point this out because varied artists usually play a part on how much I like a volume. Sometimes the fact that there are different artists takes away from my enjoyment, but other times the stories luck out because those helming the illustrations are a bunch of awesome talent.

1001 Nights of Snowfall is, fortunately, an assortment of the latter. It makes sense, considering who was recruited to fill up the pages of Willingham’s short stories. A few of the artists I’d been familiar with from previous works (Thompson, Bolland, Andrews, Buckingham of course). The others were just as great. All in all, I thought the artwork as a whole was fantastic.

But, of course, I’m biased, and most of this bias comes from the fact that Willingham’s short stories about his popular Fables characters were brought to life again on the page. Many of the backstories were fleshed out in 1001 Nights of Snowfall, including Snow’s background with Prince Charming, her fencing lessons (which come into play in Volume 19), and Bigby’s immense hatred for his father (which, to be honest, is a major part of the later Fables issues). It was also fun just to see other Fables get their origin stories, including some of my secondary favorites like Frau Totenkinder and Ambrose.

There was a lot to take in, and honestly, Snow could have kept going with her tales and I would have devoured every thing she told. But I suppose Willingham couldn’t keep going for a thousand nights and a night, haha.

4.5 out of 5 cookies!

Have you read this volume? What did you think?