Must Be Monday, spoiler free

Must be Monday – NaNoWriMo Week Three

unboxing
I’m still here! I’ve somehow made it through to week three of NaNoWriMo!! I’m at the over halfway mark now and somehow I’m still going! Honestly, I’m shocked that I’ve been keeping more or less on track with my word goals somehow which I’m pretty pleased with seeing as in addition to writing my NaNoWriMo project I’m also trying to keep up with my reading as a load of great new books just came out and I’m taking part in a blog tour early in December as well as unexpectedly running a dungeons and dragons campaign a little earlier than I had intended which will require a lot more planning than first thought on top of the usual being a parent and adulting etc so I’m pretty proud of myself.

In fact, when I got stuck Saturday night I actually went easily above and beyond my word count goal after trying to write a hard scene in which the main character essentially suffers a panic attack without suffering from a panic attack myself so I switched to a point I wanted to happen further on in the book and went nuts.

My goal now is really just to keep going. Even when I write more than I need I’m still trying to keep the same daily goal of 1.67k which is providing a helpful buffer on days where it’s just too busy to get much done. I’ve also decided to give myself an incentive for reaching 50k in the form of the new Star Wars game that just came out because it looks beautiful!

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? If so let me know how you’re getting on! Happy writing folks!

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books I wanna snuggle with

Six for Sunday
This prompt is absolutely perfect. As I sit writing this I am currently in my comfiest PJ’s wearing my snuggliest pair of bed-socks and I’ve just managed to spend an entire hour snuggled up with a blanket and a book in my reading corner and let me tell it was pure bliss. I’ve found recently that I was snatching time to read books wherever and whenever I could, reading a few pages at a time etc but a couple of days ago I decided no matter how busy I get, no matter just how much I have to do, I am going to get comfortable and I’m going to spend at least half an hour on my sofa in the evening, in my reading room with a book, just reading and chilling out. Let me tell you, it’s only been a few days but I just feel so much more relaxed and calmer for it. I cannot recommend it enough. So now that I’ve enlightened you let’s crack on with books I wanna snuggle with.

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
My copy of the last book (I think?) in the folk of the air series came early and it’s taking all of my willpower right now not to just immediately devour the entire damn thing. I’m currently reading a book for a blog tour in early December so I need to finish that and I’d promised to buddy read it with a friend who hasn’t received their copy yet and is away for the weekend. As a result, I’ve asked my husband to hide the book somewhere I can’t find or get to it because I have no willpower. This morning I found it on top of our board games which live on my bookshelves, it’s the highest point in our flat and I can’t reach it. Smart guy! So what I’m trying to say is that I would really love to snuggle up and read this damn book right now.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
This is a prime snuggling up book, there are so many lovely sweet moments and it’s such an easy book to just fall into it’s absolutely perfect.

Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse
Much like with Queen of Nothing this is a book I desperately want to read as soon as I can. I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since it was announced and I can think of nothing better than snuggling up with a long-awaited book,

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
This is one of my favourite reads of the past few years and a book I would happily read again, this definitely feels like it would be a good book to snuggle up with on a cold night just thinking about it is making me want to reread it!

Finding Home by Hari Conner
Another brilliant graphic novel and quite possibly my favourite I’ve ever read. The slow burn is SO on point that I cannot explain and the art is absolutely exquisite. I could read this anywhere but I feel like snuggled up in bed is probably the best to enjoy it.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Another book that I tend to enjoy rereading which is weird because I actually hated it the first time I read it. I think this one might be interchangeable with A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury as well as these are all books that hold a lot of nostalgia for me I think nostalgia and nice, warm comfy blankets are a good combination,

I feel like I need to crawl back into bed with a good book now! What books do you love to snuggle up with?

Events, spoiler free

London MCM Comic Con Report – October 2019

event report

Better late than never right? I attended the Sunday of London MCM Comic Con at the end of October and I thought I should finally get around to writing a report. For the first time in years, I didn’t take loads of pictures and I didn’t vlog at all so I just got to enjoy the con as it was which was lovely and I found I actually got a lot less stressed. That being said I’m debating not going next year and attending Thought Bubble instead but we shall see, anyway on with the report!

Having originally planned to go on my own I managed to persuade one of my friends and my mum to come along with me. My mum has just got back into Dungeons and Dragons and basically, I wanted to essentially take her dice shopping. This was fun and not only was the journey a lot better with company and by car but it was fun having others to chat to and generally geek out excitedly at things.

As I have done the past few years I started off and spent most of my time in the Comic Village/Artists Alley section of the convention. I wanted to place a couple of commissions and decided first thing was probably a good idea. We came back here a lot because this is easily my favourite part of the convention in recent years. A lot of things in the con are mass-produced and easy to find and buy online and are there year after year so it tends to become the same thing every year. In the comic village, although a lot of the artists are the same this actually works in their favour I think as I go in knowing exactly what stands I want to check out because I know I love their work and almost every convention they have something new, whether it be a new issue of their self published comic, or new prints, accessories or the like. Walking around this area of the con just really feels the most friendly and I adore it.  As you can see below too, pretty much my entire haul of goodies is from here too!

We trawled the usual stands like Magic Madhouse, Critit and Firestorm Cards etc that sell the most dungeons and dragons items such as miniatures, books and most importantly DICE. We all brought at least one set of dice each (with most of us getting two), my mum was pleased to find some mini’s that would represent her character in our game nicely and I did my best to resist all of the Descent into Avernus blind box minis because I have a problem.

We stopped off for a late lunch (we didn’t even get in until just gone 12) and a break outside where the weather actually wasn’t bad for an October con which was a pleasant surprise. Returning inside, at last, we swung back around to pick up our commissions and a few last-minute items before heading to the PS4 area where they had playable demo’s for the new Final Fantasy VII remake. Initially, I had gone to rub it in my husbands face that I had got to play it while also reassuring him that it was good but after getting into FFXV recently I was actually quite excited to play it just for me! The Demo was actually really good and I love what they’ve done with the combat system. Not to mention it was so nice to hear everything being voice acted. We were the second from last group to get to play so I’m glad we headed over when we did. Queue getting my picture taken with an 8kg replica of Cloud’s buster sword next.

The Con was then drawing to a close, I managed to meet up with a friend who I play D&D with online which was really awesome and we all made a collective dash for the chocolate stand we had all been eyeing up over lunch and got hot chocolates and chocolate-covered strawberries (this has been a con staple for me for the last three years) which we then devoured in the car park while waiting for it to empty out enough for us to leave.

We then played Dungeons and Dragons for three and a half hours once we got back. I slept very very well that night. It was a good convention but as I mentioned earlier I think I might try a different convention next year like Thought Bubble which is a lot more art-based. Did you attend MCM London Comic Con this year? If so what did you get up to? Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here for Six for Sunday in a couple of days!

book reviews, Older books, spoiler free

Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder

Book Review

42756706._SY475_Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder

Audiobook narrated by Gabra Zackman

Rating: XXXX

Published December 1st 2018 by Maria V. Snyder

“There’s this girl, she’s like a comet – makes the rest of the galaxy seem dull in comparison.”

Terra Cotta Warriors have been discovered on other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. And Lyra Daniels’ parents are the archaeological Experts (yes with a capital E) on the Warriors and have dragged her to the various planets to study them despite the time dilation causing havoc with her social life.

When one of the many Warrior planets goes silent, and looters attack her research base, Lyra becomes involved in discovering why the Warriors were placed on these planets. And, more importantly, by who. 

I first read the first book in Maria’s new Sentinels of the Galaxy series, Navigating the Stars last year. Maria has been one of my favourite authors for a very long time and this month, to celebrate the release of of the second book in the Sentinels of the Galaxy, Chasing the Shadows coming out in under two weeks I decided I would reread the first book, Navigating the Stars via audiobook.

Maria has written in this particular genre before but this time feels very different, we get a lot more tech, world-building and space travel in Navigating the Stars then we did with the Outside/Inside series, I believe Lyra is a little older than Trella and their priorities and dynamics are very different. The blending of futuristic technology on faraway planets with archaeology feels right and I could honestly have read even more about the whole process and I couldn’t get enough of the mystery and wonder surrounding these Terra Cotta Warriors and their unexplained presence throughout the galaxy.

I liked most of the characters but didn’t feel a huge attachment to loads of them. Lyra is seventeen but sometimes feels a little younger but I understand that because although I’m thirty honestly I sound a bit like Lyra at times. She’s a bit snarky, very sarcastic and has a knack for getting into trouble, there are a few moments where she effectively breaks the fourth wall and sort of addresses the reader which it took a little while to get used to but honestly I kind of liked it after a while and made it feel like me and Lyra were friends. She certainly made some questionable choices but they always make sense for her character. Gabra Zackman was a perfect choice for the audiobook narration, she really captures Lyra’s snark and in my reread thanks to her I ended up spitting half of a glass of orange juice across my lounge.

I love the world-building for this book, the idea of effectively crinkling space to travel across large distances was explained really well with two different ways of measuring someone’s age as a result which was an interesting concept. I love the Q-net and the way users, especially wormers (like hackers) are able to navigate it, one of my favourite parts being the star roads within the Q-net. Then we get a whole other set of lore surrounding the warrior pits themselves and the things that lurk within but I won’t give anything away!

Navigating the Stars is already out now and it’s sequel Chasing the Shadows officially launches November 18th (my review is coming next Tuesday on the 19th!). You can pre-order the Kindle edition on Amazon now buuuuuut if you want the paperback Maria sneakily made them available to order RIGHT NOW!

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books with Blue Covers

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! Today’s prompt from the lovely Steph at A Little But A lot is “Books with Blue Covers.” Most of my book covers tend to be on the darker side but I feel like blue is pretty achievable so let’s take a look!

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
This was one of my favourites and most memorable reads as a young child, I liked the differences between the two princesses and even though I absolutely identified with the strong-willed, dark-haired princess who  enjoyed sword fighting this was an important lesson for me where I realised you didn’t have to be strong or physically tough to be brave. I still love sword fighting more than embroidery though not gonna lie.

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
One of my current favourite reads and peak Lauren James. This book is super interesting with important themes and a slightly different but fun format that really allowed the story to unfold by layers that worked really well. Not to mention, as always, THAT TWIST. Cannot explain how much I love this gorgeous book.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Another departure from my usual reading habits, again I picked this contemporary up due to liking the authors’ previous work which was in-fact another contemporary! Summer Bird Blue is a beautiful, interesting and enjoyable read that had me in tears multiple times!

Blue Salt Road by Joanne Harris
Another beautiful poetic fairy tale by Mrs Harris, like A Pocketful of Crows this tale is inspired by the Child Ballads and feels just as iconic, this time though we follow the path of a selkie. I was always fascinated with selkies as a child so this was a fantastic read for me.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Speaking of beautiful poetic prose, Strange the Dreamer reads like a five hundred and thirty-six page poem and has a gorgeous blue and gold cover to boot. This was also the very first book that I had ever since and/or brought with sprayed edges and it changed my whole world.

The Extinction Trials by S.M Wilson
Described as The Hunger Games with dinosaurs and I gotta say I usually hate those stickers that say things like that plastered all over books but honestly it’s pretty damn accurate and a trilogy I absolutely love.

So all done and dusted for another week! Apologies for being a little slow getting back to comments at the moment as I’m either doing the being a parent thing (and it’s been a busy week for meetings – yay) writing frantically or reading just as frantically because oh my GOSH there are so many great books coming out right now and honestly I just want to read them all. Are there any books coming out right now that you’re super excited to get to reading?

spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – November 2019

tbr Thursday
Okay so it seems forever since Octobers TBR post for some reason although I did only get around to reading one of the books on that massive list I made, I was definitely far too ambitious and underestimated how busy a month it would be. As a result, this months TBR is much smaller, especially because on top of everything I’m also taking part in NaNoWriMo which is taking up almost all of my free time to be honest (I feel like I haven’t seen my FFXV boys in YEARS and none of my animal crossing villagers like me anymore). Still, these are the books I still hope to be able to read this month.

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
If you caught my WWW Wednesday post yesterday you’ll know that this is my current read. I’m lucky enough to have been granted an early e-book copy ready for the release which is fast approaching now! It’s been a great read so far and I’m finding it very hard to put it down, even more so than Navigating the Stars.

CTRL S by Andy Briggs
I believe I mentioned this in my last two WWW Wednesday posts but the book took a little longer to arrive than I thought it would BUT it’s here now and will definitely be my next read! CTRL S is apparently perfect for fans of Ready Player One and follows Theo Wilson as he searches the dark side on an online universe for his kidnapped mother in a world where people are harvested for their emotions.

The Sky Weaver by Kristen Cicarelli
A second sequel/companion story to The Last Namsara which I LOVED to pieces! I can’t wait for the next instalment and was so happy to find this on NetGalley by accident a little while ago! I of course also have my copy pre-ordered and have already received my beautiful pre-order goodies, these gorgeous art cards featuring characters from the books!

Dewdrop by Katie O’Neil
This is another early copy I received via Netgalley and is a children’s story about an Axolotl I can’t wait to read and hoping my little one will share with me!

I also have some comics and graphic novels I’m hoping to get around to reading too but we’ll see how things go although all bets are off if the newest copy of NPC Tea arrives because I am in DIRE NEED folks. Have a great weekend and I’ll hopefully see you back here Sunday if I don’t drown under my word count goal!

 

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday November 6th 2019

www wednesday
It’s been a fortnight already which is crazy, I felt like my last one of these posts was only a few days ago! It must be NaNoWriMo brain (check out my latest NaNo post here to see how I’m getting on). Still, I’m here and I’ve at least done SOME reading in between frantically writing so here’s my fortnightly check-in! Its scarily very similar to last fortnights check-in  but shhh.

If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m working my way through Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder again at the moment! Still so grateful to have been given the chance to read this early and I’m really enjoying it so far!! It’s been really hard to put down. I know I was reading this for my last post a fortnight ago but I had some problems with my phone (where I’ve been reading it) charging really slowly so opted to read a paperback until I could get it fixed. Good news is the problem is sorted and I’m flying through this now!

What did you recently finish reading?

Unexpectedly, I ended up reading A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas which hadn’t been planned at all but after watching the latest teaser trailer from the lovely folks at The Starfall Court (check it out here) I was desperate to delve into that world again and this short novella of sorts was absolutely perfect and just what I needed. You can check out my review that went live on Tuesday here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

With any luck this time I’ll actually read CTRL S by Andy Briggs next. It arrived a little later than I thought it would so I wasn’t able to start it but it’s absolutely next on my list although my review might not be up for a little while yet as I’m taking part in a blog tour a little later on so keep your eyes peeled!

If you’re interested in what else I plan to read this month then never fear as tomorrow is the first Thursday of the month and therefore time for my monthly TBR Thursday post which is looking a little thin for a change but hopefully all the more manageable for it!