spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday July 3rd

img_6935It’s somehow been a fortnight already?! Time for WWW Wednesday!

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?

Heartstream by Tom Pollock
I took a break from the dystopian anthology I’ve been reading (Wastelands: The New Apocolypse edited by John Joseph Adams) to jump headfirst into this new YA thriller by Tom Pollock. I hadn’t previously read anything by Tom but the premise sounded intriguing and I’ve been thirsting for a good thriller again already after cutting my teeth on A Good Girls Guide to Murder and then The Girl in Red a bit more recently (I’m also noticing a certain colour aesthetic it seems.) I’m already just under 200 pages through despite starting it just last night and I can’t wait to see just where it goes.

What did you recently finish reading?

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I ended up really enjoying this despite the amount of time it took me to actually get through (6 months) it was worth it though and the audiobook being narrated by James Masters was a bonus. You can check out my spoiler-free review here.

The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
This was such a lovely sweet book, I found it a little predictable but enjoyed it no less for it. Heartwarming and lovely. Review coming soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

X-Men: Days of Future Past by Alex Irvine
I’m really feeling in the superheroes with powers mood at the moment and I particularly love the X-Men, I put this one off for a little longer than I planned but excited to finally get to it now.

My full TBR for July will be up tomorrow and it’s huge for me and I think probably a bit too ambitious but we’ll see. What have you been reading lately?

spoiler free, Tags

The Netflix Book Tag

Happy Thursday! My reading has been a bit lacking the past month due to being super busy with lots of D&D but also spending a lot of my free times in the evening watching Killjoys. I started watching it on Netflix so I figured the Netflix book tag today would be appropriate after I saw it on Jackie’s blog, the Bookish Coffee Blog I knew it was the one for me.

Recently watched: The Last Book you finished reading.

I just finished The Quiet at the End of the World and honestly, I’m trying to restrain myself and not read it again immediately because WOW. (Review coming next week!)

Top Picks: Book/Books that have been recommended to you based on what you’ve previously read.

I don’t really tend to pay attention to books I get recommended by websites very often because often I already know about them but I do remember being recommended Illuminae by everyone and everything before I finally picked it up. I’m not proud of it and I wish I had listened earlier.

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Recently Added: The Last book that you brought.

With work being a little sparse on the ground at the moment I’ve been buying a lot fewer books but there are some that I had already preordered or that I considered must-buys, one such book was The Wicked King by Holly Black and it was totally and utterly worth it. Also while writing this my husband has just informed he has brought Slayer for us both to read ❤

Popular on Netflix: Books that everyone knows about (2 you’ve read and 2 you have no interest in reading).

For the first popular book I’ve read I’ve chosen A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness as now the TV show has aired a lot more people know about it. I’ve only read the first book and I do plan to get around to the second when my schedule isn’t quite so busy!

Secondly, I’ve chosen A Court of Thorns and Roses as this book reignited my journey back into reading YA and I’m not sure I would be writing this blog right now if I hadn’t read it. It’s not my favourite book or series by far but it feels especially pivotal to me for many reasons.

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As for the books I have no interest in reading I often don’t remember the names because I have no interest in them, to be honest so I found this one difficult but picked 13 reasons why (thank you to Jackie for inspiring me here), I don’t think it’s my kind of book at all and Bloodwitch because despite how much I wanted to like Truthwitch and Windwitch I just couldn’t get on with them.

As for a second book I decided to check out “what’s popular on Goodreads” to see what is supposedly popular as I just go off my twitter feed otherwise and they are total book buying enablers >.< The first one I saw that I have no interest in reading was Children of Blood and Bone. I had a passing interest in it when I first heard about it and now it’s been so long that I’m not especially bothered about reading it now when I have so much else I need to read.

Comedies: A funny book

I don’t really read many books that would be considered especially funny but Nimona did make me laugh out loud a lot so that one takes the win for me.

Dramas: A character that is a drama Queen/King

Mal. Mal from the Grisha trilogy, he did my head in and I couldn’t stand his whining and pinning.

Animated: A book with cartoons on the cover

I thought I would pick a non-comic one for this as that would be too easy and this is technically a novel and not a comic…it’s just based around a comic book character…kind of so that doesn’t entirely count right? I adored the artwork for the cover of Captain Marvel: Liberation Run and this was the one that immediately sprung to mind, the back cover especially I really liked.

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Watch it again:
A book/book series you want to reread

I know I’ve already mentioned it and it gets mentioned in almost every single book tag that I do but I’m desperate to reread the Illuminae Files series again, I’ve been occasionally listening to the Audio Books when I’m avoiding finishing Queen of Air and Darkness at the moment.

Documentaries: A non-fiction book you’d reccomend to everyone

Do art books count? Because I love art books, especially about my favourite video games. I don’t really read many other non-fiction books. Maybe the Princess Diaries by Carrie Fisher? I really loved that.

Action and Adventure: An action packed book

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, I don’t always follow action especially well in books, especially when it’s fast-paced but the aerial fight scenes in Skyward really stood out to me, they made sense and were described in a way that it was nice and easy to imagine it in the minds eye while reading, I found the language varied well and didn’t repeat too much either which can happen sometimes I feel, when the same activity is repeated more than a couple of times in books (see The Belles – if I ever hear about bei power again I swear…). Anyway although it’s not all action, all the time I did feel there was a healthy amount of it and certainly enough for me to class it as being action packed while still maintaining a good story.

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New Releases: A book that just came out or will be coming out soon that you can’t wait to read

Aurora Rising…becasue obviously. Like this one needs explaining?

book reviews, book talk, dungeons and dragons, spoiler free

Dungeons and Dragons: Endless Quest Books

This week I’m excited to review something that brings some of my favourite things together, books, Dungeons and Dragons and Choose your own adventure. These style of interactive gamebooks rose to popularity in the ’70s and ’80s, such as Lone Wolf, Fighting Fantasy and Find your Fate as well as the most well known, Choose Your Own Adventure books. The idea was that not everyone had the friend or means to be able to play Dungeons and Dragons and other RPG’s like it but still longed for that style of personal, decision-based storytelling that has become so addictive and these books were a great way to capture some of that magic.

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In 1982, the original publishers of Dungeons and Dragons saw these books as an opportunity to bring in new players and so they too released their own series of books, titled Endless Quest, which were more about the story than combat like the Lone Wolf books for example. Now with the rising popularity of Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop roleplaying games) thanks, in part, to the success of shows like Critical Role and High Rollers as well as the more open “geek culture” we enjoy today the Endless Quest books have returned! Penned by American writer and game designer, Matt Forbeck, new books were released in September last year as hardbacks aimed mainly at a middle-grade audience, although easily accessible and enjoyable by anyone with an interest in Dungeons and Dragons. The four books feature unique storylines in a multitude of popular D&D settings such as the dangerous, winding Underdark and the murky streets of Waterdeep while each one also focuses on a particular class, these four in particular star a fighter, a cleric, a wizard and a rogue.

Two of our friends gifted us the set as a Christmas present and I’ve loved reading through them multiple times! They feature brilliant art like that you find throughout the source books for D&D and although they seem small each adventure is packed with choices giving the reader multiple outcomes, not all of which are good.

38398948To Catch a Thief – Rogue
When you tried to pick the pocket of a civilar in the night-shrouded streets of Waterdeep, you never thought she’d catch you — and you never dreamed she’d force you into her service. Now you must find the baby griffon stolen by the beholder Xanathar, leader of the city’s powerful Thieves’ Guild. And if you should fail . . . you can count on spending the rest of your life behind bars, rogue. 

To Catch a Thief was the first of the four I read as I play/have played a good few Rogues in my time and it seemed a good place to start. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of art inside these books and reading about some of the popular characters from the Waterdeep campaign was a lot of fun. In my first read, I made it about three quarters through before I met my untimely demise but made it through the second time fairly easily. The story didn’t feel especially limited to a Rogue to me but enjoyable nether the less.

38398950Big Trouble – Wizard
When evil giants attack your home in Ardeep Forest, your parents think you’re dead and they go hunting for your missing little brother. You wake up and set out after them, helped by a giant wizard who lives in a flying tower. You don’t know where they’ve gone, but you know that if you don’t find them, you’re all in big trouble. Wield your magic wisely against the giants, wizard.

I died pretty early on in Big trouble to my absolute shock. I don’t play a lot of spell caster classes in the game and I often tend to forget just how squishy some of them can be. I found this one to be the hardest by far and died about four or five times, I did manage to survive twice but with unsatisfactory endings and a pretty good one. Despite having now read through Big Trouble at least eight times I’m fairly certain there’s still more to discover and plan to give it a few more tries still! This one felt a lot more suited to the chosen class of Wizard, although I definitely think it would fit an arcane trickster rogue too and as my favourite rogue archetype, this made me pretty happy.

38398947Escape the Underdark – Fighter
You awaken in an underground cell, stripped of your armor and your sword. Your fellow prisoners inform you that you’re trapped in the Underdark, soon to be taken to the great drowcity of Menzoberranzan and sold off as a slave. But word is that demons are stirring in the underworld’s depth. Perhaps you can use that to break free, fighter.

I love all things Underdark and as expected this is one of my favourites, unlike with the first two I read I found I actually got attached to the two characters who accompanied me which I hadn’t expected and after making two choices that led to my death it was third time lucky and got the best ending of any of the four books I’ve experienced. Although this is the Fighter book though I really didn’t think there was much that was hugely fighter specific to it but it was hugely entertaining even still.

38398952Into the Jungle – Cleric
The Harpers have lost one of their own, a legendary adventurer named Artus Cimber, keeper of the artifact known as the Ring of Winter. They’ve hired you to travel to the jungle-clad land of Chult to find him. If only you can manage to find Cimber before the frost giants do — or the zombies that infest the land get you first. You’re in the jungle now, cleric.

I’m not really a fan of dwarves and I’ve never been too sure of clerics but Into the Jungle totally won me over and is my favourite of the bunch. In one of the games of D&D, I play with friends we’ve had our fair share of run-ins with undead creatures and necromancy which I think added another level to this story for me. I only had to go back on one choice to accomplish the task my character had set out to complete but the journey there was heartbreaking and done so very well,. Into the Jungle definitely fit my style of storytelling more and not only had a brilliant and evocative storyline (in my playthrough at least) but also felt the most right and fitting for it’s chosen class.

In conclusion, I found the new series of Endless Quest books to be well worth the read and are a great way to dip your toe into the world of Dungeons and Dragons or to get you by until your next game session. Published by Studio Press Books, all four of these are available now and I’m hoping we’ll get some more classes in the near future. I would especially love to see Ranger, Warlock and Bard ones in particular!