• Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

    So, Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, was quite a bit better than it’s predecessor, Heir of Fire. This was honestly kind of a relief for me, all considered, but in the end Queen of Shadows was still a little bit of a let-down. It just doesn’t live up to the bar set by the first two books in the series. Heir of Fire had some pretty big pacing problems, but character development still rang very true. For Queen of Shadows, it was like the problem flipped, and ultimately we’re denied the kind of well-rounded narrative that we got in Crown of Midnight. Before we…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman (Spoiler-free)

    Scythe by Neal Shusterman has a premise that hooked me instantly. The idea of humans living in a post mortality world where population control must be deliberate, and the philosophical and ethical dilemmas that would naturally come with having to make such choices to me seemed tremendously interesting. In practical application, however? Chunks of this book ended up falling a bit flat for me. Detached to Serve a Purpose One of the big reasons Scythe occasionally turned into a little bit of a slog was the overall sense of detachment that the narrative has. The main characters read as very one-dimensional, and the prose itself even feels sort of clinical…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    2017 Reading Rundown

    2017 has been an interesting one in terms of my goals, and what I’ve achieved, particularly when it comes to reading. Strangely enough, 2017 was the first year in a very long time that I didn’t have a specific reading goal on my resolution list, and yet somehow, it has been the year in which I’ve managed to get my act together most. (I’m sure that says something that I’m not ready to face about the usefulness and benefit of my resolution making, but meh, I’m just going to keep ignoring that fact for now.) Why I Stopped Reading Fiction, And How I Turned It Around Now, as a kid…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    So, for all the years that Outlander has been on the shelves, I’ve spent a great deal of time circling around it in bookstores, only to ultimately walk out without it. I’ve always found the premise intriguing, but so much of what I hear from people who love it always gave me pause. I like romance plotlines, but have never really enjoyed romance as a genre. I always prefer to take my romance with heavy doses of adventure, or sci-fi, or mystery, or really anything. Basically, I like my romance as a side-dish instead of the main course. And honestly? So much of what I heard about this book made…

  • Book Love,  Lists,  Magpie Reviews

    #ReadWomenMonth Reading Wrap-Up

    Participating in StasiaLikesCakes’ Read Women Month was a really fun, fulfilling, and enlightening experience. I did both the Instagram challenge (see that wrap-up here), and the reading challenge, and in the process read 9 books, reacquainted myself with reading fiction regularly, and learned a lot about my reading preferences and habits. I realized how much I miss just reading for the sake of entertainment, and discovered some great series and authors. So what’d I read? Well, because I ended up going through so many books, I’m not going to review each and every one here. I will be doing full reviews on a few of them in the future (I’ve…

  • Book Love,  Lists,  Magpie Reviews

    #ReadWomenMonth Instagram Challenge Wrap-Up

    Today marks the end of #ReadWomenMonth, and not only did I pledge to read only female authors this month (wrap-up on that coming soon), but I also participated in the Instagram challenge – as best I could anyway. So today, I’m wrapping the month up with a compilation of all my Instagram posts over the course of the challenge. It’s been a blast participating in this, even though I didn’t hit every day of the challenge (mainly because my book collection is split between my apartment and storage). In addition to totally being down to do this again next year, it’s also definitely made some differences in how I choose…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    I’ll be honest, I started out not really feeling this book. I picked it up on a whim after one too many times seeing it in the bookstore and reading one too many internet reviews just raving about how good it was, but I wasn’t super excited about it. The description on the back cover of the main character, Celaena, sounded just a bit too… ugh. As described in the blurb, she sounded just a bit too much like some of the cringy Mary Sues that had dominated my middle school attempts at writing fantasy. Always blonde, always perfect, always a super-duper badass warrior and super tough, but still absolutely…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Magpie Reviews: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

    This book… Well… I guess I don’t know precisely how to start this? Because this book is controversial. I read it specifically because I’ve been seeing controversy pop up all over the place and I’m a sucker for a good debate like that. And I don’t really know how to approach this review, because to be honest? After reading it, I don’t really have much to say. There’s no denying that it deals with some super important things, and there’s no denying that these things are things that we as a society NEED to have open, honest conversations about. But in the end I felt kind of meh about the…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Lirael by Garth Nix

    I’ve got to be honest here – this one was a bit of a slog. After how much I enjoyed Sabriel, how compelled I was to keep reading and finish to see what happened, Lirael was a bit of a let down. It’s almost as if Nix sort of saw the failings of Sabriel (lack of solid character development before the plot goes racing off) and then overcorrected in the next book, because in Lirael there’s almost too much. We spend sooooo much time just kind of sitting with the characters before any serious motion begins to kick in with the plot that it gets tedious at points. And that…

  • Life,  Magpie Reviews,  Magpie Writes,  Video Games

    So… Horizon Zero Dawn Feels Really Important.

    So buckle up, birdies, because this post is going to be a little… all over the place. I don’t quite have my thoughts fully sorted on this matter, nor have I finished the game yet… but the bottom line is that Horizon Zero Dawn feels really important to me and I feel like I need to tell someone. As far as video games go, it’s pretty impressive for all the typical reasons games can be impressive. The visuals are beyond beautiful, the soundtrack is great, the battle mechanics are interesting and unique, the enemies are legitimately terror inducing, and even on the easiest difficultly level (because while I love video…