⅓ of 2020 Behind Us, I’ll Give It 3 Stars

“Humans are strange. They value punishment because they think it means their actions are important—that they are important… it’s vanity.”

-Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Stairs

Considering that it’s ​13 of the way through the year and I am ​13 through my annual reading challenge, I thought I’d give an update. You’d think I’d have all the time in the world and be reading my life away… and I do, but I’m not.

Lately I’ve been slowly chipping away Foundryside, a steampunk sci-fi fantasy by Robert Jackson Bennett (​13 of the way through!). I decided to crack it open after NetGalley and Random House Publishing sent me an advanced reading copy of it’s sequel, Shorefall. Oddly enough, I’ve had a used copy of Foundryside sitting on my bookshelf for months, and I’m glad I did.

Stay tuned for my review – its a little too soon for me to form an opinion yet. What I will say is that, regardless of it previously gathering dust on my shelf, I am very pleased (so far) with Bennett’s world-building and magic system. (And how cool is that cover?)

Working from home has been a challenge in itself so I’ve given myself reading “assignments” to complete as a distraction. Turns out, assignments and deadlines make things a lot less fun! My introverted, book-loving self has found quite a bit of enjoyment in this quarantine. Despite this, I’m really not a deadline person. Being creative in the kitchen, organizing, and watching A LOT of bad TV has filled my spare time.

It’s been hard not to try to distract myself during this weird time. I’m one of the lucky ones. Working from home, healthy, and content with not going anywhere or seeing anyone for weeks on end. Still, I’ve been letting my mind wander freely away from reality. Away from the news, from how much I miss my family, from the lack of socializing. Distractions like reading and writing are helpful and keep my mental health on track.

Why do I make myself feel guilty for not reading my allotted daily chapters? Who knows! Since I’ve been taking it easy in every other way, I’ve decided to do the same for my reading. Books are my passion and my all-around favorite thing and I must find enjoyment in them again before my brain turns into a lumpy potato.

Maybe this week I’ll read another 13 of Foundryside, or maybe not. All I know is that I aim to finish it… eventually. Again, stay tuned for my review and a further update about what I have in store for the next 13 of 2020.

Grand Disaster

“On an ancient ley line, deep within Vermont’s dark forests, lives a mysterious and frightening secret…
A forbidden door to a world beyond human perception.
And three hunters are about to become the hunted.”

From Goodreads
Grand Masquerade: A Supernatural Suspense Novel by Stephen Perkins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


★★
The Grand Masquerade is an intriguing suspense novel that, at first, was very entertaining.

What I liked:
○ The cover!
○ The introductory events. The book started off like an episode of X-files. You’re thrown into an eerie landscape with an ominous cloud of the supernatural hanging over each paragraph.
○The setting. The author sets up each chapter with its own detailed sights, sounds, smells. You can really picture what the character what experiencing.

What I didn’t like:
○ The flowery language. While the descriptors were often interesting, it felt as if it was dragging on and on.
○The character development. Each character had the same manner of speaking (again, too many adjectives) and it was hard to tell them apart.
○The plot. The author drew me in in the beginning, but I found the story to be less and less believable as it went on.

All in all, this book was not what I thought it was and was hard to get through.

Thank you to NetGalley and Star Born Publishing for the advanced reading copy.



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