#SciFiMonth: Amanda’s Science Fiction Audiobook Recommendations

SciFiMonth 2021 (1-30 November): Words full of hope and threat, like the stars
ARTWORK by Liu Zishan from 123RF.com
QUOTE from Babylon’s Ashes by James S A Corey

Hello, lovelies! Last year, I recommended audiobooks (find that post here!) I have read some really great audiobooks since then, so, I thought I would do another science fiction audiobook recommendations list.

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Unchosen by Katharyn Blair
“For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice. The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister. The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters. Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse. When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner. The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found. But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world. Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.”

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown
“Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.”

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Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey
“In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity
“That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”
Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her—a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.”

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Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
“THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD MIN comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds. When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name. Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.”

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Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds
“Jamal’s best friend, Q, doesn’t know he’s about to die . . . again. He also doesn’t know that Jamal tried to save his life, rescuing him from drowning only to watch Q die later in the hospital. Even more complicated, Jamal and Q haven’t been best friends in two years—not since Jamal’s parents died in a car accident, leaving him and his sister to carry on without them. Grief swallowed Jamal whole, and he blamed Q for causing the accident. But what if Jamal could have a second chance? An impossible chance that would grant him the opportunity to say goodbye to his best friend? A new health-care technology allows Q to be reanimated—brought back to life like the old Q again. But there’s a catch: Q will only reanimate for a short time before he dies . . . forever. Jamal is determined to make things right with Q, but grief is hard to shake. And he can’t tell Q why he’s suddenly trying to be friends with him again. Because Q has no idea that he died, and Q’s mom is not about to let anyone ruin the miracle by telling him. How can Jamal fix his friendship with Q if he can’t tell him the truth?”

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Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
“Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead. For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.”

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The Last 8 by Laura Pohl
“Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn’t among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it. When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she’s shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they’re all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she’s greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth. Only they aren’t the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn’t know what to believe…or who to trust.”

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Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
“When an Earth-like planet is discovered, a team of six teens, along with three veteran astronauts, embark on a twenty-year trip to set up a planet for human colonization—but find that space is more deadly than they ever could have imagined.
Have you ever hoped you could leave everything behind?
Have you ever dreamt of a better world?
Can a dream sustain a lifetime?

A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the twentieth century’s space-race. And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives. It will take the team twenty-three years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years locked in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong.
And something always goes wrong.”

These are some science fiction audiobooks that I’ve enjoyed since last year. Do you have any sci-fi audiobooks that you’ve loved recently?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Fifteen: 17 Audiobooks to Read in October

Hello, lovelies! We all know that I love audiobooks. But I think spooky audiobooks are my favorite. I have delved into horror in the past year. I’ve also started listening to more than just contemporary books on audio. So, I thought it would be fun to share some audiobook recommendations that I think would be great for spooky season.

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Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
This is one of my favorite horror stories and will be forever I think. It was suspenseful even thought it was so obvious what was going to happen. I loved the audiobook so much.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
Sapphic elemental witches that live in Salem. Do you even need to know more?

A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
This audiobook has a bit of mixed media. So, we get some interviews with multiple narrators. I also just liked the story. I didn’t guess where the story was going or what the big twist was.

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The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
This was one of the first books I read in 2021 and I absolutely devoured it. The story was creepy and atmospheric. I was easily invested in the characters and their journey.

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey
A girl gang of witches kill a boy and try to cover it up. This book is hit or miss for many. It was a miss for me. But I really enjoyed the audiobook and for those that will love it, it’s perfect for October.

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They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman
A murder mystery at a fancy prep school. I didn’t like most of the characters, but I did like the main character. I liked the setting of the school and I liked the not-so-secret society that plays a large role in this story.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
I love Stevie and her friends with my whole heart. I just recently finished The Box in the Woods (the newest installment which is a standalone mystery).

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The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney
This book was weird as hell. I’ve also not seen a single person talking about it. But I really liked the narrator for this book. I was absolutely gripped by the story. I highly recommend this completely bizarre story that I really enjoyed.

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
I love this whole series. Most of the books have different narrators, so I chose to highlight my favorite one. It’s also an excellent story for October if you’re looking for a bit of a darker story.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe
This was a tough story. It deals with grief, chronic pain after an injury, drug addiction, and solving the mystery of who killed Sophie’s best friend.

Sadie by Courtney Summers
If you haven’t heard of this audiobook before, you’ve probably been living under a rock. It’s told from Sadie’s point of view while she’s looking for her sister, but it’s also told via a podcast following the path that Sadie took. It’s an absolutely incredible audiobook.

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What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo
What an odd werewolf story. I really had no idea where the story or plot was going for such a long time. It did get there in the end and I totally think that listening to the audiobook kept me going until the end. The narrator did a great job.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
A queer Latinx story about Yadriel trying to prove to his father that he is meant to be a Brujo. But at the same time, Yadriel is falling in love with a ghost. I really enjoyed this one as have many others.

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For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
I believe this is supposed to be a Red Riding Hood retelling of sorts. I absolutely adored this story. The fantasy and the magic were really well done. It was mysterious and suspenseful. The romance was to die for. I will go to the grave batting for Red and Eammon.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Angry, vengeful ghosts at a motel that are trying to help reveal a serial killer? But also a missing person mystery. There’s even a really great friendship and a romance that I thought totally fit into the story. But mostly I just wondered are there really ghosts or is there another explanation?

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
I realized this year that I really like the “ghosts or a logical explanation” trope. This one was excellently drawn out and suspenseful. It also includes a spooky ass murder house, a man that wrote a false memoir, and a girl that isn’t afraid to use some power tools.

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The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
This was not an easy read at all. It follows a court case surrounding a high school girl being raped. But it also follows the story of a girl who was used, abused, and then murdered 20-something years ago in the same town. We learn all the details via Rachel Krall, who creates a true crime podcast in which she’s covering the current court case.

These are some of my favorite audiobooks. They’re all stories that I would recommend for the spooky season. What audiobooks would you recommend?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Favorite Audiobook Narrators

Hi, lovelies! Audiobooks have been keeping me afloat this year, so far. I’ve not been feeling in the mood to read any of my physical books or any of the books I have on my Kindle. So, obviously I’ve been listening non-stop to audiobooks from my library. If you’re an audiobook lover like me, I highly recommend you see what apps your local library (if you have one) has available for you to listen to books for free! I want to talk about some of my absolute favorite audiobook narrators. I have a few new ones and a few that I’ve listened to almost everything they’ve narrated. I’m going to share the books they’ve narrated that I’ve listened to and the books they’ve narrated that are still on my TBR. I will not be including books that I read in a different format, as I did learn about quite a few books I love were narrated by some of my favorite narrators. Let’s get into it.

Rebecca Soler

Books I’ve Read
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Sadie by Courtney Summers

Books Still on my TBR
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan

Kate Rudd

Books I’ve Read
Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Books Still on my TBR
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

Bahni Turpin

Books I’ve Read
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

Books Still on my TBR
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
This is my America by Kim Johnson

Kyla Garcia

Books I’ve Read
We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
The Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

Books Still on my TBR
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia

Christine Lakin

Books I’ve Read
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Books Still on my TBR
Parasite by Mira Grant
Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

Michael Crouch

Books I’ve Read
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan
Black Wings Beating by Alex London
Red Skies Falling by Alex London

Books Still on my TBR
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos
Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan

Shayna Small

Books I’ve Read
All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Books Still on my TBR
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Soneela Nankani

Books I’ve Read
Pandava Quartet by Roshani Chokshi
The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakroborty
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
Internment by Samira Ahmed

Books Still on my TBR
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
The Mother Code by Carole Stivers

Julia Whelan

Books I’ve Read
Educated by Tara Westover
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Vox by Christina Dalcher
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Rules for Being a Girl by Candance Bushnell & Katie Cotugno

Books Still on my TBR
Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
Muse by Brittany Cavallaro
The Wife Between Us by Sarah Pekkanen & Greer Hendricks

Fiona Hardingham

Books I’ve Read
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton

Books Still on my TBR
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
A Treason of Thorns by Laura Weymouth
Anna and the Apocolypse by Katharine Turner

Rasha Zamamiri

Books I’ve Read
Mirage by Somaiya Daud
Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

Elizabeth Acevedo

Books I’ve Read
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Tim Gerard Reynolds

Books I’ve Read
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Morning Star by Pierce Brown
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
Dark Age by Pierce Brown

A.J. Beckles & Preston Butler III

Books I’ve Read
Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds

These are the narrators that have read books I’ve really loved. I can absolutely say that these narrators made me love these books even more than I would have if I had read these books in another format. These are also the audiobook I hope to listen to in the near future.

Who are your favorite audiobook narrators?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Favorite Audiobooks of 2020

Hi, lovelies! I read 85 audiobooks in 2020. Some of them were absolutely incredible and I knew I needed to make a separate list of favorite audiobooks so that I could share and recommend them to you all. Some of them may be on a list I’ve already posted or on one that’s coming later this month, but being on more than one of my lists is how you know it was just that good. Now, I am pretty pick about what kinds of audiobooks I like. I prefer narrators that do different voices for different characters. My favorite thing is full cast audiobooks. But I do sometimes find audiobooks that just have one narrator that does an incredible job telling the story. This list is a combination of those.

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh

The Last 8 by Laura Pohl

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell & Katie Cotugno

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

Internment by Samira Ahmed

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds

There we have it, friends. These are all of my favorite audiobooks that I listened to in 2020. Now, I did reread a few series via audio but I didn’t include those on here. What audiobooks did you listen to in 2020 that really blew you away?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

GoodReads Summary:
Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.
But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.
A Song Below WaterReview:
I loved everything about this book. A Song Below Water follows Tavia and Effie, two girls that have adopted one another as sisters. I think that was my favorite part of this story. The relationship that Tavia and Effie have was so wonderful. They may not have been sisters by blood, but they were sisters in every way that counts. This was absolutely the highlight of the book. But there were so many other things I loved.
Tavia is a siren. This is something she really struggles with. It’s a part of her identity, just like being a black girl in America is. But her father has always drilled it into her head how dangerous it is to be both of those things. You see, the world knows about the mythological creatures that exist in the world. They know about sirens (and they do not treat them well), but the world also knows about pixies and gargoyles and other myths that we meet in the story. Most of these creatures are accepted, but sirens are not, at all. So, Tavia struggles every day keeping her identity as a siren a secret. She struggles to keep her siren voice inside. This sometimes means that she just can’t speak. She has learned sign language so that she can speak that way. She and Effie are a team, and Effie comes in to translate (with their parents and sometimes even in class). It was heartbreaking to see the anxiety and stress that being a siren causes Tavia, but I really loved all of the things she did to help herself. I loved how Tavia worked through these things and eventually made some really good progress with her family too.
Effie is dealing with different issues. She’s still dealing with the grief of losing her mother. She has moved in with Tavia and her family. But she has other issues. She can’t stop thinking about her dry skin and her head itching. She’s been to doctors and they have not been helpful. But things are getting worse for her. Her grandmother is acting weird and Effie just wants some answers. Faire season is coming up and it’s Effie’s favorite time of year. She plays a mermaid and this year she’s gotten a bigger part. But while Effie’s trying to figure out what secrets are being kept from her, her priorities start to change. Swimming is something she loves and always calms her, but it’s usually been related to the faire. This year is different. Effie is different. I thought the author did a great job keeping the reader guessing as to what exactly was going on with Effie.
Just real quick, also. I totally loved the gargoyle parts of this story. The mystery of why the gargoyle perched on Tavia’s roof every night was great and got even better when Tavia befriended him.
I loved both of these girls so much. They’re both dealing with their own really have shit, but they never fail to be there when the other needs support. They hold each other up and I loved every minute of their relationship. I just really loved this book. The writing was stunning and the story swept me away. I listened to the audiobook which had two narrators and I thought they did a wonderful job telling this story. I cannot wait for this series to continue.

Quotes:

“We should all speak like sirens. Use our voices to make a difference, because all of them matter.”

“What we need isn’t dissuading, or discouragement, or consoling. We don’t need to be told we’re all helpless. What we need is action.”

“I’m not a monster because I live in a world that gives me impossible choices.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

GoodReads Summary:
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.
A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.
He must live for more.
Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2)Review:
Golden Son was somehow even more wild than Red Rising. I really didn’t think that was possible, but apparently it was. In this book, it’s two years after the end of Red Rising. Darrow has started working for the man that killed his wife. He’s been sent to the Academy which seems to me like a more relevant version of the Institute. I don’t want to get too much into the plot (and that will probably continue in my reviews for the rest of the series).
Darrow is such an interesting character. He’s born a Red but was carved into a Gold and thrown into their world. He’s still the boy that grew up in the mines, but he’s also now a man that has killed. He’s a Red that’s been turned into a leader. He isn’t with his loyal friends that he made during his time at the Institute at the start of the book, but they do eventually all come together. I didn’t love the start of the book because it felt like I’d missed a bunch of time because I had. There was more than a year of time that we just didn’t get to see. We do get a few memories of that time, but I was confused at first.
I didn’t really start loving this book until the crew got back together. I missed Darrow being with Mustang and Severo and all of the friends. Darrow is completely in his element when he has his friends. I liked that he was still thinking about how it would be hard to do what he was sent to do when that meant betraying the people that were loyal to him.
I really loved that we got to know more about the Sons of Ares. I didn’t like the first meeting with them in this book because who and what we saw wasn’t what the Sons of Ares were supposed to be about. So, when we see other members that we already know, it was exactly what I wanted it to be. I love the plot twists that involved the Sons of Ares because I totally didn’t see them coming. And the ending was absolutely devastating.
Overall, this book was just as violent and gory as the first book. It was excellent. I loved Darrow. I loved getting to see another planet in this universe. I liked the politics. This was a very political story and I really enjoyed that. I love all the characters and their relationships. I liked how thoughtful Darrow was about the things he was doing. I can’t wait to continue the series. I do want to say that I listened to the audiobook for this book and the narrator was incredible. I will absolutely be continuing the rest of the series on audio because I loved the narrator so much.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

GoodReads Summary:
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever in The Silvered Serpents.
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)Review:
Chokshi is easily one of my favorite authors, so it was no surprise that I really loved The Silvered Serpents. I ended up borrowing the audiobook from my library because my preorder hasn’t arrived yet and I couldn’t wait any longer to get more of these characters and their antics.
This book was tough for me because that found family that I so quickly fell in love with in The Gilded Wolves isn’t very recognizable to the characters in this book. I’m going to try to keep this spoiler free, so if you’ve read The Gilded Wolves, you know the big terrible thing that happens which sort of splinters this group. They’re all dealing with the loss and none of them are dealing very well. It was really sad to see this group so split apart.
Severin is pretty much unrecognizable from who he was in the first book. He’s still very focused on his mission, but his goals have become twists and he will pay any cost to reach that goal. It was really sad to see how his grief had affected him. It was especially hard to see all of the others trying so hard to reach out to him with no positive results. Though I did enjoy learning more about his past.
Laila has secrets, she always has. But now this secret has a time limit that is quickly coming. I think her time limit was an interesting way to set the pace for this story. We see how many days until her birthday toward the beginning and it seemed like so much had happened in such a short number of days because by the end of the book, her birthday still hadn’t come. I love Laila, but it was really sad to see her and Severin’s relationship be so different. It was hard to see them both fight what they were feeling. I absolutely love that she shared her secret with Enrique and Zofia and that sharing this made them closer. I loved that they reacted in a way that she didn’t think they would. They’re true friends and I’m glad that at least stayed the same.
Enrique made me sad because he was struggling with his passion. He’s a historian and was trying to find a new job when the story started. But he was stood up, and then Severin needed him. He has lots of doubts about himself because his potential new job stood him up. It was really hard to hear his inner thoughts about why he wasn’t good enough for this new organization when it wasn’t his fault at all. I also liked learning more about his past. We learn about stories that show how hard it is for Enrique to be both Filipino and Spanish. I love Enrique and Chokshi really did him dirty in this book.
Zofia, who I think is my favorite, tries so hard to not be a burden on any of her friends. She’s just returned from visiting her sister, who has been very sick. But she doesn’t lean on any of her friends. She doesn’t tell them about her worries. It made me sad that Zofia couldn’t see how much her friends want to be there for her, if only she would let them in. I loved Zofia and really enjoyed reading her chapters. She just tries so hard to be helpful and act like those around her.
Finally, Hypnos. He wasn’t originally a part of this found family, but he’s trying so hard to become a part of it. I mostly liked Hypnos (except for his relationship with a certain someone because he was mean and I didn’t like that). I liked that he tried really hard to get thought to Severin, even though that meant he sort of treated someone else badly. I wanted him to be accepted into this family because he’s certainly shown he wants it and that he’s willing to do what needs to be done for them.
After writing all of this I’ve realized that this book just made me really sad. The found family I grew to love so much in book one, isn’t in this story. We see bits and pieces of it between one or two characters occasionally, but it wasn’t there like it was in the first book. I will say that I absolutely loved the plot. I loved getting to see a different part of this world and the ice creatures were absolutely fascinating. I really loved seeing these characters work together despite not being as close as they used to be. There was so much yearning and I loved it. I love these characters. I loved the magic. I love the diversity. I love the world. Roshani Chokshi can do no wrong. Her writing is incredible and I loved this book even though it made me very sad.

Quotes:

“When the devil waged war in the heavens, even angels had to fall.”

“–perhaps monsters were misunderstood gods; deities with plans too grand for humans; a phantom of evil that drank from the roots of good.”

“Enrique had brought her a cookie and made her laugh, and it felt like sitting beside a fire in one’s own home, knowing exactly where everything was and who would come to the door.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Seventeen: Audiobook Recommendations

Hey, lovelies! I was running out of ideas for Blogtober posts and then an idea hit me: audiobooks that are perfect for the spooky season. I am a huge fan of audiobooks and I’ve listened to some really great ones recently. So, let’s get right into it and talk about some books that are creepy and I would absolutely recommend they be listened to this October.

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power: This is a book about a girl who runs away from her mother to find her grandmother. She arrived at her grandmothers and the longer she’s there the more she realizes there are secrets that she needs to uncover. Here family has been hiding things from her and she’s determined to learn the truth. I was gifted this audiobook for my birthday and it was wonderfully creepy. I seriously couldn’t listen to it too late at night or I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. The story itself is pretty creepy and weird, but the narrator does an incredible job of adding to the suspense and emotion of the story.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust: An incredible fantasy story that’s based on Persian mythology and various fairytales. The story follows a princess that is poisonous to the touch. She is determined to find a cure which leads her to working with a Div that’s been captured. There’s romance and mystery and horrifyingly wonderful monsters. The narrator for this book did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed the narration. Between the accents and the emotion the narrator gave the characters, this book is a great one for October. It’s a story full of monsters, but also one of love and self discovery.

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin: If you like retellings that are set in modern times, you’ll probably like this one. We follow Cleveland as she moves to a new town, the town where her best friend lives. Her best friend, Henry, has dated a lot of girls. The weird part? Two of them are dead now. This story was great. The mystery of what really happened to these girls was excellent. The characters are very lovable even while you’re suspecting them of murder. I really enjoyed the audiobook of this story.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: I have to say the narrator for this series (Kate Rudd) is one of my all time favorites. So, please go read this series on audio. This is a boarding school mystery. It’s not your typical boarding school. Years ago the founders wife and daughter were kidnapped and are now presumed dead. Our main character, Stevie, now attends the school and is obsessed with solving the murders and to find out what really happened. This is the perfect series for the spooky season.

Sadie by Courtney Summers: I don’t even want to explain what this book is about because it’s been so hyped up on the bookish internet places. This audiobook is incredible. We follow Sadie as she goes out to investigate what happened after her younger sister is found dead. We also follow Sadie in a podcast. We get alternating perspectives from Sadie and also from the Podcast. The audioboook is incredible because it’s actually narrated like a podcast. I cannot recommend this enough.

These are five audiobooks I think would be perfect choices to listen to in October. They’re all creepy and mysterious. They’re all filled characters that are fascinating. Secrets and mysteries are what these stories are about and their narrators really bring life to them. What audiobooks are you planning to listen to for the spooky season?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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GoodReads Summary:
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless, she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.
Caraval (Caraval, #1)Review:
In an attempt to read all of the GoodReads Choice Awards Nominees, I am having to catch up on a few series that I have fallen behind on. Caraval is one of those series. I read this when it first came out in 2017. But never managed to pick up the second book when it came out. So, now the series is complete and the third and final book is a nominee, so I’m playing catch up.
I enjoyed this one. I don’t know how much of that was due to my love of the narrator and how much was actually due to the story. My all-time favorite narrator, Rebecca Soler, is really what brings life to this story. I was actually tearing up at one point because of the emotions she portrays.
Garber has created some really interesting characters in this story. Scarlett is annoying, but also, I couldn’t help but feel for her. She comes from a family that is not great. Her dad is abusive, her mother left, and her grandmother died. She’s planning to marry a stranger to escape her father. The one thing she wants most in the world is to protect her younger sister, Tella.
Tella is reckless and just wants to have fun. She doesn’t totally understand what kind of man her father is. I thought she was kind of selfish. I get choosing your own happiness, but at the expense of your sister? A sister that has done nothing but protect you her entire life? That’s selfish. I’ve heard the next book is more focused on her, so we will see if my opinion of her changes.
I really don’t even want to talk about the men. They’re all liars. They’re conniving and, dare I say, evil. I still kind of liked them though. The twist with Julian and Legend was a great one. I wanted to hate them, but…somehow couldn’t?
Overall, I enjoyed this. Though there were somethings I didn’t like, it was still a fun story. I would have liked to know a bit more about the world and the magic. The world wasn’t explained outside of Scarlett’s hometown and the island where Caraval happens. The magic was very undefined. There didn’t seem to be too many limitations and I was just left wanting to know more. I liked the characters well enough, even the ones I didn’t like really made me feel something. I had fun listening to the audiobook and I’m interested to see what’s going to happen next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s April Wrap Up

Happy May lovelies! Today we’re here with another wrap-up. For the month of  May, I managed to read seventeen books! A great month! I participated in the Magical Readathon as well as Tome Topple this month so most of these books were to fill challenges for those wicked fun readathons.

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Physical Books
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

eBooks
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
King of Fools by Amanda Foody
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Audiobooks
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

How many books did you read this month? Did you find any new favorites or reread any old ones?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s March Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! It’s April fools day but its no joke that I managed to read twenty-four books in the month of March. I was motivated by the NoVaTeen Book Festival to read books by a handful of new authors before I got the chance to meet them. Because of that, I read a large number of eBooks from my library (and I found a few new favorites!) So, without further delay here, are all the things (good and bad) that I read in March.

Physical Books
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

EBooks
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
A Long way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
The Clouds Beyond Us by Rahf Alrashidi
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Audiobooks
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

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What did you read this month? Did we read any of the same books? Did you find any new favorite books or authors like I did?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Summary:
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school where the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with the sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ‘90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
MoxieReview:
Moxie was the chosen book for the Fierce Female Readathon in February. It was the absolute perfect book to celebrate Fierce Female Reads February. Moxie was jam packed full of feminism in all the best ways. I’ve read a fair bit of young adult fiction that is sprinkled with feminism and none of them come close to this story. It was fun and empowering and relatable in all the right ways.
Vivian Carter is a girl that many young girls should emulate. She grows so much in this book from the start. Trying to be more like her mother was growing up, she starts a movement that rollercoasters into something bigger than she’d ever imagined.
I think the friendships and other various relationships that we learn and love in this book are wonderful. They’re real and relatable. Most girls wouldn’t just automatically jump on the Moxie Girl bandwagon. Some might not want to get in trouble and some might just want to get through the days and escape the small town they live in. All of these girls are in this story. I think that’s what I like most. Even though we follow one characters perspective, we still see so many different characters that every reader of Moxie will find someone they can relate to.
The messages share within these pages were so important. Taking place in a small town in Texas where the football team seems to be the only thing anyone in town cares about, so many injustices get looked over. Moxie tells us that we shouldn’t let things like this go without action. It tells us that female revolutions are important and sometimes necessary when the adults aren’t doing their jobs to protect us. It tells us that the ladies need to stick together and stick up for our rights and fair treatment.
Overall, this story was fun and frustrating and rewarding. It was full of girl power and feminism the way it should be done. Girls banding together to fight inequality and sexism. I loved every minute of this story. I also listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a fantastic job. She made the story just that much better and I felt like I finished it in no time at all.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.