Don’t know what to read!

I hate it when I’m in a reading slump. Not fun at all. It’s been about 5 days since I’ve finished my last ebook A Darker Shade of Magic and the audiobook Spell and High Water by Scott Meyer and till now I haven’t been able to find what to read and listen to next. I could read the follow ups to those books but I wanted to postpone them for a while.

I have a lot of books on my to-read list but I can’t seem to figure out what I feel like reading right now.What do you do when that happens?

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So far I’ve read the ebook samples of Archived by Victoria Schwab, The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemsin and The Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson and I’ve been unable to get into any of them at this time (I still want to read them but not for now). I’ve just downloaded the sample for Lirael by Garth Nix, Homeland by R. A. Salvatore and I’m listening to the audio sample of David Copperfield read by Richard Armitage (the actor who played Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit Movies). I have a feeling they might not stick but let’s see.

I’d love to hear any suggestions you might have to help me find my next books, and I don’t mind any genre, it could be good for a change. Thanks! : )

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A Darker Shade of Magic – A Book Review

I woke up early last Saturday, and knowing that I had an awesome book lying around with almost 18% left, I didn’t start my day until it was finished.

A Darker Shade final for IreneA Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab is book 1 of the Shades of Magic trilogy. It follows the journey of a Red Traveler named Kell, last of the travelers who can magically travel between parallel universes. The book is based in a world that has 4 parallel versions of London where each one is named after the color it mainly projects: Red London; the bright magical city, Grey London; the dull and boring city with no magic, White London; the cold and pale city with magic, and Black London; the dark city that was consumed by magic and where no one goes to anymore.

Kell is an Antari (someone with special magical powers), and an ambassador for Red London. By using blood magic he can open a door that allows him to travel between the different Londons and carry correspondences among the rulers of these cities. However, he has a bad habit of smuggling items between them and because of this dangerous hobby he gets himself in trouble in Grey London where he meets a thief named Delilah ‘Lila’ Bard. Through various encounters, both Kell and Lila find themselves fighting to save their lives and Red London from evil that attacks them from right next door.

What I liked about it:

  • I loved this book, it’s very different from what I’ve been reading lately. Travelling among parallel universes is one of my favorite topics in Fantasy and this book covers it very well.
  • This is the first book I’ve read for this author. I liked her writing style, it’s engaging and easy to follow.
  • The new world and magic system were well built. The concept of the parallel Londons, the characteristics of the people who ruled and lived there and the way magic is used to travel among them was interesting and the author portrayed it quite well in the story.
  • I loved the main characters, Kell and Lila. Each one had their well defined personality and it was fun following their journey together.
  • I thought the plot was intriguing, it had a lot of action, magic and kept you wanting to know what happens next.

What I didn’t like about it:

  • There isn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. The only comment I have is one thing I thought could have been a bit better. Don’t read ahead if you haven’t read the book already. [Spoilers]
    The ending. I had a feeling that the ending could have been a bit more complex and a little left with an obvious cliffhanger, even though I know a lot can still happen in the next book from the way things ended.

    [End of Spoilers]

I’d place this book between young adult and adult categories. The second book in the series was published today, so I plan to get it sometime soon. If you’re into parallel universes and magic then I recommend you check this book out.

Best Audiobook Narrators in Fantasy

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Someone asked the other day: “Who is your favorite audiobook narrator?”. There are many good narrators out there and this gave me the idea for a post about the best narrators in Fantasy.

I have been listening to audio books for more than a year now and on average I listen to one or two books per month and having a good narrator can make the listening experience very enjoyable. Below are the narrators I’ve heard a lot about and are recommended by listeners including some of my favorites (in no particular order) and I added links to some of the books they narrate (you can click the cover to view the book and listen to the sample on Audible).

  • Luke Daniels: I recently finished listening to Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. This was a fun book and Luke Daniels voice made it even better to listen to. I love how each character had his/her own tone and their expressions were well played out.

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  • R.C. Bray: I think one of the most popular books he has narrated is The Martian by Andy Weir. If you haven’t listened to it then what are you waiting for?

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  • Steven Pacey: I listened to the first book of the First Law Trilogy The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. This narrator was excellent in this book. I love narrators with British accents and this guy nails it for all the different characters. If you’ve heard his voice for Glokta then you know what I mean.

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  • Ray Porter: Another fun to listen to narrator. I listened to two books 14 and The Fold by Peter Clines. There were many characters in these books and I was able to identify them by the tone and accent he used before the book mentions whose talking.

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  • Micheal Page: Another narrator with a British accent. He narrates one of my favorite series: The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch and some of the books in the famous Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

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  • Jim Dale: This narrator is popular for narrating the Harry Potter books. I didn’t know him till I listened to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I loved this book and Jim’s voice brings this book to life.

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There are other highly recommended narrators though I have not listened to their books such as Micheal Kramer (Brandon Sanderson books, sample: Mistborn the Final Empire), Roy Dotrice (Songs of Earth and Fire, sample: A Game of Thrones), Tim Curry (Garth Nix books, sample: Sabriel) and Stephen Fry (UK version of Harry Potter, sample: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone).

I am sure there are many more that I have not come across yet. Do let me know if you have a favorite in mind and would like to recommend in the comments section below.

Siblinghood Award

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I was nominated last December for the Siblinghood Award by Michelle at Michelle Book Addict. Thanks Michelle! :) Below are the rules, my answers and my questions.

Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
2. Put the award logo on your blog
3. Answer the ten questions you were given
4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer
5. Nominate ten other blogs

 

Questions

1. How long have you been blogging?

I started this blog in March 2015, so about 10 months.

2. E-book vs Paper – Between the two, what do you own the most books?

I have never counted how many books I have (I should probably do that sometime), but I’m sure I have more paper books than e-books since I’ve been reading and buying books way before I got my first Kindle a couple of years ago.

3. Who is your favorite author and why?

Brandon Sanderson. The fantasy worlds that he builds and the magical systems are very interesting and so well defined. His books are page turners and the kind of books that make you pause while reading and say “wow, that’s awesome”.

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4. What genre or book type is out of your comfort zone?

That’ll be horror.

5. What was your favorite book that you read this year?

That’s a tough one. But I think I’d have to say Ready Player One. It was so much fun. Would love to read more books like this.

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6. Who is your favorite animal or pet characters?

That’ll be Oy the Billy-Blumper from the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King.

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7. Who is your favorite dream-guy hero character?

Well, my favorite male character is Locke Lamora (though not a dream guy hero type at all).

8. Apples and Oranges: Normally the book is better than the movie. What movie do you think was better than the book?

I know I have one but I can’t remember : ) .

9. What is your favorite holiday or season?

That’ll be the time around New Years. I love the lights and decorations, but I’m not fond of the cold weather.

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10. Did you set any goals this year, and did you complete them?

Yeap!  :)

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My Ten New Questions for my Nominees to answer

  1. If you could live in one of the fictional worlds, which one would it be and why?
  2. What is/are your all time favorite book(s)?
  3. What is your favorite reading setting (at home, drinking tea, etc)?
  4. If you could give a book as a gift to anyone right now which book would that be?
  5. What are the books you’re most looking forward to reading this year?
  6. Who is your favorite fictional character and from which book/series?
  7. How many books did you read last year?
  8. Which format do you prefer your books in Hardcover/  Paperback/ Ebook/ Audiobook?
  9. Coffee or tea?
  10. What is your favorite movie based on a book you’ve read?

 

Nominate Ten Six Other Blogs

  1. Scifi and Scary 
  2. My Bookish Dream
  3. Books Coffee and Life
  4. Cup of Tea with that Book, Please
  5. My Little Book Blog
  6. The Obsessive Bookseller