November 2022 Fairyloot

Fairyloot is a Young Adult book subscription box focusing on fantasy based out of the UK. Each month you receive a new Young Adult hardback book and 4-5 bookish goodies. Like most book boxes the hardback are special editions and the items are a combination of both practical things and more decorative items. November’s theme is The Witching Hour.

The bookish items included this month are a Kingdom of the Wicked mug, a book review notebook, a letter opener inspired by Serpent and Dove, a spellbook enamel pin, and the monthly tarot cards.

All Fairyloot books come with exclusive covers, generally signed by the author and include a letter from the author. This month the book is The Ones We Burn by Rebecca Mix. This edition also has Ombre sprayed edges, art on the back of the dust jacket, adn foiling on the hardback.

December’s theme is Come One, Come All.

October and November 2022 Wrap Up

Since I only read one book in October I decided to combine the October and November wrap ups. For both months I read five books. In terms of watching tv and movies the only thing I remember watching was some documentaries and YouTube videos.

Books:

In October I decided to start a reread of the Locked Tomb series so that I remember more when I got to Nona the Ninth which I still haven’t read but I did finish rereading Gideon the Ninth in October. Gideon is the first book in the Locked Tomb series that focuses on space necromancers who are trying to become more powerful to help the emperor. I still loved this book and I have a full review already posted.

The first book that I read in November was Lirael by Garth Nix. This is the squeal to Sabriel and technically a reread for me but the last time I read it was years ago. Lirael focuses on Lirael who is a daughter of the Clayr but she has never gained to sight which allows the Clayr to see some aspects of the future. She ends up taking up a mission to stop the return of an ancient evil along with Sabriel’s son Sam, who is believed to be the next Abhorsen. While I enjoyed the book overall I don’t love it in comparison to Sabriel and I would have preferred that the book didn’t switch perspectives between Lirael and Sam.

Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks by Dave and Ilyssa Kyu is what it say it is. This is a book that features short stories and experts of Tales from different National Parks that could be told around a campfire. I liked the concept of this book but was not a big fan of most of the stories.

Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss is a nonfiction book about the paperback teen and preteen books from the 80s and 90s. As someone who grew up on some of these books I liked reading about how these stories came to be and the history of the genre.

Queen’s Peril by EK Johnston is a Star Wars novel focuses on Padme as she becomes Queen of Naboo and the events of The Phantom Menace movie. I loved the introduction of the Handmaidens and how that system works but I wish we got more of Padme’s thoughts and emotions.

October 2022 Illumicrate

Illumicrate is a UK based fantasy and science fiction book box that has monthly boxes or just a monthly book only subscription. Each box also includes a selection of bookish goodies some more practical, others more decorative set around a monthly theme. October’s theme is From Beyond Death.

The items included in this box are a Strange the Dreamer inspired blanket, a Greek mythology teacup and saucer with Hades and Persephone, a Ninth House papercraft kit, and and set of cable ties.

Illumicrate, like other book boxes, include a new hard cover each month and most months a letter from the author. This months book is The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrew. This edition also comes with art of the reverse of the dust jacket and on the endpapers, stenciled sprayed edges, and foiling on the hardback.

November’s theme is Some Kind of Monster.

Book Review: Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire is a companion book to Middlegame and the second book in the Alchemical Journeys Series. We follow Melanie and Harry as they must become the holders of Winter and Summer if they want to stay alive and together. Melanie’s father at one point tried to gain control over winter but failed and end up causing Melanie to be chronically ill. While different from Middlegame this book works with the same concepts and is set in the same world. Roger and Doger from Middlegame make a brief appearance which shows us where they are now and their current plans.

While I enjoyed Seasonal Fears I didn’t love it like I did Middlegame. It took while for me to connect with Melanie and Harry unlike how quickly I liked Roger and Doger. I feel like this was because we see Roger and Doger throughout their childhood where as with Melaine and Harry we are not given as much before the plot kicks off. I also liked the villains and the conflict in Middlegame more as I felt like to had more at stake. The only thing I didn’t like at all in Seasonal Fears is the crazy sister that Melaine doesn’t know about but I overall liked this story.

October 2022 Fairyloot

Fairyloot is a Young Adult book subscription box focusing on fantasy based out of the UK. Each month you receive a new Young Adult hardback book and 5-6 bookish goodies. Like most book boxes the hardback are special editions and the items are a combination of both practical things and more decorative items. October’s theme is Sell Your Soul.

The bookish items included this month are a canvas basket, a pair of socks inspired by the Raven Cycle, a Howl’s Moving Castle foiled art pint, and the monthly tarot cards featuring character art from the Arc of the Scythe series.

This month also included an extra paperback book, Princess of Souls by Alexandra Christo which is a Rapunzel inspired romantic fantasy. This edition has a redesigned cover and sprayed edges.

All Fairyloot books come with exclusive covers, generally signed by the author and include a letter from the author. This month the book is One Dark Window by Rachel Gilling. This is a gothic fantasy with a tarot inspired magic system. This edition also has sprayed edges, art on the reverse of the dust jacket, and art on the hardback.

November’s theme is The Witching Hour.

Book Review: Turn Coat by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #11)

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher is the eleventh book in the Dresden Files series. Since I read this a while ago I don’t a lot to say about it but I want to continue reviewing each book in the series and I hope to write the next review shortly after finishing the book.

In Turn Coat Morgan has been accused of treason and murder and come to Harry for help. We doe get a little more information on some of the darker forces that are in play when what really happened comes out at the end. I did enjoy Harry and Molly’s interaction with Morgan and all the information on how the White Council works. I can tell that this book is laying ground work for future books and I plan to continue with this series.

September 2022 Wrap Up

As I’ve mentioned before I’m currently playing catch up on posting abut I hope to be all caught up in the next month or so. In September I read six books in total and finished Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

Books:

The first book I finished was Turn Coat by Jim Butcher which is the eleventh book in the Dresden Files series. In this one Morgan has been accused of treason and murder and comes to Harry for help. I really liked Harry’s and Molly’s interactions with Morgan and the information on how the White Council works. I can tell that this book is laying ground work for the next books in the series and possibly bigger events.

Lucky Girl by M. Rickert is a horror novella that takes place over multiple Christmases. At the first party one of the guests tells a story about Krampus that Ro uses as inspiration for a novel in the future. However, as time goes on Ro learns that horrors that have been hidden often come back. While I found this story to be creepy I expected more. It felt to me that most of the horror elements happened off page or were only implied. Also it claims to be a Krampus story but Krampus doesn’t really appear.

The Betrayal of Anne Frank by Rosemary Suillivan is a nonfiction book about the cold case investigation into who betrayed Anne Frank and her family. While an interesting concept the evidence to me is too circumstantial and I don’t believe or agree with the conclusion that the investigation team came to. However, this is a good book to look at in terms of who writes history, what history is being written, who has the power in writing history, and the biases of the writer.

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire is a companion book to Middlegame and the second book in the Alchemical Journeys series. We follow Melaine and Harry as they must become the holders of Winter and Summer if they want to stay alive and with each other. Melaine’s father attempted to gain control over winter before she was born but ended up causing her to be chronically ill for her whole life. While different from Middlegame it works with the same concepts and is set in the same world. Overall I enjoyed Seasonal Fears but not like how I loved Middlegame. I do plan to have a full review posted in a few weeks.

Breakable Things by Katie Wismer is a poetry collection. While I’m not a huge fan of poetry Katie’s speaks to me. This one focuses on those small things in life that we often take for granted but end up being important.

Lore Olympus Volume One by Rachel Smythe is the physical collection of the web comic series. This follows Hades and Persephone in the modern age. This was my first time reading this story and I loved it.

Video Games:

I also finished my play though of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. This is a turn based tactics/adventure game that includes both Mario characters and the Rabbids as the travel though the Mushroom Kingdom to defeat corrupted Rabbids and make sure the world is fine. I had a lot fun with this game and think that most people would have fun playing it.

September 2022 Illumicrate

Illumicrate is a UK based fantasy and science fiction book box that has monthly boxes or just a monthly book only subscription. Each box also includes a selection of bookish goodies some more practical, others more decorative set around a monthly theme. September’s theme is Book Devourers.

The items included in this box are a book organizer, a book pot, a set of snack plates, and a reading prompt card set to help choose your next read.

Illumicrate, like other book boxes, include a new hard cover each month and most months a letter from the author. This months book is The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean which follows a family for whom books are food but they retain all the information from the books. Devon is from a reclusive clan of book eaters but when her son is born he hungers not for books but for human minds. This edition has a full color printing on the hardback, an exclusive cover, digitally printed edges, and is signed.

October’s theme is From Beyond Death.

Video Game Review: Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory

Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is a rhythm action game that is the latest (at time of posting) Kingdom Hearts game. The gameplay retells the story of the Dark Seeker Saga though the music of the games. While the plot focuses primarily on Kairi following the events of the Kingdom Hearts 3 Remind DLC.

Kairi has put herself in a deep sleep to search her heart and memories for clues for Sora whereabouts after his disappearance at the end of Kingdom Hearts 3. Kairi eventually confronts a version of Xehanort who nearly overpowers her until Sora takes over briefly. The ending tells us that Riku is going to the mysterious Quadratum to search for Sora while Kiri continues her keyblade training under Aqua. Yen Sid also sends Donald and Goofy off the inform everyone else what is going which Mickey is going to Scala ad Caelum to investigate the ancient Keyblade Masters. 

Overall the game fun but I do wish that we got to play as Kairi more during the game and personally I wanted Kairi to be the one to fight Xehanort this time but I know this game was mostly to give hint as to where the Kingdom Hearts series will be going next. Though not confirmed I hope the ending means that we will be getting a game focusing on Kairi and Aqua and one with Mickey in Scala ad Caelum.

August 2022 Wrap Up

As I mentioned before I got very busy which caused me to get behind on posts, so I’m currently playing catchup. In August I read three books, watched several things, and finished Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory.

Books:

The first book I finished was Babel by R.F. Kuang which is a stand alone adult historical fantasy. The story follows Robin Swift, boy from Canton, who is brought to London to attend Oxford’s Royal Institute of Translation know as Babel. I received an early copy from NetGalley and I have a full review posted as well. Overall, I enjoyed this book but it does deal with racism and colonialism as well as other heavy topics which at the time put me into a bit of a reading slump.

The next book I read was Sinkable: Obsession, the Deep Sea, and the Shipwreck of the Titanic by Daniel Stone. This is a nonfiction book about the general obsession with the wreck of the Titanic and the many people that wanted to and thought it was possible to raise the ship. The focus is on Doug Woolley who claims to be the owner of the wreck and his many ideas on how the Titanic could be raised. This is not what I was expecting when I started reading this book as I went in knowing it was about the Titanic but that was it however its an interesting story that is not told about those who where searching for Titanic over the years and how obsession plays a role.

The last book I read this month was For The Throne by Hannah F. Whitten. This is the sequel to For The Wolf and continues the story of Red and Neve following the ending of the pervious book. This only focuses the story more on Neve who is now trapped in the Shadowlands while her sister Red tries to find a way to bring her back. While I like the story I much prefer Red as a protagonist and didn’t like how much the focus shifted to Neve however I like this different take on stories inspired by fairy tales.

Movies/TV Shows:

During August I started and finished the Netflix Resident Evil series which is a new live action adaptation that is set in a new universe but does claim to have the video games as the back story which really doesn’t work that well. The Resident Evil movies staring Milla Jovovich I consider guilty pleasure movies and I wasn’t expecting anything great out of this new series but its worse than I was expecting. The only thing I liked was telling the story in two timelines but I felt like Jade as the main character was the worst choice as she is not likeable at all and most of the things that happen are her fault. Netflix has since canceled the show and I’m not surprised.

I also watched Prey this month which is a movie in the Predator franchise set in the Great Plains in 1719. The story follows Naru, a Comanche warrior, who is trying to prove herself as a skilled hunter. She ends up having to protect herself and her people from one of the Predator’s who is on Earth hunting humans. I really loved this movie and I watched it in the Comanche dub as I have never watched a movie in Comanche before. I loved the atmosphere of this movie and how the Comanche language enhanced that experience.

Video Games:

The only video game that I finished was Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory which is the most recent Kingdom Hearts game (as of time of posting). This game is a rhythm action game that retells the Dark Seeker Saga with Kairi narrating the events and also continues Kairi’s story following the events of the Kingdom Hearts 3 Remind DCL. Kairi is going through her own heart and memories in attempt to find clues as to where Sora has disappeared to. I like the game even though I not a huge fan of rhythm games but I do wish that Kairi had more of a part in the main game play. I do plan to post a full review of this game.