Friday, February 8, 2019

Book Review of Paperglass by A.R. Ivanovich

Goodreads Summary: Surviving a narrow brush with death convinced Katelyn Kestrel that she must never return to the war-torn Outside World. Safe again within the sanctuary of Haven Valley, she has forced herself to forget Rune Thayer, the young Dragoon soldier who had sacrificed everything to save her.
Katelyn’s struggle to adapt to a peaceful life is undone when she is assaulted by a classmate, triggering her powers with devastating consequences. The authorities learn of her rare Abilities, and a web of troubling mysteries unravels around her. She finds that an unfortunate twist of fate has delivered Haven prisoners to the Prince of Shadows, and he will stop at nothing to discover the valley’s secret location. Katelyn must find and rescue the captives or witness the destruction of everything she has ever loved.
Goodreads Rating: 4.15 stars with just over 1,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Steampunk
Goodreads Challenge: 4/50
2019 Reading Challenge: #2 Read a YA Fiction (See the full challenge here.)
My Reviews on the city: Haven

Review:

So, I did a little rearranging on my challenge. I realized that Haven, the first book in the series, has a Tree on the cover. So, Haven is now taking up #58 so that I don't have to find another tree book. This also will save me some free spaces when I finish the series. Is it cheating? Maybe. Do I care? Not really.

I felt that Haven moved really slow when I read it, but Paperglass moved quickly. It takes place several months after Haven when Katelyn is trying to regain a sense of normalcy. I liked the pace set in Paperglass. Since I was already familiar with the characters and the scene, it was easy to get into.  I think where Haven is more of getting into the characters and the world, Paperglass gets into the history and the political structure. I really appreciate the steampunk details in both Haven and Paperglass. However, there's quite a bit more of it Paperglass. The world really starts to feel like what I would imagine a steampunk world to be like.

I really enjoyed that Katelyn and Dylan were forced into working together. The lack of trust they have for each other really shows, and I liked the dynamic it caused in the story. I actually thought a lot of their interactions were comical. I thought Sterling's inclusion was interesting as well. I'm really hoping that's his name because I'm drawing a blank at the moment. Anyways he was sort of a love/hate character for me. His earlier actions made me hate him, but his later actions made me love him. Rune was fairly neutral for me in this book. I'm excited to see where his story with Katelyn goes.

I think what I enjoyed most about Paperglass is the details. I mentioned it briefly earlier, but I really liked the world building in this book. It got into the background stories about the powers, especially within Haven and how they've been kept a secret. I liked the mystery behind how people got their information about the outside world. I thought it was a fascinating story development. I definitely can't wait to read the next book in the series. This is easily one of the better Steampunk worlds I've read. 

If you want a good fantasy that's not a massively huge book, I definitely recommend this. Haven builds slow, but the pace in Paperglass is really fast and action-packed. The characters are enjoyable and have a nice depth to them, but the world-building  details are where it's at.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Book Review of Haven by A.R. Ivanovich

Goodreads Summary: From missing socks to missing people, nothing could remain hidden from seventeen-year-old Katelyn Kestrel for long, but after locating a forbidden passage out of her isolated country, Haven, she discovers for the first time that there are some things that should never be found. Outside the safety of her homeland's borders, Katelyn meets Rune, a young soldier who will die without her immediate aid. She never considered that helping him would lead to her capture. While being held prisoner by the handsome Lord Dylan Axton, she learns that the outside world is rife with war and controlled by people with extraordinary powers. It becomes clear that there was a very good reason the founders of Haven locked their people away from the rest of the world. The depth of her peril reaches a fever pitch when a ruthless Commander wants Katelyn dead. Her only hope is to return to Haven, but can she survive long enough to find her home?
Goodreads Ratings: 3.89 stars with over 2200 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Dystopian
Goodreads Challenge: 3/50
2019 Reading Challenge: #2.) Read a YA Fiction (find the full challenge here)

Book Review

Woohoo! Book three of the year is complete! For those of you wondering what order I'm doing the 2019 challenge that Tress and I created, I'm kind of just going at it with reckless abandon. I have a hard time deciding what I'm going to read ahead of time. I kind of just go with what sounds interesting at the moment. I am trying to be a little more structured about it this year, as opposed to 2018 and have an idea of what category I want to try and cross off when I go looking for a book.

Given that YA Fiction is my go-to genre for reading, I figured this would be an easy category to get out of the way. Enter Haven, an odd series on Kindle Unlimited that caught my attention. At first, Haven felt kind of familiar in a generic sort of way. I knew I hadn't read the story before, but I felt like I had. It starts with Katelyn's life in Haven and how they'd been isolated for 750 years. It doesn't really go into why just kind of a blanket that's the way it is and no one leaves. It was interesting enough, but the beginning of the story didn't wow me. I kept feeling like it was familiar and a little generic. My brain sometimes oddly associates things, and when I was reading it, I couldn't stop thinking about the later seasons of the show The 100. Once Katelyn reaches the outside world, and these different towns and kingdoms are fighting. That combined with the abilities aspect of the story made it feel like a druid-esq version of the show.

Somewhere around 150-200 pages in, the pace of the book changed for me. It started to really pick up, and I got really interested in the story. I think it was around the time that Katelyn began to really get into with her abilities. I really like how defiant Katelyn was and how she tried to cover things with humor. I always felt sketched out by Dylan even from the beginning of his appearance. He seemed like he was trying too hard to win Katelyn over. It just didn't seem natural. Not to give too much away, but I feel like a show of cowardice is almost worse than what the villain usually does. I liked Rune and Katelyn's connection with him. I kind of felt like their abilities matched each other. I liked the struggle that Rune showed with having to be an isolated Dragoon as well as being a person.

I really enjoyed the world building that was presented in Haven. I thought that A.R Ivanovich did an excellent job of really keeping Haven and the outside world separate. Haven was very much isolated by the Mountains, and even though it was a steampunk world it definitely felt more relatable and "normal" of the two. Haven was very community oriented, and everything was for the good of the people, but there were houses and families, jobs and school, and teenagers being dicks to one another. The outside world is completely different and felt like the warzone that it is. The outside seemed a lot more steampunk and pieced together. I pictured it dingy and dirty with things just being built out of what was laying around. Given the steampunk theme, I thought the idea of commanders losing their humanity and having it replaced with metal was interesting and creepy.

I loved the idea of the lurchers and the little shadow creatures. I thought they were both creative and were nice touches to the world. The little shadow creatures sound adorable, and the way they were described as wearing the abilities made me picture Pascal from Tangled as a shadow wearing electricity as clothes. I really wasn't kidding when I said my brain makes weird associations, by the way. I'm going to blame insomnia, but it's probably just the fact that I'm weird.

I would say that if you are looking for a good steampunk fantasy with a lot of interesting world-building details, this is a good option. It's under 400 pages, so it's not particularly daunting, but if you need to be drawn into the story right away, it may be a challenge. It's an interesting story, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, but it starts out relatively slow. It's worth giving it a chance though. As soon as I finished Haven last night I downloaded the second book because that's kind of my thing with series.





Monday, January 21, 2019

Book Review of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Goodreads Summary:  I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and I've been given a mission:

REMOVE
The Tin Woodman's heart,

STEAL
The Scarecrow's brain,

TAKE
The Lion's courage,

And then—

DOROTHY MUST DIE.
Goodreads Rating: 3.83 stars with over 58,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Young Adult, Retellings, Fiction
Goodreads Challenge: 2/50
2019 Reading Challenge: #35 A book with exactly three words in the title (Find the full challenge here.)

Book Review:

I'm pretty much a sucker for anything Wizard of Oz-related, but I had some skepticism going into Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. The beginning of the story really didn't help my suspicion. The introduction shows off Amy's life and how dismal of existence it is. Danielle Paige does a decent job of getting us to feel sorry for Amy, but the specifics felt really cliche to me. Dad left when she was a kid, mom got into a car accident and addicted to drugs, potentially starts whoring herself out at bars. They live in a trailer park, and Amy's not only bullied at school, but her mom resents Amy just for existing. I'm not saying that these stories don't exist, but it just felt really overdone.

There's a huge part of the story that I thought was odd, but interesting at the time. Looking back, I suppose it had to be this way to progress the story, but in Dorothy Must Die the events of the Wizard of Oz actually happened. Amy and other characters frequently compare and contrast this new version of Oz with the movie and book Oz. I thought there were a decent amount of references to the original book and movie, as well as the one that came out a handful of years ago. It was just odd to read the main character acknowledging the fictional version and accepting that it happened. I won't say that Amy accepted it too readily, but I expected more of a struggle with the concept.

I think that since this is a series, it's going to give way to slow character development. I don't know that I was really wowed by any of the characters. They served their purpose, but I wouldn't classify any of them as great characters. Truthfully, the writing isn't great either. This entire book feels like a really cheesy action movie that you know is going to be bad, but you love it anyway because of how entertaining it is. For the record, I feel really bad saying this, and I realize I'm coming across as I didn't like it. This isn't the case at all. I actually really loved the story and the concept.

While the writing leaves some to desire there's actually quite a few humorous bits. I loved that the crimes were things like "Crimes of Sass". I've got a handful of quotes gathered from it, but instead of putting them on here they are released on my Goodreads account. Be sure to add me on there if you are a member!

If you are looking for some writing masterpiece, this is not the book for you. It's not terrible, it just leaves a lot to be desired. It very much reads like an author's first novel. Which is fine, we all have to start somewhere. However, if you want a highly entertaining spin on a classic, this very well may be a story for you. The way that Danielle Paige turns Oz upside down is exceptionally creative. There were a lot of twists and turns, and she somehow made her Oz more grotesque than the original. I honestly couldn't put the book down, and I loved how the Wizard's gifts in the original have now become the source of evil in Dorothy Must Die. I'll definitely be revisiting the series as I can. The Wizard of Oz nostalgia and the entertainment fact are what's getting me to give this four stars.







Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Review: My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie


Goodreads Summary: From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.
A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife...

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and the imperfect union he could never have created without her…
Goodreads Rating: 4.27 stars with over 9,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Historical Fiction
Goodreads Yearly Challenge: 1/50
2019 Reading Challenge: 56.) Read a book about a real or fictional politician. (See the full challenge here.)

Review:

Happy 2019, readers! Only a week in and I've already finished my first book of the year. Admittedly I started this one at the end of 2018, but I'll take it. I'm mildly amused that the challenge I ended up dreading the most this year is the one I finished first. There's a good chance it ends up being my favorite book I read this year. While it may seem like a stretch to put the book in this category, I assure you it's not. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton is as much of a politician as any of her famous friends.
I was instantly drawn into the story presented in My Dear Hamilton. It's so beautifully written, and Elizabeth Schuyler makes for a fantastic main character. If she was anything in real-life like how Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie portrayed her, then Elizabeth Schuyler was a force to be reckoned with throughout her life. I can't remember the last time I was this impressed by a character.

This is a book that you'll definitely want to dedicate time to if you read it. It's just over 650 pages and covers around 60 years of Elizabeth's life. The novel starts with an intense conversation between Elizabeth and James Monroe, twenty years after Alexander Hamilton's death. It then works its self through the years of events that got to that conversation. It was really fascinating to watch her grow from this 20 something young woman to an old woman who represents the last of an era. 

As much as I love Historical Fiction, I am awful with actual history. I'm especially bad with early American History when this takes place. I'm not even going to deny the fact that I took a lot of naps in history classes during my time in school. I'm blaming that as the fact that it never dawned on me that Alexander Hamilton would have had a whole lot of highly essential people in his life. I think when I read Historical Fiction I tend to think about it in a vacuum. I don't tend to think about things that were happening around the world at that time. The authors did a fantastic job of including reference points to what was going on in England and France as well as what was happening stateside.

I'm always intrigued with Historical Fiction and how it compares to what really happened. I usually do a little bit of research afterward to find out more about whatever timeframe I'm reading about. I really liked the inclusion from the authors that showed where they took liberties and where they didn't. There was apparently not a lot of references to Elizabeth Hamilton in much of their research, so they had to piece their information together from what sources they could. I thought they did an amazing job of making the story incredibly plausible and believable.

There were so many exciting events in this book that I can't even begin to go through them all. From the point of Alexander Hamilton's death to the end of the book I feel like all I did was cry. The end of the book is so incredibly emotional. Between all of the heartbreaks and information that she uncovers as well as how much Elizabeth accomplishes later in life, I was incredibly moved. I just can't say enough good things about this book. If you enjoy historical fiction and want a really amazing and strong female lead, then read this book. 


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018: A Year in Review



How in the heck is it 2019? I swear that 2018 flew by and that it should still be September. This past year was definitely a rollercoaster. I was down quite a bit with health issues and lost a couple of jobs because of it, but the time off really gave me more time to focus on my jewelry business (Shameless business plug... Find my jewelry at jewelrybylinzb.) I also got to read quite a bit more than I usually do, which was definitely needed. The biggest joy of 2018 is the addition of my husband and I's first nephew. The little guy was born in October, and I'm loving getting to know him. I'm also continually grateful that I can give him back to his parents when he wants nothing to do with his Aunt Lindsey.

Blogwise 2018 has been an incredible year. I branched out into product reviews, which I thoroughly loved being able to do. The 2018 reading challenge was a massive success, which you can find here. I'm so incredibly excited and amazed at how many of you have chimed in and done the challenge! I never expected that something I put together with one of my dearest friends would have gotten so much attention. I'm really excited to see where the 2019 challenge (which can be found here) goes.

I read 35 books in total. I had set a goal on Goodreads of 30 books for the year. This is the first year in a while that I not only met my goal but also surpassed it.  Here's a list of what I read last year and any corresponding reviews. I jumped around a lot on the challenge list and most likely did not complete a full level. I also read a lot of books where I had no place to put the book.

2018 Reading Challenge
Level 1: Book of the Month Club:
1.) A book from Project Gutenberg- Peter Pan by J.M Review
2.) A book that costs less than $5- Fate's Mistress by Laura Du Pre Review
3.) A Cozy Mystery- Curse the Day by Annabel Chase Review
4.) A comedy or Satire book- The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes Review
5.) Read a book by Nora Roberts- Blood Brothers  Review
6.) A book that has been turned into a Movie/TV show- 
7.) A book on a best seller list
8.) A book under 300 pages- Lady of the Court by Laura Du Pre Review
9.) A book that takes place around a holiday
10.) A book with a one-word title- Limelight by Emily Organ Review
11.) A book you first read when you were a teenager
12.) A children's book
Total books read for level 1: 7/12

Level 2: Casual Reader Club:
13.) A book by a new author
14.) Reread a favorite book- A Nameless Witch by A. Lee Martinez Review
15.) A book with a cover that's in your favorite color- The Inventor by Emily Organ Review
16.) A book published in 1993
17.) A book recommended to you on social media or by a friend
18.) A book with a number in the title
19.) A book with pictures in it
20.) A retelling of a fairy tale
21.) A book that involves a mythical creature- Fool Moon by Jim Butcher Review
22.) A book about witches- Black Sanction Magic by Kim Harrison Review
23.) A book by an author named Chris or Christopher- Fool by Christopher Moore Review
24.) A book you got from a used bookshop/site
Total books read for level 2: 5/12

Level 3: Dedicated Reader Club:
25.) A book about space travel, aliens, or other planets
26.) A book with an animal in the title
27.) First in a series you've wanted to start- A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray Review
28.) A book with music or song in the title
29.) A book with a purple cover- The Maid's Secret by Emily Organ Review
30.) A cult classic
31.) A book about a Teacher
32.) An action adventure book
33.) A book that takes place before 1900- Rookery by Emily Organ Review
34.) A book about friendship
35.) A book by Michael Crichton
36.) A book about a Queen
Total books read for level 3: 3/12

Level 4: Speed-Reader Club
37.) A book by Agatha Christie
38.) A book that takes place in Australia- Aaru: Halls of Hel by David Meredith Review
39.) A book that has a title starting with the letter Y.
40.) Read a compilation of Short Stories - Six Scary Stories, Various Authors selected by Stephen King Review
41.) Read a book from the Guardian's 100 greatest Novel list
42.) A book with the word thief in the title
43.) A banned book
44.) A book published in 1968
45.) A book about a doctor
46.) A book involving food
47.) A book with a male main character- Grave Peril by Jim Butcher Review
48.) A book by two or more authors
Total books read for level 4: 3/12

Level 5: Overachiever Club
49.) A book published the year one of your parents was born
50.) A book over 500 pages- Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon Review
51.) A book about traveling
52.) A book with a flower on the cover- Curse of the Poppy by Emily Organ Review
53.) A Non-fiction book
54.) A book that takes place during a war
55.) A book involving a culture different than your own
56.) A book that takes place in Canada
57.) A book that was originally published in a foreign language- The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas Review
58.) A book about a character who has your dream job
59.) A book with a woman or girl in the title
60.) A book about a main character that has the same hair color as you- Pale Demon by Kim Harrison Review
Total books read for level 5: 4/12
Total books read for the challenge: 22/60

Honestly, even though I met my Goodreads challenge, I'm not impressed with my progress on the challenge Tress and I created. There's a lot on this list I could have easily checked off if I hadn't allowed myself to get sucked into so many series that didn't fit with the challenge. Here's looking at you Penny Green series and Spellbound series. I also noticed while creating this post that I was terrible at updating my master list of reviews that I try to keep going. I'm calling 2018 the year of the slacker. 

Here is a list of the books I read that I didn't put on the challenge above. Links to the reviews included as well. This is in no particular order. I'm just going down my list on Goodreads.


1.) The Bermondsey Poisoner by Emily Organ - Review
2.)  Crazy for Brew by Annabel Chase- Review
3-9.) All Spell Breaks Loose, Hemlocked and Loaded, A Drop in the Potion, A Touch of Magic, Cast Away, Better than Hex, Lucky Charm, Spell's Bells, Doom and Broom by Annabel Chase Find the series reviews here, here, and here
10.) Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman- Review
11.) The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg- Review

So 35 books in total. 22 that made their way to the challenge, 13 that did not. I definitely need to do better in 2019. I think that the adjustments that Tress and I have made for this year will undoubtedly help. Next year I'm hoping to get 50 books read. We'll see how I do! Best of luck with the challenge if you're joining in, and Happy New Year!



Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book Review: The Bermondsey Poisoner by Emily Organ

Goodreads Summary: London 1884. A culprit is on the run after a fatal poisoning in Bermondsey. It seems like a simple case for Penny Green to report on until a series of macabre photographs are discovered.
As the poisonings continue, Scotland Yard is convinced they have their suspect. It’s not long before they’re outwitted and no one is safe. Penny and Inspector James Blakely must avoid the red herrings and track down the manipulative poisoner.

But could there be more than one?
Goodreads Rating: 4.28 stars with just over 100 ratings
Genre Listing: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Get the book:  Amazon
Goodreads Challenge: 35/30
Other books in the series: LimelightThe Rookery The Maid's SecretThe InventorCurse of the Poppy

Review:

I surprised myself and pre-ordered The Bermondsey Poisoner, which is something I hardly ever do. I'm so enthralled with this series, however, that I wanted to make sure to read it as soon as it was available. Emily Organ definitely did not disappoint in the sixth book of the Penny Green series. I think I read it in about two days, but each book in the series is only around 200 pages, so that's not really surprising.

What I liked the most about the Bermondsey Poisoner is the mystery surrounding it. I loved that the focus was on a female serial killer. It made it exciting and different. I was entertained throughout and enjoy the details of Organ's Victorian London. I'm continually impressed with Emily's ability to get such a detailed story in such a short amount of pages. Penny is an intelligent and relatable character. I really enjoy reading about her adventures as a working woman in Victorian London, when that wasn't really a commonplace thing, primarily as a news reporter.

Where this series leaves me wanting more is the mystery surrounding Penny's father as well as her relationships with Francis and James. I find that these topics kind of overlap. Francis has taken it upon himself to go across the globe to find information on Penny's father. Penny had two opportunities to take off and go on the adventure, and while not proper for the times I think it would have been a fantastic read. Unfortunately, Penny stays put in London and pines over James who is set to be married. I'm sure it's just a reader preference, but I'm tired of reading about James and Penny's obsession with him. The ending of The Bermondsey Posioner makes it clear that he's not going anywhere, sadly. I will say that there was a really lovely inclusion of Francis's adventures at the end. I'm really excited to see where that leads.

I'm not going to let the love triangle deter me from reading this series. While I don't agree with the choice, I'm sure it has it's rhyme and reason. The rest of the series is still a great read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Victorian Mysteries or needs a quick series to binge through. It's got enough twist and turns to make it interesting, but short enough to where I don't feel like I need to devote my life to reading it to make progress. 



Thursday, December 27, 2018

Discussion: What themes are you drawn to?



Discussion:


As I mentioned in my last post on The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes (find it here) the character of Desidora gave me an idea for a blog post. It worked out and also coordinates with a reader suggestion for discussions. I'm wondering if there are specific themes within stories or characters that you are drawn to?

I've realized over the years that I'm really drawn to death-related themes and characters. I have no idea why this is. It's not really a new thing for me. Even as a young kid I was drawn to the more morbid things. Growing up I wanted to be Lydia from Beetlejuice (my favorite movie, by the way.) My mom would jokingly call me Wednesday Addams when I got especially morbid. There's even a show with two seasons and a movie that I got obsessed with called Dead Like Me it has Mandy Patinkin (Princess Bride, Criminal Minds) and Ellen Muth who star as Grim Reapers.

I thought that I'd give some examples of books and characters that I've been drawn to, starting with Desidora from the Palace Job. Now let me start by saying that while she was my favorite, she was definitely not the main character of the story. What interested me about Desidora is that she began as a Priestess for the book's God/Goddess of love where she did matchmaking. She was then pulled to become the god of Death. Throughout her scenes in the book, there's a constant struggle between her two personas. On the note of serving Death Gods, one of my favorite books is Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers where the main character is a nun within a convent that serves the books God of Death. I may have to reread this one sometime.

Another Death Character I've been drawn to is Terry Pratchett's character Death in the Disc World series. If you aren't familiar with Disc World, there are about 40 or more books, and there's really no specific reading order. You can read them chronologically or by a list of themes/ characters, one of them being Death. I've read the books involving Death out of order, and I'm most drawn to him in The Hogfather. I don't think I have a blog post for any of these books to link to, but the general idea is that Hogswatch is the Disc World's version of Christmas, and the Hogfather is their version of Santa Claus. The Hogfather has gone missing, and it's up to Death to take up the robes and save Hogswatch. It's highly entertaining.

If you've been reading my posts recently, you'll know I've gotten completely addicted to a series by Neal Shusterman. The series starts with Scythe and is a futuristic Science Fiction where we've conquered death and illness with science and the creation of the Thunderhead. However, for population control deaths still need to happen, and an elite organization called the Scythedom is in charge of "gleaning" the population. The Scythes are supposed to be above corruption and uphold a specific code of honor.

Going further back, there were two series that I really got into that involved two female characters as grim reapers. The first being Death has a Daughter by Candice Burnett. You can check of my review of the second book in the series, Death's Dilemma, here. In this series, Cendal is the first female Grim Reaper and must deal with all that comes with that prestige. There's also a series that starts with Graveyard Shift and is by Angela Roquet. In Graveyard Shift we follow Lana Harvey who is a subpar Grim Reaper in Limbo City, which is a modern collective of all of the afterlives. This one is a humorous paranormal novel that features a lot of different paranormal characters.

I'm not really sure what it is about Characters centered around death themes that grabs my attention so much. I think in a lot of the instances I've mentioned here it's the fact that they are often something more than just an agent of death (or death themselves). Or maybe I'm just a morbid little freak. I don't really deny that one, to be honest.  I'd love to hear what themes or characters you are drawn to in books in the comments below. If you have topics of discussions, you'd like to see me tackle feel free to let me know! I've got a list going that I'm going to try and get through in 2019.