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It’s spooky season!!!!!
But before we jump headfirst into those Halloween vibes, I need to recap everything I read in September. I read four novels, three graphic novels, and one online magazine. Four of these were rereads. In total, I read eight things in full this month.
Minus a couple of the rereads, the quality was overall very good. I also didn’t rate anything below three stars. Halfway through the month, I accidentally started my spookathon I have planned for October. This is due entirely to being unable to read anything non-spooky after reading Gideon the Ninth.
So, what did I read in September and what did I think of it? To quote Philip DeFranco, “Let’s just jump into it!”
Endless by Jessica Shirvington (Reread)
Summary: Angels are real. They aren’t always kind. Violet Eden is certain of all this because she is Grigori— part angel, part human. She has felt the influence of both light and dark.
When Hell unleashes its worst, Violet must embrace every facet of her angel self to save the people she cares about and the world as she knows it. But death is not the worst thing that Violet will face. For her, the endless question ‘Can love conquer all?’ will finally be answered.
My Thoughts: The first time I read this book, it was my favorite in the series. And, barring the final book blowing me away, I imagine that assessment will remain the same.
Look, this series isn’t perfect and this installment is no exception. It does more showing than telling this time, but continues the trend of having the men in Violet’s life decide everything and hide their plans from her. It’s exhausting and removes her agency.
But at the same time, Violet goes through some serious character development and really gets to feel her trauma. And, moreover, this book made me feel things.
Perhaps my rating is a touch generous, but I don’t feel guilty for it. Not even a little.
My Rating: 4/5
Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
Summary: The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.
Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.
But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.
Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?
My Thoughts: My Goodreads review upon finishing this book reads simply, “SHE. THEY. HE. I JUST. I CAN’T. AAAAAAAHHHHHH.” So you know I have a lot of feelings and they’re all positive. Check out my full review here!
My Rating: 5/5
Empower by Jessica Shirvington (Reread)
Summary: It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and— most importantly— her soulmate, Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.
Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.
But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.
Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.
Violet is going back to New York… and she knows exactly who is going to be there.
With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart, she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made.
My Thoughts: Well, I did it. I finally finished my reread of this series. I actually found this book to be a struggle to get through. It has all the same internal and external conflicts I thought we’d already conquered in the previous book. Plus, once again, Shirvington spends all her time telling us how people are feeling instead of showing us.
I also really disliked the notion that, without the threat of heaven and hell, people would lose their consciences and descend into anarchy. That’s a demonstrable fallacy.
I’d thought I’d give this book two stars, but a certain character’s death kind of got to me so I increased it back up to 3 stars.
All that said, I really only read this book for Steph and Gray and the scraps of Onyx I was given (also, don’t think I didn’t notice how every couple gets to kiss except the gay one). Josephine is interesting too. And Dapper’s all right. I did this for them.
My Rating: 3/5
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Summary: The Emperor needs necromancers.
The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.
Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.
Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.
Of course, some things are better left dead.
My Thoughts: When I started this book, I thought it was too weird for me. Gideon speaks with such modern language and it felt out of place.
But the next thing I knew, I was thoroughly enjoying this book because it’s so weird. Muir is able to mix the old and the new, science fiction and fantasy, into a wonderfully weird concoction.
Moreover, I just really love the gothic vibe this story has. And the character development? Beautiful.
This book is nothing like I thought it’d be and everything I didn’t know I needed. I am so excited for the sequel. Check out my full review here!
My Rating: 5/5
Nightmare (Issue 84) edited by John Joseph Adams
Summary: Nightmare is an online horror and dark fantasy magazine. In Nightmare‘s pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror.
My Thoughts: This was a super interesting collection of fiction & non-fiction, all trending toward horror. I was more entertained by the fiction, especially “The Tiger” and “Wilderness.” I’d definitely be interested in checking out more from this magazine.
My Rating: 4/5
Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda (Reread)
Summary: Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, Monstress tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.
My Thoughts: This is such a unique story. I really love Maika Halfwolf and her world. Be warned though, it gets pretty graphic and depicts slavery. Still, it’s a great story. Also, as the poets said, the cats were amazing.
My Rating: 5/5
Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda (Reread)
Summary: Maika Halfwolf is on the run from a coalition of forces determined to control or destroy the powerful Monstrum that lives beneath her skin. But Maika still has a mission of her own: to discover the secrets of her late mother, Moriko.
Maika’s quest takes her to the pirate-controlled city of Thyria and across the sea to the mysterious Isle of Bones. It is a journey that will force Maika to reevaluate her past, present, and future, and contemplate whether there’s anyone, or anything, she can truly trust— including her own body.
My Thoughts: I really loved learning more about Maika and Moriko’s pasts. Great installment!
My Rating: 5/5
Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Summary: Maika Halfwolf has begun to unlock the mysteries of her past— but the challenges are only going. Maika’s journey takes her to the neutral city of Pontus, where she hopes to find temporary refuge from her pursuers. Unfortunately, Pontus may not be as safe as Maika and her allies had hoped.
As the impending war between humans and Arcanics creeps ever closer, and powerful players fight for the chance to control her future, Maika finds she must work with Zinn, the Monstrum that lives inside her, in order to ensure their mutual survival. But even that alliance might not be enough to prepare Maika for the horrors to come.
My Thoughts: Honestly, I don’t even know how to review this series. I just know I’m obsessed with it. Everything in this issue is flawless, from the story to the characters to the artwork. I’m especially impressed with Kippa. She’s really come into her own. I’m so glad the next issue comes out today so I can continue the story right away.
My Rating: 5/5
What did you read in September? Have you read any of these books? Let’s discuss in the comments!
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