Sunday, June 16, 2019

I need a break....

I'm taking a break from the blog. I will be back in July. See you all next month!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Music Monday (81): Ravyn Lenae

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Today, I wanted to talk about Ravyn Lenae. A while ago, her music was recommended to me by Adri. Since then, I’ve listened to most of her current music with the exception of Moon Shoes. Lenae’s EP, Crush, is so good. All of the songs have a great sound, and one of my favorite tracks is Closer (Ode 2 U). I really love the song!

What are you listening to this week?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

ARC Review: Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey

41555947Title: Magic For Liars
Series: n/a
Author: Sarah Gailey
Source/Format: Bookish First; bound ARC
More Details: Fantasy; Mystery
Publisher/Publication Date: Tor Books; June 4, 2019

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
Sharp, mainstream fantasy meets compelling thrills of investigative noir in this fantasy debut by rising star Sarah Gailey... 
Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It's a great life and she doesn't wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha. But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach...
Prior to reading Magic For Liars, I’d heard a lot of good things about Sarah Gailey’s other published work. I hadn't read them, but I was very excited to dive into this book anyway. Magic For Liars is a whodunit style murder mystery set primarily at Osthorne Academy, a boarding school for mages. From the start, it had a promising premise. And while parts of the story tended to be a little more predictable than others, that didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.

I liked the writing and pace of the story, as well as the setting. Right away, the prologue introduced the mystery. At first, it seemed like there weren’t any suspects, because the victim was well-liked by students and faculty. However, nothing was as it seemed. And despite Ivy’s idolization of places like Osthorne, they still had as many problems as any other school. She seemed to learn that lesson the hard way, and at times I was waiting for her to let go of her lies—the ones she was beginning to buy into—and focus on the case. As I mentioned above, I was able to kind of guess who the culprit would likely be, just not the motivation behind their actions. So, it wasn’t an issue, because there was so much I generally enjoyed about the book. Also, I was still invested enough in the story to wait around for the big reveal to happen.

Magic was such a big theme in the story. Some of it was kind of whatever goes. However the more academic side with rules and limitations was actually interesting to read about.

Ivy Gamble is a private investigator, and for the most part I liked her characterization. Even though she was solving other people’s issues, she had her own share of problems that—toward the beginning of the book—went largely unaddressed. She drank, resented her sister, was bitter about the magic she didn’t have, and thought about herself in a manner that I could often describe as self-deprecating. Many of her cases involved cheating spouses among other things. So, I could understand her enthusiasm and trepidation about being handed what she considered to be a big and important case that was unlike other’s she’d handled before. The other characters were interesting as well. None of them were perfect. A lot of them had secrets and quirks—like Tabitha Gamble, Mrs. Webb, and others. However, it’s what made them distinctive and memorable. I didn’t even mind the romance subplot.

Magic For Liars was an interesting blend of magic and mystery, and if you’re a fan of that, then I would say give this one a try. I wish there was a sequel, because I would have liked to see more from these characters. Overall, I look forward to reading another book by Sarah Gailey....

About the author...
Permission is granted to freely use either of these photographs for promotional or press purposes so long as they are credited ©   Allan Amato    2019.Hugo award winner Sarah Gailey lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Their nonfiction has been published by Mashable and the Boston Globe, and their fiction has been published internationally. They are a regular contributor for and Barnes & Noble. You can find links to their work at They tweet@gaileyfrey.
(Photo credit: ©Allan Amato 2019) 

Disclaimer: This copy of the book was provided by Bookish First and Tor Books for this review, thank you!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review: Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

34386617Title: Binti: The Night Masquerade 
Series: Binti #3
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Source/Format: Borrowed from the Library; Paperback
More Details: SFF
Publisher/Publication Date:; January 16, 2018

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
The concluding part of the highly-acclaimed science fiction trilogy that began with Nnedi Okorafor's Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning BINTI....
Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse. Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her. Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene--though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives--and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all....
Before I get started, I wanted to clarify that while I try to be as vague as possible, this review may contain some minor spoilers for the first two novellas of the series. You’ve been warned.

After the cliffhanger end of Binti: Home, I was excited to dive back into this world and these characters in the finale novella of the trilogy, Binti: The Night Masquerade. For the most part, this novella answered the lingering questions I had—about how Binti’s story would end as well as the mystery of her “edan”. The ending was kind of open-ended in a way, but it still brought about the resolution of some of the personal and external conflicts that have plagued Binti since the first novella. Change is hard. Monumental and life altering changes are even harder, and Binti had to come to terms with the ways the events of the trilogy have affected her.

I liked the progression of the story. The politics from the previous novellas were back, and with the treaty in place, I could see how Binti could believe the conflict had settled. However, the rivalry between Khoush and the Meduse restarted and with deadly and destructive consequences. There was danger, but I liked how Binti remained true to her ways even in the face of overwhelming odds. Parts of the story were emotionally impactful but all too fleeting, because I was able to guess what would happen next. So, some parts of the story were a little predictable, and other scenes leaned a little into the territory of being a deus ex machina. I also won’t say too much about how the mystery of Binti’s “edan” was solved, but I have to admit that it made me laugh—not because it was funny, but instead it was just so…random that I couldn’t help but see it in a more humorous light.

The aliens—and even Oomza University—were all creative and unique, and I really loved those aspects of the story. And I know I keep mentioning the ship, Third Fish, but it was one of my favorite characters in this one, along with its baby: New Fish. So, when I say the technology in this trilogy is one of my favorite aspects because of its creativity, I really do mean that.

While there were a few “meh” aspects about The Night Masquerade, it was still a fitting end to Binti’s story. As a whole, the Binti trilogy was worth the read, and I look forward to reading more novels by Nnedi Okorafor….

Monday, May 27, 2019

Music Monday (80): Jamila Woods

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Today, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite songs from Jamila Wood’s new album, Legacy! Legacy!. I like all of the songs from it, so it was hard to choose just one to talk about. However, I decided on Miles, because I love everything about it. It’s also a great example of the kind of music you’ll find on the rest of the album...

What are you listening to this week?

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