Check out my five star predictions video!!
If you watch Booktube videos then I am sure you’re no stranger to the Magical Readathons but if you’re asking “WTF is that?!” then let me explain a little.
The Magical Readathon was created by BookRoast on YouTube. You can find her N.E.W.T.s announcement video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq7vFHcngYs&t=452s
We sat our O.W.L.s back in April, and I was going back and forth about I was going to take part in this readathon because so much is happening in August, but here we are and I am really diving in headfirst into the N.E.W.T.s.
My chosen career path is Mind Medic, so I have a shit ton of stuff I need to read.
I need to sit for Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Muggle Studies, Potions, and Transfiguration. The kicker is to get an O you need to read the prompts for each grade before getting to the O. The grades go A(cceptable) E(xceeds expectations) O(utstanding) O being the top mark.
I need to get an O in Charms.
A- Read a book that you think has a gorgeous cover. I decided to go with Sorcery of Thorns. I just love the art on the cover.
E- Read a Comic. For this, I went with Teen Titans: Raven
O- Read a paperback book. I chose We Hunt the Flame because I have a floppy paperback of this book.
I need an O in Defense Against the Dark Arts
A- Book that’s black under the dust jacket. I chose Suspicious Minds which I believe is a Stranger Things prequel.
E- First book you remembered from your TBR. For some reason Fahrenheit 451 popped into my head, so that’s what I will be reading.
O- Book written by an English author or that takes place in England. I chose Strange Ink because while the author now lives in Australia, he was born in England.
I need an E in Muggle Studies.
A- Cover that includes an actual photo element. I picked Darkfever because I’ve been wanting to reread this book so I can continue the series.
E- Book set in our real world. I picked How Do You Like Me Now?
I need an E in Potions.
A- Read your friend’s fave book. I will be reading The Raven Boys (finally) thanks to Melinda!!
E- Book with cover with your Hogwarts house color. I chose The Girl the Sea Gave Back which TitanBooks will so kindly send to me.
I also need an E in Transfiguration.
A- Read a book with LGBTQA+ representation. I chose to read Wilder Girls. I do believe this has LGBTQA+ rep, but please correct me if I am wrong.
E- Read a Book that’s not a first in the series. I chose Charmcaster because the Spellslinger series is hilarious and amazing!
That is 12 books in total!! I am really pushing it here but I think if I focus my energy I can pull it off. Maybe.
Are you taking part in the N.E.W.T.s? What career did you choose and what do you plan to read? Comment to let me know!!
The War in the Dark and The Spider Dance by Nick Setchfield were sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The War in the Dark Book Review
This genre bending series starts with The War in the Dark. In this series you follow Christopher Winter in 1960’s Europe. Where Russian spies are real and there’s something lurking in the shadows that is just a bit more sinister. When I read the synopsis of this book, I was instantly intrigued. It had a Da Vinci Code feeling to it with a dash of magic.
When you start reading you are instantly thrown into the action. It opens with Christopher Winter– or Winter as he is known throughout the book— confronted with a traitor who was handing over state secrets to the enemy. This is where the action kicks off.
I enjoyed this book, but I found that for a book that held so much potential with how the plot is described it fell a little flat for me. My main issue was with the characters. Even though every single one is supposed to have these different attributes and big personalities they all just felt like bland cardboard cut outs reading lines from a cue card. I did not really care what happened to Winter and he’s the main character.
In the last maybe 20% of the book it gets interesting and pushed me to want to read the next book because the plot twist is pretty intriguing. I do believe the author had this HUGE idea in his head for this book and didn’t spend enough time figuring out where to take it and how to bring it to life.
I gave this one 3 out 5 metal horns.
The Spider Dance Book Review
I don’t exactly know where to begin with this review because anything that goes too much into detail will be a hardcore spoiler for the first book, and I definitely don’t want to do that to anyone because I hate when it is done to me.
What I can say is that The Spider Dance was a lot more enjoyable than The War in the Dark. I feel like the characters were all a little more fleshed out. We start to learn a lot more about Christopher Winter’s past and how he got to where he is at the moment in the story.
We also get to witness a lot more of the supernatural/fantasy aspects of this story in The Spider Dance which explains why I found it a lot more enjoyable. While we spent a lot of time in the first book wondering about Winter’s past, in this one we start to see a bit more of who he was, and that in itself is a magical element in the book.
I think the thing that was missing in these books was maybe it needed a slight touch of humor somewhere, but you won’t really find that.
As a whole I would rate this series 4 out of 5 Metal Horns, I do believe it’s not a series for everyone though.
YOU CAN WIN A COPY OF THE SPIDER DANCE! OPEN TO UK/IRELAND RESIDENTS ONLY! FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER TO FIND OUT THE DETAILS!!
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— 𝓙𝓸𝓪𝓷𝓪 💜☠️🤘🏻 (@metalAndTheGeek) July 24, 2019
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning for this novel: Violence. Mentions of Rape & Assault.
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry is a Post-Apocalyptic Little Red Riding Hood retelling that may not have wolves but has a lot of men who act worse than wild animals.
A disease has taken out a large part of the population and the main character who goes by the name Red is trying to get all the way to her grandma’s house which is hundreds of miles away. She has to travel a brand new world where humanity’s ugliness has taken center stage. While a lot of people have gathered at quarantine centers, Red wants to hit the road.
This isn’t anything like the Young Adult fairy tale retellings that I have read in the past year, this book is dark, violent, and hits you right in the part of your brain that will strike fear into your whole body.
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I didn’t know what to expect going in because I was feeling just a little burnt out on the fairy tale retellings, but this is a complete reimagining. The main character Red has a prosthetic leg from an accident she had at a young age. She is tough, smart, and most of all tries to be as logical as possible in this strange new world.
All she wants is to get to grandma’s house. All she wants is to survive and she will do absolutely anything to make it happen.
The book goes back and forth between her present situation and the past when the outbreak of the disease occurred. I think at first there was something about the writing that was throwing me off a bit but towards the middle and the end I had a hard time putting this book down.
I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a fresh take on the retelling.
The Girl in Red gets four out of five Metal horns from me!
I just wanted to pop this up here in case anyone is interested in what I have read and want to read for the rest of the year.
Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019?
Well this is a tough one to answer and not because I have read so many amazing books. I have read a total of 47 books so far and there’s only a handful that I have rated five stars, but so far I would say my favorite book so far is Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2019?
Hands down the best sequel I have read is Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell. I need to continue this series soon because it’s so great and funny!
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?
There are a few but one that I own and haven’t had a chance to read yet is Aurora Rising. I am a little nervous going into it because I really did not like Jay Kristoff’s Likelike, but we shall see.
Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2019?
I think the two I am most looking forward to is Gideon the Ninth and The Bone Houses. I see so many people with ARCs and I this is one of the few times I wish I could get my hands on a copy of either one.
ELANTRIS! By Brandon Sanderson. I know everyone is in love with every single book he writes but this was boring and repetitive. It took me forever to get through it.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely!! I have been really disappointed recently by the overhyped YA books, but I really enjoyed this one.
Favourite New Author?
Sarah Gailey! I read her book Magic for Liars and loved it!
Newest Fictional Crush?
I don’t have any fictional crushes haha. I am 33 and kind of over crushing on ficitional characters.
Newest Favourite Character?
Daisy Jones! She’s a terrible person but also kind of a badass!!
Book That Made You Cry?
None. Haha I don’t really get too emotional when reading books. Is that a bad thing?
Book That Made You Happy?
The two Spellslinger books from Sabestien de Castell made me so happy! Love the characters and the humor.
Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?
I finally got the chance to see The Hate U Give and I loved it!
Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year?
I have fallen behind on my reviews. You can find out why here: https://metalandthegeek.com/2019/06/09/where-the-hell-have-i-been/
Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?
Hmmm I haven’t bought too many books but maybe my MinaLima edition of The Little Mermaid. So gorgeous.
What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?
SO MANY BOOKS!!!!!!!! There are quite a few I need to review soon.
- The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion
- The Relics Series by Tim Lebbon
- Red,White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
- The Wicked King by Holly Black
Any time there’s some element of magic involved in a story, it typically catches my attention.
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey popped up on my radar while watching a book tube video. I had not heard a single murmur about it before this, and I instantly wanted to read it. So I did!
Magic for Liars Summary
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.
Magic for Liars Review
I loved this book!
It had a murder mystery, it had magic, and it had the right amount of humor sprinkled in. I really loved the main character of Ivy. She’s pretty flawed, and the way Sarah Gailey wrote her, she felt so real to me. I wanted to be her friend, and her assistant in this case.
Don’t go into this thinking you’re getting some adult Harry Potter with murder. While the magic is there, the murder mystery and the characters are at the forefront of this novel. We don’t get great explanations as to how the magic system works in this world, and we don’t get to know much about the magical events until the end.
While I enjoyed the story, I called the ending right from when Ivy reaches the school.
That didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this novel AT ALL. I have been struggling for weeks to find a book that would really capture my attention and this did the trick.
I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, quick, and slightly magical read.
It did lose a star for the predictability of it, I still loved it very much!
This gets four out of five metal horns from me!
**This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House in Exchange for an honest review**
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2019. I was nervous going in and came out loving this author more than ever.
I will start this off by saying if you’re expecting another Evelyn Hugo, this isn’t for you. Also, in my opinion, that would be boring. We already have an Evelyn Hugo, we needed a Daisy Jones this time around. This book is gritty, it is unapologetic in the story it is telling, and it deals with some hard-hitting topics.
In Daisy Jones and the Six, you are following a bunch of musicians from a popular 70’s band, but the book is written in interviews. The format may throw some people off, but I loved it. As a teenager, I had this crazy obsession with Jim Morrison and The Doors, and this book just heavily reminded me of that time in my life. I love music, especially rock music, and this whirlwind look into the story of this fictional band was exactly my cup of tea. In fact, it’s my cup of coffee, cuz I prefer that to tea.
Daisy Jones is this overly priveliged rich girl whose parents don’t really care about her comings and goings. This pushes her into the crazy world of the LA rock scene at a very young age. When Daisy Jones finally comes together with The Six everyone is dealing with some serious issues mostly with drug and alcohol addiction (HUGE TRIGGER WARNING FOR THAT)
I loved this story. The dynamic between Billy and Daisy is great. It’s just something you’re expecting to get from two attractive popular musicians at that time. While this is done in interviews some of the secondary characters felt a little one dimensional to me, but Billy, Daisy, Karen, and Camila are THE BEST. I mean they have questionable morals I guess, and do some crazy shit, but I love how they pop off the page. At some points, I completely forgot this was a fictional story.
One of my favorite quotes from Daisy was this:
“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse.
I am not a muse.
I am the somebody.
End of fucking story.”
And that’s Daisy in a nutshell.
Daisy Jones and the Six is out now!!
I Loved this book and it gets 5 out of 5 metalhorns from me.
I am starting to update my YouTube channel on a more consistent basis, and I hope you will check it out!
You can find my weekend reading vlog here: https://youtu.be/Qf_rq21U5tQ
And you can also watch me roast my horrible teen poetry here: https://youtu.be/0VbkUk42eEM
Make sure you like the videos and subscribe! Looking forward to growing my channel!
The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas
Published in Paperback on: July 2, 2018
Length: 288 Pages
Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my opinion.
In this spellbinding novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.
Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary–perhaps magical–Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph’s family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.
The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces–potent magic, forbidden love–that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.
My Thoughts: This book was beyond beautiful. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but at the end I came out feeling like something was added within my heart. The story is told from three different points of view, and they’re somewhat loosely related to one another, you discover in the end how it all ties together nicely.
Out of the three points of view my least favourite was actually Joseph. It felt like he was holding everything and everyone an arms length away, and because this is how he comes across, it was hard to connect to him. I really loved Ali’s point of view. It was engaging and beautiful. His was the story that really grabbed me and made me fall in love with the story and setting.
This book is beautiful but it also feels a bit rushed. An idea of this nature feels like it should be really fleshed out, and it really could have been. Maybe then I would have liked Joseph and the sisters points of view a little more. The writing was lovely, but again missing just a little spark to really hook the reader.
I would still recommend this book to any historical fiction lovers. It’s now available in paperback internationally.
I gave this four out of five metal horns!
Every pseudo-intellectual is about to roll their eyes so hard at me, but I don’t care.
I posted recently about more positivity in the book community, and writing a rant about War and Peace seems a little counteractive to that idea, but this book really bothered me.
I read all kinds of books, including young adult novels because ONE they are the category in which I would like to one day be published in and TWO they are fun imaginative rides from start to finish. I bring this up because a lot of young women and men within the book community get older men just spewing dumb comments at them because apparently to them if you only read young adult novels, you’re dumb, and I am here to stand up for all young men and women who choose to read what they enjoy.
Classics are not all they’re cracked up to be. I don’t know how many old white dudes tell us to read more classics. I decided I needed to make up my own mind about classics. War and Peace is not the first classic novel I decided to read, nor will it be the last. It is, on the other hand, one of my least favorite books I have EVER FUCKING READ in my life.
I would describe it as Gossip Girl mixed with Russian history. Honestly, you people make fun of young adult novels but this entire book is about people loving this person after a day, but oh wait JUST FUCKING KIDDING they love that other person now…Oh, and by the way Napoleon is a fucking asshole…oh another drama about who loves who and who wants to die in a war. I know it seems like I am simplifying a very complex book, but this book isn’t actually complex at all. It’s massive and boring. It took me MONTHS to finish, and I will honestly never read it again. War and Peace could totally be given the Disney treatment because the instalove is REAL in this book.
At 1200 pages, I would say this thing could have been cut in half.
As historical fiction goes, it’s absolute shit. I recommend it to NO ONE.
If you want to read an epic Historical Fiction then I recommend The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett. If you’ve been contemplating reading War and Peace, then do so if you must but be warned this book did not age well, and it will make you roll your eyes right into the back of your head.
Don’t ever feel pressured to read classics like this because if you don’t then you’re not considered intelligent, because anyone who thinks this is a beacon of intelligence needs their head checked.
Peace and Love!