The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho
Publication Date: June 23rd 2020
Blurb:Zen Cho returns with a found family wuxia fantasy that combines the vibrancy of old school martial arts movies with characters drawn from the margins of history.
A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.
I only recently stumbled across The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water but omfg I am in LOVE. I’m am so ready for this book – a found family wuxia fantasy??? sign me the fuck up!
And it would be remiss of me not to mention that cover because it is truly something stunning 😍😍
Is The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected on Water on your tbr pile?
Blurb: Find the heir, win the crown. Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Harper has freed Prince Rhen from the curse that almost destroyed his kingdom. But all is not well; rumours are rife that there is a rival heir with a stronger claim to the throne and that ‘Princess’ Harper of Disi is nothing but a fraud.
Grey has fled the castle carrying a terrible secret. When he is discovered by soldiers and returned to Ironrose by force, Grey’s allegiances begin to shift. And as he grows closer to an enemy princess, he is forced to decide whether he will stand against Rhen for the crown he never wanted.
I just could not, for the life of me, get into this. Some of the new characters annoyed me and old favourites just didn’t seem the same. I was going to push through but in the end it just wasn’t worth it. I wouldn’t say don’t read it – if you’re keen by all means go for it, I hope you enjoy it, but this time as much as I wanted otherwise I didn’t enjoy it enough to make it worth finishing.
“Choices are never easy. There are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is to not make any choice at all.”
*I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*
Blurb:Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.
Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.
Riot Baby is an intense and wonderfully written novella that draws you straight in. Ella and Kev are both magnetic leads. Ella in particular with her fury really captivated me. For a novella, Riot Baby felt so vast. Sometimes with novellas, even when I love them, there’s a part of me that wants more – but with Riot Baby it felt like there was so much more than 170 pages worth of story. The sci-fi/magic element added an extra element to the story that I just loved.
There were times where I had to wrap my head around the time skips and flashes into past memories as well as how Kev and Ella’s abilities worked but other than that Riot Baby is a powerful and emotive read that I definitely recommend you put on your tbr piles.
I am the locusts and the frogs and the rivers of blood. I am here now.
*I received a review copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*
Somehow another year has been and gone – seemingly in the blink of an eye and yet an eternity in other ways. I discovered some new favourites, got completely let down by some anticipated reads and then disappeared off the face of the Earth whilst finally watching The Untamed and reading the source novel, Mó Dào Zǔ Shī (still haven’t recovered from that tbh).
I set my Goodreads goal as 2 books this year so needless to say I completed it on the 3rd or so of Jan. I actually found that doing that really helped. The year before I had set my goal at 65ish and I found that added pressure and made me feel like I had to be reading instead of reading because I want to. I still struggled a bit with focusing on read at my own pace and picking up what I wanted to read – since starting this blog I’ve often felt like I needed to be reviewing books regularly (and therefore reading a lot) and like I had to stay up to date with the latest releases. So for the new year I am going to be focusing on reading for fun and whatever pace that may be rather than reading from a place of ‘shit I need to be writing and publishing blog content’ etc.
Disappointing Reads of 2019
I’m going to start with a couple of disappointing reads so that we can then move onto the good stuff and end the post on a high note.
First off and perhaps the biggest disappointment for me personally was Serpent & Dove. I was so so hyped for this one and had heard such great things about it. I had expected to love it based on that and the tropes – but alas it was a let down to put it mildly afskdf. My mini review.
Another one I was wanting to love but didn’t was We Are Blood and Thunder. It sounded so good but just left me feeling iffy. My review.
There were some great sequels out this year. We were blessed to get The Name of All Things – the sequel for The Ruin of Kings – in the same year book one released and it was amazing! Words cannot describe how much I love Kihrin, Teraeth and Janel. Next year we only get book three, The Memory of Souls but it’s going to be worth every second of waiting. My review for The Name of All Things.
I got to read The Electric Heir – sequel to The Fever King – this year and HOLY GODS y’all are not ready. It’s just so brilliant, I tried writing a decent review so many times but ended up just flailing with the amount of emotions it made me feel.My review.
I discovered more than a few new favourite books and authors this year.
One of the one’s I really want to highlight is T Frohock and her Los Nefilim books. I just love them so much – the characters Frohock created are *chefs kiss* Like I need people reading these books. I’m also really excited to read Miserere: An Autumn Tale. It’s a standalone not connected to Los Nefilim and I have no doubt I’ll love it as well.
My entire year was made when I was sent an arc of Docile by KM Szpara. I fucking cannot describe how much I love this book and his short stories. Like it’s so so good and I get jealous at everyone who gets to read them for the first time. My review for Docile will be up soon but know you have to read this.
Down the MDZS Rabbit Hole
The end of this year also saw me descend into hell – also as two weeks binging The Untamed (all 50 episodes) followed by a week binging Mó Dào Zǔ Shī (the book The Untamed is based on which is like 500k words long).
It wrecked me emotionally like?? I will never recover from this. This chaotic bisexual and his husband (THEY HAVE A SON!!!)are what make life worth living. Huge shout out to Silvia @ Silvia Reads Books– I’d had my eye on the show for a little while to check out but it was thanks to Silvia’s enthusiasm that I started it and then dived straight into the novel (which I might have missed out on the joy of discovering it without her). Definitely check out Silvia post that I’ve linked to if you’re keen to know more about MDZS and The Untamed – she does a great job explaining it.
It’s been a great reading year over all – there’s been so many great books, new discoveries and new obsessions. Who knows what the new year will bring but I hope it filled with even more wonderful books!
What your reading year been like? Discover any new favourites yourself?
With the Nationalist forces hard on their heels, the members of Los Nefilim—Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons—make a desperate run for the French border.
Diago Alvarez, a singular being of angelic and daimonic descent, follows Guillermo and a small group of nefilim through the Pyrenees, where the ice is as treacherous as postwar loyalties—both can kill with a single slip. When a notebook of Los Nefilim’s undercover operatives falls into a traitor’s hands, Diago and Guillermo risk their lives to track it down. As they uncover a pocket realm deep within the Pyrenees, Diago discovers his family is held hostage.
Faced with an impossible choice: betray Los Nefilim, or watch his family die, Diago must nurture the daimonic song he has so long denied in order to save those he loves.