My 5 Star TBR Predictions, 2021 Edition

Hi to all of my friends, old and new! I’ve had a busy few weeks so I haven’t been around to post as much, but I thought it was time to get back to it. Lately, I’ve been getting really excited just looking at all of the unread books on my shelves and so it got me thinking about which ones could become new favorites. Sounds like the perfect time to do a predictions post again, right?! Yeah, I thought so too.

Let’s get started, shall we?


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Dune (Dune, #1)  by Frank Herbert

If you follow me on Insta, then you know that I am currently in a love affair with Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of this novel. Now I grew up on the original Lynch version so I’m already fairly well acquainted with the story. But I’ve never actually read the book. SHOCKING, I know. But even though it’s a very divisive series, I have a sneaky suspicion that I will love it.

 

 

 

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Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3)  by Fonda Lee

Technically, this book isn’t out until December but I do have it on preorder so I feel like it definitely counts on this list. I have loved every single one of the books in the series so far, and can only imagine what Lee has in store for us in this finale. I don’t know if this series has been optioned for a film adaptation, but it needs to be.

 

 

 

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The Mask Falling (The Bone Season, #4)  by Samantha Shannon

I am trash for this series so this one shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone. I’m still in the middle of doing a reread of The Song Rising via audio so it may be a bit before I dive into this. Especially knowing how long Shannon takes in between releases (super annoying on a selfish level but I also understand).

 

 

 

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The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1)  by Colleen McCullough

Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of McCullough’s most famous novel, The Thorn Birds. However, I read a few of her historical fiction series novels when I was in college and loved every single one so I think this one will be able to recreate that original enthusiasm that I had for her writing.

 

 

 

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When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry

When it comes to Emily Henry’s YA novels, she can do no wrong (or at least hasn’t yet). I can admit to never having read her adult novels, though I know those are pretty beloved by readers as well. However, I feel like Henry really gets to explore some interesting ideas with her YA books, especially since she likes to dive into magical realism with them. I’m interested in seeing how she tackles some science fiction with this one.

 

 


What are some books on your TBR that you think will get 5 star reviews from you? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them?

WWW Wednesday – October 27th, 2021

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!


Currently Reading

  • Cazadora (Wolves of No World, #2) by Romina Garber – ebook
  • Abaddon’s Gate (The Expanse, #3) by James S.A. Corey – physical book
  • The Song Rising (The Bone Season, #3) by Samantha Shannon – audiobook, reread

I have only just started Abaddon’s Gate so I don’t have much of an opinion yet, though I’m sure I’m going to love it as much as I did the two previous books in the series. Seriously, one of the greatest scifi series I’ve ever read! I also haven’t actually started Cazadora just yet as I’m trying to focus more on my physical reads, instead of my ebooks. I haven’t made much progress into Song Rising either, due to not really having had any time to listen to the audio recently. I hope to remedy that soon though!

What did you recently finish reading?

  • Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co., #1)  by Anna James – physical book
  • Little Thieves  by Margaret Owen – ebook, ARC
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart  by Stephanie Garber – physical book
  • Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1) by Katherine Arden – physical book

All of these books were really great but I have to say that Little Thieves was by far my favorite. Though I do have high hopes for the OUABH sequel. 

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Dune (Dune, #1) by Frank Herbert – physical book
  • The Big Reveal by Jen Larsen – ARC
  • Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten – ARC

What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

ARC Review: Vespertine

Let me preface this review by first being totally honest and be upfront about the fact that Margaret Rogerson is one of my favorite new authors to have debuted within the past few years. She writes the kind of mature YA fantasy that I absolutely devour. I’ve also loved that she has stuck to writing fantasy standalones… until now. When I found out that her newest release, Vespertinewas going to be the start of a new series, I knew I had to have it.

HUGE thanks to my friends at Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy for an honest review and allowing me to be a part of their blogger blitz!


The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

Rogerson knows a thing or two about creating a world so vivid that you’re transported to it from the very first page. I was immediately drawn into the dark and bleak Loraille, which is overrun by restless spirits of the dead. The spirits in this book are divided into 5 Orders based upon how they originally died and what kind of “power” that has bestowed upon them. Now, if I have one complaint for this book, it would be that you are sort of dropped into the middle of all of these classifications without any background knowledge. It took me quite a bit to understand the differences and recognize the many different names used. It did seem a bit info-dumpy in the beginning and I was left scrambling around for around 100 pages until I was able to catch up. With that being said, I was completely fascinated by this world and I loved the idea of a chancellery running the kingdom with warrior nuns and priests providing an army against the spirits, especially by using spirit-bound relics to grant them special powers. I have seen comparisons to Joan of Arc, and while I can see where someone might get that idea, it’s even more intense than our poor martyr, Joan (she didn’t have this kind of power!). 

Which brings us to our own little savior, Artemisia. She’s the ultimate reluctant hero and awkward with a capital A! Growing up in a tiny village, she suffered from a very traumatizing childhood that was impacted by her ability to see spirits and thus causing her to be possessed at a young age. TRIGGER WARNING: The abuse she suffered from her family for this tragedy, ultimately does cause her to have PTSD as well as a physical disability of limited use of her fingers due to extreme burns. I loved how resilient Artemisia is. She only wanted to stay in the convent and prepare the dead for burial, but instead is thrust into the spotlight upon her bonding with the Revenant. And let me tell you, they are a character. Revenant is snarky, sullen, and very much an asshole. Their relationship with Artemisia is fascinating and I loved how you get to see it progress throughout the book. If you love sarcastic banter, you’ll enjoy their interactions. My favorites were their snide comments about humans.. HILARIOUS. And there’s our resident priest, Leander, who’s an intensely menacing and mysterious presence chasing down Artemisia. He has plans of his own and you’re never quite sure what his ultimate end-goal is. I was so intrigued following along with Artemisia as she tries to discover what he wants.

Homesickness for a place I had never been, for the answers to questions I carried in my heart but for which I had no words. I hadn’t recognized it then, because I hadn’t understood what it felt like to h

Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t too many issues with this book (as I had hoped!). I think the only criticism I really have is the overwhelming info-dump at the beginning, which I overcame the more I became accustomed to the world. However, this is the first book in a fantasy series and that is a common enough problem for the genre. I think another issue that some might have is that this book has ZERO romance in it. Which is another large difference between Vespertine and Rogerson’s previous novels. Now, it didn’t bother me too much because the other types of relationships were interesting enough but I do wonder if that will change any in the sequel. I was getting a teeny tiny hint of something towards the very end but that could also just be my wishful thinking. If you are one of those readers who prefers romance in their stories, just be aware that this one may not provide enough for you.

This story really did wow me. I loved going on this journey to sainthood with Artemisia and was constantly left on the edge of my seat. This was a very different type of story than I had first expected from Rogerson, but I loved having my expectations subverted like that. There is so much more to explore in this world and I’m really glad that there’s going to be an opportunity to experience it. Please be aware that this a darker story and comes with a few different trigger warnings from the author – self-harm, anxiety, disordered eating (minor), child neglect/abuse (past), trauma/PTSD (traumatic experiences in past). I do feel that these were handled with care but YMMV.

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars


Is Vespertine on your TBR? Do you like books without romance in them? Do you prefer to read standalones or series? If you have read Vespertine, what did you think of it?