Initial Impressions & Pub Day Spotlight – In the Shadow of Lightning

Happy book birthday to In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan! I initially planned to share my review for this book today, but I’m not finished with it yet. So, I thought I’d do a quick post about my initial impressions so far and then get back to reading.

Goodreads Synopsis

Demir Grappo is an outcast—he fled a life of wealth and power, abandoning his responsibilities as a general, a governor, and a son. Now he will live out his days as a grifter, rootless, and alone. But when his mother is brutally murdered, Demir must return from exile to claim his seat at the head of the family and uncover the truth that got her killed: the very power that keeps civilization turning, godglass, is running out.

Now, Demir must find allies, old friends and rivals alike, confront the powerful guild-families who are only interested in making the most of the scraps left at the table and uncover the invisible hand that threatens the Empire. A war is coming, a war unlike any other. And Demir and his ragtag group of outcasts are the only thing that stands in the way of the end of life as the world knows it.

Initial Impressions

I’m approximately a third of the way through the book, and I like it a lot so far. The world feels gritty and the magic system is fascinating. I almost always enjoy stories where the magic is a natural resource that is running out, and this one is no exception. There’s plenty of murder, mystery, and political maneuvering alongside the intensifying warfare that has gripped the empire and its neighboring city-state. The characters are all complex with interesting backgrounds and personalities that are slowly being uncovered layer by layer as the story progresses. Overall, the setup in the first third of the book has been great, and I’m really looking forward to what will hopefully be an epic payoff in the end.


My Favorite LGBT+ Books Since Last Year’s Pride

I really enjoy reading, reviewing, and spotlighting mostly queer books during Pride. However, I also read a ton of LGBT+ books throughout the year. In today’s post, I wanted to highlight my favorite books with LGBT+ characters that I’ve read this past year since the last Pride month. These were all five star books for me, and I loved each and every one of them. There’s a wide range of genres represented here with the intention that the list will hopefully have something for everyone. Initially, this was going to be a list of five, but I couldn’t narrow it down even close to that number. So, instead you get my 15 favorite LGBT+ books/series that I’ve read since last year’s Pride.

Read More »

Mid-Month NetGalley Check-In – June 2022

I’ve once again made some progress in the last month. I read and reviewed eight books, and I’ve been approved for nine new books in the last month. You can see where I was last month in my most recent check-in post. My feedback ratio thankfully managed to climb another two percent to 72%. I’ve completed 62 ARC reviews out of the total 86 for which I have been approved. I’m excited that I am still managing to keep my percentage at 70% or above, and I’m going to do my best to keep it there while I work to reach the coveted 80% threshold. I now have 24 books available to review on my shelf, which is a slight increase from where I was this time last month. Many of the books I’ve recently gotten have been sequels of books I haven’t read. So, I’ll be starting a lot of new series/duologies in the near future, which I’m pretty excited about while also finding the shear number of books I need to read a bit daunting.

Read More »

Spell the Month in Books – June 2022

Hello, everyone! I have seen this challenge floating around and have been wanting to participate for a while. So, I decided to jump in and do it this month. I’m not a huge fan of the theme for this month because I don’t really read classic books all that often. Instead of doing the theme (favorite classics), I’ve decided to spell the month using books from my TBR that have LGBT+ main characters, in honor of Pride month. The challenge and linkup are hosted by Jana at Reviews From the Stacks.

Read More »

First Lines Fridays (52) – June 10, 2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
Read More »

Nonfiction Mini Reviews – Bi: The Hidden Culture, History, and Science of Bisexuality / This Book Is Gay

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing two recent nonfiction reads, This Book Is Gay and Bi. One of my goals for this year was to read more nonfiction. So, I’m excited to have added these two books to the read pile. Bi is also the oldest eARC on my NetGalley shelf, and finally reading it made me really happy. 🙂 Without further ado, here are the books!

Read More »