Monthly Wrap Up: June 2018

We are halfway done with this year, which was so far very interesting for me. June brought some exciting stuff into my life: like an interview with Barry Kerch from Shinedown, my involvment in SPFBO 4 as consultant for Fantasy Book Review‘s judging team. I am freaking excited about that one honestly. I will set up a page for it on my blog during July once I catch up to myself. The real fun starts on August 1st anyway. I also got asked to beta read for a friend which is a HUGE honor for me, since I adore the hell out of that person 🙂 Hopefully I can live up to his expectations…

On the other hand I had to deal with some emotional shit too, which I expect will have a constant presence in my life from now on. I grew a lot as a person since I started blogging, mainly because I got to know a really amazing person who challenged me to do it. But until this month, I never knew how fortunate I am to have people in my life who care about me in ways I never imagined someone could. Or support me like they do. I finally understood how that feels like, seeing someone you care about struggling, without being able to help. How hard it is to grow up to be the person they need you to be for them, or how much impact you can have on someone’s life without you noticing. Friendships are a magical thing and you have to value them. Contact a person you care about and let them know, because, believe me, it will totally make their day!

That’s about my personal life, let’s see what happened on my blog:

Book reviews

In case you missed any of my reviews earlier this month you can read them by clicking on the title! 🙂 I had a pretty mixed lot this month: some ARCs, historical fictions, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, grimdark.

Song by Jesse Teller – 3.5/5

SongI finished reading it back in May, but only got around to post my review in June. This was a monthly group read. I like the writing style of Jesse on his blog, but somehow this book didn’t meat my expectations. It wasn’t bad, but I just couldn’t connect with it.

“Song is an action driven dark fantasy with a medieval like setting, mages fighting for revenge, for the nation, for everything worth figthing for. It has nasty villains who force Rayph to make morally questionable decisions along the way, some interesting side characters who bring life to the story (Konnon, Shalimarie), more than a handful of dead bodies, vivid pictures (especially about the Gardens) and some unexpected twists toward the end.”

Broken Meats by David Hambling – 5/5

Broken MeatsOne of the two 5 star books of the month. While The Elder Ice didn’t grip me, the second book of the Harry Stubb’s Adventures series totally got me hooked. I’ve no idea how I’m going to squeeze book 3 into my shedule, but I will do it! It also had the cutest scene ever where a small chinese girl tried to teach Harry how to use chopsticks! *aww*

“You’d think occultism, chinese culture and their ‘secret’ societies and Jack the Ripper makes a unusual mix. They do. And still, it works and that’s what makes Broken Meats such an enjoyable read. Mr Hambling is not afraid to pull all these elements together and create something strange and unexpected.”

And Then There Were Crows by Alcy Leyva – 3.25/5

And Then There Were CrowsThis book wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be, hence I was a bit disappointed. It has the potential though, but I still think it needs a good editor to bring it out of it. This was one of the ARCs I received through Netgalley and will be officially released on July 3rd.

“All in all, Then There Were Crows is a fast paced, enjoyable read – if you have a certain kind of humor and don’t mind some violence here and there. This is a rather dark, horroresque urban fantasy with unique characterisation and promising ideas.”

Some Distant Sunrise by Elliott Downing – 5/5

Some Distant SunriseThe other 5 star book of June. It’s a pretty short novella, but it’s really powerful and emotional. This and Then There Were Crows were that 2 books which didn’t let me escape the reality I was running from this month. Anyway, I can’t recommend enough to read this little gem!

“Some Distant Sunrise is a powerfully emotional, dark tale of addiction, second chances, choices and life. One, the writing makes even more real, where you can almost feel the needle’s cool, metallic touch on your arm, the biting chill of the night and feel the pressure of the world as it closes on you, taste the desperation in the air.”

I Was A Teenage Weredeer by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus – 3.5/5

I Was a Teenage WeredeerThis was a book I really wanted to love, because it has everything you could love about an UF book: a snarky heroine who also happens to be a werdeer, whose best friend is a werewolf, a mystery, occultism, magic. And a writer you can’t help but love for his humor and kind personality. Still, I couldn’t love it, which made me feel kind of guilty. I’m still inclined to give a chance to the second book later this year.

“When you think it’s over, well, you have to think again. Underneath the cheesy, sarcastic surface however, are some thoughts which sets this book apart from the typical YA crowd. Plus the fact it has weredeers! And puns. Don’t be surprised if you end up saying deer puns for a few days after reading I Was A Teenage Weredeer. It has that effect on you whether you liked it or not. Accept it.”

Dissolution by C.J. Sansom – 4.5/5

DissolutionI love, love, love this historical fiction series. For the first time I started to read it in english. Which happened to be listening in audiobook but whatever. It took me a while to get through it, but I finished it in June and posted my review of it this month, so I guess it counts.

“If you enjoy mystery, with a historical background, especially the Tudor era of England, then I strongly recommend giving a shot at Dissolution. It’s gripping, makes you sit on the edge of your seat, even though it’s not exactly fast paced. It will held your interest until the end, and you’ll find yourself totally engrossed and waiting when you can continue reading on.”

Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J. Hayes – 4.5/5

Where Loyalties LieI had this one sitting on my virtual bookshelf for a while now, and oh, boy why the hell did I wait? It rightly deserved to win the 3rd SPFBO competition! Grimdark fantasy, with pirates, blood, political machinations and interesting characters.

“It’s witty, it’s brutal, it’s bloody, it’s dark and it’s impossible to put down. There is plenty of rum, fights, plotting against each other, secrets well-kept, magic and interesting enough characters. I honestly don’t know what you all waiting for, go get your hands on of the copies of this book!”

Wolf’s Head by Steven A. McKay – 3.5/5

Wolf's Head_paperbackA few weeks back when I spotted this book on my twitter feed, I knew I had to read this book. I got a few days while waiting for a friend to start a buddy read, I decided to squeeze it into my schedule. I half listened half read it, so I got through it pretty quickly. A historical fiction about Robin Hood. Do I have to tell more?

“As it is a first book, it’s not perfect, but a very enjoyable read nonetheless. It brought back my childhood memories, mixed it with my adult self’s love for english history and gritty elements, and pretty much blew my mind. Besides making me a dirty mouthed lunatic in the morning commute, on a tram full of people.”

Guest Post

JesseTeller-photoThis was the first time I hosted a guest post on my blog – I plan to do it more in the future – and this honor went to Jesse Teller, author of The Manhunters series. My review of Song can be find above. His article is titled Waiting For the Sun to Go Down which is about music and life.

Music Musings

Music Monday

If you missed any of them, give them a listen and read my personal notes/thoughts/ramblings regarding them 🙂

Music Diggin’ Friday

We had pretty slow weeks. I guess most albums/songs are being released during winter/autumn/spring so most bands are getting ready for summer festivals and tours. Fortunately we weren’t left stranded that much and summer helds some interesting releases yet 🙂

  • June 1st Featuring: Halestorm, Mark Tremonti, Good Charlotte, Daughtry, Orianthi, Modern Maps
  • June 8th Featuring: Evanescence, The Veer Union, Mike Shinoda, Monster Truck, Seether, As I Lay Dying, Thrice, Age of Days, Mark Tremonti, Dead Sara
  • June 15th Featuring: Mike Shinoda, Co-op, Diamante, Nothing More, Bad Wolves, OneRepublic, Thirty Seconds To Mars
  • June 22nd Featuring: Stone Sour, The Dead Daisies, Halestorm, The Faim, The Sea Within, Nine Inch Nails, Like A Storm
  • June 29th Featuring: Bullet For My Valentine, Code Red Riot, Daughtry

Interview

Barry Kerch from Shinedown

BarryThe most memorable thing that happened to me this month – music wise at least – was that I had the privilage to make an interview with Barry Kerch, drummer of Shinedown. It was an awesome experience and I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I was nervous as hell, but he was super nice and cool so we had a blast.

Shows

This month I attended 2 shows – sorry there is no article, but I was tired/lazy/and damn busy this month. I’m still trying to catch up to myself… But I have a few pics!

  • June 18th: Shinedown
  • June 25th: Nothing More/Stone Sour

See you all in July! 🙂

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