Monthly Wrap Up: May 2019

May was an interesting whirlwind of a month. We had my cousin’s wedding, I made some life changing desicions, my blog got picked to be one of the judges for SPFBO5 and I  got my hands on a lot of awesome ARCs and books. And I finally got caught up with everything!

Book Reviews

In case you missed any of our reviews in May you can read them by clicking on the title! 🙂 I finally caught up with everything, so yay!

Priest of Bones by Peter McLean – 4.5/5

Priest of BonesTechnically I’ve read Priest of Bones in April – it was a nice Easter read, lol – but I only got around to review it at the beginning of May. Once again, thanks for Peter McLean for the signed copy!

Priest of Bones deserves all the hype it got. If you ever wondered what would happen if you mixed a priest and the Godfather, then you can finally get your answer. Priest of Bones is an unputdownable character driven fantasy about organised crime, magic, political intrigue and a world left by the gods. I already can’t wait for the sequel, Priest of Lies to learn what happens to these lovely rogues called Pious Men next.”

Crown by Jesse Teller – 4/5

CrownJen read the last book of the Manhunters series and while she liked it, she had some critics to tell as well.

“If you are looking for something different, something dark and inventive, and slightly disturbing, then it’s worth you checking this series out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cuddle some bunnies.”

 

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore – 5/5

LambI’m kind of ashamed it took me so damn long to review this book. Lamb is easily one of my all time favorites and my latest reread took place in January, when I most needed it.

“What makes Lamb exceptional is the humor and the characters that Moore brought to life. No matter how many times I read it, I just can’t help laughing out loud or be sad or excited for them to succeed in their quest.

You absolutely have to read this book if you like Moore‘s books, love humor, want an alternative history about who Jesus was, enjoy reading about adventure, drama and prefer a character driven story. In short: READ THIS BOOK!”

 

Three Crows Magazine #3 by Alex Khlopenko – 4/5

TCM #3I reviewed the latest Three Crows Magazine issue which features short stories from R.J. Barker, M.L. Wang and Anna K. Scott as well as interviews, book and game reviews and other SFF related articles.

Three Crows Magazine has ambitious goals to give a spotlight for many forms of art within the SFF scene. Personally I would have liked to see at least one more short story in the mix, but whatever your preferred media is – games, movies, books – you’ll find something in this issue.

 

The City Screams by Phil Williams – 5/5

The City ScreamsJen reviewed the new addition to the Ordshaw universe, a novella which can be read as a stand alone.

“There were a few things I was unsure of – like why just being from Ordshaw made Tova a special interest to anyone in the first place, and some of the ending was a bit unclear to me. But this did what I think these extended series novellas should do – and that is get me interested in the world, give me a taste without giving me everything, and do it while being a ton of fun. In that, this book succeeded on all levels.

Total addictive blast!”

 

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence – 4.75/5

One Word KillJen finally jumped on the Mark Lawrence bandwagon! Starting with the first book of the Impossible Times trilogy which will be released this year. The first two books are already available.

“So, I am just going to leave it there and say: If you’re like me and been hearing lots of good things about this author but haven’t had the opportunity, or weren’t sure where to start with his work…well, then this is a great place to jump on the Mark Lawrence bandwagon.”

 

Thorn of the Night Blossoms by JC Kang – 4.5/5

Thorn of the Night Blossoms

Another confession: I’ve read this book in April as well. As I said, May was a month for catching up. It was my first JC Kang book and surely not the last. This one is a novella telling Jie’s story.

“Thorn of the Night Blossoms is a good entry point into JC Kang‘s world. Whether you only just get to know the Dragon Songs Saga series or you already read one the books and you are interested to learn more about Jie’s past, you won’t be disappointed.”

The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Caroline Flarity – 3.5/5

The Ghost Hunter's DaughterI stepped out of my comfort zone a bit and got my hands on a YA fantasy book. I had mixed feelings about it, but overall it was an enjoying read.

“In all fairness, The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter is a solid and entertaining read. Being the debut of Caroline Flarity, I think it has good potential. All in all, it mostly delivered what I expected: a fast paced, sometimes spooky read with a bit of teen drama. If you like ghost hunter stories, evil spirits wreaking havoc in a little town playing mindgames on people, with teen angst and love drama on the side, then I’m sure you will enjoy The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter.”

Priest of Lies by Peter McLean – 5/5

 

 

Priest of LiesI had the extreme luck of getting my hands on an ARC copy of the upcoming second book of the War for the Rose Throne trilogy and I jumped right in. I can’t help it, I just damn love this series!

“Even Priest of Bones didn’t shy away from bloodshed or violence when it came to it, but Priest of Lies turned it up by a notch. The War for the Rose Throne series with this addition really deserves to be mentioned amongst grimdark’s finest. Priest of Lieshas an awesome cast of characters, political intrigues, gore and twists that’ll make you blinking in surprise. If you love the genre, then you absolutely must read it!”

 

Author Spotlight

Interviews

SPFBO4 has ended with J. Zachary Pike winning it with Orconomics. The race was pretty tight until the end, and I’d like to congratulate to everyone taking part in the competition! All I had left to do was make two more finalist interviews and with that I could wrap up SPFBO4. Everything SPFBO related, you can find on my SPFBO 4 page!

 

Mike Shel (not his real name) was born in Detroit,  Michigan in 1964 and grew up in the suburb of Dearborn, the hometown of Henry Ford, genius industrialist and virulent anti-Semite nutjob. Mike has also lived in southern Illinois, Louisville, Kentucky, Atlanta, Georgia, and now Indianapolis, Indiana. After writing two adventures forDungeon Magazine in the early 90s, he crawled down a deep, dark hole.  He emerged 15 years later, Rip Van Winkle-like, looked around for a moment, then crawled back down again. Re-emerging after another 3 years, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and began freelancing for Paizo Publishing and third-party publishers like Kobold Press and Legendary Games.

Mike is currently hard at work on his dark epic fantasy trilogy entitled ICONOCLASTS. The first book, ACHING GOD , is available now in digital and print format, he’s writing the second (SIN EATER), and the third (IDOLS FALL) is in outline form.

Read my SPFBO interview with Mike!

 

Devin Madson

Devin Madson is an Aurealis Award-winning fantasy author from Down Under.

After some sucky teenage years, she gave up reality and is now a dual-wielding rogue who works through every tiny side-quest and always ends up too over-powered for the final boss. Anything but zen, Devin subsists on tea and chocolate and so much fried zucchini she ought to have turned into one by now.

Devin writes obsessively, but if you’re after happy, fuzzy tales then you’ve come to the wrong place. Her fantasy novels come in all shades of grey and are populated with characters of questionable morals and a liking for witty banter.

Read my SPFBO interview with Devin!

 

Guest Post

Dave stopped by to share a post with us all about all the maps and a few stunning art for his upcoming book, Ioth, City of Lights.

D.P. WoolliscroftBorn in Derby in England, on the day before mid-summers day, David Peter Woolliscroft was very nearly magical. If only his dear old mum could have held on for another day. But magic called out to him over the years, with a many a book being devoured for its arcane properties. David studied Accounting at Cardiff University where numbers weaved their own kind of magic and he has since been a successful business leader in the intervening twenty years.

Adventures have been had. More books devoured and then one day, David had read enough where the ideas he had kept bottled up needed a release valve. And thus, rising out of the self doubt like a phoenix at a clicky keyboard, a writer was born. Kingshold is David’s debut novel and Tales of Kingshold, companion short stories to the novel, are flooding onto the page as fast as David can write them.

He is married to his wife Haneen and has a daughter Liberty, who all live with their mini golden doodle Rosie in Princeton NJ. David is one of the few crabs to escape the crab pot.

Check out the post, Behind the walls of Ioth here and give yourself a favor: check out the series!

 

Other Posts

The Questioning

My anniversary celebration event was pretty fun and people seemed to like it, so I decided to make into a monthly feature, just in a smaller scale: 1 blogger and author a month.

Author Edition: Clayton Snyder

Blogger Edition: Caitling G.

 

Live chat with Devin Madson, Sam Hawke and Alex Khlopenko

After we had fun with Ben Galley next month, we decided to do some more live interviews. We invited along these two awesome Australian ladies, Devin Madson and Sam Hawke to chat about Game of Thrones, women in fantasy, the transition from self-publishing to traditional publishing and a few other things. We don’t have the fully edited version yet, so here is the stream (sorry about the technical issues, we ended up podcast style as the video freezed…). Once I’ll have the final version, I’ll switch it.

Wyrd and Wonder

In the end I didn’t participate as much in this fun event dedicated to fantasy, but I still managed to write an article. May’s last Sunday is traditionally Children’s Day in Hungary. I was reading Priest of Lies at the time and I started to think about books which are considered adult fiction but the main character or at least an important one is a kid. I listed 10, but I did a bit of cheating.

10 Books Featuring Kids in Adult Fiction

 

A wedding and other life changing decisions

We kicked off May with my cousin’s wedding. It was a fun event, though it was a smaller one than I’m used to. Still, it was interesting to meet family members I didn’t see for about 10 years. I didn’t even regnocise half of them. But between the ceremony, feasting and dancing I had time to think. It was clear for a while now that I needed a change. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t feel like what I do matters. I had no desire to live. Something had to change. After taking some time to think I came to realise that I don’t want to spend the majority of my time in an office, doing something I don’t care about. I’ve been dreaming about being an editor for a really long time, but my studies took me away from that. Since I started blogging and got to know people, did some work here and there I realised that I was right, this is what I want to do. I’ve built up some confidence and finally the time came when I decided it was time to give this a shot. So, I talked to my boss, and told her that I wanted to work shorter hours. Originally I planned 6 hours, but for some reasons the company agreed on 4. Which I don’t really mind time-wise as I have much more time to do this. So, starting from June 1st I work half time. It’s been only a few days but I already know I made the right decision, even if I have no idea if I can pull off the freelancing or not. I guess time will tell.

In other news, after a lot of thinking and the persuasion of a friend I decided to sign up for SPFBO5. There was one spot left in the judging panel after FBR decided to step back. I wasn’t sure if I’ll be the one to get picked, but life and Mark had other ideas. I’m really excited to be back under my own flag and I have a team ready – more info coming really, really soon.

I started the month with a party and ended it with one – on the 31st I went to see my favorite Hungarian band, Fish!. It was good, though people and the off sound killed it a bit. Oh well, I didn’t regret going as I won’t see them probably until Fall.

 

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

May means it’s time for Eurovision! So this month I dedicated most of my music related posts to this fun event. For Music Diggin’ Friday I had two top 10 lists:

Top 10 Hungarian Eurovision Songs

Top 10 Eurovision Songs of 2019

I think that’s it for May. I hope to see you all in June!

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