book reviews, Book Series, books, Star Wars

My To Be Read Pile, AKA What’s Next!

I decided to update my To Be Read pile to reflect what I will be actually reading coming up and what reviews you can expect. I decided to change it up a bit since I needed some new reading inspiration and was having issues with becoming invested/interested in picking up new things (and trust me, I have a lot of new things to read). So here’s the breakdown of my new reads/reviews, and their descriptions, you can look for coming up soon!

Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson

She commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But Captain Phasma, renowned officer of the First Order, remains as unknowable as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now an obsessed adversary is determined to unearth her mysterious origins—and expose the secret she guards as zealously as she serves her masters.

Aboard the battle cruiser Absolution, a Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of Cardinal, a crimson-armored stormtrooper. The information he desires has nothing to do with covert operations. What Cardinal seeks is the hidden history of Phasma, his hated rival for power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. Whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons Cardinal means to discover will be the weapon he wields to destroy her. While the captor and the captive are locked in a painstaking war of wills, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury. – Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson, back cover

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica–the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both–and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, book description

Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson

After devastating losses at the hands of the First Order, General Leia Organa has dispatched her agents across the galaxy in search of allies, sanctuary, and firepower—and her top spy, Vi maradi, may have just found all three, on a secluded world at the galaxy’s edge.

A planet of lush forests, precarious mountains, and towering petrified trees, Batuu is on the farthest possible frontier of the galactic map, the last settled world before the mysterious expanse of Wild Space. The rogues, smugglers, and adventurers who eke out a living in the largest settlement on the planet, Black Spire Outpost, are here to avoid prying eyes and unnecessary complications. Vi, a Resistance spy on the run from the First order, is hardly a welcome guest. And when a shuttle full of stormtroopers lands in her wake, determined to root her out, she has no idea where to find help.

To survive, Vi will have to seek out the good-hearted heroes hiding in a world that redefines scum and villainy, With the help of a traitorous trooper and her acerbic droid, she begins to gather a colorful band of outcasts and misfits, and embarks on a mission to spark the fire of resistance on Batuu—before the First Order snuffs it out entirely. –Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson, inside cover.

Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn

The dying Empire’s most cunning and ruthless warlord, Grand Admiral Thrawn, has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic’s destruction. Meanwhile, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republic Council—only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.

Yet most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness, and scheming to corrupt Luke Skywalker to the dark side. –Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn, back cover.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery—or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his close friendship with the infinitely more glamorous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from—and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.

In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel that sparks both laughter and tears while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne, inside cover.

None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different From Us (and why that’s a good thing) by Jen Wilkin

Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone. Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God’s limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God. –None Like Him by Jen Wilkin, back cover

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Book Series, books

Why Blog about Books?

How in the world did I get here?

Since I could learn how to read, I have been obsessed with books. If you were a child in the 90’s you would’ve been familiar with the Accelerated Reader program. Let’s just say I was reading as many books as I possibly could to get more points, and because I enjoyed it. Luckily, my parents supported my reading obsession by buying me books and taking me to the library whenever I had read through what I had.

I learned to love all different genres. I most often would read fantasy or sci-fi related books but was open to others, with the exception of thriller or horror. I’m not one for things that keep me up at night with nightmares which totally happens whenever I encounter something scary. When it came to fantasy, I loved the aspects of world building and characters these authors would come up with. From Tamora Pierce, J.K. Rowling, and Roald Dahl, I couldn’t get enough.

I also loved fiction. One of my favorite series when I was a kid was the Little House on the Prairie series. There was something about a series based on real life and that time period of traveling out west that I loved. Getting to follow Laura and her family as they traveled out west and made a new life for themselves. Obviously there were a lot of different series and books that I enjoyed but this was definitely on up there.

So, the question from the beginning of the post, why would I blog about books and reading? If you couldn’t tell, it is something I am passionate about. I always have a book with me, either via Kindle or shoving one in my purse, especially if I know ahead of time that I’ll be sitting somewhere. If I’m walking on a treadmill or out in a park, I’m listening to audiobooks (or sometimes podcasts, but a lot of audiobooks). This blog is easily a way for me to talk about things that I love and share it with others.

If you have a blog, what do you enjoy writing about?

book reviews, Book Series, books, Star Wars

Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy Review

This is the second book in this series I have read in my adult years and the second in this series. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before but my first intro into Star Wars was getting two of these books when I was a kid but the ones I received were from the middle of the series so this is my first time reading it all the way through from book one to the last.

I, overall, have given this one 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5. I know this book has been out for quite some time but I am really enjoying going back and reading and reviewing Legends Star Wars novels. Now, for my review.

We see this book pick up not long after the ending of the first, with our new favorite twins, Jacen and Jaina, and their friend Lowie about to go check out Lando Calrissian’s new venture, a mining station off of the actual planet of Yavin. We quickly see that adventure turn into a very different adventure leading to them getting kidnapped and having to see their other friend, Tenel Ka, going back to her home world of Dathomir with their teacher, Luke Skywalker, to get the twins and Lowie back.

As someone who became a big fan of the animated series and getting to see the Nightsisters from a different angle, it was fun to see them in the Legends format, as well as the others from Dathomir that we never got a look at on the screen. Getting some of Tenel Ka’s history and family information helped to broaden and deepen her character’s personality and motives. This book is also filled with tension and if the twins and Lowie will turn to the dark side. I feel like this is going to be a theme we will be frequently seeing throughout this series. Luckily, I don’t know much about Jacen and Jaina outside of reading these first two books (I’m resisting the urge to Google anything) so getting to find out how their paths continue to develop is very exciting, especially reading it in real time.

Overall, definitely a great advancement to the series and I think I liked it more than the first. We see the villain from the first book reappear and get to see, while not much of him, a little bit of a change by the end. I’m definitely excited to see how this character continues to weave in and out of these young Jedi’s stories as the series continues.

Star Wars, Star Wars Resistance

Star Wars Resistance Returns! Trailer Review and more!

Hi everyone! Okay, you know I like Star Wars. If that wasn’t obvious by now, you’re not reading my blog. I’ve decided to do a rewatch of Star Wars Resistance before Season 2 drops on October 6th of this year! I’m still going to be doing plenty of book reviews and book centered posts but have decided, since I’m going to rewatch this show anyway to prep for the new (and final !!!!) season, I’m going to break it down episode by episode with you to prep for it! What do y’all think? Any of you along for the ride?

Feel free, if you’re a Star Wars buff and you have access to the season, watch along with me. Let’s go on this journey!

Now, let’s review this trailer! If you don’t like watching/reading anything ahead before it is actually out, stop reading here! (Also, I know this trailer came out in August. I for some reason am a terrible fan and only have just now seen it, hence the delayed breakdown).

Whoa. Let me just say that to begin with. I loved season 1, especially once it got going but man, it looks like we’re in for quite a ride.

We start off the trailer hearing characters from season 1’s finale talking about needing to get the ship, the Colossus, off planet and into the air to escape the First Order. This all occurring while, one of the favorites of the series, and, let’s be honest, who didn’t see that something was going to happen to push her away, Tam Ryvora (mechanic and aspiring pilot of the ship called the Fireball) leaves with the First Order after feeling betrayed by Kazuda Xiono (Resistance spy and pilot, we’ll go over Kaz more in the episode reviews) and head of team Fireball, Jarek Yeager. Whew. A lot happened over the course of season 1, leading us directly to where season 2 picks up, during the events of The Last Jedi.

One thing I’ll say before I continue with this trailer breakdown, I 100% appreciated the fact that we finally saw events from The Force Awakens from a different perspective. I’m not sure if we’ve ever gotten a look like this from any Star Wars tv show or movie but it was refreshing to see different reactions from someone outside of the immediate happenings. Seeing Kaz and pilot Torra Doza’s reactions to the Hosnian Prime system’s destruction and the speech from General Hux finally brought this entire series even more together for me. It has been nice having Poe Dameron throughout the season but this was the first real feeling for me that it was all involved and all linked in heavily, all while seeing Kaz trip over things, dealing with the drama on the Colossus.

Okay, we cut to our first new content with seeing droid Bucket and CB-23 watching the Colossus in hyperspace. I know it’s kind of silly to love this shot but it is beautiful. The hyperspace animation looks amazing and there’s something about the shot, in all the chaos we hear, focusing on two little droids looking out into the unknown. What a great first shot.

We hear from Captain Doza (Torra’s father and the Captain of the Colossus), Yeager, and Neeko Vozo (one of my favorite characters, he’s silly but you have to like him) that the Colussus is running out of things and they’re going to have a hard time keeping the station going. They’re running out of everything, even fuel, and we see Doza trying to calm down those who are aboard his station/ship.

We next see Doza speaking about a war which leads directly into images of Tie Fighters as well as the pirates that are now also aboard the Colossus speaking about the war. All this while Kaz, who seems ever the optimist, speaks about finding the Colossus a new home. It looks like we will see some new, and maybe even some old, planets this season as either they’re on that hunt or dealing with the First Order.

Speaking of the First Order and where Tam has been, we cut to a Resurgent-class Star Destroyer where First order Agent Tierney, who recruited Tam, is on the bridge speaking with Tam, encouraging her to rise through the ranks as a Tie Pilot, and using her to find her friends aboard the Colossus. Also, we see an old friend, Captain Phasma, speaking with Tierney and Commander Pyre (gold, chrome stormtrooper armor) speaking of how they need to while out the Colossus. Now, question here is, did Phasma survive the fall in The Last Jedi, or is this from that short period of time in TLJ where Phasma was still alive and we didn’t know what she was up to.

*Quick note, there is a great comic series that takes place after Finn places Phasma in the garbage chute in The Force Awakens leading into The Last Jedi and you must check it out. I’m not sure if she’s in the middle of that mission when this is going on but it is worth a read if you like Phasma’s character.*

We see fights, a character we haven’t seen before speaking about how entire planets giving up, including a shot of a plant that looks kind of like Lothal or even Tatooine? Though I’m kinda hoping it could also be Batuu. It would be great to see a Galaxy’s Edge tie in with this series, especially since that’s where Kylo Ren is supposed to be around this time, and it looks like his command shuttle landing on a planet.

It sounds like they’ve figured out where the Colossus is and they’re all wondering how they know where they are, followed by a shot of a possibly regretful looking Tam? Wonder if we’ll see her redemption this season! That’s when we cut to a warning that Bounty Hunters might be after the Colossus crew, especially those in the Resistance, and we cut to some B2 Super Battle Droids (!!!!!) that look worse for wear and what looks like some of the Guavian Death Gang we see Han deal with in The Force Awakens. What great characters to better explore in this series. I love seeing more characters tied further into other Star Wars areas.

We get to see plenty of new aliens and creatures as well this season! The giant manta ray looking creature just looks gorgeous. Hopefully it isn’t also terrifying. Can we just talk about how amazing this animation looks with these creatures and, well, everything? Stunning.

Now, we see probably one of the most exciting things about this trailer that I’m looking forward to. Did we just find another Sith temple? Like, that’s 100% what this place looks like! A new character states, “it’s a power source from an ancient time.” I wonder if we’re going to get some Jedi lore in here despite the fact that this has been the first Star Wars show without any Jedi (well, Leia does make an appearance but there has been no Jedi powers going on).

Now, detouring from the Jedi/Sith possibilities, I am excited to see more of the Aces it looks like this season. While their racing was cool, it’ll be great to get to know some of these pilots more deeply, besides Hype. It looks like they’ll be taking on the responsibilities of protection from creatures on new worlds they find and from the First Order. Also, there are going to be a lot more battles it seems like, as well as a Hutt on a space station-like ship? We get Hutt’s again? I’m down.

Now, in the dark turn at the end, we see Kylo Ren, we assume, speaking with Tierney, and controlling her through the Force. When I say dark, it looks like he’s moving her arm to grab her blaster, but to what end? I’m pretty sure suicide would be way too dark for a kid’s cartoon but, you never know. I’m not firmly in the, “Kylo Ren will be redeemed” boat. In seeing this, the fact that there are Sith Troopers in the new The Rise of Skywalker movie, etc. I think he will be firmly cementing himself into the “badies” category.

All-in-all, I am so hyped (ha) for this new season. While the first season started off slow and silly, it morphed into a great addition to the Star Wars canon by the end. I think this new season, mixed with the new canon novels is going to make for a great lead up to the next movie. Question will be, though, how much of Kylo’s storyline will we see mixed in with our ragtag team from the Colossus? I guess we’ll just have to hold on and see!

book reviews, Book Series, books, New Book Releases, Star Wars

Star Wars Book News!

Hey everyone! We’ve got quite a bit to celebrate soon with so many new Star Wars book releases between now and the end of the year/Rise of Skywalker release! I’m going to break them down for you so you know what’s coming!

Star Wars The Skywalker Saga by Delilah S. Dawson
Releases October 1, 2019

This new canon novel by Star Wars alumni writer Delilah S. Dawson focuses on the entire Star Wars saga through the eyes of the Skywalker family. It’s a retelling of Episodes I-XIII through the eyes of Anakin, Leia, Luke, and Rey’s points of view. Wait, Rey’s point of view? (!!!!!!!) Guess we’ll have to wait and see how she falls into the Skywalker family once Episode IX releases! The cover art is done by Brian Rood who has provided art for Star Wars in more than just book form.

Star Wars: Dooku Jedi Lost by Cavan Scott
Releases October 1, 2019

This novel isn’t new to us, especially if you downloaded the Audiobook version when it released earlier this year. This is the book version of that same script, following Count Dooku before he becomes an apprentice to Darth Sidious. It follows Dooku from his home world to his time as a member of the Jedi Order. If you’re a fan of the prequel trilogy, the Clone Wars animated series, or just back stories in general and aren’t a fan of audio dramas, get this book asap so you can read a part of this character’s story that we haven’t read or seen before!

Ultimate Star Wars New Edition by Adam Bray, Cole Horton, Tricia Barr, Ryder Windham, and Anthony Daniels
Releases October 4, 2019 (Triple Force Friday!!!)

Coming from DK Publishing is a new and updated reference guide to canon Star Wars as an updated version of the 2015 guide. Anthony Daniels provides the forward while Bray, Horton, Barr, and Windham took care of all the gritty details about the universe we all know and love. The encyclopedia covers creatures, places, vehicles, characters, and technology throughout the universe including the latest animated series Star Wars: Resistance and the latest movies. I haven’t seen it yet but knowing the people who worked on it (especially Tricia Barr, hey Fangirls Going Rogue!), it is going to be a must-have addition to any fan’s bookshelves.

Star Wars: Spark of the Resistance by Justina Ireland
Releases: October 4, 2019 (Triple Force Friday!!!!)

A junior canon novel placed before Episode IX, we follow Rey, Poe, and Rose as they go on an adventure to the isolated planet Minfar after they get a distress plea. Though junior novels often get overlooked, make sure to not overlook these Journey to series books. These give some definitely insight into where the characters were and what’s going on, and sometimes these junior novels have some of the best writing coming out for Star Wars. This novel is supposed to also introduce something that could be crucial to the war between the Resistance and the First Order. Better believe I’m pre-ordering this one pronto!

books, Star Wars

The Importance of Fandom

I guess you could say, from the moment “fandom” became a thing for me, I would get hooked on whatever I possibly could. I would look up everything about said thing and I’d latch on for dear life. For me, I am definitely involved in a few different fandoms, most stemming from my love of reading books, while one did not start out that way but it has definitely brought books into the fold recently for me. Why, though, is fandom important?

It gives those of us with passions for things such as books, movies, tv shows, and other things within pop culture and some outside of it, places to discuss our favorite things. I’m involved in Facebook groups, follow different Tumblrs, follow so many different kinds of people on both Instagram and Twitter, and I’ve found real life friends I can talk for hours about the things I love with. Those communities, sometimes, provide for us people who we can talk to and feel like ourselves with.

Have you ever had friends or family judge you for being super into something? I have. It’s so nice to have people to relate to on many levels. I’ve seen people find connections that have helped them with their medical issues as well, help deal with loneliness, and just overall have places where they can have fun. Why judge someone for something they are passionate about? Shouldn’t that be important for any healthy adult, to have passions? When people speak proudly about something they love, even if it isn’t my thing, it can draw me in and help me feel connected with them, just out of being impressed with their level of passion. For me, when I chat about all things Disney and Disney parks, on and on about Star Wars, among other things, I love when people actually care about what I have to say because it is something that matters to me.

Fandom gives us communities to connect with and, in this world of lack of communication, sometimes gives those of us who might feel lonely, a place to feel a little less alone.

book reviews, books, Star Wars

I’m Back!!!

Hey fellow bloggers or blog readers! So I had a little delay in my blog posting because a) I wasn’t reading as much and b) we found out we are pregnant! I was super exhausted and wasn’t really in a blog state of mind or place so super excited to be back!

I’ve been reading a ton and am starting to prepare my book reviews for upcoming posts! I have a lot to talk about so I’m glad you’re here to follow along! I promise they haven’t all turned into pregnancy book reviews!

Just to give you a taste of the books I’m going to be reviewing, here they are:
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Love Does by Bob Goff
Shadow Academy by Kevin J. Anderson
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
One Day In December by Josie Silver

Be on the lookout for those. I’ll have them all queued up shortly so you’ll see those start to appear soon! I’ve very excited to get back to reviewing as well as posting some additional blog posts like my what’s new and about various series’ that I enjoy!