October Mini-reviews

Posted November 3, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog, Books / 0 Comments

I read… kind of a lot this past month and I often miss book blogging because I miss talking about my reading! I don’t know if I’ll do a reading wrap-up every month, but I read some really cool stuff in October that I just had to yammer on about a bit. Here are my October mini-reviews of the books I read last month.


YA Fantasy


Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass is possibly my favorite on-going series. Possibly my favorite series. I’ve been in deep love with these books since reading an ARC of Throne of Glass. And Empire of Storms doesn’t disappoint. With each installment, Mass draws her readers further into the intricate world she’s created, unfolding more and more plot and whirling us around the twists and turns the story takes. I may not ship the main ship and probably never will but I like characters enough without that– and it’s hardly the main focus of the plot. The story is an epic fantasy in every sense of the words. Magic imbues every page, the story is breathtaking, and I’m more than eager for the next installment.

5 stars


Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

CROOKED KINGDOM, YOU GUYS. This book is a monster. And I don’t just mean that because it tore my beating heart out of my chest. It’s huuuuuge. You would think that would mean that the plot would slow down in places, but it’s unrelenting. It keeps moving and building to that final crescendo.

It’s also one of the few fantasy novels that’s made me cry.

It’s so incredible.

5 stars

Science Fiction


Double Life (Razia #1) by S. Usher Evans

Every time I read a book about space pirates, I wonder why I don’t read more books about space pirates. This was no exception. I loved the unique approach Evans takes of having her main character working a boring day job until her career as a pirate takes off. Reminded me of a lot of writers I know– writing is totally like space piracy, amirite?

This was a lot of fun to read.

P.S. It’s currently free on Kindle…

5 stars

Erotica – Any kiddos, these books are not for you!


Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard #1) by Christina Lauren

Picked this one up because I love this writing duo’s Sweet Filthy Boy (and subsequent novels). Unfortunately, Beautiful Bastard is nowhere near those books. I actually almost DNFed this one because I haaaaaated the male main character. But I grew invested enough that I stuck it out. Very little plot, lots of sex, and I probably won’t pick up the next one, but it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

3 stars


The Boss (The Boss #1) by Abigail Barnette

Honestly, I read this because I heard that if you’re curious about a BDSM novel, this would be a better read than 50 Shades. And… well, I was curious. And  I enjoyed it! Again, I don’t think I’ll pick up the next book in the series because I feel as though I got enough of this plot and these characters from this one, but never say never. This one is also free on Kindle, if you’re curious like I was.

4 stars




A Darker Shade of Magic  by V.E. Schwab (Narrated by Steven Crossley)

I bought a hardcover of A Darker Shade of Magic ages ago. Pre-ordered it actually, because I’ve loved some of Schwab’s other work. And this book sounded right up my alley. But for some reason, I kept getting distracted until I borrowed the audiobook from my library. And then I loved it. The narrator is so excellently and gives such life to the characters. And Schwab’s world-building and plot abilities truly shine in A Darker Shade of Magic. I’ll definitely pick up book 2, A Gathering of Shadows. But I may have to go back to print, since it has a different narrator.

5 stars



Book Promotion 365 by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Highly, highly recommend Book Promotion 365 if you’re an author who feels like she may be stuck in a marketing rut. Snatch this book up. There are SO many promotion ideas, but the main point is finding ways to connect with readers,  rather than spamming them, which is the BEST approach. Not only has Hall done the work of coming up with 365 ideas for you, but I found myself inspired and having even more ideas than that!

5 stars


5,000 Words Per Hour (Write Faster, Write Smarter #1) by Chris Fox

All right, I truly doubt that I’ll be a person who writes 5,000 words in an hour… like EVER. My max has been 8,000 words in a day. That said, Chris Fox offers a practical approach to learning to write higher volumes more regularly. If you like the NaNoWriMo approach, you’ll find value in this one.

4 stars


Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen

great entry point if you’re looking to learn more about famous female pirates in history– and a bit of the stuff of legends, too. Written well and succinctly, it was what I was looking for, though it skews as if it may be targeted toward younger readers.

4 stars


Pirate Trials: Dastardly Deeds and Last Words (Pirate Trials #1) by Ken Rossignol

Hoooooo boy, was this a dense read. Pirate Trials was mostly a compilation of trial transcripts and summations and there was one particularly long slog of a trial that wasn’t very interesting, to be honest. That said, it offered a lot of interesting tidbits of how laws around pirates operated and the last trial in the book was FASCINATING. Such a wild ride, you’d almost think it was fiction. If this is a subject that interests you, it’s currently free on Kindle.

3 stars

Leave a Reply