IMAGE CREDITS: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono | Decorative phoenix by Tanantachai Sirival – both from 123RF.com
This month’s wrap up is Wyrd & Wonder themed to go over how I did with this wonderful month long event celebrating the fantastic. I love Wyrd & Wonder – it’s my favorite blogging event of the year. I always have a lot of fun with it and this year was no exception even though I wasn’t quite as focused as I would have liked to have been. Originally I had wanted to make some more themed posts for the challenges but I just didn’t have it in me this time around. I don’t know if it’s pandemic related anxiety or my regular seasonal change anxiety or a combination…but anxiety/depression hit hard shortly after the month began and left me not feeling very…up for fantasy reading. Oh well, best laid plans and all that. I still had fun participating! Thank goodness I had most of the month pre-scheduled. 😉
My reading was spotty. My mood reading didn’t quite work out the way I had intended but I still managed to finish a couple of books from my Wyrd & Wonder TBR — Mooncakes and The Absinthe Earl. I also read two of my eARCs — Drowned Country and Dragon Unleashed — so I’m glad I got caught up on those. Now I only have one eARC left in my pile, huzzah! Other than that I pretty much read what I felt like and most of those were romance novels, webcomics and other random things (some fantasy romance, wooo!).
Overall I read TWENTY books in May — an HUGE improvement over last month for sure! The breakdown:
- 8 Romance novels: 2 contemporary and 6 historicals
- 12 SFF Books: 1 graphic novel, a TON of Romantic Fantasy books….just, a lot of romance everywhere, weee! Also a couple of non-romance focused SFF books (although most of those also have romance in them…because I’m me and I like romance).
I actually read a lot more SFF than I thought but I think a good chunk of that is because of this past week when I binge read the entire Captive Prince trilogy and then read a couple of other SFF books on top of that. I’m coping with the world being crappy by burying my head in a book.
Favorite Reads of the Month:
- Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu – this was a stand alone comic/graphic novel about a witch and a werewolf. It was so adorable and filled with optimism, just the sort of energy I was looking for this past month.
- Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven – the sequel to Phoenix Unbound, this did not disappoint! A nearly perfect blend of fantasy and romance, two of my favorite genres married together.
- Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat – this series is one I’ve been meaning to read for a hot minute. I bought book one a while back when a couple of my bookish friends were talking about it on twitter and just never got around to it. Thank goodness for mood reading and one of my friends mentioning it again–it was just what I needed at the end of the month. This is not a series for everyone–there’s slavery and sexual assualt and violence and in the first book there is some pretty horrific and unforgivable actions taken by characters you’re supposed to later like. But the story is highly engaging and I don’t want to say too much here because I’ll save my thoughts for my review. 😉
- Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater – this Regency fantasy romance was ALSO just what I needed, I ate this one up. I just…loved this book. It’s a lovely romance and I really loved the character arcs. Definitely recommend if you’re looking for something in the fantasy romance category that also has some interesting things to say about the world.
May’s Book Reviews:
Still doing a good job keeping up with my reviews, it helps that I haven’t been reading (ironically considering it was Wyrd & Wonder) a ton of SFF books. Here are all the reviews I posted in May in case you missed them.
- Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa – 4/5 stars
- The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht – 4/5 stars
- Seven Summer Nights by Harper Fox – 4.5/5 stars
- Blood Lines by Tanya Huff – 4.5/5 stars
- The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco – 3.5/5 stars
- Briarley by Aster Glenn Gray – 4/5 stars
- The Absinthe Earl by Sharon Lynn Fisher – 3.5/5 stars
- Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven – 4/5 stars
Like I said, originally I had hoped to have some more posts here to meet the Wyrd & Wonder Challenge prompts but…welp. I still managed one and it was quite fun to write! I also did two tags this month and managed to continue on with my one per month discussion post commitment.
- Wyrd & Wonder TBR Pile
- The Power of Three: Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
- Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Tag
- Obligated Reading: A Book Blogger’s Conundrum
- The Ultimate Recommendations Book Tag
Plans for June:
Let’s first see how I did with May’s plans! In May I participated in Wyrd & Wonder and so I set my blog (which is already mostly fantasy) to all things Fantasy. No sci-fi reviews or sci-fi Can’t-Wait Wednesday posts this month, everything was 100% fantastical! Other May plans–I wanted to catch up on my review requests and I think I did a pretty good job of that–only one left! I also wanted to keep my blogging up to date and I did a good job of that working on posts, staying ahead of things, etc. I’m still really caught up even though my number of pre-scheduled posts has dwindled a bit. My really low-key goal was read whatever I’m in the mood to read so I can say emphatically that I achieved this goal. From webcomics to romance novels to whatever else I was in the mood for–that’s what I read.
For June I plan to keep things fairly low-key again. I’ll have an announcement up in a couple of days about a summer reading challenge I’m doing again this year–although this year I’m scaling it back a bit–details to follow! I want to try and read at least one book for r/fantasy Bingo as I haven’t had a good start and don’t want to wait until the end like last time.
And, that’s it! I had a great time with Wyrd & Wonder and I’d like to thank the hosts once again for putting this event on. I know how much hard work it goes into organizing things like this and it’s not easy–your efforts are appreciated!