[Book Tour] We Come With Vengeance by H. G. Muralee

We Come With Vengeance

H.G. Muralee

Publication date: March 14th 2023

Genres: Adult, Steampunk

The war has stretched on for twenty years, and the soldiers, civilians, and nobles are exhausted. Towns grow more desolate while war technology continues to advance, leaving the rest of Kaier behind.

Felix—heir to House Leigh-Van—harbors resentment for the war that has claimed his sister’s life and his father’s ethics. Regardless, he follows his orders and is content to remain equal among his fellow soldiers.

When a routine stop for repairs puts Felix at the epicenter of a brutal attack impacting civilians rather than soldiers, he struggles to continue separating his ethics from his duty. He’s privately ambivalent but publicly supportive of his uncle—the king—when whispers of an underground rebellion start to circulate. The rebellion is gaining traction and could soon make a serious play at ending the war.

But when even the tactics of the resistance begin claiming lives as quickly as the war itself, Felix starts to wonder who will survive to see the peace they’re fighting for.

Goodreads / Amazon

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Entry 186: What Strange Paradise

Author: Omar El Akkad
Genre: Fiction ; Adult ; Literary ; Magical Realism ; Politics ; Social Justice
Publication: July 20, 2021 by Knopf Publishing Group
Pages: 256
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another overfilled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives back in their homelands. But miraculously, someone has survived the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who is soon rescued by Vanna. Vanna is a teenage girl, who, despite being native to the island, experiences her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though Vanna and Amir are complete strangers, though they don’t speak a common language, Vanna is determined to do whatever it takes to save the boy.

In alternating chapters, we learn about Amir’s life and how he came to be on the boat, and we follow him and the girl as they make their way toward safety. What Strange Paradise is the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world. But it is also a story of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair–and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality.

Trigger warnings: Xenophobia, difficult immigration, racism, description of caging immigrants, child abuse

My Review:

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Entry 185: Critical Role: Vox Machina – Kith and Kin

Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Genre: Fiction ; Young Adult ; Fantasy ; LGBTQA+
Publication: November 30, 2021 by Random House Worlds
Pages: 352
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Explore the past of Critical Role’s daring half-elf twins, Vex’ahlia and Vax’ildan in this original prequel to their adventures with Vox Machina.

Vex and Vax have always been outsiders. A harsh childhood in the elite elven city of Syngorn quickly taught them not to rely on others. Now, freed from the expectations of their exacting father and the scornful eyes of Syngorn’s elves, the cunning ranger and the conning rogue have made their own way in the world of Exandria.

The twins have traveled far and experienced great hardship. But with the help of Vex’s quick wit and Vax’s quicker dagger, they’ve always kept ahead of trouble. Now, unknown perils await them in the bustling city of Westruun, where the twins become entangled in a web spun by the thieves’ guild known to many as the Clasp. Trapped by a hasty deal, Vex and Vax (along with Vex’s faithful bear companion, Trinket) set out into the wilds to fulfill their debt to the infamous crime syndicate.

As the situation grows more complicated than they ever could have imagined, for the first time Vex and Vax find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict that threatens the home they have carried with each other for years.

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp, Critical Role: Vox Machina – Kith & Kin follows a brand-new adventure that delves into the twin’s unexplored history, and returns to some of the iconic moments that forged Vox Machina’s most unbreakable bond.

Trigger warnings: Violence, child neglect, emotional child abuse, classism, child-parent separation, massacres, gang activities, theft, off-page loss of a parent

My Review:

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January 2023 Wrap Up

This January felt very productive! I had time off work in the first week which was a good choice since it gave me some time to do some organization around my house and buy some boxes and cartons that helped to organize my papers and records. Plus, I bought a new shelf for my books and board games so my living room looks more tidied up!

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[RECOMMENDED] Entry 184: Journey Under the Midnight Sun

Author: Keigo HigashinoAlexander O. Smith (Translator)
Genre: Fiction ; Adult ; Mystery ; Japanese Literature ; Thriller ; Crime
Publication: October 8, 2015 by Little, Brown
Pages: 539
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case – which remains unsolved – to the point of obsession.

Stark, intriguing and stylish, Journey Under the Midnight Sun is an epic mystery by the bestselling Japanese author.

My Review [MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD]:

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Entry 183: Dauntless

Author: Elisa A. Bonnin
Genre: Fiction ; Young Adult ; Fantasy ; Science Fiction ; LGBTQA+ ; Romance
Publication: July 19, 2022 by Swoon Reads
Pages: 384
Format Read In: Hardback

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

A teen girl must bring together two broken worlds in order to save her nation in this lush, Filipino-inspired young adult fantasy novel from debut author Elisa A. Bonnin.

“Be dauntless, for the hopes of the People rest in you.”

Seri’s world is defined by very clear rules: The beasts prowl the forest paths and hunt the People. The valiant explore the unknown world, kill the beasts, and gain strength from the armor they make from them. As an assistant to Eshai Unbroken, a young valor commander with a near-mythical reputation, Seri has seen first-hand the struggle to keep the beasts at bay and ensure the safety of the spreading trees where the People make their homes. That was how it always had been, and how it always would be. Until the day Seri encounters Tsana.

Tsana is, impossibly, a stranger from the unknown world who can communicate with the beasts – a fact that makes Seri begin to doubt everything she’s ever been taught. As Seri and Tsana grow closer, their worlds begin to collide, with deadly consequences. Somehow, with the world on the brink of war, Seri will have to find a way to make peace.

Trigger warnings: Dead animals, animal abuse, violence, mind control, blood

My Review [MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD]:

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[Book Tour] The Eighth-Grade Killer by Katy Pierce

The Eighth-Grade Killer

A Harborside Secrets Novel

“Tell me, Carlee… why did you deserve to live?”

When a dead body is discovered in Harborside with a gruesome message tied around its bruised neck, Carlee realizes the childhood trauma she thought was over has come back to haunt her.

It’s been more than a decade since a serial killer slaughtered Carlee’s eighth-grade class—including her twin brother—only to vanish into thin air, leaving Harborside, Carlee’s once-beautiful lakeshore hometown, haunted by the memories of dead children who will never find true rest.

Now in her late twenties, Carlee is a successful—if eccentric—private investigator in downtown Chicago.

But when the body of a popular high school volleyball player is discovered in Harborside, Carlee knows she must confront the horrors she left behind.

As she races against time to catch the killer, she finds herself in a deadly game of cat and mouse. More bodies pile up, each accompanied by a cryptic note that seems to taunt her.

It’s clear the Eighth-Grade Killer knows she’s back in town, and they’re coming for her to finish their macabre mission.

Can Carlee finally bring the notorious killer to justice and stop the killings, or will they claim her as their next victim?

The Eighth-Grade Killer is the first book of Katy Pierce’s Harborside Secrets unforgettable mystery series, where the danger is real, and the stakes are deadly.

Published: January 10, 2023
Genres: Age – AdultMystery, Thriller, & Suspense

See the giveaway, author Q&A and excerpt below

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It’s the Final (2022) Countdown: Final 2022 Bookish Stats

Courtesy of Goodreads and StoryGraph, my 2022 bookish stats can be found below.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, I wish I’d read more last year! It doesn’t bother me that I didn’t make it to my goal (100 books can be a lot for the average reader), but I do feel guilty that there were times I could have picked up a book and decided on something else, like watching TV. I can excuse myself since 2022 was a year of learning how to cook and maintain a house of my own for the first time, so I’m hoping 2023 will bring more time in my schedule to read.

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[RECOMMENDED] Entry 182: Brave New World

Author: Aldous Huxley
Genre: Fiction ; Adult ; Classic ; Science Fiction ; Dystopia ; Philosophy
Publication: September 1st 1998 by HarperPerennial / Perennial Classics
Pages: 268
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.

Trigger warnings: Graphic abuse of babies, forced sterilization, ableism, anti-neurodivergence, discussion of sexual activities between children (non-graphic), slurs (anti Black, anti Indigenous), child abuse, racist depictions (anti-Black, anti-Indigenous), suicide attempt, suicidal inclination, fatphobia, ageism, drug addiction, sexual assault (hinted), slut shaming, watching the death of a mother, suicide

My Review:

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